Tiger Woods is on record as a traditionalist, particularly when it comes to putting. On Tuesday at Pebble Beach, he shared his opposition to long putters and anchoring them against the body in the putting stroke.
'I've never been a fan if it,' Woods said. 'I believe it's the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. I believe that's how it should be played. I'm traditionalist when it comes to that.'
Woods said he has spoken to Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson several times over the last few years, asking him to ban the long putter.
Woods offered a guideline for the rule, saying, “My idea was to have it so that the putter would be equal to or less than the shortest club in the bag. I think that would be able to get away from any type of belly anchoring.
'I think you can get away from the belly or the long putter by that type of wording, whether or not they do it or not. Peter's looked into it for a number of years, trying to get it to work, and you [would] actually measure everybody's sand wedge and putter before you go out and play.'
The comments by the 14-time major winner come amid signs the long putter may become the target of the game's governing bodies.
At the U.S. Golf Association’s annual meeting last week in Houston, executive director Mike Davis suggested the governing bodies may look at the legality of long and belly putters. In a scenario where the putters are effectively banned, however, the rules would likely forbid a stance which anchors the club while leaving the putters themselves as conforming.
'[I]t is something that I will tell you we have taken a fresh look at because there are more players in the game, both on the elite level and on the recreational level, using it. I think we just want to be sure that we’re looking at all the angles and thinking about what is in the best interest, both the traditions of the game, the history of the game and what is what we think would be good for the game long term,' Davis said.
On the heels of Keegan Bradley becoming the first player to win a major with an unconventionally-long putter, as well as FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas and Webb Simpson wielding them, the putters are no longer viewed as the last ditch for struggling players.
Watch first- and second-round coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Thursday and Friday on Golf Channel, 3-6PM ET.