• PGA Tour

Poulter fears storm brewing over belly-putter ban

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013
Ian Poulter is currently in action at the World Match Play in Arizona © Getty Images

Ian Poulter fears the row over the belly-putter ban is set to get "very messy" and will cause a "lot of friction" between the players.

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and US Golf Association are currently reviewing whether 'anchoring' a club to the body should be legal. If they decide against belly putters a new rule would come in for the 2016 season, effectively banning the use of the clubs unless they are swung freely.

There is discontent among the players who use the belly putter and reports suggest the PGA may oppose the move - allowing players to continue to use the putter on the PGA Tour. This would be at odds with golf's rulemakers and the other tours who are set to back the changes.

The voices, both for and against, are growing louder and Poulter fears a storm is brewing.

"It will be a shame if they get over-ridden and the PGA Tour go out on their own," he said. "There's going to be disconnect between the PGA Tour and the governing bodies and it just makes it very, very messy."

Poulter believes the decision of the rule-makers should be followed. He said: "They thought long and hard about that decision. It took the guys a number of years to come up with the potential rule change and I think we should respect and abide by it.

"I'm a short-stick putter but the guys who have got the long stick are going to want to hold out as long as possible. It is going to cause a lot of friction."

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