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Els: It's not a magic wand

Last updated: 9th January 2013

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Els: Sticking with the belly putter for now

Els: Sticking with the belly putter for now

Ernie Els has accepted the ruling to ban anchored putters from 2016, but is adamant that the longer putter is no miracle fix.

Els, who switched to a belly putter two years ago and won the Open Championship using it last year, was speaking in Durban ahead of this week's Volvo Golf Champions.

"Well, I think ten years ago, I was in a different view than I am now," he said.

"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.

"I was fortunate to win The Open Championship with the long putter. You know, making those putts on the final nine. I hit a lot of greens that week, but it's not a magic wand. You have to put work into it. You have to get used to it. I've seen guys use it that go away from it, back to the short putter.

"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.

"But it's not the long putter that's banned - it's the anchored that's banned, but I'm not for it," Els added.

With the use of anchored putters essentially now having an expiration date, Els knows he will hve to make the switch back to the shorter stick at some point, though he's in no hurry to do so.

"We'll see. I think the long putter has really helped me in certain aspects of putting, but I wouldn't say that when I was on with my putting a couple years ago. I made a lot of 15, 25-foot putts, and, you know, I'm not quite in that yet with the long putter.

"I don't know if it's forthcoming or what, but I'm focusing on making more longer putts. I think I'm better on the short putts now. And then in due course, we'll see when I'm going to switch back to the short putter.

"Actually I went to Johor in the middle of December and I played two rounds with the short putter. It felt quite good, so we'll see," he added.



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