Mixed reaction to putter ruling


Bradley: Won the PGA Championship with a long putter

Bradley: Won the PGA Championship with a long putter

Opinions appear to be split among professional players on the issue of banning long-handle putters.

Opinions appear to be split among professional players on the issue of banning long-handle putters.

The R&A and USGA on Wednesday released a joint statement proposing that the use of anchoring putters to the body should be prohibited.

Under the new rules, which can only come into effect in 2016, extended putters would be allowed, but a free swing away from the body would have to occur. A breach of the new rule would result in a two-stroke penalty.

Not surprisingly, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson - who have both won majors in recent times using long putters - have expressed their dismay at the decision.

"I'm obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA," said Bradley.
"They make the rules, and I'll adjust appropriately. I'm going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it.
"You've got some guys who have been using this style of putter for almost 20 years so it's a little bit of a scary position that they're in," he added.

Simpson was less understanding, insisting that objections to the putters weren't based on fact.

"To change something that drastic, it needs to be based off facts and not what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like," he said.

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington believes that the right decision has been made with the issue more clear cut than it may have been in the past.

"The fact is, if somebody invented the belly putter tomorrow, it would not pass. There's no way they would let it through," Harrington told Sky Sports News.

Tiger Woods has been one of those who has called for a ban, simply stating: "We swing all 13 other clubs. I think the putter should be the same."


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