Westwood talks legality of belly putters


With Webb Simpson's playoff win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, four of the last five tournaments on the PGA Tour have been won by a player wielding a belly or broomstick putter. World No. 2 Lee Westwood spoke out against the legality of those putters according to his interpretation of the Rules of Golf.

“If you’re going to adhere to the Rules of Golf, it states in there somewhere that the putter shouldn’t be anchored which obviously belly putters are. You stick them in your stomach,” Westwood said Wednesday from the KLM Open.

Westwood conceded, though, that it was likely too late for the governing bodies of the game to do something about their place in the sport.

“But I think the horse has bolted now and it’s too late to shut the stable door. It’s here to stay, like the broom handle putter,” he said.

The comments are a change of course for Westwood, who made a very temporary switch to a belly putter after the Masters.

“I felt a little bit more comfortable, so I think I’ll carry on with the belly putter – maybe find one that fits a little bit better,” said Westwood to the Press Association in April. “But I don’t see any future in the short one for the near future.”

Speaking of his own putting game now, though, Westwood says making a drastic change like that would likely be an overreaction on his part.

“I don’t think you can get to the No. 1 in the world without being a good putter,” he said.