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June 22, 2012

Truth & Rumors: R&A, USGA in 'intense discussions' over belly putter

Posted at 12:02 PM by Mark Dee | Categories: 2012 U.S. Open, Keegan Bradley, Royal and Ancient, USGA, Webb Simpson

 Could the belly putter become a victim of its own success? Maybe, if some factions in the game’s governing bodies have their way.

Webb Simpson’s win at the U.S. Open added renewed fervor to the anti-anchor partisans. Since Olympic, the velocity of rumors spiraling around the long stick has increased. Graham Spiers, host of the BBC’s “The Golf Show,” sat down with R&A chief executive Peter Dawson, and both men appeared to tout the traditional style, using traditional arguments. Spiers wrote about the interview at the BBC's website:

The R&A are currently conducting "intense discussions" with the USGA about where the governing bodies of golf go with the belly-putter. Dawson, like many, believes that the "anchoring" of the putter against the stomach is contentious, and may give the golfer an unfair advantage when striking a putt.

Another way of putting this is, it is not a pure putting stroke, as golf has intended over hundreds of years. If you think about it, the belly-putter means less judgement and subtlety are required when gripping the shaft and executing the putt.

It is not my job here to pre-empt Dawson and the R&A's final judgement on the legality of the implement. But my hunch is that, down the line, this club will eventually be outlawed.

Spiers goes on to discuss what it might take to prompt the ban (basically Keegan Bradley winning the British), and it’s not hard to tell where the Ancient ones stand. Meanwhile, back in the colonies, the USGA’s Mike Davis went on record with a more diplomatic approach, saying he does not anticipate a decision anytime soon.

Video: The World's Fastest Forecaddie
A while back, we at T&R mentioned that somebody with a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster decided to use it to catch a golf ball. Because if you have a $280,000 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, that’s what you do with it. It’s your prerogative, the world is clearly your oyster, so why not? Well, now we have the video. Check it out, via Galopnik:

                

This leaves us with questions, of course. Why was the pro in the Callaway hat playing a TaylorMade driver? How many tensed-up slices did it take before he could hit a ball at that car? How did he get that gig -– and how can I? (N.B.: He carried that a shade over 300 yards, dead straight, into the back seat of a moving vehicle.)

Car’s impressive, too.

Video: Tiny Driver
It’s Friday, and we are going heavy on videos to take you into the weekend.

So why not watch the world’s tallest basketball player -– 7’8’’ Harlem Globetrotter Tiny Sturgess -- hitting golf balls at New York’s Chelsea Piers? Check out the video at Cinesport.

According to the clip, Sturgess carries a single-digit handicap, and can hit it 300 yards. And, if you listen closely in the background, I think you can hear him getting called for a block on Lebron…

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