Bill Haas dispelled one myth about long putters and might have fueled the fire to the long putter controversy with his playoff victory at the Northern Trust Open.
Myth: Long putters – and belly putters – are great for short putts but not-so good for long putts. Haas nailed a 45-foot putt with a Titleist Scotty Cameron Kombi long putter.
Fuel for the fire: Haas’ victory might make it more difficult for golf’s ruling bodies – the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew’s, Scotland – to ban long putters and belly putter. To be fair, the USGA and R&A $A , is believed to be looking at banning the “anchoring” of long putters and belly putters, more than banning the putters themselves, but each is possible.
Trouble is, as long (pardon the pun) as players keep winning – and putting themselves in position to win with these putters – the harder it’s going to be to outlaw them or modify the rules. Also, the more success PGA Tour players have with long putters and belly putters, the more long-putter and belly-putter sales equipment companies, such as Titleist parent Acushnet Company, will record.
Banning the putters, or even modifying the rules in regards to anchoring, might be interpreted by the companies has potentially harming their businesses. That USGA and R&A have done everything they can to avoid such a confrontation on the golf ball front. Now they might face the same dilemma with long putters and belly putters.