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|Subject: Long putters becoming the norm Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:03 pm|| |
Long putters becoming the norm
By Neville Leck Last updated: 15th October 2011
The belly putter has gained another would-be convert - US PGA Tour journeyman Joe Ogilvie.
Oglivie tweeted at the weekend: "I have decided to give the belly putter a try in my last tournament of the year at CMN Hospitals Classic @Disney."
On hearing about Ogilvie's tweet, Brad Faxon was reported by PGA Tour columnist Melanie Hauser to have responded with a huge smile for, after being ranked as one of the game's greatest putters in his early years on tour, he has recently switched to the longest of all the putters, a broomtick handled Scotty Cameron, and indeed was playing with it when he won his first over-50s title at the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship on Sunday.
When it became clear recently that he was not putting as well as he used to, Faxon got the broomstick putter, "well, just because...."
He's still not sure it should be legal., but thinks it might become the new norm just like the double-handed back hand did in tennis
"I believe it's kind of like the two-handed backhand in tennis 25 years ago. It was only the odd guy that hit a two-handed backhand. Everybody else had the one-handed backhand.
"Now, if you don't have a two-handed backhand you can barely compete unless you're Roger Federer.
"I think the belly putter is going to be like the two-handed backhand. It's going to become accepted and you'll see more and more people using it."
Even Ernie Els, one of the long-handled flat-stick's greatest critics a few years ago, is now using a belly putter as he tries to recapture some of the magic that has given him three majors and scores of other titles world wide.
Although he missed two relative straight forward putts that would have put him in the play-offs at the Frys.Com Open, his new putter did help him capture 4th place in his first top-10 finish this season, and in general his putting was a vast improvement on the stuff he has been producing in what must surely be one of his leanest seasons ever.
Els is still not sure about the legality of the long handled putter, it seems. That's if you take seriously his wisecrack at the Frys which went like this: "As long as it's legal, I'll keep cheating like the rest of them."
Bernard Langer has had a hugely successful career, both on the regular US and European Tours as well as on the over-50s Champions Tour.
Indeed the iconic US-based German has been ranked second only to the late, great Sevy Ballesteros as Europe's finest golfer, but none of this would have been possible without his Broomstick putter.
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Will you eventually be using a Long Putter too?