By John Strege
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- The number of players who use a long or belly putter on the LPGA, by best estimates, is three, one of whom is tied for second midway through the second round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff, an England native who now resides in Sarasota, Fla., uses a belly putter and has since November of 2011. The USGA has proposed banning the act of anchoring the putter against the body, as Ewart Shadoff does, beginning in January of 2016.
"If they do decide to ban it, it wouldn't be a huge issue for me," she said, following a round of even-par 72 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club. "I'd have to spend a couple months really working out with a short putter, but it wouldn't be a huge deal.
"Honestly, I've said this a lot of times, but all you have to do is look at my putting stats to know it's not a huge advantage."
The only other LPGA players known to use belly or long putters are Maria Hjorth and Mo Martin. Ewart Shadoff came to to using a belly putter two months before the LPGA Qualifying Tournament in 2011.
"I played in a Sun Coast event and I think I had like 37 putts in that round," she said. "I wasn't going to get anywhere doing the same thing over and over again. It was about the time when the belly putters were in. So I tried it and I just loved it.
"The promlem I have with my putting with the short putter is I get kind of wristy and short and stubby. So it kind of helps take that away. But it still happens, even though a lot of people say it doesn't."
Ewart Shadoff, 25, is in her third season on the LPGA. Her career-best finish was a tie for seventh at the Kia Classic in 2012. She was twice an All-American at New Mexico and is a two-time English Amateur champion. Her husband Adam is a television sports anchor in Sarasota, who mentioned his wife in his news report the night before.
"That must have been rally awkward for him to talk about his wife," she said.
(Getty Images photo)