Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we live in an age of emotion where facts are of little importance. Everyone wants what they want and that’s enough for them to pick a side in any fray. Should I think of the greater good? No, better to take care of myself and let the chips fall where they may.
So Congress can’t figure out a financial plan and the PGA can’t decide if they’ll go along with the USGA and R&A on the recently announced ban on ‘anchoring the club’. In other words, long putters are out – at least if they are anchored against your body in some way.
The real question – underneath all the posturing – is whether they make the game easier or not. Part of the ruling bodies explanation behind the ban is that the data they have show that long putters don’t make better putters. If it’s true, then a ban would seem to protect the original intent of the game and nobody gets hurt. But wait! The PGA isn’t on board yet. Montana Pritchard, their newly elected president, says if it doesn’t make it easier then why ban them. And then contradicts himself by saying his PGA professionals believe they will help grow the game because it makes it more fun. Huh?
In my experience and what I’ve seen in my fellow players is that fun on the golf course almost always means a lower score. Let’s say the USGA demanded that only drivers be used in the bunkers. Would taking 12 strokes to get out be a lot of fun? ‘Hey, I just shot the worse score of my life but boy did I have fun.’ I don’t think so.
So which is it – longer putters are no better than two ball putters or they’re the best way to take 4 strokes off you score? The USGA and the R&A say they give you no advantage. The PGA teachers say they do help. Johnny Miller says they are a god send if you have the YIPS.
The only thing that makes much sense was when the respective heads of the USGA and the R&A said that anchoring was against the original intent of the game and, by the way, golf attracts people because it’s not easy. If only they had made that decision decades ago when the first long, or should I say anchored, putter made it’s debut. But alas, we’ll have to slug it out to get to the bottom of this thing. Can anyone out there prove that anchored putters do or don’t help scoring, and here’s the operative words, ‘across the board’?