Golf Coach Gary Gilchrist Talks Long Putter vs. Short Putter, Ryder Cup and More

Justin WeltonAnalyst IISeptember 26, 2012

KOHLER, WI - JULY 04:  Yani Tseng of Taiwan (L) hits a shot as her coach Gary Gilchrist looks on during a practice round prior to the start of the 2012 U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run on July 4, 2012 in Kohler, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

To use the long putter or to keep it classic and use the short putter: a golf debate that has been happening for years.

With recent major championships churning out long-putter winners, I thought it would be great to ask a professional golf coach what his opinion was on the subject.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Gary Gilchrist, Peter Hanson's coach and the former coach of Michelle Wie and Yani Tseng, about the matter. We talked about the debate, Hanson's performance at the KLM Open and the 2012 Ryder Cup.


JW: For those who may not know, what are the differences between using a short and long putter?

GG: With the short putter, you are not anchoring against something which helps you create something else. With the long putter, there are several different ways of using it compared to the short putter.

JW: What is your preference? 

GG:  I don’t know why [the long putter is] ever allowed, because it touches the body in two places. I prefer and recommend the short putter. 

JW: Should golf ban long putters? Why or why not?

GG: Right now it’s not cheating. If you are playing for money and it works, people will use it. How they allow a putter to touch you in two places is beyond me, but it's not cheating, so it depends on the individual and what they're comfortable with.

JW: Talk about your perspective on Peter Hanson’s performance at the KLM Open.

GG: Peter loves to support European golf. His performance was awesome for his confidence, and our goal prior to the Ryder Cup is to get him comfortable with his game.

JW: Talk about the overall importance of the Ryder Cup. Where does this event stand compared to the four majors?

GG: The Ryder Cup is the best team event out there. It's not as important as the four majors because that's the main goal as a golfer, but it's way up there. The memories of playing in the event and playing for your side is very important.

JW: What do you anticipate for the Ryder Cup?

GG: It’s a great golf course. It’s Awesome. Americans have a lot of young players. It’s going to be up to the veterans to pull one of the sides through. Americans will have more of an edge because of support from the home fans. 

It’s going to be very difficult. 


Ryder Cup action begins September 28 in Medinah, Ill., at the Medinah Country Club.