Gary Player has never been shy about expressing his opinions, so it’s no surprise that he’s diving right into the cauldron of the belly putter debate.
When the Florida Times-Union caught up with him at a clinic on Sunday, Player said, “I realized a long time ago that I was going to be a small man, so I worked on my mind and my putting so I could play under pressure. This is game is basically 30 to 40 percent nerves, and I worked very hard to be able to keep my nerves on the last nine holes of tournaments. Then you got guys like Orville (the 1969 U.S. Open champion) who came along 40 years ago and were using long putters and taking the nerves out of putting. They would anchor and no more trembling. It made the game so much easier. When I first saw this, I said this was wrong.”
But before you think Player is just an old man shouting “Get off my lawn!,” it’s worth noting that he believes in “bifurcated” rules that would allow recreational golfers to continue to use the anchoring method while banning it from the professional circuits. This is becoming an increasingly popular sentiment. Don’t be surprised if bifurcation becomes a surprise development as we get closer to the official ban date of January 1, 2016.
Click here for our extended coverage on belly putters.
Meanwhile, we just received news that Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will star in a new Nike commercial that will begin airing on January 16. According to Woods, “It shows the fun side of us.”
The spot features Woods and McIlroy on the range (can you spot the swoosh at the end?), one-upping each other with shots that land in a variety of different “cups.” Too bad they don’t break out their putters for a putting competition, but then again you can’t break any windows with a putt.