Monday, 23 July 2012

Belly and Broomstick Putters. Proposed Ruling. Colin Montgomerie. Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson. Adam Scott. R&A. USGA. Golf on the Moon. Solar Golf Carts. Argyle Golf Sweaters.

Broomstick Putter

Belly putter
These golf clubs look as if they'd be useful in the garden.

The debate on belly and broomstick putters is almost over. They are thought to give an unfair advantage by anchoring the club to the chin, chest or belly, according to preference.

The ruling bodies of golf, The R&A (Royal & Ancient in St Andrews) and USGA (United States Golf Association) have proposed that from 1916 belly and broomstick putters can continue to be used, as long as "such clubs are not anchored during a stroke."

The CEO of the R&A Peter Dawson explained the reason for the proposed change of rule:
"Anchored strokes have become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game. Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes which are integral to the longstanding character of the sport."

Leading players Ernie Els, Adam Scott and others use the longer putters which are thought by some to give them an advantage over traditional putters. 

Players have until spring to put their case to the R&A and USGA before the rule is finalised.
PGA of America feels the new ruling might affect “people’s enjoyment of golf and the overall growth of the game”.

Tiger Woods, with traditional putter,
is in favour of tradition: swinging putters rather than anchoring them: 
"We swing all other 13 clubs. I think the putter should be the same.
Adam Scott with broomstick putter

Colin Montgomerie with belly putter Ryder Cup 2004

Colin Montgomerie, who has used broomstick putters since 2002, surprisingly agrees with the new proposal.

“Though it is hardly in my interests to say so, I think that all long putters – yes, all of them – should be declared illegal. Long putters – be they anchored to the chin, the chest or belly – all give the player the three pivotal points of two hands and the body rather than just the two hands. It is extraordinary, to me, that golf officialdom has not acted on this score.”

Golfers with bad backs, however,  like the broomstick putter, as they do not need to bend over when using it.

Jean Van de Velde 
at the famous Roadhole Bunker at the 2000 Open
St Andrews Old Course
Alterations are being planned to nine of the famous holes in time for the 2015 Open. The Road Hole will be widened by 20 inches, and the contour of the green by the bunker altered. Woods’ verdict:” I think 17 is hard enough as it is. I don’t think we need to make that bunker any deeper or bigger”.

Drivers with large metal heads make the ball go further; Calloway’s Big Bertha was the first to have a bigger head in the 1990s. Some players use space-age drivers and turbocharged balls, but there has been no mention of a ruling on those.

Alan Shepard on the Moon
Golf on the Moon.
In 1971 astronaut Shepard hit two balls with a Wilson six-iron head he had smuggled into his spacesuit, and attached it to a space probe shaft.
Watch it on YouTube.   
Solar Golf Carts are popular on the golf course and off, as they go further distances. Modern golf carts in hot countries have air-conditioning, stereo systems and a fridge.
Traditional Scottish golfers prefer to use caddies.

Adam Scott 2012 British Open

Fashions were more modern this year, with far fewer of those criss-cross Argyle sweaters, thank goodness, although Adam Scott looks rather good in his. He favours the broomstick. It was such bad luck he lost on the final day of the British Open 2012.