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November 30, 2012

Take THAT USGA! Odyssey releasing Metal-X Arm Lock putters

Posted at 4:09 PM by David Dusek

Odyssey_Metal-X_Arm-Lock_450x600Seventy-two hours after the USGA and the R&A jointly announced a proposed change to the Rules of Golf that would outlaw anchored putting methods beginning in 2016, Odyssey Golf said it would release a line of putters designed to help players stabilize the club during the stroke. Legally.

The 43" Metal-X Arm Lock putters are not intended to be affixed to the abdomen or chest. Instead, the top portion of the grip is intended to press against the lead forearm.

"We were kind of waiting with bated breathe to see what the actual rule would be and whether this [design] would be conforming," says Austie Rollinson, principal designer for Odyssey Golf. "We were happy to see that it was."

Unlike other Odyssey putters, which come with 3° of standard loft, the Arm Lock putters have 7° because pressing the top of the grip against the forearm creates a forward press. Rollinson says that press is about 4°, so to offset the delofting effect, 4° had to be added .

The one-piece grip was taken directly from Odyssey's belly putters. To ensure the club is being used correctly, Odyssey added the words "Arm Lock" to a red area in the section where the club should be fastened against the arm.

Matt Kuchar has successfully used this style of putting, and according to the USGA and the R&A, it will remain legal if the proposed rule changes are enacted.

"Some people have trouble with the butt end of the club moving independently from how your shoulders rock," Rollinson says. "This really cuts down on the degrees of freedom that the club has while you are stroking it." He adds that while the club does not eliminate forearm rotation, the method discourages it, and the player will be inclined to bring the clubhead back to the ball squarely.

The Metal-X Arm Lock putters are scheduled to debut on Jan. 15, and the Metal-X #7 and Metal-X DART versions will retail for about $189.

RELATED: PGA Tour Confidential | Video: What's Next? | Obituary for belly putters
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See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Odyssey gear and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

November 29, 2012

Putter makers react to the pending anchored putter ban

Posted at 2:11 PM by David Dusek

P1-Keegan1-USGA Executive Director Mike Davis made an important distinction about the ban on anchored putting that was announced Wednesday and will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. 

"This is not an equipment rule," he said. "The equipment rules are based on facts, research. There's a formal notice and comment period that we go through with manufacturers. In this case, this is simply us clarifying what a stroke should not be."

So golf manufacturers can keep making and selling long and belly putters, even after the ban goes into effect. That's good news for companies like Odyssey Golf, the world's top-selling putter-maker, which saw sales of belly and long putters triple from 2010 to 2011. Today those putters consitute 12% of sales. At TaylorMade, anchor-style putters represent almost 15% of sales.

Here are some reactions from leading putter brands to Wednesday's announcement:

Odyssey Golf
Regarding the USGA and R&A proposal today, Odyssey has long held the belief that confidence with the putter is good for the game, particularly regarding player retention and growth potential. But one of the beauties of putting is that there are so many ways to do it.

Notwithstanding the final ruling in 2013, it is Odyssey's pledge to ensure golfers have the same level of confidence when they line up a putt with one of our products – regardless of the putting technique. We have anticipated this proposal for some time now and have been busy exploring several alternative options.

It should be noted that Odyssey will continue to offer belly and long putters in the short term for golfers who want to continue using them recreationally.

We'd like golfers everywhere to know that Odyssey has an optimistic approach to the proposal regardless of the outcome. As the #1 Putter in Golf, we have more tour players around the world playing and winning with Odyssey putters than any other company, and we will continue to work with those players to innovate new products and new, alternative methods to putt at the highest level.

The Acushnet Company (parent company of Titleist)
We intend to review the announcement regarding anchoring issued today by the USGA and R&A and, as a matter of process, appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to them during the comment period.

Mark King, CEO, TaylorMade Golf
Because the proposed change to the Rules of Golf bans the act of anchoring the putter to the body, and not long and mid-length putters themselves, we’ll continue making them. Does it mean the demand for these kinds of putters would drop? Maybe. But at the end of the day I don’t think we would sell one more or one less putter if the change to the Rules is made.

It’s definitely possible to use a broomstick putter without anchoring it, and I speak from experience. I use one and I hold my left hand in a stationery position a couple of inches away from my sternum. So I think we would definitely see players who currently anchor the putter who will find ways to use a long putter without anchoring it, so they can keep playing by the Rules.

Yet I also think that there will be plenty of amateur golfers who won’t give up anchoring the putter. Anybody who’s played this game knows that good putting requires an extremely precise stroke, and anchoring the putter helps a lot of golfers do that. It will be hard to give up anchoring if your putting is a lot worse without it.

However, golfers who continue to anchor the putter would be breaking the Rules, which would exclude them from holding a legitimate, USGA-sanctioned handicap, which means they couldn’t compete in tournament or event where the Rules of Golf apply. Because of that I think we would see a lot of golf leagues and golf clubs making their own exception to the anchoring rule, which essentially means that they wouldn’t strictly be playing by the Rules of Golf.

But the truth is that most golfers don’t play strictly by the Rules of Golf when they play with their friends, anyway. I don’t mean they cheat, I mean that they often go ahead and flatten spike marks even though the Rules forbid it. And how many golfers are okay with hitting a mulligan off the first tee? And that’s fine, because the game is about having fun for 99 percent of the golfers who play it, not grinding out a score in tournament play.

RELATED: PGA Tour ConfidentialVideo: What's Next? | Obituary for belly putters
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(Photo: AP)

November 28, 2012

USGA, R&A to ban anchored putting stroke in 2016

Posted at 8:48 AM by

P1-KeeganThe USGA and R&A announced a proposed rule change Wednesday that would outlaw anchoring putters--that is, long putter and belly putters as used by Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley (right) and Webb Simpson. The rule change, if approved after a period of review, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson and USGA executive director Mike Davis made the announcement at a joint teleconference. In a sign of how closely the issue has been followed in the golfing world, the Golf Channel broadcast the teleconference live on Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Pros who could be affected by rule change

(Photo: Andy Lyons / Getty Images)

November 27, 2012

R&A and USGA holding joint teleconference Wednesday morning

Posted at 7:45 AM by


LIVE:'s David Dusek tweets the long putter ruling at 8:30 a.m. ET

After years of debate and months of rumors about what golf's governing bodies will do about anchored putters, it appears the golf world will hear a decision on Wednesday morning. 

The R&A and USGA announced Tuesday that they will hold a joint teleconference with members of the media at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. On the call will be Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A; Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA; David Rickman, executive director of rules and equipment standards for the R&A; and Thomas Pagel, senior director for the Rules of Golf for the USGA.

The topic of the call was not announced, but it's certain to address the growing controversy around the use of various kinds of long putters that are anchored to the body while putting. The most common method is belly putting, in which the butt end of the grip is steadied against the golfer's stomach. Purists argue that this makes putting under pressure easier by lessening the effects of shaky hands.

Three of the last five majors have been won by players using belly putters: Keegan Bradly at the 2011 PGA Championship, Webb Simpson at the 2012 U.S. Open, and Ernie Els at the 2012 British Open. will have more details as they become available.

RELATED: The long putter's rise to controversy

(Photo: Webb Simpson won this year's U.S. Open using a belly putter. John Biever/SI)

November 13, 2012

Video: Actor John O’Hurley says Cobra Baffler Hybrid Irons are as historically significant as the wheel

Posted at 12:58 PM by David Dusek

Cobra Golf asked golf-loving actor John O’Hurley -- famous for his role as J. Peterman on Seinfeld -- to explain how the new Baffler Hybrid Iron set fits into the pantheon of great achievements in history. Enjoy this video produced by Cobra that introduces you to the concept of "Golf Made Easy."

RELATED: Read more about the Baffler Hybrid Iron set

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cobra gear and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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November 11, 2012

Winner's Bag: Charlie Beljan at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic

Posted at 7:08 PM by David Dusek

Cleveland Classic (9.0°) with a Miyazaki B Asha 5 shaft
Adams XTD (15°) with a Graphite Design G Series shaft; Srixon Z-TX (20°) with a Nippon prototype shaft
 Cleveland 588 CB (4-PW) with Nippon prototype shafts
Cleveland 588 Rotex CB (52°, 56°, 60°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold S-400 shafts
Scotty Cameron for Titleist Select GoLo
Srixon Z-Star 3 prototype

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Adams, Cleveland, Srixon and Titleist gear and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

November 05, 2012

Winner's Bag: Ian Poulter at the HSBC Champions

Posted at 10:10 AM by David Dusek

DRIVER: Cobra ZL Encore white (8.5°) with an Aldila RIP Phenom 50X shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Cobra AMP (14°) with Project X 7B3 shafts
: Cobra Baffler Rail H (17.5°) with Matrix Ozik 85X shaft, Titleist 909H (21°) and Titleist 909Hd (23°) with Aldila NV 85X shafts
IRONS: Cobra S3 Pro CB (5-6), Cobra S3 Pro MB (7-PW) with Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Design (54°, 62°) with Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts
PUTTER: Odyssey White Hot XG #7
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Cobra, Odyssey and Titleist gear and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook | Google+

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

November 02, 2012

Mickelson playing stealthy TaylorMade fairway wood in China

Posted at 2:54 PM by David Dusek

Before the start of the HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in Shenzhen, China, Phil Mickelson pulled out his Callaway Big Bertha Diablo 3-wood and added a TaylorMade RocketBallz 3-wood to his bag.

According to Callaway's senior vice president of marketing, Harry Arnett, Mickelson arrived at a Callaway photo shoot last week in Fort Worth, Texas, and told Callaway designers that the Mission Hills course in China presented a problem.

"He said, 'Here's my dilemma: Because of the course set-up, I'm not going to be able to hit driver. I need to have something that I can hit 290 off the tee. My 3-wood goes about 275 to 280 and my driver goes 305. I can't hit my driver there because if I do I'm in all the junk, but I don't want to hit it 270 because in some cases I may not be able to reach some of the par 5s. What do we have?'"

Arnett explained that Callaway is releasing a new fairway wood in a few weeks, but the company didn't have one ready to give to Mickelson for his trip to China.

Mickelson brought a TaylorMade fairway wood to Fort Worth and Arnett said he saw the club. While the off-the-rack RocketBallz fairway woods feature a white crown, Mickelson got one from TaylorMade that is black.

Arnett said, "We told him, 'Play whatever you want. We've got the prototype coming in a few weeks. If you really feel like this is the best way for you to compete and win, then go for it!'"

When Callaway releases its new fairway woods, Arnett said he was confident that Mickelson, who has already tested prototypes of the new Callaway woods, would take the TaylorMade club out of his bag.

Before the start of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in September, Mickelson pulled his Callaway RAZR Fit 5-wood and added a 9-year-old Titleist 980F 5-wood to his bag. The Titleist 5-wood made the trip to China and Mickelson is still using it.

The four-time major winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member shot 66 on Thursday and 69 Friday, putting him tie for sixth, six shots behind Louis Oosthuizen.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway, TaylorMade and Titleist clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith.

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(Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

November 01, 2012

Nike offers glimpse of new driver on Facebook and Twitter

Posted at 10:03 AM by David Dusek

On Tuesday, Nike Golf published two images of its yet-to-be-released driver on the company's Facebook and Twitter feeds, giving its followers a glimpse of the red-crowned club. Nike is unveiling the driver on Monday, Nov. 5.


RELATED: Nike Homepage | See-Try-Buy: 3 Steps to Your Perfect Set

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