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September 1 2011

6:20 PM

What else? The long putter fad rolls on

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Will Phil Mickelson's next tournament round feature a belly putter? We'll see Friday.
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By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

Just when you thought order was restored, at least for a week, the belly putter craze comes right back to the forefront on the PGA TOUR.

The streak of long putters winning on TOUR ended when Dustin Johnson won The Barclays, the first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, with a conventional Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Prototype putter.

Before that, Webb Simpson (Wyndham Championship), Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship) and Adam Scott (World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational) all won with belly or full-fledged long putters.

But Thursday at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Phil Mickelson dipped his toes into the belly putter waters, putting an Odyssey White Ice Sabertooth (check it out here) into play in the pro-am.

At The Barclays last week, Mickelson said he wasn’t against the long putter movement but also didn’t see it as a quick fix to one’s putting woes, either. Getting putts on-line and at the right speed is still work with any putter.

But still … Phil?

“I might have to see it to believe it,” Scott said Thursday at his Deutsche Bank press conference. “We’ll see I guess. That’s the thing, it’s the fad at the moment, so why not?”

GRAB BAG: When a fad hits the TOUR, here’s an idea of what it looks like on practice days on the putting green.

BLACK PING: Hunter Mahan used a prototype Ping G20 driver at The Barclays, featuring a black-matte finish instead of Ping’s standard gray.

BRIGHT IDEA: Adams Golf showed off a new a12 hybrid at The Barclays for James Driscoll. Unlike other hybrids, the clubhead has a channel in both the sole and crown (“dual velocity slots,” Adams calls them), which the company says allows a larger area of the face to flex as the club and ball meet.

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