USGA Executive Mike Davis has stated that the USGA may be taking a “fresh look” at the belly putter and its relationship to the rules. The belly putter and long putter is using a technique called ‘anchoring’ whereby the club rests or is anchored in the chest or belly depending on the putter’s length. This has said to have helped a lot player’s who may have quit golf or been less successful. The number of belly putter exponents has increased by a significant amount recently and more to the point – they have been winning or finishing high in golf events around the globe – and this has sparked a talk feast at least. The “putting through the legs” or Crouquet style was outlawed about 40 years setting a precendent that “anti long putter” rule makers may use in their favour.
“All of a sudden … this has become a much bigger topic,” Davis stressed. “The USGA and R&A have been talking about this at length.
“We are looking at it from a perspective that … what we should look at for everything: What is good for the game, for all golfers, long term? I will tell you, the R&A was in Far Hills (N.J.) last week. We have an annual meeting where we talk about all kinds of issues about how we govern the game worldwide.
“We did talk about various equipment issues, including anchoring. Our board (USGA Executive Committee) did (talk about it) this week as well. There are no outcomes at this point.
“It is something we have taken a fresh look at. More players are using it, both on the elite level and the recreational level. We want to be sure that we are looking at all the angles and thinking about what is in the best interests both of the traditions of the game, the history of the game, and what we think would be good for the game.”
The USGA is expected to once again address the subject publicly at San Francisco’s Olympic Club during the 2012 U.S. Open.