Harrington predicts end for long putters
Padraig Harrington believes the end is nigh for the long putter
Padraig Harrington thinks long putters are on the way out in golf.
Adam Scott looked set to follow Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson in winning a major with one on Sunday night before bogeying the final four holes, but Harrington is convinced the Royal and Ancient Club, golf's ruling body, will make it illegal for Scott and Co to use them.
"I suspect that they (the sport's ruling Royal and Ancient Club) are going to ban them," Harrington told Press Association Sport after finishing joint 39th in The Open. "That's more or less the consensus - they're going to have a two-year grace a bit like the grooves.
"I just hope that they don't wait too long - I hope they don't wait until I'm 50 years of age to change the rule."
Both the R&A and the United States Golf Association, who govern the game in America and Mexico, recently changed the rules on club grooves to make it more difficult to control the ball out of the rough.
"Guys wouldn't be using them if they didn't putt better with them. If the standard of putting goes up it puts more pressure on the guys that aren't using one just to compete," Harrington added.
"So all of a sudden it's hard for a normal putter. Is he doing the right thing, should he be using the long putter? So it actually has a negative effect on others as much as a positive effect on some.
"The fact is if somebody invented the belly putter tomorrow, it would not pass. I think we could all agree with that.
"The only reason it got through is the people that used it 20 years ago were coming to the end of their careers and people would have been sympathetic and didn't want to finish Bernhard Langer's career by telling him you can't hold it like this, you can't attach it to your arm."