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Arnold Palmer says no. Sir Nick says, sure, why not. Keegan Bradley won the PGA with it, the first ever major won with a long putter. Adam Scott resurrected his career with it. As did Freddy Couples. It’s easier on the back. It takes the left hand, if held still, out of the stroke completely. It creates a pendulum action on par with a grandfather clock. But should it be legal? The King is very clear on this, saying that no golf club should be anchored to the body. Anchoring the club to the body, as with the belly or long putter, creates an advantage that a free swinging putter does not have. It removes a variable that has been with golfers since the inception of the game.  To hold the butt end of the club against the body provides a stability unavailable to those using putters of usually no more than 35 inches.

It’s a matter of confidence, which is at the core of successful putting. Putting simulates the movements of a pendulum, and a golfer’s skill is dependent upon how pendulum-like he or she can control the club. If the end of the club is fixed to the torso, (more…)

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Golf in the Kingdom, the movie, goes deep into the heart and soul of the game. It’s the first golf movie I’ve ever seen where the main characters actually know how to swing a golf club. And nobody talks in cliches. There’s a realness to the film that stopped me cold and made me think even as I was watching, although I really didn’t want to think given the beauty of the landscape and the moody light of a Scottish links filmed, actually, at Bandon Dunes on the Oregon coast. The light and the landscape drew me into the film, while the dialogue held me spellbound. The game of golf was the keystone, of course, but life was the sun that kept it all energized. There  are few mulligans in life, where all strokes, even ones from a wayward waggle, need to be counted and accounted for. The skeptics derisively say, “Golf: it’s not even a sport.” And I reply, “That’s right: It’s a game, the greatest game ever played.”

It’s a game, like life is a game, unfair, cruel at times–it knocks you down, (more…)

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