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November 29, 2012

Pros competing at Q school sound off on belly ban

Posted at 2:51 PM by Golf.com | Categories: Belly Putters, Q school


SI Golf+ Contributor Stephanie Wei polled several players competing at Q school to get their thoughts on the USGA's decision to ban the anchored putting stroke. Here are the results:

I'm in favor of the anchoring ban and the new rule the USGA proposed: 26 (63.4%)
I'm against the anchoring ban: 10 (24.3%)
I really don't care either way: 5 (12%)


Camilo Villegas: "I've used the belly before. I like it. I've been back to the short one, and there's a reason why. You don't make everything with the belly. If that was the case we would all be using bellies or anchoring putters. There's guys that like it, guys that dislike it. I have no opinion. To be honest, I don't know and I don't care enough."

Alex Noren: "If they want to use it, I think it's fine. I'm not using it, but at the same time, I mean, you've got to read the putts, you've got to hit it the right speed, and it's not just about the putter. It's like if I putt better with it, I would use it, but I don't think I do."

Franklin Corpening: "I was against the anchoring ban until this morning when I heard what Tiger was saying on ESPN, and he made some good points. I can't remember the exact wording, but he said something like, putting is an art and the stroke should be a swinging motion with your arms without anchoring the club to a fixed point. I agree with that even though I use a belly putter. When I got to the course this morning, I was like, 'Do people think I'm cheating?'"

Kris Blanks: "I think it's ridiculous. Unfortunately the governing bodies are going to do what they feel is best for the game. It's like a road; you might think the speed limit should be 65, but somebody is going to say it needs to be 45, and we just have to abide by those laws."

Morgan Hoffmann: "[Anchoring] is obviously some kind of an advantage because everybody is switching to it. I think it should be better for the game."

Ross Fisher: "I plainly think it's cheating. I don't think you should be able to anchor the club. Whether that's right or wrong, everyone has got their own opinions, but it kind of takes the feel out of the game.

"I think I remember listening to [Padraig] Harrington at the World Golf Grand Slam, and he said, 'If something doesn't happen, it's almost going to be like the long putter is going to be the putter of choice when kids are growing up.'"

Steve Flesch: "Being a benefactor of anchoring and winning three of my four events with a belly putter, you would think I would be against the change, but I don't really care if they change it. I'm kind of on both sides. I understand it. I'm not against it, I'm not for it. I don't really have an opinion because I understand both sides.

"I would vote probably against the ban, only because I have friends at home and I've seen them putt with a short putter, and they are miserable playing. Golf isn't as fun for them because they can't stroke a four-foot putt. The putter might as well be kryptonite in their hands.

"It will be hard to fight the nerves again for the pros who use the belly putter or long putter. There's a reason they're using those putters. I'm a case in point. I only go to it because I'm shaking like a leaf with the short putter. People don't just say, 'I'm going to putt like that.' There's a reason you're there."

Arjun Atwal: "I like it. I don't putt with a belly putter, and I think from what people have told me it's unfair. I can't putt with it anyways, so I don't know how it's unfair, but people think that anchoring is taking the nerves out of play when you putt.

"I suck when I try putting with the belly or long putter, Like, I really, really suck at it. People do have nerves, and it takes that out. If that happens then I don't think it's fair, so yeah, get rid of it."

Peter Tomasulo: "I'm for banning anchoring mostly because it's under the threat of becoming the norm with instructors pushing it on junior golfers especially."

Meen Whee Kim: "I liked what Tiger said about how the putter shouldn't be longer than the shortest club in your bag. Anchoring is not a common method of putting in Korea, so my coach had to explain the rule to me. I agree with the ban."

USGA, R&A to ban anchoring in 2016
BASTABLE: R.I.P. belly putter
VAN SICKLE: Rule change does more harm than good

Graphic: Understanding the new rule

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