No sooner had the sun set on another fantastic Open Championship at Royal Lytham St Anne’s, golfers and media attentions worldwide were once again firmly set on the type of putters used by the 42 year old champion Ernie Els and runner up Adam Scott.
The Belly and Broom-Handle putters are becoming increasingly popular on Tours worldwide with 27 Broom-Handle and 17 Belly putters being used out of the 156 competitors at The Open this year. Recently both Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson entered the major winners circle using this type of flat stick and it is starting to cause a real stir even among golf’s top players with Tiger Woods no less declaring he is “not a fan” and openly against this type of club due to the putter being anchored against the body.
Golf’s governing bodies the R&A and USGA have recently stated that they are taking another look at this issue with the R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson stating they “have this subject firmly back on the radar”. But with the next update of the Rules of Golf being in 2016 will this be a slow burner or could a decision be made much sooner? This is a possibility as Peter Dawson states we may hear something in the next few months rather than years.
Whilst golf’s governing bodies mull over what will be a potentially historic ruling one way or another to our game I would like to pose the question, does using one of these clubs really improve results? Historically golfers who tended to go for the unconventional method/s had failed with the conventional putter due to technique or their mental approach, however as more and more big name golfers win high profile tournaments using a Belly or Broom-Handled putter could this lead to an exodus of players ditching the smaller putter and experimenting with the larger ones perceiving this way to be more beneficial?
Stats The Way
Take Els and Scott for example my argument is that both players finished 1st and Tied 11th respectively in Greens in Regulation at The Open this year, they finished Tied 43rd and Tied 17th respectively in Fairways Hit yet when it came to putting Ernie Els finished 79th and Scott finished Tied 50th when it came to how many one putts per green were taken. These stats say to me, yes there was great play but the unconventional putters didn’t blow the field away by holing everything and did not transform them into the best putter in the world.
Also look at Adam Scott coming down the stretch at The Open, under severe pressure it is clear regardless of the method putts can still be missed at crucial times which leads me to think the Belly and Broom-Handle putters should stay around because without them we might have seen a very different Open Championship than we did this year and not appreciated the superb golf on show from Els and Scott.
Whatever decision is made regarding these putters opinions will always be divided but if using an unconventional putter allows us to continue seeing golf like the standard Ernie and Adam produced away from the putting green at The Open then I am all for it.
What’s Your Opinion?
What is your opinion on this hot topic at the moment, keep them or get rid of them? Voice your opinion and let the debate start!