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Steele makes switch from belly putter

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With the proposed ban on anchored putting possibly being approved soon, at least one PGA Tour player is making a switch that will keep his method legal over the long haul.

Brendan Steele, who for years has anchored a belly putter to his midsection, started placing his putter flush against his left forearm prior to last week’s Zurich Classic, much like the style championed by Matt Kuchar.

“I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t part of it,” he said of the proposed ban, “but that being said, if I was putting really well with the belly putter, I would not have changed. Since it hasn’t been going well, I figured now was a good time to take a look at it. It may not be permanent, but I certainly hope it is.”

Steele maintains that his setup is different than that of Kuchar and his putter isn’t as long, but “in theory, yes, it’s the same thing.” Using this method for the first time last week, he finished T-32 in New Orleans.

“I probably had my best putting event of the year with it,” he said. “So I’m going to keep it in there until it doesn’t feel good anymore. It just kind of seems like it starts the ball on line and it’s a solid way to putt.”

If there’s one downside, it’s the fact that no one can teach this style of putting.

“It’s kind of experimental; nobody really knows what to do with it,” he continued. “I mean, Kuchar obviously does it really well, but past that nobody can really tell you what to do. Aside from going to Matt and saying, ‘Hey, teach me how to do this,’ you just sort of pick it up and start working with it and see what happens.”