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Recently Jordan Spieth stumped the PGA Tour officials with a rules question, asking if he could wet the bottom of his putter to gain better traction on really smooth greens where his putter tended to slip. This was a question the PGA Tour had never been asked before, so erring on the side of caution, they asked Jordan to refrain from doing this until they got an official ruling from either the USGA or the R&A, the two ruling bodies that determine the rules of the game. He recently got his answer. Thanks to Chris Chaney
from Swing by Swing
for this report!
What was the question?
The greens on the PGA Tour can get rolling pretty quickly. For Jordan Spieth and his trusty rusty Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype putter, that slick surface can cause his club to slide when the greens get extra slippery. As a result, Spieth liked to wet the bottom of his putter, either with his fingers or a wet towel, in order to gain more traction with the bottom of the club. But, is that legal?
During the third round of the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral, the greens were getting slick and Spieth called over a rules official to check on the legality of wetting the putter in order to create stability. The official was stumped. Although Spieth said he never resorted to wetting the bottom of the putter in competition, he wanted to know if he could do so legally under the Rules of Golf.
This is what he found out, via GolfChannel.com:
“I’ve spoken to commentators, players and nobody knew the answer if you can do it,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was legal so I’ve never done it on the golf course [during a tournament round], so I asked an official once I knew the course was like that [on Saturday].”
Spieth did approach a rules official on the third hole at Doral with the question, “What my intentions ws his question. I told him to make it easier to set the putter down,”
After a review of the question by the rules staff, the answer came back to Spieth on the eighth hole. “It is a split on the decision,”
“So they called the [U.S. Golf Association] and he said that the USGA was going to talk about it further but for now we’re going to rule that you cannot do it.”
Playing it on the safe side, Spieth said he refrained from wetting the putter until he received an official ruling, which he did prior to the Masters.
To find out what the ruling of both the USGA and the R&A were on Jordan’s request, go here!
Source: Swing by Swing Chris Chaney
Thanks for reading One of the Oddest Rules questions ever asked of the PGA Tour!
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