USGA decision on long putter ban expected Wednesday

David Cannon

The USGA is expected to finally make a decision Wednesday on whether or not to ban the long putter. Expect hilarity to ensue.

The soap opera surrounding whether or not long putters will be banned is expected to conclude this Wednesday, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

USGA head Mike Davis is expected to make a formal decision and announcement that day, which will likely cause a stir throughout professional and amateur golf. Opinions on the necessity of a ban -- specifically the anchored putting stroke -- have been mixed since early this season. Many noted golf enthusiasts have taken to reporters and journalists to share those opinions for what seems like much longer.

While these opinions have been mixed, the main question remains unanswered: do long putters actually provide an unfair advantage to players in comparison to traditional putters?

The closest thing that resembles empirical data that anyone has heard to this point is the vague mention by former US Open champion Graeme McDowell that Davis had evidence to prove the theory.

"They're convinced the research has shown that under pressure on a Sunday afternoon, the long putter just kind of takes one extraneous movement out of the putting stroke," McDowell said. "It just makes it physically easier to stroke the putter when the nerves are there, (and) I think we should be leveling the playing field (by banning anchoring)."

Whether a bifurcation of the ban to divide professionals from amateurs will also hopefully be addressed in Davis' announcement.

Should a ban be implemented, many professionals have made it clear they will seek legal counsel to protect their right to choose their preferred tools of the trade.

This could all get very ugly very quickly.

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