Sport Golf

Friday 29 August 2014

Vincent Hogan: Will belly-aching prevail as putter move sinks in?

Published 01/12/2012 | 05:00

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WHEN the new golf season gets under way next year, we trust those craven opportunists, Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, will be banished to an outside toilet and told to make their own food arrangements.

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This week's announcement that players are to be banned from anchoring belly-putters against their bodies effectively places an asterisk beside three of golf's last five Major wins.

Better still, it unzipped a quite remarkable chorus of delight from some of the game's biggest players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods among them, at what amounts to recognition that the practice is tantamount to cheating.

All of which begs the question as to why it has taken nearly three decades to acknowledge this?

Belly-putters have offered the equivalent advantage of a snooker player leaning so far across the table that neither foot is grounded, or a lawn bowler throwing down a chute made from a giraffe's neck bone.

And you have to wonder about the looming body language between those who did and those who, until now, have silently glowered on the green aprons.

In fact, given the new rule won't technically be in place until 2016, will anyone have the nerve to carry on regardless? If so, it will take more than potpourri to sweeten things in the locker-room.

Irish Independent

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