There seems to be a new trend developing over the last year when it comes to the flat stick; you are starting to see players switching from conventional length putters to longer putters. There has been a major uproar in golf because some people think that longer putters should be banned, while others think that it is the greatest evolution in golf since switching to metal woods. If a longer putter is ‘cheating’ or giving golfers an ‘unfair advantage’ than wouldn’t everyone on tour trying to make money use one?
There are benefits as well as negatives to using a belly putter. The benefits to using a belly putter is that it makes the hand and wrist movement in the putting stroke secondary. Because of the connection between the putter and the torso, the golfer’s body is now essentially controlling the putting stroke. If you have ever been in a tense situation on the putting green, you know that your nerves immediately impact the ability of your hands to stay steady at impact and this can cause missed putts and the “yips”. Wouldn’t it be nice to take your hands out of the equation when trying to make that pressure putt in front of your friends or in a tournament?
The negatives of using a belly putter are that it takes a lot of the feel away from your hands as you are now holding a bigger grip. The ability to lag the ball close to the hole from far distances becomes tougher because you are using a longer shaft. As a teacher of this wonderful game, it is my job to make sure my students and players are having fun and performing to the best of their abilities. If you are making more putts and are able to enjoy the game more, than who has the right to judge what works for you? You would never hear of a Doctor, Auto Mechanic or a Contractor complain that the tools they use make their job too easy.
If you suffer from the yips or are too handsy in your putting, then trying a belly putter could be for you!
Assistant Teaching Professional