|photo courtesy of Only a Game - AP/Ted Richardson|
The other side argues that the vast majority of players “still” do not anchor because it’s actually a crutch for those who have problems putting. And while there has some recent success in majors, there has been little evidence in the amateur and professional tours to suggest that it’s the game changer it’s being played out as by the ruling bodies. Interestingly, the vast majority of elite players still use a traditional stroke.I’ll throw in a third point of view.
About 10 years ago I began to get the yips on the greens. The problem progressed over a couple of years and the yips lead to the occasional shank. It got worse leading to me freezing and unable to make a stroke. Once that problem began to creep into my chipping and short shots, I quit playing and tried to overcome this with lessons and intense practise. I saw improvement but froze as soon as I tried to play. So I quit the game and played summer hockey. The next year I bought a long putter and used that to rekindle my love for the game. I wasn’t good with it, but at least I could putt. Over five years I progressed all the way back to a short putter, which I was better with the days I relaxed enough to be fluid. Without the long putter, I’m not sure what I would have done.Here’s what I don’t get in the debate…
Why do casual amateurs have to go without the long putter? I don’t care about whether they ban it for the professionals and competitive amateurs. I only care about whether they take the putter from the casual player. As the PGA of America questioned, why would we take away something that helps make the game easier for the regular guy or gal when participation in the game is dropping?What I struggle with is the notion that one of golf’s essential elements is “all” players play under the same rules and with the same equipment. I would bet that 90% of all rounds don’t follow the rules and 99% of all players don’t actually know the rules. As for the equipment, if you think their swinging the same clubs you are, you need to visit one of the tour’s trailers at an event.
For the good of the game, let’s separate the game for the competitive and non-competitive play. That may even open up a great angle to address the ball.