Still struggling with short putts? The next few articles are geared toward improving your putting stroke. The topics will discuss different putting strokes and popular putters.
There are three types of putters, a traditional putter, belly putter and long putter. The traditional putter has the most feel, however the shaft provides the least amount of stability. The long putter has the most stability, but the least amount of feel. The belly putter is somewhere between the traditional and long putter.
Many players have improved their short to mid range putting with the use of a belly putter. The belly putter can help produce a more consistent stroke, especially for shorter putts. Many golfers who have the yips or other medical issues that cause their hands to shake will enjoy the transition to a belly putter. In fact, many players convert from the traditional putter to a belly putter. Even tour players such as Paul Azinger, Vijah Singh, Fred Couples, Colin Montgomery, Sergio Garcia and numerous other tour players use or have used a belly putter.
The correct length is crucial when selecting a belly putter. A belly putter will typically range between 38 to 45 inches long. When you are standing upright the putter should come just above your belly button. At address, you will create the proper angle by anchoring the end of the putter against your stomach while the putter head rests flat on the ground.
It is important to rest the end of the putter in the same location every time. There are different variations of grips to use on a belly putter. Players can use a conventional grip, a split left hand high and right hand low grip similar to Michelle Wie or even a reverse left hand low grip, which is what Vijah Singh prefers.
The actual swing of a belly putter will resemble a pendulum motion. Similar to a traditional putter, your arms and shoulders will move the club back and through toward the target. Your body should remain still throughout the swing. Also, just like any other swing, accelerate through impact to a solid finish position. Since the end of the club is anchored into your midsection, your wrists have been taken out of the swing while your arms completely control the swing.
Anyone who has a problem flipping their wrists or suffering from the yips should give a belly putter a try. Just make sure you practice with a belly putter. It will take time to adapt to less feel than what a traditional putter provides.