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A last-ditch plea to the USGA: Don’t ban the belly!

Dave Pelz
Angus Murray
Dave Pelz would like long putters to continue to be part of the game.

To the USGA: Golf is losing players. We need to grow the game, not shrink it. I’ve talked to you personally and sent e-mails full of data, trying to convince you to reconsider your stance on belly putting. I think you are not listening or looking at the way the game is played by the masses, but instead are reacting to a few PGA Tour pros on TV who have offended your egos!
 
Are you planning to ban the long and belly putters because you don’t like the looks of them? You probably think they provide an unfair advantage, or you want them gone because Ernie Els, Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley won major championships with them. But you can’t prove an unfair advantage (none of the top 20 putters in 2012 used them), so you say you don’t like the way they look.
 
We should forget this “look bad” excuse and talk reality. Long/belly putters really do provide an advantage for some golfers when they minimize the wrist break and forearm rotation of some players. But not all golfers (and very few pros) have this problem, so these putters don’t help everybody.
 
Let me try to understand. You didn’t mind the long/belly look when Orville Moody won the U.S. Senior Open in 1988, or when millions of golfers adopted them over the last 20 years. But this year they’ve all of the sudden started to look so bad that you can’t take it anymore?
 
I know it’s probably a lost cause, but please, don’t go through with a ban. You’ve used the line “for the good of the game” for years. Live up to that slogan by doing something good for those who play the game. Banning this method of putting will drive people from the game and make it less enjoyable for those who have to change the way they putt.
 
I’ve personally seen thousands of golfers in my schools and clinics who have tried and struggled with short putters. Belly/long putting has saved the game for them. These are good people, good golfers, and having them involved is important to this wonderful game. You shouldn’t drive them out of it because a few guys have won important tournaments with belly putters.
 
I know you love golf, as I do. So please stop making the game more difficult; it’s plenty tough already. Leave the long putters alone and work on finding ways to make the game more fun so more people play it.
 
TWITTER: @dave_pelz  WEB: www.pelzgolf.com
Send your questions to: askpelz@golf.com

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