Long putter is hot! You know, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson both used the long putter!
Vinny Giles, a legend in amateur golf, this week called the United States Golf Association “gutless” for its failure to ban the clubs — and he plays with a long putter.
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“Why they’re so gutless, I don’t know,” Giles told Golfweek. “But we, as the USGA, should definitely outlaw those putters,” Giles added. “There’s no issue, as far as I’m concerned. Nerves are part of the game. Crutches aren’t, and these putters are crutches.
“That’s coming from somebody who uses one. It’s a lot easier for somebody who doesn’t use one to make that comment. I’m 100 per cent in favour of a ban of them.”
The 68-year-old Giles, a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, is one of only a few golfers to win both the U.S. Amateur (1972) and British Amateur (1975). He added the U.S. Senior Men’s Amateur in 2009 to join Bill Campbell as the only golfers to win both major U.S. amateur titles.
Giles also heads up a new sports management company in Palm Beach County, Florida, dealing with corporate executives, tournament sponsors, golf-equipment manufacturers and the game’s governing bodies. He previously was owner and president of a golf management firm in Richmond, Virginia, which represented Tom Kite, Davis Love III, Lanny Wadkins, Beth Daniel and Meg Mallon.
Giles has played with the long putter for the past eight years, but would switch back to a conventional length putter if he had to.
“I wish the USGA had the guts to outlaw them,” he said.
The USGA has yet to respond to Giles’s comments, and it likely won’t, but the issue of using belly and longer broomstick-style putters — especially on professional golf tours — isn’t going to go away any time soon.
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