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Broom-handles and bellies on the way out?

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Iain Carter | 12:05 UK time, Monday, 23 July 2012

While Ernie Els celebrates his second Open title Adam Scott must wonder how he will recover from the collapse that helped hand the Championship to the big South African.

Scott's failure to convert a four-stroke lead down the closing stretch of holes into his first major title threatens to haunt the popular Australian for the rest of his career.

The pain is made all the more acute because Scott falls into the category of "major champion in waiting" having won at every level of the game below the elite four championships.

It will take enormous mental strength from the 32-year-old to overcome this disappointment and Scott's task may be made all the harder by future rule changes over putters.

An announcement is expected this autumn which will determine whether the use of broom-handle and belly putters is to be outlawed.

Adam Scott, The Open, Royal Lytham

Adam Scott with his controversial putter at Royal Lytham and St Annes. Photo: Getty

In the Open just gone it was Els's belly putter that sank the decisive putt to thwart Scott and his broom-handle implement.

Following the successes of Keegan Bradley at last year's US PGA and Webb Simpson at this year's US Open, Els's triumph means three of the last four majors have been won by players anchoring an extended putter in their midriff.

"The R&A and our co-governing body, the USGA (United States Golf Association), have this firmly back on our radar," said the R&A's chief executive Peter Dawson.

"From a method of stroke standpoint the issue is the anchoring of one end of the putter and is this a conventional golf stroke?

"There's been a big change in the last two years. We've seen long and belly putting go from a method of last resort for people whose conventional putting stroke has deserted them to a preferred method of people who can putt conventionally perfectly well."

Dawson stresses no final decision has been taken but there is a strong feeling that the authorities are about to call time on the anchoring method.

This, of course, would have a detrimental affect on the new Open champion but any rule change could not come into effect until the beginning of 2016.

"There are further meetings to be had and details to be ironed out. It will be a committee decision and the rules may be changed, we will have to wait and see," Dawson added.

"This is something we have to make our views known on pretty quickly."

The implications are far reaching. Els has saved his career by adopting the anchoring method to cure his problems on the greens and with his Lytham victory the 42-year-old should now be able to look forward to an Indian summer to his playing days.

His win, like Darren Clarke's last year, was the stuff of fairytales and the product of golf's current unpredictability. But the joy of seeing such a popular winner taste major success again was tempered by the sympathy that must be felt for the poor Scott.

What else did we learn at Lytham? The failure of Lee Westwood to bring his A game to a course that was set up to his strengths was hugely disappointing and landing that elusive first major is becoming ever harder to achieve.

Rory McIlroy is discovering that golf is actually a very hard game to consistently conquer. He will feel he was too easily derailed by his second-round double bogey at the ninth.

McIlroy spent the rest of the week searching for his swing and he couldn't find it.

Luke Donald collected yet another high finish without contending. Trying to the very end and maximising a finishing position should never be criticised.

Worryingly, though, he failed to find the moment to push beyond guarded steadiness to find his way to the top of the leaderboard.

Donald, though, remains one of the very best exponents on the greens. If he can retain that touch until 2016 those skills will carry a far higher premium if the belly and broom-handle brigade are forced to find another way to putt.


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  • Comment number 1.

    hey guys...about 2 weeks ago i posted "you can get 40/1 on the big easy...remember where you heard it first!"

    how many of you listened and had a punt?...i backed him e/w and now wishing i'd backed him on the nose...still...mustn't grumble...won a 'monkey' for a 'score' so things are looking up

    now then...about westwood...who wants to start???!!!

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't see what is wrong with using these different putters.

    Are there any laws that say a club should be under a certain length?

  • Comment number 3.

    Questions regarding long putters..

    - What is Anchoring?
    - Is it illegal

    From my interpretation of anchoring if, if it is illegal how come long putters were not outlawed years ago??

  • Comment number 4.

    I think the most urgent rule change is to allow a drop from a fairway divot.

    Another is to place the ball if you are in water in a bunker, rather than dropping it to an almost certain plugged lie.

    As for the putters, it seems obvious that it is illegal and makes you wonder how they were allowed in the first place.

  • Comment number 5.

    If the broom handle and belly putters are to be outlawed, the result will be, that those Majors that have been 'won' by players using them, will be forever tainted.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Maxmerit, I disagree..... we've had recent changes in regards grooves and the trampoline effect of a driver. Never once has the implication been made that major winners prior to these changes are tainted.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think it is the basic principle I am against. If you can't drive the ball it is tough... but if you can't putt you can try all of these things. The broom handle is rubbish, nobody has ever won a major with one, but the belly putter is not a golf "swing."

  • Comment number 9.

    Never been a fan of the governing bodies allowing belly putters - glad to see the back of them.

    @4 - couple of useful suggestions there - makes sense. As does the law that has been recently passed regarding loose objects around your ball in bunkers.

  • Comment number 10.

    surely the simple answer is a rule that the putter must be the shorteset club in the bag

  • Comment number 11.

    @5. golf equipment and legalities change all the time, so they would in no way become tainted or whatever. Tiger Woods continued with a true temper shaft and smaller driver head on his clubs for a while whilest all the other players such as Micelson etc had much bigger headed drivers and graphite shafts, so sometimes pro's do not go for the instant upgrade as he was still winning anyway.
    as for the rule change, i think this is a must. soon you will find some new take on a driver that involves less swinging or something! it really is not that hard to putt so everyone should have a limit on putters to about 37 inches ( which is long for a conventional putter ) and it will be fair for everybody. although maybe the senior's tours should be allowed to continue using them?

  • Comment number 12.

    It's ironic that the authorities want to ban big putters, yet are perfectly happy to allow the development of driving clubs that allow inferior players to hit the ball as well as the more precise ball strikers. Net result; courses have to lengthen, which seems far more significant than a funny putting device.

    Do the authorities want to allow technology into the game or not? They seem to want it both ways.

  • Comment number 13.

    Every shot in golf, (until the introduction of long-shafted putters), the club has been an extension of the arms and hands.

  • Comment number 14.

    If belly putters and broom handle putters offer such a great advantage, why aren't the whole field use them week in week out? Answer? They aren't an "add 30 points to your putting ability" piece of kit. You still need to be able to use them. Three of the last four majors may have been won using them, but that is no more coincidental than had three of the last four major winners done so using Callaway (other brands are available) clubs! Leave it alone, if people want to use them, let them! Others will go on to win many majors in future without them.

  • Comment number 15.

    #7 You can't really compare the changes to grooves with the present debate. The advantages of using a belly putter are far greater.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well done 2iK for your prediction. Don't be too hard on yourself for the EW bet as it's still a profit for you. Unlike some others who hopefully put their money where their mouth is:

    65.At 13:35 17th Jul 2012, Golden Bear wrote:
    LD, LW and RM to miss the cut.

    They may not have been in the winners circle but at least they were there for the weekend.

    Obviously the R&A and the USGA will have a very careful consideration to make as regards the long putters but there will no doubt be lawyers ready and willing to contest a 'restriction of trade' injunction if they do decide to curb them. Imho it is too late now to bring in a ban and this should have been done when the things were first introduced.

    Kudos to Ernie for the way he hung in there and slipped by on the blind side to record his fourth major win. No doubt a select group of 'home' players (wanted to narrow this down but was afraid of getting moderated) will be licking their wounds this morning and wondering just what they have to do. I think LW has run out of chances now and is doomed to joing Monty as a great golfer who never won a Major. I sincerely hope he proves me wrong but I just can't see it now.

  • Comment number 17.

    I noticed a few players in France using the belly putter for relief 'up to one club length' away. I think that is the final straw and time to act. If nothing else. the players should have a gentleman's agreement that the putter cannot be used for marking relief.

  • Comment number 18.

    Lee Westwood and Luke Donald should resort to using belly putters and grab a Major before 2016.

  • Comment number 19.

    I feared with the lack of wind over the first 3 days that a score umpteen under par was going to win, yes for the first two two guys were in double figures but they were the exceptions. In the end Lytham proved worthy and when the wind began to blow wasnt it interesting how Woods struggled off the tee. As someone mentioned earlier, the problems are not on the green in the modern era, its the fact guys can whack it 300+ yards and usually get away with anything wayward.

    Its a pity that St Andrews has to be on the rota anymore because that course has become chicken feed, in fact I suspect if it had been held there this week with mostly benign conditions, I suspect Woods would have won. Lytham is less forgiving and for me represents the type of course that is needed to counter the modern day accessories now available to the players

  • Comment number 20.

    If you spent £20 backing someone each-way at 40/1, how did you come out with £500 when they won?

    1.At 13:03 23rd Jul 2012, the2ironkid wrote:
    hey guys...about 2 weeks ago i posted "you can get 40/1 on the big easy...remember where you heard it first!"

    how many of you listened and had a punt?...i backed him e/w and now wishing i'd backed him on the nose...still...mustn't grumble...won a 'monkey' for a 'score' so things are looking up

    now then...about westwood...who wants to start???!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Agree with 17 that using the broomhandle putter as the club length for taking relief is taking the mick. Gary Player's comment on radio 5 on Sunday morning that golf is a test of nerve, and the broomhandle reduces the impact of nerves also carries a lot of weight for me.

  • Comment number 22.

    Got to be honest guys this subject is interesting and relevant given the finishing positions at the Open of two of the longer putter's exponents, however should be addressed at a later date. There's been nothing on Roger Chapman's remarkable Senior Major double and a later blog this week should preview the Senior British Open with a nod to this subject.

    And any immediate post-Open blog should focus on the Open itself. So many talking points and nothing has been written. BBC golf writers' choice of subject matter is rarely timely but this time Iain Carter really has shot himself in the foot...

  • Comment number 23.

    I think the problem with long putters isn't that they add 30 magic points to a putters ability, but that they largely take wrists completely out of the putting action and that is where nerves will show. They are effectively putting beta blockers.
    That and they look more ridiculous than Poulter.

  • Comment number 24.

    @20. he must have meant £10 e/w and £20 overall or something haha

  • Comment number 25.

    Yes, I hope so; the belly and the broom-handle are cheating. Plus, the BH in particular looks god-awful. Both should be banned in the professional game and (like all proven cheating) the remedy ought to be retroactive.

    So Bradley's PGA goes to Dufner, and this one (Open 2012) is a play off (TBA) between McDowell and Woods. Looking forward to it.

  • Comment number 26.

    richard [#20]...£10 e/w = £20 stake

    you get 40/1 on £10 = £400 and a quarter the odds [10/1] for the other tenner = £100

    total = £500!

  • Comment number 27.

    OMG hasn't the BBC dredged up a subject that has been discussed before and trying to make out that it hasn't?? If you ban the extended putter, then you must ban other club's like the 6 degree driver that is coloured pink and used by Bubba Watson? The 6 degree driver will stay and so should the extended putter. However, the law should change to read 'other than the hands, no other part of the body must be in contact with the shaft of the extended putter.'

  • Comment number 28.

    # 17

    I saw it at the Open as well - a brrom handleputter being used to take a drop - ridiculous behaviour really.

    I will say it again (hides from Bilo) that I can't really see how they can ban the longer putters - as people have said if they worked such miracles then everyone would use them! I have tried the long ones but they are cumbersome and I could not get any great "feel" - im sure I could get used to using one but that does not really suit my game

    I don't see them as being any worse than the improvements in ball and club head technology in drivers and this is a prime reason why golf has become more open and anyone can win because the best no longer have an advantage in my opinion.

    courses are longer but do not punish waywardness

    we finally have a course at Lytham where you have to be accurate off the tee (and people are using irons and can still hit them 280yds!) and suddenly 95% of the field fall away and the true golfers of the day rise to the top

    Scott has one of the best technical golf swings in the game

    Els is a proven champion with the swing to match

    TW will always be there or thereabouts and he was T3 and most people would be quite disparaging about his performance over the weekend

    Donald proved he has the ability to compete but his scoring is not prolific enough really

    GMac is a great shaper of the ball but had a mare in the last round (i dont particularly like his awkward swing but it seems to serve him well in the big events)

  • Comment number 29.

    MM - the principle remains the same. As per 11's comment equipment and illegality changes are common in golf. If for example golf's authorities take aim at the modern golf ball (and I am not saying that they will or should), which has major advantages over the old Balata balls, no one would say the major winners over the last 15 years are tainted.

  • Comment number 30.

    #25 Sadly, there is a case for these Major 'wins' to be expunged from the records.

  • Comment number 31.

    Sad we finally get a reactive response from the sport's governing bodies. They lacked bottle when it came legislating on oversize drivers, hot golf balls and belly putters.
    R&A and USGA not fit for purpose? Well I think so and it is time they were replaced by an organisation driven by the needs of the club player and not in thrall to the big battalions of industry.
    Who pays for consequential golf course lengthening, not Calloway, Acushnet etc?

  • Comment number 32.

    It is not cheating, otherwise they would have been disqualified for a clear breach of the rules. They are simply using the currently available legal equipment to suit their own game. I agree that they should be outlawed for the reason many have mentioned.
    My personal contribution to the debate on rule changes is more relating to technology. The scientists could surely come up with a way to reduce maximum ball speed and hence distance. This might then reduce the need for ever increasing course length, hence the length of time it takes to complete a round. It might also bring back into consideration some of the classic championship courses which are no longer used because they are simply too short.

  • Comment number 33.

    I agree with 27, not against their use as such but rules should state that players are not allowed to anchor the club, like Scott does with the broom handle on his chin and most users of the belly putter in their belly.

  • Comment number 34.

    Further to my post 27: The long putter removes a variable from the putting stroke that can cause mishits on the ball during the stoke. With a conventional length putter there are two levers at work during the putting stoke, the left arm and the right arm. By holding the end of the putter shaft against the body, or anchoring it, there is only one lever in the swing which promotes a more consistent contact with the ball. Therefore anchoring should be banned, but not the club!!

  • Comment number 35.

    # 34

    interesting way around the rules - and would in effect stop people using them without an outright ban

    It really saddens me that the state of the game has got to such that there are calls for St Andrews to be taken off the Open rota - is this not a sad sign of how we have gone too far ???????

  • Comment number 36.

    Mind you despite all this debate the long putter didn't seem to help Scott coming down the stretch who hit 2 awful putts on the 16th and didn't get close to draining his putt on the 18th..

  • Comment number 37.

    @25 you will have a very long wait. The BH putter was introduced in the 1980's and have survived the test of time. Johnny Miller was the first professional to use one in a PGA tournament. It is interesting though, that us mere mortals who play for fun, you will not see a belly putter in sight!!! But mind you we are not playing for our livelihoods!!

  • Comment number 38.

    Good, not only do they hide putting ineptitude, they may well break the rules. The rules state that you are only allowed two points of contact between your body and the club. Belly putters clearly have three points of contact.

    There is also an advantage in the long putter in that taking 2 club lengths relief from an onbstruction, you can move the ball further.

  • Comment number 39.

    @35 I have not heard calls for the Home of Golf to be taken off the Open Rota. If it has been discussed, then those people are not fit to run golf!!

  • Comment number 40.

    @38 The putter is not allowed to be used when taking one or two club lengths relief from an obstruction or a penalty drop.

  • Comment number 41.

    # 39

    I did not mean officials of the game - I do not think they would ever seriously consider removing it from the Rota - but some commentators and spectators would wish it so

    I can't believe anyone who has been to Opens at St Andrews and felt the magic of it would want it off the rota

  • Comment number 42.


    I agree with you. Interesting that Els yesterday said he really was looking forward to the next 4 Opens because the courses were so good. He then proceeded to name them as Muirfield, Hoylake & Troon..............pointedly skipping over TOC.........

  • Comment number 43.

    It's about time they were outlawed. They are completely against the spirit of the game to try and remove a moving part of the body from the swing. The beauty of success in the game is the synchronisation of all the moving parts to best produce the desired result (ball in the hole in fewest strokes) If someone is not very good at putting normally, than they need to practice more, not look for a short cut.

  • Comment number 44.

    Anyone notice every time Faldo was commenting of Scott putting yesterday he used the word "brush" every time...............pre meditated use of the word

  • Comment number 45.

    With the liklehood of the ban coming into effect in 2016, Els, Scott and hosts of others will probably retire from the professional game.

  • Comment number 46.

    @44 I agree with Nick Faldo that you do have to brush the ball into the hole. Whereas the iron hits the turf prior to contacting the ball when on the fairway, this generates the backspin. On the green, you cannot afford your putter coming into contact with the ground before hitting the ball. Therefore you are sweeping millimetres above the surface of the green.

  • Comment number 47.

    I have no problem with the length of anyone's putter as long as its not anchored. This takes the potential for the putter face twisting due to nerves of the player out of the game. This conversation should have began 30 years ago when they were first introduced. Can't remember much criticism of Torrence or Langer when they started using them.

  • Comment number 48.

    First of all adam scott lost the open mr els didnt win the open, it was all an anti climax and quite frankly i think it doesnt enhance the game a 42 year old winning, 2 years on the trot and the 0pen loses its magic and appeal..belly putters are for people who cant use proper putters and shouldnt be allowed , simple as,,,, come on you english golfers show us your true bottle its there to be won not lost!

  • Comment number 49.

    I don't like belly putters either, but if they were that good, then Adam Scott would have won easily yesterday. As it was, his defeat came down to missing a simple putt on the 16th and a perfectly makeable one on the 18th. Whether the putter is anchored or not, you still have to get the speed right and read the green correctly.

  • Comment number 50.

    Agree with the St Andrews comments. No longer fit for purpose and consistently the worst Opens in the last 20 years. Every one of the other courses on the rota is a far better test, and a far better spectacle. Not that my opinion will stop them going back every 5 years when the better courses get one every 10.

  • Comment number 51.

    Before worrying about putters the governing body should take note of what the biggest problem is with modern day golf the ball. If the length the players continue to hit it is not levelled off courses such as Lytham, st Andrews will become obosolete as they are already not played as intended and there is only so many times a course can be lengthened. Here in also lies part of the slow play problem as courses get longer it takes longer to play them.
    Regards the long putter its probably too far down the road to ban them but maybe some restriction will be put on them. The notion that they should be the shortest club in the bag made me smile whatever happened to custom fitting.
    I cannot see a ban coming not now anyway.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think they should have been banned from the start, putting is an art and should remain an art, anchoring the putter i effectively removing a great deal of nervous tension from your arms and hands. I say ban them.

  • Comment number 53.

    just love the images of those stewards in the blue tabards, none of whom is doing the job they're supposed to be doing i.e. watching the crowd and not the players.

  • Comment number 54.

    @46 Do you know anything at all about golf and striking the ball? Anyone will tell you that you should always hit the ball before the turf.

  • Comment number 55.

    We shouldn't forget that Colin Montgomerie won the majority of his 7 Orders of Merit with a belly putter. As many previous posts have said, these should have been nipped in the bud years when the likes of Vijay Singh, Mark James & Sam Torrance started using them in the 80's

    They are "Cheat Sticks", they give the player who is inept at using the conventional putter a huge advantage by steadying the club. The fact that 3 of the last 4 major winners have used them is very worrying indeed.

    Ban them immediately and strip any winner of a tournament of his titles and hand back the prize money and apologise to the Golfing World and then ban them for life :-)

  • Comment number 56.

    Broom Handle never won a Major Championship, but i agree they should go..............

    #48...........really?? Maybe limit the field to under 40's so if that would suit you..........that's Westwood gone!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Absolute sour grapes on the part of the R&A and USGA. Had Bradley, Simpson, Els and to a lesser extent Adam Scott not achieved what they have recently then nothing more would be said about the long putter. It's been around for 20 years or so now and there's no need to ban it. It should have been banned before it was introduced (if you can do such a thing) but closing the gate after the horse has bolted is not the right thing to do.

  • Comment number 58.

    You can't blame the players for strange putters, excessive ball distance, carbon fibre, etc. It's the gutless wonders that allegedly run the game who are the culprits. They claim to champion the traditions of the game yet have allowed vested interests to change and destroy the basic golf stroke and the equipent used. This has only served to de-base the traditions and increase the space and time required to play the game. That's a real success. They also allowed putting to morph into a game within game and this should not be. If putters were kept simple in form and shape, they'd just resemble irons (like they used to), and they could shorten the rule book by about 10 pages. Belly and broomstick putting actions are not golf strokes in the traditional sense and should be outlawed. If you can't putt, get a shrink, don't bastardise the game itself. Poor old Adam is proof that it's the brain that putts not some ugly piece of hardware that doesn't belong on a golf course.

  • Comment number 59.

    #55 - I talk under correction here, but I'm pretty sure that Monty only started using a belly putter after about 2000, by which time he'd won most of his OOMs. I'm 99% sure he used a conventional putter for the majority of the time when he was European No1.

    I must admit I don't see a really obvious reason why long putters should be banned. They obviously don't contravene an existing rule, otherwise they would never have been allowed in the first place. What's more, they obviously don't provide an advantage to everyone, otherwise everyone would be using them.

    Personally I think that the distance that the ball goes is a bigger issue. Restrictions should be place on balls just like they have on drivers before long putters should be banned IMO

  • Comment number 60.

    @45 the extended putter itself will not be banned, but the anchoring method will most likely be banned. I do not see Ernie Els or Adam Scott retiring in 2016 because of the rule change!!

  • Comment number 61.

    Why can't belly putters be banned until 2016? They should be banned immediately.

    They should also ban those giant headed drivers & long flying golf balls.

  • Comment number 62.

    Is anyone shocked that some players will use the long putter provided that it's not explicitly banned? Els himself expressed his distaste for their use until his putting stroke failed. Then lo and behold, there he is sporting a long putter, anchoring it to his body, and all of a sudden he is a good putter again.

    Either say everyone can use them (I'd rather they didn't) or no-one can use them. There's no need to taint past winners - they did nothing illegal - or revisit any records. Just make a new law, valid from 2016 onwards and move on.

    And I agree partially regarding the ball construction. I'm not sure the distances are the major issue blighting the game. All the big winners are great putters and chippers. Distance doesn't really come into that. Westwood is a good driver of the ball, can't putt and chip for 4 rounds to a major standard.

  • Comment number 63.

    I am sure that if these putters are banned the Human Rights Lawyers will have a field day. Loss of trade etc from both players and manufacturers. Just use the rules to restrict them. Max length of ant club 48 inches. No more than 2 points of contact between club and player.
    Have to agree with Daveyboy it's the balls that should be looked at. Jack Niklaus recently advocated taking 10% off the carry distance. This would bring the courses back to the players.
    As for The Open, much was made of all the new bunkers, as far as I could see all this did was take the driver out of the game on a lot of holes.

  • Comment number 64.

    #55 #59

    Monty won 7 of his 8 OOMs with a regular putter.............

  • Comment number 65.

    @61. They wouldn't be banned immediately because amateurs would need to be able to a) afford the new club to replace their current club and b) get used to the new club. Only professionals get new clubs overnight.

  • Comment number 66.

    The short putt on 16th was too casually taken - he played it as a 'gime', it ran too fast for gravity and the ball's weight to pull it into the hole as it passed along the left rim, and out right. Scott says he felt calm but from 15th to 18th he played too normal which has random results and probability says you'll get runs of bad or good holes and he got the bad run. He just needed deliberate safe play. Where was that famous caddie?
    The belly-putter keeps the pull-back straight and avoids the flick in the follow-thro release which happens too often with an unanchored putter resulting in a hooked putt. I dont use one but I am short enough to bend low to stick the conventional putter into my belly to the same effect.

  • Comment number 67.

    @54 yes I do know how to play the beautiful game of golf, which some pediatric said was a waste of a good walk and have been doing so since the age of 7. If you look at the TV screen and the slowmo that is used, the club sometimes hits the ground before contacting the ball. Same as in the bunker, the sand is contacted first before the ball.

  • Comment number 68.

    Number 40. Then why did several players use their long putters during the open. I have just checked the rules and you are wrong

  • Comment number 69.

    @67 When the club hits the ground before the ball on the fairway, it's a mishit! Complete fat, an amateur shot. In the bunker, you need to explode before the ball to float it out of the bunker. Sand wedge isn't designed to cotact ball and ground simultaneously...

  • Comment number 70.

    I look forward to a few weeks time when it's time for predictions for the PGA and Iain picks Westwood... again. There's tons to admire about his game but his putting is below average and his short game is poor. He may have won 40 times worldwide but let's be honest, how many times has he won against a genuinley world class field? Iain seems to disregard his faults. Plenty of top 3's in majors but is he good enough to take that final step? Why isn't Iain asking this? Too eager to ingratiate himself with British players? Not that i wouldn't like to see Westwood win, he's a good guy

  • Comment number 71.

    More disturbing at The Open was the creeping Americanisation of the crowds. There were shouts of "geddin the hole". ( other titles available ) and I'm sure I heard one ridiculous shout of " mashed potato ". Anyone heard using these terms should e immediately removed from the course and given a life ban. The wonderful Allis remarked that they should be frowned at severely. I would take them somewhere and insert a broom handle where the sun don't shine.

  • Comment number 72.

    @71 Would the insertion of the broom handle not count as "anchoring"?

  • Comment number 73.

    66 - you seem to know quite a lot about how to close out a major. How many have you won?

    But seriously, Scott should probably have parred 16 as it was playing one if the easier holes. He hit 3 mediocre shots - his approach was JUST too far away to guarantee a two putt, first putt was JUST too far away to ensure a gimme and obviously the one that he missed wasn't great putt. I don't think you can say with any certainty that he was too casual or make any comment on 'why' he missed it though. Maybe he pulled it, maybe he hit it too hard. Who knows? He probably doesn't even know.

    I still think his main mistake was 3 wood on 18, which just brought the bunkers into play. A long iron to play short or driver to clear them might have been a better play. But presumably he had a reason for making that play.

    Steve Williams must be gutted not to have won - I'm sure he is keen to break Jack's record of majors :-)

  • Comment number 74.

    73 - bit harsh, how many have you won?

  • Comment number 75.

    The use of these long putters should have been discussed when they first came on the scene about 10 or so years ago - it's too late now and not fair on those who have been using them with some success. There are even some young players who have never used anything else.

  • Comment number 76.

    @71..WCIHIS......I went on Friday and someone shouted " Corned Beef & Potato's" . At the time a lot of people were laughing, they must've been drinking that very expensive but poor lager!!??
    I must say the issue that we all spoke about a few blogs ago with relaxing the mobile phone rules didn't go well. The amount of times the players/caddies asked people to put them away was unreal. The marshalls were also turning a "blind eye"!

  • Comment number 77.

    @75 It's not too late now. Once they deem the putters to be against the rules, they are given a decent amount of time to phase out the equipment. They wouldn't just ban them overnight.

  • Comment number 78.

    74 LordFIMM - none yet, then again I'm not sitting hear telling Adam Scott how he should putt. And anyway, with the new trend of 40-somethings winning Opens I'm still hopeful :-)

    Possibly it was a bit harsh but then again I think its as bit rich to state with so much authority that the putt was 'too casually taken'. I doubt very much that he was too casual, besides which who is Yellowterror to make such a judgement with such complete certainty?

    I happen to agree with your post 69 by the way.

  • Comment number 79.

    @73..BMG..What's your take on the "geddindahole" brigade. I actually heard another classic shout.."geddindacapri", or it might have been "geddindacortina". Funnily enough I was going to ask about what colour should it be!!??

  • Comment number 80.

    69 Thanks. I'm not sure you can be playing since the age of 7 and think that turf before ball is a decent strike. Unless you are 8 of course, in which case it's ok.

  • Comment number 81.

    How many more majors would Tom Watson have won had he elected to use a broomhandle or belly putter - he is on record as stating he tried them out and they definitely ironed out his 'yippy' stroke; he reckons they would save him 2-3 putts a round at a conservative estimate. He believes they are 'contrary to the spirit of the game' however and has refused to use one accordingly.

  • Comment number 82.

    Some fool shouted roast potato when like teed off yesterday obviously trying to put put a spin on it. At least unlike in the states where you hear it on every drive it was not too painful.Though worse is the cry of geddin the hole (a book by bmg available @Amazon) on shots from the fairway 200 yards plus away.

  • Comment number 83.

    There is no need for Mr Scott to be haunted, provided he does something about yesterday's performance. He failed yesterday for two reasons :
    1) Failed to manage himself correctly.
    2) Failed to execute his shots correctly.
    How does he deal with this ?
    1) Acknowledge that his destiny is within his grasp. Winners make it happen, losers whinge about bad luck.
    2) When the time is right, look at what he did and why he did it. Given the situation, was the balance between risk and reward correct ? What should he have done differently ? Which parts of his game are the most reliable ? How can he mitigate the weaker parts (either by practice or avoiding their use) ?
    3) All those thousands of hours of practice aim to ensure that on every occasion we hit the ball exactly as expected., or at least have a strong iodea of what to expect.

    Someone as talented as Mr Scott very probably has no significant weaknesses in his game, and I'd be surprised if he has got to where he is without being familiar with most of the things above. I'm sure he will recover from the setback, and if he wants an example of how to fight back from adversity, he need look no further than his compassionate friend Mr Els.

  • Comment number 84.

    Post 80 - bit harsh. How long have you been playing?

  • Comment number 85.

    @48: Surely one of the great things about golf is that you can be a winner over such a large age range, that you don't have to be finished by your mid thirties, as is the case in most other sports. Did you see the 2009 Open when Tom Watson so nearly won at the age of 59? That was magical stuff, had his putt on 18 dropped it would probably have been the most inspiring sporting story ever. Darren Clarke's win last year was hugely popular and rightly so.

    It's not all about the tyranny of the youngest and the prettiest.

    Oh and by the way, the lowest score wins the Open. Ernie posted the lowest score. Therefore he won it.

    One day, hopefully, Adam Scott will come back and win it too.

    And no, I'm not over 40, just before you ask :)

  • Comment number 86.

    @76 Mattefc in a sureal way I can understand corned beef and potatoes if someone's just made a hash of a shot. I personally think its unnecessary and not at all funny. The USPGA must take the lead on this and perhaps it will just fizzle out across here. By the way seventy odd posts and the GOAT abuse hasn't started yet.

  • Comment number 87.

    Really feel for Adam Scott, he must be gutted, however, whilst he has improved in putting I still do not think he looks 'right' over that long putter of his. I am old fashioned I know but young guys like Adam should not be using these contracptions and the quicker they get rid the better for the game.

    I am so happy that the arrogant caddie Williams did not win as we would never have heard the end of it.! Just another Tiger Woods EX 'hanger on' that made a fortune from Tiger and instead of just walking away a very rich man decided to throw some mud.
    Old saying what goes round comes round, so maybe it was nothing to do with Steve Williams that Tiger won 14 majors, if he is that good a caddie then he should have got his man over the finishing line..?

    That would be the only consolation for Tiger I guess..

  • Comment number 88.

    Matte / Davey - my take on Geddin The Hole (ISBN # is ... oh never mind, that's dave's job) is that it's probably a fairly rational thing to say when someone is putting or chipping and their ball is approaching the hole (if fact you hear it quite often). It's probably not totally dumb to shout it when a player has a full shot which he need to hole in order to tie or win. But on the tee of a par four or five its a bit dumb and probaby the domain of drunk idiots and Americans. I thought 'Yur da man!' was a bit of a daft shout until I heard 'mashed potato'.

    I must admit I prefer the understated approach - a murmur of 'shot!' for a good drive, and a discreet pinch of the cap's brim for a holed putt, rather than charging across the green pumping your fist like a madman.

    The one exception is the best fist pump of all time, by Seve at St Andrews. I still say he looked like he was ..... oh no, that was last week's theme wasn't it?

  • Comment number 89.

    86 - omg wcihis, that gag makes some of mine look refined!! Are you cfc in disguise??

  • Comment number 90.

    @84 Touche!

  • Comment number 91.

    Putting style, stroke technique and putter choice is down to player preference. You can either putt or you can't. Good putting is more about feel/touch than the technique. As a good conventional putter I have experimented with belly/long putters for fun. For anyone moaning here about the use of long putters I suggest you try one, particularly a broom-handle! Mobile phones should simply be banned from all golf comps, anyone using one should be ejected...

  • Comment number 92.

    Well the belly putter helped Scott in the last 4 holes didn't it?, 3 putted on 16, and missed a simple 6 footer on 18. nerves still helped in him missing those putts, and the 3 putt on 16 was proof of that, he missed a 2 and half footer on it which lipped out (too much pace) , they don't help in the heat of a major and for that reason they won't be banned.

  • Comment number 93.

    @86..WCIHIS....There's plenty of time for that. I believe he's up to #2 in the world, not doing to badly!!??
    @Davey....Did you specify that you preferred home made roastys! I also totally agree with your point about balls!?

  • Comment number 94.

    Loved watching Tiger these last four days. Went for it too hard trying to make things happen on Sunday otherwise he could have won.

    Adam Scott - feel sorry for him. Would have been good to have another new major winner.

    But good to see that a lot of the average players (Simon Khan, Ross Fisher, Simon Dyson etc.) did not come close to winning it. Majors should be won by top golfers.

  • Comment number 95.

    There seems to be widespread feeling (on this board at least) that changes to the equipment and, to a lesser extent, to the players are making significant changes to the game of golf.
    If the powers that be decide to act, should they change the courses or change the equipment ? IMO that's a no-brainer, it's far too difficult and far too expensive to keep changing the courseas new players and new equipment come onto the scene. In the professional game, it would be easy to have much tighter rules governing the equipment, and those rules could be reviewed every couple of years or so to ensure that the combined efforts of player and equipment do not exceed the challenge posed by the courses. For amateurs, the time between reviews could be increased to avoid excess expenditure.

  • Comment number 96.

    Never though I would read BMG and refined in same sentence. No I am not cfc please refer to minor spat with buyronnelson last week.

  • Comment number 97.


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  • Comment number 100.

    Go for it!!??


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