Bryson DeChambeau’s eccentricity finally wound up backfiring on him. DeChambeau, who debuted a new side-saddle putting stance at the end of last season that as Geoff Shackelford points out does have some elements that make it appear anchored but is more of just a wide open stance, also makes his own putters, but the center-shafted putter (pictured below) he was prepared to use at the CareerBuilder Challenge last week was ruled as non-conforming by the USGA.
The USGA won’t disclose the reason for the ruling on the putter and even though they have stated that they are trying to simplify the rules of the game, there are some things that won’t change.
"Via Adam Schupak: “The circumstances surrounding the club’s non-conformance are confidential and between the USGA and Bryson DeChambeau,” said USGA spokeswoman Janeen Driscoll, noting such policy was in compliance with its agreement with manufacturers and those who have submitted clubs for approval. "
While DeChambeau may be upset with this ruling and the way it was handled, club manufacturers have managed to make conforming putters for years without many instances like this arising and that is mainly because they are companies who don’t get upset when things don’t go their way. It is easy to understand DeChambeau’s frustration considering the work he put in to developing his own putter and making it perfect in his own eyes, but just like with air in a football, it has to meet certain standards that are already set in the rules of golf even if they seem ridiculous.
"“I was very disappointed with the way they handled it,” DeChambeau said Tuesday at PGA Demo Day at Orange County National. “They’ve said to me, too, that they don’t like the way I’m doing it. But it’s within the rules, and I don’t know why they don’t like it. They say I’m potentially taking skill out of the game. Anything that helps shoot lower scores or makes golf more fun and grows the game, that’s what I’m all about.”"
There is no reason to believe that DeChambeau’s side-saddle putting stance will be banned in the way that anchored belly putters have and he was able to use the same putter with the shaft in a different place for the tournament.