The news is out, the golf world is in an uproar — Belly putting will be banned?
Banned, really, but from when? From next year? Well, not actually banning it like it’d be as of January 2013 or next season.
It’s just that golf world’s powers-that-be i.e. The Royal & Ancient and USGA have come up with a proposal to amend the rules, to ban it. What they are doing is for three months they will allow everybody and anybody who cares about belly putting to say his/her piece, then they will make a proper set of rule. And such a rule will not be implemented anytime soon: the actual implementation would be from Jan 1st 2016.
However, even if you are a belly-putter, don’t throw away your belly putter just yet. The rule is to ban belly putting (the method), not the belly putter itself (the equipment). So what the rule will say is you can use the equipment, but you cannot anchor the putter to your chest, tummy, your torso.
The reason for this rule? The USGA have this to say:
- “Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.” http://www.usga.org/news/2012/November/Proposed-Rules-Change-to-Prohibit-Anchoring/
It has been reported that there certainly will be a big outcry over this thing. It will be divisive. Just to highlight: Tiger Woods is for such a ban; Ernie Els is against.
For my weekend golf foursome? Doesn’t really affect any of us. Belly putting or not, we will continue to miss our four-footers 75% of the time. Oh, we have no problem with two-footers.