It seems Ernie Els and the subject of putters go hand in hand lately. Els has enjoyed a transformation on the putting surfaces recently thanks to help from Sherylle Calder, a South African doctor specializing in eyes along with his choice in putters, which gets the majority of attention. Els, however, resisted working with Calder initially. “I've known her over 10 years,” said Els. “I'm a big rugby lover, and Sherylle, she's worked in a lot of sports, but worked with our Springbok rugby team.” His love of rugby and Calder’s work with Springbok paved the way to an eventual meeting between the two. “I gave Sherylle and some of the staff a lift back to London on our plane, I think it was about in '03 or something,” Els continued. “She really wanted to start working with me because she really felt she could help me, but back then I think I was #2 or 3 in the world and pretty bulletproof. I didn't really think I needed anybody's help,” Els recalled.
“It's funny how times change. I mean, 10 years later almost, and Johann Rupert actually really wanted me to start working with her again. I saw Sherylle in January in Fancourt. Last year and the start of this year, I was pretty desperate on the greens and thought I'll give it a go and see what it's really all about, and we started working,” said Els. “I lost in a playoff at my first event, still being quite awkward on the greens. She took me right back into my heyday on the greens in the late '90s with exactly the things that I would do without even thinking about. It just shows you how far I went off the beaten track,” he said.
Els has a program that he works on physically with his eyes that incorporates a routine on the golf course and the putting greens and when he practices. “I was just a lot more quiet, my eyes, my head was quiet, my hands were softer, just a lot of confidence,” he revealed through the help of Calder. “And I think going through the TOUR and through the mill a little bit, through a lot of battles, you get a little battle scarred and you don't quite trust yourself that much anymore. You get a little tight on putts. So just going back to basics,” he explained. “I don't think I ever doubted her, and thank goodness she didn't doubt me. We were right on track from the first time we actually spent time together. When she's not on TOUR we speak on a daily basis,” he added.
Els’ renewed confidence has him thinking a return to the shorter putter might not be too far in the future. “I feel like I want to get back into the short putter through the FedEx,” he said before the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. “I'm thinking by the end of the year or so but we'll see. Don't cast that in stone,” he quickly added. “Eventually I want to get to the short putter because I feel back in the day that was my best method of putting.” If you want to learn more about Calder visit: http://drsheryllecalder.com/