Alec Swann - Golf should be about swinging

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Don’t be alarmed by the headline.

This column isn’t planning to argue for a car keys in the bowl approach to governance, even though it’s most famous exponent might well be in favour and is definitely on the side of the lawmakers.

It’s simply providing support for a proposal that, should it be supported, could well cause significant ripples across the world.

The sport’s governing bodies on both sides of the Atlantic - the R&A and the USGA - want to see the use of anchoring in the putting stroke outlawed by 2016 and a rule that favours the more traditional way of putting.

This has received the support of the European Tour but not, and this could well be the crux of the matter, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour.

The most lucrative organisation in the golfing world carry plenty of clout and if they don’t get their wish then feathers will be ruffled and that they don’t actually make the laws of the game is neither here nor there.

Their counterparts on the European continent accept that they follow rather than enforce what the rule makers come up with but common ground might not be so easy to find.

Really it comes down to a simple factor. Should putting be about swinging a club or should other skills be allowed?

Those who have converted to the broomhandle or belly putter and benefit by being able to anchor the club to the body at a certain point will swear by it and those who still use the traditional method will do the same.

Is the former enabling players to gain an advantage over the latter?

After all, there is nothing stopping those who use short putters from swapping their equipment.

However, Tiger Woods has summed it up in the most succint fashion and it is dificult to argue with what he believes.

“We swing all 13 other clubs. I think the putter should be the same.”

Spot on.