Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Big news rocked the golf world this week when it was announced that the belly putter will be banned from all forms of golf starting January 1, 2016. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, no more belly putters…not even at the company golf outing.
Of course, for many of us “less serious” golfers, all putters are belly putters by nature. It’s not the length of the putter handle, it’s just the size of our bellies…they get in the way. Will rotund golfers the world over be in violation of USGA rules by continuing to use our standard length putters? I feel that clarification is needed here. This rule makes me nervous because, ask Tiger Woods, the course marshals can’t be trusted.
Now I myself have never been a big proponent of the belly putter. You see, I sort of have an aversion to modern golf equipment. It’s not that I’m a purist or anything like that, I’m just cheap. If memory serves me correctly, my set of golf clubs looks somewhat like this: Titleist Acushnet irons from the Nixon administration, knock-off Ping woods, and the as-seen-on-TV Carbite Putter. You know how much I paid for these clubs? Nothing. I just waited for my dad to buy new clubs so I could steal his old ones.
Aside from me being cheap, I have never really understood the belly putter’s charm. They are awkward to use, make you look like a douche (read as PGA Tour wanna be), and stick way too far out of your golf bag…causing the loading of your clubs into the trunk of your car quite a chore.
Supposedly the belly putter offers a more stable putting stroke and provides more putting accuracy than the standard putter. If belly putters offer such great advantages, why don’t more professionals use them? Personally, I think all the claims are questionable, much like the tactics employed by used car salesmen.
The belly putter has got to be a marketing scheme! Get a few pro’s to sink some puts on national TV with a six foot long putter and BAM!...every middle-aged man in the country is putting the belly putter on his Christmas list. Pure genius. I bet the folks that thought up the Carbite Putter are kicking themselves now.
I suppose, that with this new USGA ruling, the belly putter is destined to go the way of the double-sided chipper…collecting dust on the shelves of K-Mart and Play It Again Sports stores across the country. All in all, I don’t think too many people are going to lose sleep over the banning of the belly putter. The small number of tour pro’s that use them will have to find some new gimmick to latch on to. I don’t see too many of those guys at the top of the money list anyhow, so it’s no big loss I suppose.
How about you? Are you sad to see the belly putter go? What are your preferences when it comes to Mr. Three Wiggle (your putter…settle down)?