Belly putters complainers are hypocrites. Or not. Readers debate.
Both Golf World and Golf Digest continue to get spirited letters regarding long putters and their adoption by tour players and amateurs as well. As you see here, and as with most other issues, we're short on consensus.
Those looking to outlaw belly and long putters, but no other modern technology, are hypocrites, plain and simple. If you use a 460cc titanium driver with a face that is a jet fuel-powered trampoline, you can't complain about a belly putter. If you use a modern ball that travels a mile in the air and can also stop on a dime when it hits the green, you can't complain about long putters. If you use modern irons with faces like shovels that allow a hack to hit it anywhere on the face and still get premium distance and a ball flight that barely moves off line, you can't complain about long putters. It can certainly be argued that belly/long putters should be outlawed, but it should have happened 20+ years ago if it was going to happen at all. Just like overall club technology should have been controlled starting at least a decade ago before we got to a point where distance and forgiveness changed the game so dramatically.
In reference to Golf World mail comments by William Healey, Hanover Neck, N.J.:
I agree with him...They should be banned..
Jim Mallard, Angus, Ontario, Canada
Keep up the good work against their usage at the game's highest level. I was thinking in terms of an asterisk next to the name of the winner of a long-putter-assisted major and a scarlet letter jacket with the letters
LPA -- Long Putter Assisted, that must be worn at all public PGA functions.
Chad, Phoenix, AZ
One reader soundly on the other side of the debate made reference to comments by the USGA's executive director, Mike Davis, that the rule-making body might look at prohibiting a golfer's "anchoring" of a club against one's body.
After reading this weeks article in Golf World about long putters, I am convinced that USGA is out touch with golfers' needs. I've won several local tournaments and qualified for four Western Amateurs and six USGA events. At one time the USGA wouldn't let us wear hats with logos of golf companies or carry "tour type bags" in their qualifying amateur events or in the main event itself! There was a time with if you said you were going to be turning professional, you were considered a pro! Those guys are out of touch!
While sure I'm sure it won't happen, it would be wonderful if the PGA Tour said "we will make our own rules when it comes to equipment, balls and rules! You guys can run the amateur golf!!"
Vincent Militante, Darien, IL
posted by Bob Carney