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[Editor's Note: The following "letter" was written by Mike Wagner, a fine player who, like many others around the world, was taken aback by the proposed Rules change by the United States Golf Association and the R&A that will ban anchored clubs, including the belly putter.]
Thank you for being very reactive to the current situation regarding the use of belly/long putters. I know they've been around a long time, but I understand your position because of a few recent wins and what seem to be more folks using them.
It really seems to be consistent with your view on equipment over the last 30 years - balls going further and curving less, drivers as big as my head, irons that don't require as much talent as in years past. Thank you for being on top of the changes in the game that have required much longer golf courses, renovations to classic courses rendered obsolete through technology. These changes cost money - LOTS of money.
Thanks for placing the idea into the heads of Greens Committee chairs everywhere that their courses need to be renovated due to distance increases relevant only to less than 1 percent of the golfing population.
Thank you for bowing down to equipment companies in order to "protect" the game we all love. Thank you for all these things that make an already expensive game even more expensive.
It's really timely you nip in the bud this putter issue that's been around a really long time. It's starting to catch on and make the game more enjoyable for lots of people at a time when we really need to grow our beloved - but shrinking - game.
THANK YOU for putting a stop to it. Maybe we can get a bunch of guys who support you and their courses to finally quit - whew!
I know, I know, there's a lot of scientific evidence supporting the fact that it's easier to use a long putter . . . I mean all the top players in the game are using them, right? Oh, they're not? I guess there must be a certain skill set specific to using one that not everyone can do.
But I don't know - I trust you have the best interest of the game at heart at all times, as you've proven over the last 30 years.
Well, way to go USGA, you're proving you're protecting our game - go get 'em!
A Long Putter of 18 years,
P.S. Please earmark a few of the $262 million you have in the bank for upcoming lawsuits. It seems we can't get anything done these days without spending millions in the courts.
Mike Wagner is the Sales Manager for TRUE linkswear golf shoes and an avid golfer of 35 years. He's a plus-1 handicap, prefers to walk and carries a single-strap bag without a stand. Mike also uses a long putter. He can be reached at email@example.com.