Wednesday, September 7, 2011


There is a current hot button emerging in golf reporting that heightens a discussion about putters. Should long putters be allowed? Do we need a rule change? Who is for it and who is against it?

A sub-topic begs some to wonder if there is an advantage one way or another. Does it provide an unfair advantage if one goes to the long job? Such mental concerns as what it does to confidence, if not what it does for any mechanical issues, and then there are players like Watson and Woods who believe that it may interfere with sound putting mechanics, apparently aimed at the theory of both arms functioning equally, which appears to be movement that is modified by the "longjohn."

We are wondering what happened to personal preference on the one hand, and if it is a rules issue, why the USGA has not jumped in to make some sort of declaration, if for no other reason than clarification.

Clearly, those who have opted for the longer models have shown signs of stirring the order of leadership positions on tour, but is that tool-related, mental comfort-level related, or just plain player-preference related?

We suspect that there are some who believe that it has some bearing on player response to pressure in the game, which ultimately will be found to be no more than a temporary relief - but then that's been the lot of players for centuries - change something, anything, and you get a different response for awhile. Does it not cause one to question why there is so much temporary relief in the game?

Meanwhile, back to the putters. We all know someone who changes putters (and Drivers) often, looking for The One that will work, and most of them work for awhile. Johnny Miller named that the WOOD method - Works Only One Day. And that teases most players into a false hope that it is a solution to whatever problem is invading the game.

Sooner or later, players will discover that it is something within themselves, not in their equipment that is eating their lunch. But then that bears another look, too, because one can be suffering from ill-fitted equipment, which may need yet another kind of attention.

Until we see something of greater effect, we will opt for all the hullabaloo being related to personal preference, and if that affects one's mental frame of reference, find some help to deal with it.