When asked about belly putters last year, Ernie Els famously said: “As long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”
Els is still using a belly putter (Odyssey White Hot) but is among those players who calling for a ban on the practice of “anchoring” long putters. That is, the practice of resting the butt of the putter shaft against your chest or even chin.
“Although I’ve used it, I’ve used it for, what, six months now, I feel the same as most of the traditionalists,” Els said at this week’s Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles. “I feel that no club should be anchored to your body. I don’t know how they’re (the USGA) going to go around it;, maybe use a putter as long as you want as long as it’s not anchored to your body any way, even up your arm. You see a lot of the guys use it in their armpits now.
“Nothing should be anchored to your body. I was in such a state that I felt that I needed to change something, which I did. I went to the belly. It hasn’t really helped me that much, but it has helped me. But I’m for it. Ban it. It’s fine.”
Els’ words are more ammunition for the USGA and R&A to move toward such a decision.