Nobody knows the debate over “anchored putters” better than Graeme McDowell these days.
McDowell, who uses a standard putter, has played in the final Sunday pairing of the last two major championships but ultimately lost to players using “anchored putters.”
In these last two majors, McDowell has been beaten by belly putters. McDowell played the British Open alongside Adam Scott, who uses a long putter. McDowell ultimately watched Ernie Els win that championship with a belly putter. At the U.S. Open, McDowell also played in the final Sunday pairing, finishing second by a shot to Webb Simpson, who used a belly putter to win.
With three of the last four majors won by “anchored putters,” the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association are poised to address rules related to long putters and belly putters.
“I fully expect they’ll ban them at some point,” McDowell told GolfChannel.com. “It’s going to be interesting, but I would be in the camp where I would like to see them go.”
That’s not to say McDowell believes long putters create a giant advantage for players using them.
“I don’t think Adam putted very well in the last round, so I don’t think it was an advantage to him,” McDowell said. “If it was that advantageous, everyone would be using them. But, yes, when it comes down to a 6-footer under pressure on a Sunday afternoon at a major, it might just be that little bit easier to have one part of extraneous movement taken out by anchoring the putter to your body. It makes it just that little bit easier under pressure, but you still have to get yourself there.”