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Mythbusters: It's Going, Just Not Quite Gone Yet...

‘It’ started with “Diegling” in 1924 when Leo Diegel putted hunched over with the butt of the putter in his stomach. ‘It’ progressed when Richard Parmley patented ‘it’ in 1965. The debate was sparked in 1989 when Orville Moody won the US Senior Open with ‘it.’ ‘It’ is the belly putter. And ‘it’ is the focus of this first edition of MythBusters.

Myth: More people are winning majors using an anchored putter

The issue of Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els, and Adam Scott winning a cumulative Grand Slam using anchored putters in a 9 major stretch triggered this debate. However, that is only 4 of the last 9 victors, which is less than half. More people are not winning majors using an anchored putter. To further emphasize the point, Bradley’s 2011 PGA Championship triumph made him the first to secure a major anchoring his stroke.

Let’s not pretend that there haven’t been exceptional putting performances in majors prior to his win. Rory McIlroy did win by 7 strokes at Kiawah and 8 strokes at Congressional using a conventional putter. This myth is busted.

Myth: Using anchored putters provides an unfair advantage

Carl Pettersen led the way in 2012 with the extended flat blade finishing 21st in Strokes Gained on the PGA Tour. That wasn’t even among the 20 best players that season. Furthermore, PGA Champion Keegan Bradley finished a less than impressive 97th in 2011. Let’s take a look at the statistics of notable anchored putter users since this trending performance in majors began in 2012:

Strokes Gained 2014 (To Date)

Webb Simpson 6th

Adam Scott 18th

Ernie Els 21st

Keegan Bradley 76th

Tim Clark 99th

Carl Pettersen 132nd

Strokes Gained 2013

Webb Simpson 40th

Keegan Bradley 49th

Tim Clark 85th

Adam Scott 102nd

Carl Pettersen T111th

Ernie Els 126th

Strokes Gained 2012

Carl Pettersen 21st

Keegan Bradley 27th