Early next year, the USGA will decide to carry out the proposed putter ban they announced last month (or not). Either way, a lot of people aren’t happy with the proposal, how it’s been handled, and what it means to a wonderful game that has seen its numbers of participants and courses dwindle in recent years.
Here’s how some recreational golfers reacted to the news on Facebook:
Cavan Hagerty: Though I have never used an anchored putter, there does not seem to be an advantage in using one. This was the wrong call by the USGA, and now it causes people to second guess people like Ernie Els because he won the British Open with an anchored putter.
Danny Brainard: So let me get this straight. Anchoring a putter is an advantage, but, using 8 men in your gallery to move a boulder so you can hit your shot is NOT an advantage over an opponent who has nobody in his gallery to move that rock?!? No wonder Tiger backs this new rule.
Matthew Finney: As an instructor I do not like this "ban" if you understand how a proper putting stroke works in terms of the movement of the head then you would see their really is no advantage of a "anchored" putter.
Hitoshi Tsuruoka: Why not ban caddies from golf courses? Using them is advantageous to one’s stamina. Please do not restrict fun for Sunday players with idiotic rules change.
Vance Welch: Gimmie my sticks, a ball, and a hole. Low score wins - That's the game. Who cares what the stroke looks like.
Bob Areddy: I don't understand the reason for the exception to anchoring against your forearm. Either way, I don't really care. 99.99% of amateur players don't follow the rules anyway, so this will only affect competitive rounds. I don't think the upper echelons of golf really understand how the weekend golfer plays a casual round of golf.
Thomas Heitman: And I now I am no longer a member of the USGA
Kevin Carson: USGA should be 'For the End of the Game'. If the USGA is worried about players leaving the game, meaningless decisions like this are certainly not going the help.
Rick Lloyd: What a waste of time and effort, why in the world don't you go after the elephant in the room "the ball" and stop making our grand old golf courses obsolete.
Glenn Mincy: I don't like any rules including this one that are implemented just for the sake of what professional golf needs are. They say it is for the long term good of the game, it has nothing to do with the average golfer and only make it more difficult for us.
Mike D. Schaller: If I want to use a belly putter golfing with my buddies on a weekend, I am going to continue. To hell with the USGA.
Scott Cronin: Make the game enjoyable and stop alienating people.
Douglas Honeyman: If it was a huge advantage, why isn’t the long putter in the winners circle more? Waste of time rule.
Patrick Oropallo: Fine for the best players in the world but why make a difficult game more difficult for the rest of us?
Cyrus Whitney: Chase more people away from golf! USGA learned nothing from groove debacle.
Randy Vickers: Do these people just not have enough to do? Some players have found a technique which improves, (at least in their minds), how they putt. Good for them! USGA needs to stay out of this one. And, no I don't use a long putter.
Ryan Coffey: Wow....how short sighted as an organization can you be? Lets ban lefthanders next, then that guy who plays with two gloves, and then Jim Furyks swing.
Jeff Thompson: What about landing in a divot in the fairway?? How fair is that??? If the ball is in the fairway, there is absolutely no unfair advantage by moving it a club length.
Michael Auerbach: Not cool USGA. Why take something away that makes the game more enjoyable? I for one won't be renewing my membership. Golf is hard enough.
Jamie Hudson: This is a travesty. Thanks for shrinking the game in America even more.
Mike Thompson: Not that you guys care but I along with many others will be dropping my USGA membership due to this rule change.
Peter Butler: The R&A and USGA are dinosaurs. In the face of declining participation and revenues they make it illegal for an amateur to use a method that can make the game more enjoyable.
MiddleBass Guy: Come on, USGA, get out of your self-righteous tower and understand what actual people (i.e. recreational golfers) are doing.
Paul Smith: Won't be renewing my membership. I don't even use a long putter. I like the rule for pros. But let the amateur do whatever he or she likes.