Belly putters have become more common at country clubs and PGA Tour events over the past few years. Golfers are breaking away from the standard-length putter in search of something that can make putting easier. Belly putters range from 41 to 43 inches long, much longer than a standard 35-inch putter. Those extra inches allow you to stabilize the putter in your abdomen and eliminate any excess wrist action. The end result is a consistent pendulum stroke.
You've probably tried everything, but your golf handicap is still climbing. You have bought more putters than socks, but you still you miss several makeable putts. Perhaps it's time you tried a belly putter. A number of players on the professional tours use them with great success.
Belly putters fall somewhere in between the traditional short-shafted putters and the broomstick-style long putters. Their medium-length shaft provides an anchor point for the putting stroke when placed against the stomach. There has been some controversy involving belly putters in professional golf, but they can be an excellent choice for the amateur player who is looking to drop strokes.
Belly putters are designed to keep your hands and wrists stable on the stroke. The end of the club is anchored against the golfer's stomach, which keeps the putter moving in a straight line. While there has been some controversy on the ethics of using belly putters in United States Golf Association and pro tour events, top players like Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie and Vijay Singh have at times used them to correct putting problems that have plagued them for their entire careers.
If you are having problems with too much wrist action on your putting stroke, try switching to a belly putter. The shaft of a belly putter is several inches longer than a traditional putter. This allows you to brace the end of the shaft against your stomach and swing the club like a pendulum. Your hands and wrists cannot accidentally affect the trajectory of the swing, so your club head moves in a straight line toward the ball.
If you've been struggling on the greens lately with your traditional putter, it might be time to give the belly putter a try. Belly putters take some getting used to, but the advantage is that they restrict your hands from twisting open or closed as you make your stroke, theoretically ensuring a straighter, more under control putt.
Belly putters can make it easier for some golfers to correct errors in their putts, particularly if they're in the habit of twisting their wrists or hips at the end of the swing. For a belly putter to be beneficial, it must be the ideal size. Make a point to measure your personal belly putter length before buying one.
The belly putter is the middle tier of putters, offering more control over the head of the putter than a standard putter, which is supported by only the hands. As a result, it offers more consistency, but still allows for more touch than a full-length putter, which extends up to the golfer's chest. With the top of the putter nestled against his belly, the golfer uses his belly to anchor one end of the putter, creating a pendulum shape to his stroke.
The belly putter has become more popular, particularly among older golfers, due to its ability to reduce wrist action. For the golfer who has trouble keeping his putts straight, belly putters can help him strike putts more solidly on the desired line. Belly putters have a different feel than traditional putters and require golfers to change their setup, but using a belly putter can improve scores for golfers willing to make the switch.