European mini-tour bans belly putter from all events

Well, we all knew this day was coming at some point in the future. After weeks of watching some of the best players use the controversial belly putter to win three straight events, including a major championship, a European tour decided to lay the hammer down and ban the long putter from all events.

OK, so it wasn't exactly a tour of note, but the news that the Gecko EuroPro Tour -- a mini tour located in Spain -- decided to ban the club has raised some eyebrows. As first reported, the tour made the call, after deciding the putter was giving players a distinct advantage over the competition.

Just as Phil Mickelson was seen practicing with a belly putter at this weeks FedEx Cup, Deutsche Bank Championship, the Gecko EuroPro Tour's director of golf Paul Netherton said "With the anchoring of the putter into a players midriff, we feel this gives a player an unfair advantage over the rest of the competitors in the field, which goes against the ethos and spirit of the game. "

Quite honestly, nobody should be surprised to see a golf tour ban the club. Following Keegan Bradley's victory at the PGA Championship, media outlets started to wonder when the USGA and R&A would come together to discuss the future on the long putter.

It's hard to say if the mini-tour's decision to ban the club was done to garner publicity, or if tour officials really felt the club provided some sort of edge. Regardless, all that really matters at this point is that the Gecko tour is the first to do something about the putter.

Who knows what the future of the long putter is at this point, but based on the news that one tour is banning the club, you can bet discussions about the flat stick will continue for the foreseeable future -- especially if Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley continue to use it with positive results.