PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – When asked (again) about the U.S. Golf Association’s and Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s proposed anchoring ban, Ernie Els gives you this number: 71. That was his ranking at last year’s Open Championship, which by the way he won with a belly putter.
“I made a great putt on 18 that’s I’ll remember for the rest of my life, but I was still 71st in putting,” Els said here at the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa. “I went to the belly putter (a year ago) because I was uncomfortable with short putts. I think I’ve approved.”
But, the Big Easy said, putting is still “a lot of hard work” and he supports the PGA Tour’s position opposing the anchoring ban.
‘I’ve seen the work that goes in there,” he said. “I can’t find any specific reason for anybody to ban this putter.”
To be accurate, the proposed ban doesn’t look at taking away long putters and belly putters, just the practice of a player anchoring the putter (or any club) against his body. Proponents of the ban, including Tiger Woods, say it’s not a traditional golf swing.
“I still think that it should be swung, it shouldn’t be anchored,” Woods said. ‘But obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing’s firm.
“The USGA and R&A are the governing bodies of our rules, and we’ll see what happens. Hopefully we don’t have to bifurcate or adapt a local rule like we do sometimes out here on Tour.”