Ban 'em! Strong words from a reader on the unending debate on long putters.
Whether we write about it in Golf World or Golf Digest or not, the long-putter debate rolls on. We got a particularly passionate letter on the subject recently and we thought we'd share. As with the distance debate, it often depends on one's view of what golf's all about. Is it just for fun, or should our approach be more disciplined than that. You'll know where this South Dakota reader stands. He's old school.
Long putters and belly putters should be banned! If a 60-year-old guy on the senior tour can't walk the course then he can't play and if he has the yips then he can't compete. Move on! And do something else with your life. When a 20-something pro does it's just sad! It's cheating. Grow a pair and use a normal-length putter. Anybody can steady there stroke with a belly or long putter, so why isn't it an advantage? It's the dumbing down of golf, at least when the NFL dumbs down their game it's to try prevent injury. The PGA and R&A are allowing golf to be dumbed down for marketing and weakness. I root against anyone close to the lead with the cheater putters! I hate the message it sends to the younger golfers: Hey, if you can't putt we can help you let us show you how to eliminate the need to learn one of the skills of golf. I think Golf World and Golf Channel should lead the way in banning these things. The OEMs won't.
Jim Oliver, Dakota Dunes, SD
We think if such a ban ever comes it will not be in the length of putters, but in the anchoring of those putters to the body. But such changes come slowly. And sometimes it's just too late. For another perspective, check out Golf Digest Editor Jerry Tarde's letter this past December: "No time to bellyache."
You get where he's coming from.