Tiger Woods last night called on the golfing authorities to ban belly putters. His view is bound to cause reverberations across the sport, particularly as the former world No 1 revealed he has been in talks with the Royal and Ancient "for a number of years".
Indeed, to judge by Woods' comments, Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, is ready to outlaw the putter, which won Keegan Bradley last year's USPGA Championship and has become so popular on Tour. In its annual meeting with the USGA – the other governing body – the R&A may well take steps to implement Woods' plan this year.
"I've never been a fan of them," said Woods at Pebble Beach, where he plays this week. "I believe it's the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. I believe that's how it should be played."
Added Woods: "I've talked to Peter Dawson for a number of years and we've gone back and forth of how we could word it. My idea is to have it so that the putter would be equal to or less than the shortest club in your bag.
"Peter's looked into it for a number of years, trying to get it to work, and you [would] actually measure everybody's sand wedge and putter before you go out and play."