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Golf Australia Express : Issue 46
IF, AS BOBBY JONES said, golf is played on the five-inch course between our ears, then our state of mind is laid bare to the world when we putt on the green. It doesn't matter what kind of putter you're using or how long the shaft is---once you lose belief in your ability to hole a shot, the long drives and attacking chip shots are nothing but nice clothes on a corpse. The rules on putters are fairly complicated---they go into great detail over the angle of the shaft, the size of the clubhead and the design features allowed. The shape of the grip is covered, as is the allowance for an extra grip elsewhere on the shaft. Legal stance and minimum length of the backswing are both described in similar detail. But it is the one club exempt from a maximum length. The R&A is next due to update the Rules of Golf for the start of 2016, and there has been a great deal of commentary from pundits and players suggesting they should either limit the length of a putter's shaft, or that they should ban players from anchoring the putter against the body. This kind of hysteria smacks of a knee-jerk reaction and we can only hope that the R&A will look back on their long history before legislating against an option that has been around for well over 30 years. Indeed, before its recent incarnation in the 1980s, Paul Runyan was said to have used his belly and a wide stance to steady his swing in the 1936 Belmont Open. While he noted THERE'S MUCH MORE TO PUTTING THAN A LONG SHAFT OR BIG BELLY, WRITES WILL HONE. LONG BELLY UP with Will Hone IN HONING that it helped to "minimise the adverse affects of nervous tension", it was, and still is, a legitimate approach to the stroke. Putting is not about the putter, it is about the player. If there was an easier club to use, surely you would use it. And if you were playing for a million dollars, I'd bet the purse you'd use everything you could to get to the podium. There are many modern aids that our golfing ancestors would not have dreamt of. The length and accuracy of our drivers has grown through developments in clubhead technology. Sand wedges are now standard (they were unheard of before 1932). Golf shoes plant us to the ground like never before. Golf, like us, is in a constant state of evolution and there is no force in the world that could stop its advance.. OTG Once you lose belief in your ability to hole a shot, the long drives and attacking chip shots are nothing but nice clothes on a corpse. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS
Issue 45—The British Open