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Mickelson surrendering to belly putter?

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10:11 AM ET 01.28 | Despite what might be described as a Mickey Lolich physique, Phil Mickelson has remained remarkably healthy during his 20 years on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods has the chiseled body - and has spent more time on the disabled list than anyone in the game's top tier. At the age of 41, Lefty's knees and back work just fine. He has played through the arthritic condition that plagues his hands. His fluctuating weight has never been an issue competitively. He's still not making putts, however, and that is a malady that can bring down any man who misses half his fairways. The belly putter may have been a passing phase for Mickelson - a false answer to a mid-life crisis for a guy who holed more 15-footers than almost anyone for a long, long time - but the fact that he even tried a broomstick hints at a problem that may not come and go.

Golf Channel

Phil Mickelson, Icon SMI Phil Mickelson, Icon SMI
January 28, 2012  12:16 PM ET

The yips has laid low many a pro golfer. I hope it doesn't happen to Phil. I never thought he had trouble with his lines, it always seemed to be his speed that hurt him. He 3 putted more par 5s than anybody I've ever seen. On the lighter side, looks like Tiger is on the comeback trail. We can only pray that Samantha won't come back with him.

January 28, 2012  01:54 PM ET

The above picture of Phil works with this story...looks like a man without any confidence.

January 28, 2012  08:42 PM ET

Woods has his own limp-wristed tournaments. We'll know the real story in a couple of months.

January 29, 2012  12:17 AM ET

From what I've seen, Phil's putting isn't really a problem. It's keeping the drives in the fairway and not in the parking lot.

January 29, 2012  08:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

From what I've seen, Phil's putting isn't really a problem. It's keeping the drives in the fairway and not in the parking lot.

You hit it on the nosey. That's his big problem. He is still a great putter but, anytime you can't hit the fairway you just put yourself in jail. You're then putting for par, not birdie.

I would throw Dave Pelz in the deep end of the pool and have Butch Harmon yank the Callaway driver out of his hand and give him Taylormade heavies. Don't get me wrong, I think Callaway makes the best irons, just not the best drivers.

January 29, 2012  08:52 PM ET

And, I would have Bones shut up. You'd think he was an orchestra conductor with the way he goes on. Bones, just carry the friggin bag and zip it.

January 30, 2012  02:14 AM ET

Not a fan of the long putter. I still call allowing them one of the worst decisions the USGA made. I cringe every time a top player switches to it or someone wins with one. Ugh!

January 30, 2012  10:17 AM ET

Epic collapse by Kyle Stanley at Torrey Pines yesterday.

January 30, 2012  04:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Epic collapse by Kyle Stanley at Torrey Pines yesterday.

Yeah, that was painful to watch. I like Snedecker but even he seemed bummed to have won the tourney that way. I don't understand why, when you have a 3 stroke lead on the final hole, you don't just play for a bogey and take the possbility of a disaster as far out of the picture as possible. Iron off the tee. Iron to within 100 yards of the green. Onto the green and 3 putt for the win. Oh well, easy for me to say but probably hard for those guys to do. Especially when they're playing well.

January 30, 2012  05:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

You hit it on the nosey. That's his big problem. He is still a great putter but, anytime you can't hit the fairway you just put yourself in jail. You're then putting for par, not birdie.I would throw Dave Pelz in the deep end of the pool and have Butch Harmon yank the Callaway driver out of his hand and give him Taylormade heavies. Don't get me wrong, I think Callaway makes the best irons, just not the best drivers.

I'm only a 10-handicap, but I made the switch from a Cleveland driver to the Taylormade R-11, and even though I lost about 10 yards in distance, I'm hitting a lot more fairways. The R-11 seems a lot more forgiving.

January 30, 2012  06:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Yeah, that was painful to watch. I like Snedecker but even he seemed bummed to have won the tourney that way. I don't understand why, when you have a 3 stroke lead on the final hole, you don't just play for a bogey and take the possbility of a disaster as far out of the picture as possible. Iron off the tee. Iron to within 100 yards of the green. Onto the green and 3 putt for the win. Oh well, easy for me to say but probably hard for those guys to do. Especially when they're playing well.

Maybe he had Van der Velde on the bag....

January 30, 2012  08:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Not a fan of the long putter. I still call allowing them one of the worst decisions the USGA made. I cringe every time a top player switches to it or someone wins with one. Ugh!

I agree completely. Someone like Arnie needs to step up to the plate and twist Finchem's ear.

January 30, 2012  08:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Yeah, that was painful to watch. I like Snedecker but even he seemed bummed to have won the tourney that way. I don't understand why, when you have a 3 stroke lead on the final hole, you don't just play for a bogey and take the possbility of a disaster as far out of the picture as possible. Iron off the tee. Iron to within 100 yards of the green. Onto the green and 3 putt for the win. Oh well, easy for me to say but probably hard for those guys to do. Especially when they're playing well.

A lot of them seem to lose the ability to think near the end. I have seen it countless times.

January 30, 2012  10:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

I'm only a 10-handicap, but I made the switch from a Cleveland driver to the Taylormade R-11, and even though I lost about 10 yards in distance, I'm hitting a lot more fairways. The R-11 seems a lot more forgiving.

Only a 10 handicap!?

You're a pretty good stick, Mo.

January 31, 2012  12:21 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

I agree completely. Someone like Arnie needs to step up to the plate and twist Finchem's ear.

I don't agree with you often Jon...but I certainly do here. I saw an interview with Arnie on the Golf Channel and he doesn't like it either...said he was going to bring it up to the rules folks.

Comment #16 has been removed
January 31, 2012  03:44 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I don't agree with you often Jon...but I certainly do here. I saw an interview with Arnie on the Golf Channel and he doesn't like it either...said he was going to bring it up to the rules folks.

Good to hear. Can you imagine the all-time greats of old like him, Jack and Hogan using that contraption? Heaven forbid....

January 31, 2012  08:11 PM ET

Well, we can all hope. If Arnie can get the rules changed on the U grooves to V grooves then he should be able to bash some sense into Finchem and oust the belly putter.

Veejay would collapse like a cheap tent but, he's had his day in the sun. Come on Arnie! We're pulling for you.

February 1, 2012  02:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Not a fan of the long putter. I still call allowing them one of the worst decisions the USGA made. I cringe every time a top player switches to it or someone wins with one. Ugh!

same here, if i ever start thinking about buying a belly putter remind me to retire from playing golf

 
February 1, 2012  10:31 AM ET

Why all the distaste for the belly putter? It doesn't seem to give an advantage to the users, based on their tournament finishes and world rankings. Why does the length of the shaft make it so offensive? There are tons of different types of putter heads but nobody seems to mind that. I don't really care about it one way or the other but I'm curious why it has such a polarizing effect on people. (And not just here but on the tour as well)

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