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Thursday, November 29, 2012
Gary Player: Don't wait on rule

ESPN.com news services

Nine-time major champion Gary Player believes the USGA/R&A ruling on Wednesday banning the anchoring of clubs during a golf swing simply didn't go far enough.

In an interview scheduled to air on the "Fairways of Life" show on Sirius/XM radio Monday morning, Player told host Matt Adams that the governing bodies asked for input, and the South African legend didn't mince words.

"Stop [anchoring of clubs] on Jan. 1," Player said. "Don't wait for three years."

The ruling issued Wednesday is not slated to go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016.

If two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer has his way, the ban will never come. He's been using a long putter anchored to his chest for 15 years.

"If there is anything illegal about it, why did they not stop it right away?" Langer said Thursday at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. "If it is that easy with a long putter, a belly putter, why aren't 90 percent of the pros and 100 percent of the amateurs using it?"


Langer suggested there might be a challenge to the rule proposal.

"I do not think it is the end of it," he said. "There are pros that are on tour that grew up with that putter. They have invested 15 to 20 years in practicing, maybe 30 years practicing with a long putter or belly putter, and now they have to switch and they make a living doing that."

Player told the radio program the next issue that needs to be addressed is the golf ball.

"Cut the ball back for professional golf 50 yards," Player said. "We haven't seen the LeBron James, the Michael Jordans come out on the field yet. They [will be able to] hit the ball 410 yards, 420 yards. All the golf courses will be obsolete.

"They'll be hitting a wedge to the [par-5] second hole at Augusta. ... We have to have vision and look into the future."

And what about bifurcation, where conceivably there could be separate rules for amateurs and professionals?

"They keep saying golf is the same for everybody," Player said on the radio show. "It's two different games. We must have two different kinds of rules, for the amateurs and the professionals. The amateurs are the heart of the game. Leave the long putter with the amateurs."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.