4 Reasons the Belly Putter Should Be Outlawed

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

4 Reasons the Belly Putter Should Be Outlawed

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    Critics of the game of golf are plentiful.

    There is a prejudice towards the game from many facets of society because it is often perceived as a discriminatory sport.

    Arguments have been made that the game is racist, sexist and that it favors those with money who can afford to play at expensive country clubs over those that can't. All of those arguments have some degree of veracity.

    Some may think that the "game" of golf is not a sport. Anyone who has walked a 7,000-yard, 18-hole course in 95-degree heat would know that argument is specious. However, when they see a golfer jam a belly in their putter to propel the ball, they may wonder exactly what kind of sport it is.

    Here's a look at why the belly putter should be outlawed.

Easing the Burden

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    When you putt the ball in golf, you have to balance a standard 34- or 35-inch putter in your hands and stand still before you strike the ball.

    However, with the belly putter, your burden is eased. You still have to stay balanced, but you don't have to worry about holding the club steady because you are placing the gripped portion of the club in the middle of your stomach.

    This makes putting easier than it should be.

Artificial Aid

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    A golfer may turn to a belly putter because the stroke he uses on the green with a standard putter lacks consistency.

    He may twist his hands or the golfer may have a hard time putting a consistent swing on the ball. That changes with the belly putter. It may allow the golfer to strike the ball with more consistency.

    That's because the golfer doesn't have to do the same amount of work that he normally did. The belly becomes an "artifical" aid. If player "A" uses a belly putter while player "B" does not and has to work at a consistent swing, that's an unfair advantage for player "A."

Conditioning Edge

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    A golfer with a weight problem or a back problem may want to use the belly putter to make a round of golf less painful.

    While this is understandable, this makes the game of golf more a game of gimmicks and less of an athletic contest.

    Athletes in all sports have to contend with pain or discomfort. Using a belly putter to avoid pain seems like a distinct advantage that a player should not have.

Lack of Consistency

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    When you hit your golf shot off the tee, you don't wedge the grip of the driver into your belly. You don't do that with any of your iron shots or your hybrid shots.

    When you play the ball out of the bunker, you do not get any advantage by positioning the club against your body. You can't even ground your club before you hit your shot.

    Why should you be able to rest your club against your body while putting? It's not consistent and it's not logical.