Monday 20 January 2020

Tiger Woods hopes for long-putter ban

Tiger Woods. Photo: Reuters
Tiger Woods. Photo: Reuters

Mark Garrod

TIGER WOODS was hoping to hear today that the way long putters are anchored to the body is going to be outlawed.

An announcement is expected at a teleconference being held by the Royal and Ancient Club and United States Golf Association, golf's two ruling bodies.

It is widely thought that from 2016 there will be no fixing of putters to a pivot point, whether it is the belly, chin or chest.

Three of the sport's last five major winners - Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els - have used long putters in such a way.

Woods, in California this week for his final event of 2012, said: "I was just asked my own opinion and that was it.

"I don't know if it carried any weight or not, but I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves.

"Having it as a fixed point, as I was saying all year, is something that's not in the traditions of the game.

"We swing all 13 other clubs. I think the putter should be the same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag.

"I don't know if there's any statistical data on it, but I'm sure there is somewhere about whether or not anchoring the putter does help on a certain range of putts, especially the guys who have gotten the twitches a little bit.

"One of the things that I was concerned about going forward is the kids who get started in the game and starting to putt with an anchoring system.

"There have been some guys who have had success out here and obviously everyone always copies what we do. That's something that I think for the greater good of the game needs to be adjusted."

Woods, the defending champion in the World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club, also said he was ruling out European Tour membership next season.

The possibility was there for him to meet the criteria after it was decided to include the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup in the 13-event minimum, but Woods stated: "I certainly understand the ruling and that's nice, but no.

"It's a bit much for me still. Certainly I've had opportunities over the years - I was very close a couple of times and could have taken membership up and played it.

"I enjoy playing around the world and I still always will, but I am going to play this (PGA) Tour."

If there had been no minimum requirement Woods would have been the European circuit's leading money-winner six times between 1999 and 2007, but he added: "It wasn't important to me.

"It just wasn't important to me. My main concern was winning major championships - I've won 14 of them and I'm very proud of that."

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport