Friday, May 10, 2013

In Search of a Broomstick


My long, long putter would not fit in my travel golf bag, so I am in search of one in Europe. Today I discovered a bit of international confusion on the proposed USGA and Royal & Ancient rule (14-1B) about future use of "belly" and "broomstick" putters. Adam Scott used a broomstick putter to win the 2013 Masters.

Found a golf equipment store in downtown Geneva in the Eaux-Vives area. Colin and Patrick, proprietors. Nice chaps from Scotland, so we all spoke a variant of English. 

They had one TaylorMade Ghost belly putter in stock but no broomsticks. Said they could order one for me - however, was I aware the long putters were going to be "illegal"?

Technically, not illegal. They can still be used. But the rule change, effective 2016, says a player cannot "anchor" the putter against his or her body. I've already experimented, and it's quite feasible to hold the grip of the broomstick putter an inch or so away from my chest and make a good stroke.

Nonetheless, manufacturers are already cutting back or phasing out broomsticks - there never were that many on the market, and they're going to get more scarce. Legal or not. I may just buy up every broomstick I can find in the coming months and start a little business catering to golfers like me who have given up on the traditional short stick.

Or I may, as I did for several years, quite successfully, go back to putting with my one-iron.

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