Truth & Rumors: USGA starts to sell PGA Tour players on belly-putter ban

Truth & Rumors: USGA starts to sell PGA Tour players on belly-putter ban

When it comes to belly putters, it appears a decision has been made. That’s why USGA Executive Director Mike Davis has already started his sales pitch. According to Alex Miceli of Golfweek, Davis spoke before the PGA Tour Policy Board in advance of the McGladrey Classic on Monday during the body’s final meeting of 2012. The goal: Start to sell the belly-ban, which players in attendance believe is a done deal.
And while Davis seemed confident in his decision, many players seemed skeptical. Miceli couldn’t reach Davis for comment, but players spoke up, including the Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love:

According to Goydos, Davis’ presentation indicated that the USGA has received overwhelming support in letters and e-mails from the general public to ban anchoring. Davis Love III, a Sea Island resident and the recent Ryder Cup captain, expects a different sentiment from the Tour’s rank and file.
“I would be concerned if I was them because you’ve got a bunch of guys that are going to want to fight it,” Love said. “Not the Tour but the players individually – a bunch of players that aren’t going to like it.”

Well, according to Miceli’s description of Davis’s reason for the anchoring ban, it’s easy to see the shape attacks will take:

Davis told the Policy Board that any rule change would not be because of a competitive advantage with the stroke and would be made to address the perception about how the game should be played.
Put another way, there is no empirical or statistical evidence to prove that a player using the anchoring stroke and a long putter has an advantage over a player using a traditional-length putter. The USGA just doesn’t like the way it looks.

Miceli reported that three Policy Board members — Jim Furyk, Paul Goydos and Love — believe the official announcement could come in March. (RELATED PHOTOS: Belly Putters for 2012