A day after fellow Northern Trust Open competitor Ernie Els begged golf’s governing bodies to outlaw his belly putter, Phil Mickelson said doing so would be unfair to Els, PGA champ Keegan Bradley, and the scores of tour pros who employ the over-sized wands.
“[Long putters have] been legal for however many decades, and to change that I think is really unfair to those that have been using [them],” Mickelson said. “I just think that to have something be legal for 27 years or 30…and then to take it away where guys have been growing up now practicing and playing with it, I just don’t think that that’s fair to those players at all.”
Mickelson’s opinion was squarely at odds with that of Els, who after using a a long Odyssey White Hot for six months called on the USGA and Royal & Ancient to take his crutch away. Besides, the Big Easy confided, bracing the long putter to his body “hadn’t really helped me that much.”
Mickelson, who had the same belly putter that 2011 PGA champ Keegan Bradley uses (Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth) in his bag for last year’s Deutsche Bank Championship, offered a view that was also contrary to the one Tiger Woods voiced last week. Woods said before losing in spectacular fashion to Mickelson at Pebble Beach that he was a “traditionalist” when it came to putter size.
“I’ve never been a fan of it,” Woods stated about the ability to anchor a putter against a golfer’s body. “I believe it’s the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum motion. I believe that’s how it should be played.”