The USGA and R&A&'s ban on anchored putting strokes has certainly garnered its share of attention for the past few months. But this whole time, I've been wondering exactly how many players would be affected.
It's pretty impossible to get a real handle on long putter usage among everyday golfers. But when the ban was announced, TaylorMade's Charlie Kautz (who goes by the Twitter handle @CharlieTour) pulled together an interesting chart and some stats regarding long putters and the PGA Tour.
Through the first 21 PGA Tour events of 2013, Kautz counted 287 putters classified as belly, midsize or long – though, he noted, not all of those putters were necessarily anchored. That, he figured, averaged out to 13.6 long putters per field, with the fields ranging from 93 players in the Masters to 156 at the biggest PGA Tour events.
In the Masters, 14 of those players – including, of course, winner Adam Scott – used long putters. And in the 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play, which he described as the most "elite" field in pro golf, six players used putters classified as belly, midsize or long.
When Kautz posted his chart, he said: ''I'm curious how a line graph showing week-by-week usage'' of long putters trends in the coming weeks and months. It's pretty safe to say we all share that curiosity.