Adam Scott and the death of the long-putter stigma

Adam Scott had lots of success using a belly putter at the 2011 Masters.
John Biever/SI

Stigma, what stigma?

\nStill young and cool, Adam Scott might have been the Johnny Appleseed of the long putter when he finished second at the Masters in just his fourth event with the long putter. Two weeks later at the Heritage at Hilton Head, Mark Wilson reported seeing 20 players put long putters in their bags. If there was any stigma attached to using the long putter, it's long gone.

\n"I think the stigma is a bit unfair because some of the best putters on Tour do use long putters, and they're not necessary old guys," Scott said. "Look at Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson. I got over [the stigma] pretty quick once I saw putts going in."

\nScott had criticized long putters and belly putters in the past, as had Ernie Els, who also recently changed to a long stick. Els was one of the guys Wilson saw using a belly putter at the Heritage.

\n"My path became very awkward - I became too squared back and I cut through the ball a bit," Els said, explaining the switch. "Any pro, you don't want to do that. You don't put a good roll on it and from short distances, I was becoming really not good. I started practicing with a belly a little bit, and when you stick it in your belly, you know, it stays on plane."

\nWith the stigma gone, the only problem with playing the long putter is logistical. Namely, how do you travel with it?

\n"It doesn't fit in the travel cover, that's for sure," Scott said. "You need to get one of those big sticks that are even longer than the long putter in your bag so it would break before the long putter."

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