QOTW: Long Putters

Each week, our panel of writers will be asked a question about the game of golf.  Topics will range from their predictions for the Tour season to what they would order from the concession stand at Augusta National Golf Club.  No subject is off limits for this esteemed group.  As always, reader suggestions are welcome.  Leave a comment or reach out to us on Instagram or Twitter to have your question answered.

Adam Scott conquered Riveria this past weekend – one of his favorite courses – en route to his 14th career win on TOUR.  Many have called his swing one of the games sweetest, but he has received push back from fans and critics for his approach with the flatstick.  With that in mind…

This week’s question:  Do you think long putters, without anchoring to the body, should be legal on TOUR?

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Yes

Bear:  I’m honestly fine with any putter that’s within the rules of the game.  So as is, I’m fine with non-anchoring long putters.  If you’re on TOUR and think it’s an advantage to use one, then you should use it.  If not, don’t.  Are they gimmicky?  Sure, but I don’t lose any sleep over them.

Tony Kasper:  The belly putter was one of my least favorite sights when watching golf a few years back, and I am so glad that approach is no longer allowed.  I think the current state of long putters is an acceptable compromise between the belly putters and how most putt, so I’ll side with yes on this question.  In fact, long putters create their own set of (and arguably more) challenges from the traditional approach to putting.

Mike McNamara:  Yes, as long as the long putters are not anchored to the bottom, I have no problem with them remaining legalized.  Getting assistance from the body was always the issue I had with these putters, but as long as that is banned I see no problem with the longer frame.  At the end of the day, it still comes down to properly lining up the putt, playing the right amount of break, and putting at proper speed, and these putters do not give guys some sort of special advantage in doing that.  Let Adam be Adam.

Jake Mulholland:  Absolutely. I don’t think there is any significant advantage to any way someone putts to be completely honest.  Jason Day, Phil, Ricky, and Denny McCarthy all fall within the top 5-7 every year in putting and you don’t see them doing anything odd.  I also wouldn’t expect these putters to ever be tempted by a more stable and pendulum-like putting stroke.  In fact, the most change that I have seen from these great putting professionals would be the grip used.  Jason Day has been repping the OG 2017 Spider Tour for 3 years now.  Rick relies on his Scotty, Denny is smooth as hell and Phil lays the claw down without issue.

I am not sure why the PGA tour insists on outlawing putters that give “significant advantage” to the players. I think this is complete nonsense. If someone wants to use a whacky putter, then let them! It’s the wizard not the wand. Case closed.

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Indifferent

Sean Carney:  Honestly, don’t really have a strong opinion on the matter. I’d lean towards saying players shouldn’t be able to anchor to their body, but not ban long putters.  I’m for letting guys do whatever they want, unless the analytics prove otherwise.

Frank Laterza:  I really haven’t done enough research to know the full effects of the long putters, but I would assume most of it is feel, and it eliminates wrist action, as it’s more of a pendulum-like motion. I would assume it’s a little more difficult to control distance, but accuracy improves.  Honestly, I’m pretty indifferent on the matter.  Golf seems to be adopting a lot of new technology/ideas, and this would qualify as another one.

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No

Kevin Walsh:  You know what Tony, I’m not sure there’s an obvious answer to this question.  Technically, if the club isn’t anchored there should be no issue with players using the long putters.  However, I’m not a fan of them at all, so I would love for them to be banned.  I can’t stand the look of them, and I find it hard to believe the players who use them NEVER anchor them.  I don’t know this to be true, but call it a guess considering how close the club is to being anchored on every putt.  Again, I really don’t know a way to justify not wanting them in the game besides my lack of respect for those who use it and the possible cheating, but those are my thoughts.

Jack Corrigan:  I am personally against it.   I believe it causes way too much confusion. I have people asking me on a regular basis why certain people still are using them and although I know the answer, it still was bizarre for the PGA to ban them but now allow without anchoring.  Also, just make it simple to have the players use similar sized putters so there is no fight or arguments about if it is fair or not.  It is not that hard to create the rule to ban them for good and have players all use the same ideal length.  All in all, I do not think they will take my stance, but it would create less noise as years go on.

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