Martin preparing to switch to short putter after career of using long one

Mo Martin
Getty Images
Mo Martin says the frustrating part of the anchor ban is the stigma that people use long putters because they can't succeed with a short one.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: LPGA Tour

DUBLIN, Ohio – The LPGA Tour was quick to announce last week that it would go along with the new rule that bans anchored strokes, even though a few of its players use the long putters.

One of them is Mo Martin, who has used a broom-handle putter anchored to the chest from the day she first learned to play. Martin grew up with scoliosis, though not to the same degree as Stacy Lewis. She didn't have to wear a brace or have surgery.

''I was 6 years old,'' Martin said. ''My dad wanted me to play a sport for life, and he thought the long putter would spare my back. And if there was a stink about them, he thought it might be an advantage.''

Martin said she was frustrated that the R&A and USGA proposed and adopted the new rule, though she won't fight it. Like others, she has until 2016 to change.

''I based my career on it, and now they're telling me I can't use it,'' she said. ''But I have respect for the USGA and R&A, and I'll go along with what they say. The frustrating part is the stigma – people who can't putt have to go to a long putter.''

What puzzled Martin was how ''anchoring'' became part of golf's vernacular during this debate.

"Anchoring didn't come up until the belly putter came along,'' she said. ''No one ever referred to anchoring with the long putter. It was always the broom stick or the long putter. Because the end of the club wasn't stuck into your body.''

Martin has used a short putter in competition. She was in a putting slump a few years ago on the Symetra Tour and decided to mix it up by going to a conventional putter.

''I used it in competition and shot 69,'' she said. ''Someone in the gallery saw me and came out and said, 'You're a great putter.'''