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"It's awkward to me. But so many guys have had success with it that I thought I'd give it a try."

Steve Elling on the wild scene at the putting green with belly putters seemingly everywhere you looked Thursday. But all eyes will be on Phil Mickelson's bag.

"Look, I don't mind trying new things," he said. "I've hit two drivers and no drivers in Opens, and I don't mind trying something different. We'll see."

Unlike in the past, it doesn't seem to be a publicity stunt designed to force the rule-makers into banning the belly. Mickelson added a controversial Ping wedge to his bag in early 2010 as the tour's new grooves rule took effect, at least in part to make a political statement about how he disagreed with the rule change in general.

In fact, when asked by last week for his opinion on the belly and its growing popularity, Mickelson didn't hesitate in saying they shouldn't be banned, mostly because they have been around for so long, it would be unfair to the many players who have grown used to them. That list has only grown longer this season.

Reader Tim noted that on the episode of Feherty airing featuring Jim "Bones" Mackay, Phil's longtime sidekick is asked if there was one thing he could do to change the game. His answer?

Not allow players to anchor putters against their bodies!

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Reader Comments (5)

On that Feherty interview, Furyk's caddie Fluff said the same thing and actually started that line of discussion. His boss is a long-time user.
09.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFWIW

That's cheating.
09.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFan
Change the rules, to require an affixed buttplug for each of these cheating utensils.
09.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaurice
"If I could change one thing it would be the long putters, that players not be allowed to attach putters to their body. It's bad for the game, at least at the professional level."


So, why is attaching the putter to the body bad for the game "at the professional level"? Fans want to see birdies, right?
09.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDel the Funk
FWIW, Fluff's answer was that he'd change the pace of play on the PGA Tour. I don't recall him commenting on the belly putter.
09.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterErik J. Barzeski

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