|With a belly putter, a golfer can use a traditional, two-handed putting stroke while having the putter secured to his or her body. (Scott Serio/Eclipse Sportswire)|
The answer to better putting can start by using your belly - your belly putter, that is. A belly putter has a shaft that is longer than a traditional putter, so you can anchor the butt end of the grip into your stomach. Hence the name "belly putter."
The advantage of using this type of putter is that a golfer can use a traditional, two-handed putting stroke while having the putter secured to his or her body. This takes the hands and wrist out of the stroke, creating a stabilizing effect. PGA Tour professionals, such as Vijay Singh, Fred Couples and J.B. Holmes have used the belly putter with great success.
The belly putter came into being as many golfers experimented with the long putter and had trouble finding a consistent repeatable stroke with it. By making a putter 4 or 5 inches longer than a traditional putter, golfers found they could eliminate the nervous hands and wrists during their stroke, and swing the putter with the arms and shoulders for more control.
As players get older, the nerves come into play more and more. The belly putter can be a big advantage to all players but especially for seniors.
So if you struggle with too much wrist action, or you just want to improve your putting stroke, a belly putter may be just what you're looking for.
May 1, 2009
Les Miller is longtime Golf Writers of America member who has written golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gives him a unique background that helps golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.