“As long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”

Ernie Els and his Belly Putter /

 Kyle Terada, US Presswire.

Ernie Els said in 2011 ” As long as its legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”  Seems as if Ernie may now be voicing some concern about the banning of his Belly Putter, a complete 360 on his original quote.

This is what Ernie now has to say;

” For a lot of guys they thought it was a magic wand, you put your hands on it and you’re going to make putts. But it’s taken me a long time to get used to it. So in all honesty, I’m not for it if they change it, but if so then so be it. I’m not the rules maker, there are people that want to look after the game and the future of the game, and if they feel that they need to ban it, I’ll go with it, but I’m definitely not for that.”

Ernie jumped camp and turned to the belly putter two years ago, the use of this putter ended more than a two-year Tour winless drought, with his Major victory at The Open last July at Royal Lytham and Saint Annes.

Although the  proposed ban on anchoring, Rule 14.1b, by the sport’s governing bodies. the R&A and the U.S.G.A, is not due take effect until the year 2016, the Tour could create its own rule and outlaw the method much earlier, perhaps as soon as OctoberErnie has admitted he has recently played a couple of rounds at the Johor Open with a conventional putter;

 ” 

It felt quite good”

But Ernie has no plans to change back to the conventional putter anytime soon, may be the Tour could force him into the swap sooner than he thinks.

Australian PGA Championship, Popovic Prevails.

Daniel Popovic / pga.org,au

Daniel Popovic prevailed at the Australian PGA Championship on Sunday at the Palmer Coolum Resort golf course, to win by four shots after beginning the last round with a two shot advantage. Daniel  kept his emotions in check to par the last hole for a closing 69 to finish the tournament at 16-under par and claim his first professional victory. A delighted Daniel said;

“I can’t believe this has happened. I really just can’t believe it”

Anthony Brown finished in a tie for second on -12 under par along with Rod Pampling. Tied in fourth place was Geoff Ogilvy and Brad Kennedy at -11 under par. Big talking Peter Senior failed to match his arrogant rhetoric before the final round, falling to a +5 over par round of 77. No big winds to give him an advantage this week, with his broomstick putter. That should give the R&A and the U.S.G.A  something to ponder over before announcing their anchoring decision.

Congratulations to Daniel, I hope this win will be the first of many more.

Adam Scott to Banish his Broomstick

Adam Scott

Adam Scott and his Broomstick/ Getty Images

Although any potential banning of anchored putters by the Royal & Ancient and USGA is unlikely to be enforced before 2016, Adam Scott is obviously keen to make the adjustment to sooner rather than later by banishing his Broomstick for a practice round with a conventional putter. Adam is practicing for the Emirates Australian Open at at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, coincidentally with Tom Watson who is in favor of the ban on the Broomstick. Tom said he endorses the ban with mixed emotions citing this reason;

” I say that with mixed emotions, “This  broomstick stroke is not a stroke of golf. That’s not a stroke but it makes it easier to play. My son Michael, with a conventional putting stroke, he couldn’t make it from two feet half the time, but he went to a belly putter and he makes everything. The game is fun to him now, so there lies the danger: Do we take the ability for people to have fun away?  Do we go to two sets of rules, where some people can use long putters in certain competitions, but the PGA Tour maybe can’t? So there’s a dilemma there.” 

It would seem that Tom is confused himself about what this rule change could do to golf generally. I have said previously that there is going to be trouble enforcing this rule at the local level. A player is going to call his opponent for anchoring, and the accused is going to reply, no I didn’t. This can only bring discontent and bad feelings out on the course, and that is not a good or healthy scenario.

Tom went on recount what Ernie Els said after his win at The Open;

“”I thought Ernie Els said it perfectly after he won last year’s Open championship, he was asked: ‘Why did you go with the long putter Ernie?’ and he said: ‘I’m cheating like the rest of them are’. Ernie’s a great player and he knows the difference between doing it the conventional way versus trying to do it with an anchored putter. The arc of your putter doesn’t change as much. He knows that difference and he knows it’s not right.”

The thing is every player has had the option to use the long putters if they wish, if it so much easier with a long putter, why haven’t they all swapped over ?  I say lets banish the ban and get on and play golf, everyone is welcome at our golf course, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. Make them welcome at your club, for the good of the game.

But if you are considering a new putter check out the White Dragon Putter, it is set to become a feature of putting in the near future, for more information email info@whitedragongolf.com.