Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Long Putter Debate Lingers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Long Putter Debate Lingers

Article excerpt

The first PGA Tour meeting on a proposed rule for long putters made only one thing clear to commissioner Tim Finchem. There's still a long way to go to decide what the tour will do, and it figures to be messy.

"It's a very different kind of issue, and it stirs a lot of strong feelings," Finchem said Wednesday in La Jolla, Calif., site of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. "So consequently, it's a difficult situation. Personally, I view the professional game as being the strongest it's ever been. So I don't like to see distractions, but it's not a perfect world."

Finchem also said there might be a place for bifurcation -- two sets of rules for the game -- in certain areas of golf, but he did not think the long putter issue was one of them.

The U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced Nov. 28 a proposed rule that would outlaw players from anchoring the club against their bodies.

Still to be determined is the tour's official position on the proposed rule, which will require meetings with its Players Advisory Council and policy board. Another decision would be whether to enforce the rule earlier than 2016.

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