German golfing legend Langer slams belly putter ban

Johannesburg, Fri, 30 Nov 2012 ANI

Johannesburg, Nov 30(ANI): German golfing legend Bernhard Langer has criticised the decision to ban golfers from anchoring long putters.

The Royal and Ancient (R and A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) on Wednesday announced that anchored putting, whereby the club is pivoted by a player's belly or chest, is set to be outlawed from 2016.

The proposed rule would prohibit strokes made in such a way but would not alter existing equipment regulations which allow for the use of so-called 'belly' or 'long-handled' putters.

Last year Keegan Bradley became the first player to win a major with a putter anchored on his midriff at the PGA Championship.

Webb Simpson at this year's US Open, and Ernie Els at the British Open swiftly followed Bradley, and Langer, who himself uses a long putter, feels the new decision is absurd.

"It has been out for that long. If there is anything illegal about it, why did they not stop it right away? If it is that easy with a long putter, a belly putter, why aren't 90 percent of the pros and 100 percent of the amateurs using it?" Sports24 quoted Langer, as saying.

Langer suggested there would be a challenge to the rule proposal, hinting at a legal response from users.

"I do not think it is the end of it. There are pros that are on tour that grew up with that putter. They have invested 15-20 years in practicing, maybe 30 years practicing with a long putter or belly putter, and now they have to switch and they make a living doing that," he added. (ANI)

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