Peter Hanson of Sweden lines up a shot with his belly putter on day 2 of the 4 day 2012 Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City on November 30, 2012.
Professional golf’s two governing bodies -- the R&A and the USGA -- have banned something called “anchored putting,” a technique that’s favored by four recent major golf tournament champions, including Keegan Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA Championship by using a belly putter.
The new rule bars against any golfer from anchoring the club against their bodies, which gives them better control over a putt. Tiger Woods has thrown his weight behind the move. But opponents say anchored putting doesn’t give them a competitive edge over other competitors and it’s more of a preference than anything else.
At issue is what exactly constitutes a legitimate golf stroke. USGA and R&A say anything short of someone picking up a club, gripping it with two hands and making a free swing away from the body should be questioned. Despite yesterday’s decision, the debate over anchored putting would likely persist in the golf community. The PGA Tour has its own congress and says it will deliberate whether to also implement a ban.
Jeff Ritter, senior producer at Golf.com