We can't completely discount the abused gimme aspect. See it all the time at my club, guys raking back 2 and 3 footers when playing with their buddies. So when a tournament comes up and they're suddenly required to have to putt-out, they just lose their ever-loving minds. We're talking marking 1-footers, because the hole prior they yipped a tap-in and ended up three or four putting. The get nervous and become paralyzed. And then they make things infinitely worse by analyzing everything on a simple uphill, straight-in 2-foot putt.
Don't get me wrong - I've both taken and given putts in friendly matches that had something riding on them that were undoubtedly well outside of the can't-miss range. A lot of that is determined by the spirit and friendliness of those I'm competing against. If a guy gives me a 2-footer on the opening hole for a halve, I'm gonna return the favor on the next hole if needed. They're friendly matches... we don't get too uptight about winning or losing, because the wager isn't anything worth losing sleep over. And if we've got people waiting on us in the fairway, do I really need to see if a guy similar to my playing level can hole a 2-footer, especially if it's for a halve? No, to me I don't need to see that in exchange for keeping the group behind us waiting.
And there are other times too, playing two-man best ball. If I'm already in for par and my partner has a 5-footer for par (people playing behind us), I'm gonna tell him he has the option of putting it or he can take it, either way. It's not influencing our score for the hole or the match in general and although I'm sure (technically) he should putt-out if he's posting a score to maintain an accurate handicap - I personally feel that not holding people up playing behind us gets the top priority. Keep things moving. It's the way matchplay is supposed to work anyway.
I spent 2 years in London, where EVERYTHING gets putted out in most of the circles I played in. I didn't have an issue with it whatsoever. My handicap when I left the states didn't change after a couple of months having established a handicap over there. The friendly matches didn't take that much longer really, but when the monthly medal came around and you had 25-30 handicappers having to play by the rules and putt everything out - it sometimes took over 5-and-a-half hours to finish. I played in one such event, played alongside a 24 handicap and a 30 handicap in a 3-ball, and it took us 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Trust that that was the last time I ever played in the monthly medal competition over there. It was brutal.