by Jeff Skinner
President Obama and Mitt Romney aren’t the only ones making the rounds to push their ideas to the rank and file. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis spent some time yesterday presenting the USGA’s case on long putters to the PGA Tour Policy Board.
Davis and his counterparts at the R & A have been dropping hints all summer that an announcement concerning the long/belly putter would come before the end of this year. According to Alex Miceli of Golf Week, Davis came to float the idea of banning the “anchored” stroke before the board.
According to Paul Goydos, what Davis “was trying to do was to get us on board with them.” With three of the last five major winners wielding a long putter the news of a ban of any kind may not sit well with many professionals. According to Goydos, Davis’ presentation indicated that the USGA has received overwhelming support in letters and e-mails from the general public to ban anchoring. Davis Love III, a Sea Island resident and the recent Ryder Cup captain, expects a different sentiment from the Tour’s rank and file.
“I would be concerned if I was them because you’ve got a bunch of guys that are going to want to fight it,” Love said. “Not the Tour but the players individually – a bunch of players that aren’t going to like it.”
Davis has stated that any change wouldn’t go in effect until January, 2016 but the ruling may be announced shortly. Any ruling is bound to cause plenty of controversy but the USGA would be better to act sooner rather than later.
Once, the long putter was the remedy of the poorest of putters searching desperately for a fix for their yippy stroke. Today it is an accepted tool of the trade for many of the best golfers in the world. Banning an anchored stroke would render those long putters useless and force many golfers, professional and amateur alike, to change their ways.