Amateur great Giles calls USGA 'gutless' over long putter use


Amateur great Vinny Giles blasted the U.S. Golf Association Tuesday, calling it “gutless” for failing to ban belly and long putters.

Giles, who used a long putter during his second round loss in the U.S. Senior Amateur at his home course at Kinloch Golf Club in Virginia, told Golfweek, “It’s been a good eight years that I’ve used a long putter. I could go back (to a conventional short putter), and I wish the USGA had the guts to outlaw them (long and belly putters).

“Why they’re so gutless, I don’t know. I want them to just say, ‘OK, we make the rules.’ If the PGA Tour wants to say, ‘We’re not gonna play by 'em, we’re going to bifurcation,’ fine, let 'em go.

“But we, as the USGA, should definitely outlaw those putters. There’s no issue, as far as I’m concerned. Nerves are part of the game. Crutches aren’t, and these putters are crutches.

“And that’s coming from somebody who uses one. It’s a lot easier for somebody who doesn’t use one to make that comment. I’m 100 percent in favor of a ban of them.”

Giles has played on four Walker Cup teams and was a U.S. captain. He is one of only two golfers (Bill Campbell) to win the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur.