Euro Tour bans belly putter

Paul Netherton, gecko europro tour, belly putter ban

Gecko EuroPro Tour Director Paul Netherton, bans Belly Putters

Well thankfully there is one tour that has had the balls to ban the curse that is the belly putter.  Just as Phil Mickelson was seen practicing with a belly putter at this weeks FedEx Cup, Deutsche Bank Championship, the Gecko EuroPro Tour’s director of golf Paul Netherton said “With the anchoring of the putter into a players midriff, we feel this gives a player an unfair advantage over the rest of the competitors in the field, which goes against the ethos and spirit of the game. “

Paul went onto say, I have no problem with the development of equipment, especially for amateur golfers to progress and enjoy the game, but I feel at the top of the game the professionals, shouldn’t need gimmicks to compete.”

gecko europro tour, belly putter ban, paul nethertonI believe this is a great move for golf and about time a tour came out and banned the belly putter, it seems pointless waiting for the R&A and USPGA to make a decision, waiting for that particular oil tanker to make turn is painful to watch and about as stubborn as Colonel Gaddafi giving up power in Libya.

phil mickelson, belly putter ban, gecko europro tour

Phil has been seen practicing with a belly putter © Kevin Murray

How long it will take any of the big tours to follow suit remains to be seen, but at least the second tier tours are moving quickly. Paul Netherton told me the Gecko EuroPro Tour are also contemplating going with one competition ball, and are in talks with a manufacturer at the moment. He sees the situation similar to Formula one where the competing teams all use the same tyre for the season.

The theory behind the moves is to see the best golfers win and not the players who have the best equipment. The Gecko EuroPro Tour sees these moves helping the best up and coming players in Europe emerge from their tour.

So it’s over to the R&A, USGA, European Tour and the US PGA Tour, but don’t hold your breath.

TOPICS: Golf, Off course, Tournament golf

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

10 Responses to “Euro Tour bans belly putter”

  1. Dave

    Interesting. It’s hardly much of a golf tour going by their website, results and player numbers wise. Publicty stunt? Are they banning hybrids and graphite shafts as well?

    • James Mason

      They are working with the Seve Foundation and players have to be under 30 to participate. So I think its more to do with teaching them the ethics and spirit of the game. On a personal point of view, I think it should be banned on the professional tours until its proved that there is no advantage gained.

  2. mick

    I think that everyone should have the choice of what equipment they use. Pro’s already have the opportunity to move a ball and complain about everything until it is in their favour. Hit the ball and play it from where it lands. Get to the green then putt it. If your the good enough you will keep it in the right place. If your not, too bad. This is what us amateurs have to put up with.

    • James Mason

      Mick, I understand what you are trying to say, the pro’s do get a lot of drops (help) that Amateur golfers wouldn’t get during a normal round of golf and the chances of them losing a ball is near impossible, apart from at an Open Championship (Tiger Woods, Royal St Georges first hole 2003).

      I actually like this guys thinking, banning the belly putter and maybe using one make of ball, could be a start, to seeing the skill factor come back into the game.

      Don’t get me wrong I think the guys at the very top now, would be the guys at the very top no matter what equipment they used. But I do think there needs to be more research into the belly putter before its allowed in top level competition. I think the powers that be need to dictate the game, not the golf ball and club manufacturers.

  3. Ian

    So you are saying that the future of golf equipment should now stop.? Things move forward that the way the world works.

    And if the belly putter gives an advantage then we will allbe using them, the one that uses it the best wins, simple as. We went through this load of rubbish with Langer and the long putter, and look how many use it now.

    The skill factor is massive in today’s game. I know plenty of pro’s that are very skill-full that have all the latest toys and gadgets, but could not touch a tour pro to save there bananas.

    There good because they practice, work out and put there all into the game for hours each day.

    Its up to the courses to make the game of golf tougher by moving with the times. Re shape greens add more slope, add bunkers, more water, change the shape of the holes. Stop building real estate where the back tee should be.

    And Im with James, the above is not a golf pro tour looks more like a golf society without members.

    And if they are teaching ethics and the spirit of the game, why do they want 150 for a game of golf on a tourist course. Publicity Stunt Yes James.

  4. Goonerchamps

    If a club adheres to the guidelines of Appendix II of the Rules of Golf, how can it be banned? Local Rules and Conditions of Competitions have strict guidelines as to what Rules can be manipulated. Where are the restrictions published that a Tour can work within?

    • James Mason

      As far as I know Kevin, a golf tournament can refuse entry from any player and doesn’t have to give a reason.

      In this case the Gecko Euro Pro tour have chosen to ban entries from anyone who is using a belly putter, its their tournament so they can do that.


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