THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Golf’s governing bodies, worried that players will turn to long putters as an advantage instead of a last resort, proposed a new rule today that would ban the putting stroke used by three of the last five major champions.
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association said the rule would not outlaw belly putter or broom-handle putters, only the way they are currently used. The proposed rule would make it illegal for golfers to anchor the club while making a stroke and not take effect until 2016.
“More players are using it, and instructors are saying this is a more efficient way to putt because you don’t have to control the whole stroke,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said. “The game has been around for 600 years. Fundamentally, we don’t think this is the right way to go.”
Long putters began getting serious attention last year when Keegan Bradley became the first player to win a major with a belly putter at the PGA Championship. This year, Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and Ernie Els won the British Open using belly putters.
The R&A and USGA will take comments for three months on the proposed rule before it is approved. Because the Rules of Golf are updated every four years, any ban on the anchored stroke would not take effect for another four years.
Els once mocked Vijay Singh for using a long putter, but then Els switched to a belly putter last year when his putting suffered.
“As long as it’s legal, I’ll cheat like the rest of them,” he said.
Tiger Woods is among those who have been outspoken about anchored putters, saying it takes away from the nerves in the hands in trying to make putts.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Glendale city officials approved a $320 million deal Tuesday night to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the city’s arena.
The city council approved a 20-year, $324 million deal for Jobing.com Arena in June, but city leaders sought to renegotiate it. The newly approved proposal would help Glendale because it would reduce payments in the early years of the 20-year deal and save the city $4 million.
Council members debated the proposed arena-management agreement with potential Coyotes buyer Greg Jamison and whether the city can afford the agreement.
The deal requires Glendale to cut $17 million from the general fund. That means trimming dozens of positions within city government over the next five years. Without the team, Glendale would still have to trim $10 million.
The council approved the deal on a 4-2 vote.
Interim City Manager Horatio Skeete said he’s not recommending the proposal, according to The Arizona Republic. He said keeping the team may be in the long-term best interest of the city, but it would require too many cuts in the near future.
Glendale has twice pledged $25 million to the NHL to operate the arena and keep the team in Glendale. The NHL has operated the Coyotes since former owner Jerry Moyes took the team into bankruptcy in 2009.
Jamison has said he’s prepared to buy the team and work with the league as quickly as possible to close a deal.
The deal came on the 73rd day of the NHL’s player lockout. All games have been canceled through Dec. 14 in the labor standoff.