Adam Scott says he has not abandoned the controversial broomstick putter that has helped him climb back into the world’s top 10 golfers in the past two years, despite “experimenting’’ with a different putter at The Lakes this week.
Scott, Australia’s top player and the 2009 Emirates Australian Open champion, laughed off suggestions today that he was about to ditch the broomstick after the game’s ruling bodies announced they would outlaw “anchoring’’ of putters from 2016.
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He also called for consistency from the rulemakers, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the United States Golf Association.
Scott said the slightly longer-than-standard putter he used in Tuesday’s practice round at The Lakes had been on order for some time. It is about 100 centimetres long, and he used a pencil grip to putt with it, only to find he was not happy with the results.
“I was just experimenting for my own amusement with a few things,’’ he said. “It’s just slightly longer than a short putter. I think it’s 40 inches.’’
But the Queenslander said he would continue with the broomstick putter for the time. “Unless I invent a better way to putt, for myself, then I’ll stick with the broomstick.
“(I’m) just playing around with a few different ideas. I certainly like a lot of the philosophies of putting with the broomstick. It’s simple. I can move it just slightly off my chest and use the same putter. If there are better ways than that... I think we’re all searching for the best possible way, and there are still better ways for me to go about it.’’
The lawmakers’ decision has largely been welcomed by professional players, including the likes of eight-time major winner Tom Watson and Englishman Justin Rose, who are both here to play the Emirates Australian Open this week. But Scott said the R and A and the USGA needed to take a holistic approach to the laws of the game.
“I mean all of a sudden they’ve changed their mind for whatever reason. They don’t like seeing kids putt with a belly putter, is what they’re saying. It doesn’t worry me. Everyone’s got their opinion about the game. My view on the whole thing, overall, is if they’re going to make decisions like that, they be consistent like that philosophy throughout the whole game of golf. Then I’ll have no problem. I think it’s a very big call that they’ve made; and only time will tell if it’s the right call for the game or not.’’
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Asked if he agreed with the decision, he said: “I’ll agree with it if they’re consistent with their philosophy of bringing the game back to its traditions ... is set right throughout the game. Because a lot of things are not set right either.
“I think length is commonly acknowledged as the biggest problem in the game of golf, not just how far pros hit it, but how long courses are having to be built now. That certainly has a massive impact on the industry: cost, time, all those things which are turning people away from the game, at the end of the day. That’s certainly not what we want to do.’’
The ban that will be in force by 2016 relates to the so-called “anchoring” of putters, rather than the equipment itself. Scott confirmed that by moving his broomstick putter out from his body slightly, he should be able to continue using the same putter. “Whatever way I putt in the future, if I just move my hand off my chest an inch or a centimetre, I’ll be making an honest stroke and it’ll look exactly the same.’’
Scott tees off at 7.10am tomorrow at The Lakes in the $1.2 million national championship, playing alongside Rose and top ranking Chinese pro Wenchong Liang.