Els opts for standard-length putter ... for now


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The ongoing internal debate over whether Ernie Els will convert back to a standard-length putter seems to be over, at least for now.

Els told GolfChannel.com on Tuesday at the Dubai Desert Classic that he practiced with a shorter putter throughout December, even shooting a course-record 61 at his home course in South Africa, and put the Yes putter in play on Saturday and Sunday at last week’s Qatar Masters.

“The feel was so good and with this golf ball being softer, the combination feels nice,” said Els, who closed with rounds of 71-68 in Qatar with the short putter. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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Els won the 2012 Open Championship using the belly putter but had been experimenting with the standard-length version for about a year. After working with the new putter, which is nearly 37-inches long and features an extended grip, and reviewing footage of his old stroke he decided it was time.

“I looked at some tape of me in the 1990s when I was playing really well and I’m getting back to that same rhythm,” he said.