The belly putter has improved the putting statistics of many golfers, ranging from high handicappers to touring pros. The primary advantage to a belly putter is that it reduces the range of motion during the putting stroke by anchoring the top of the putter to the midsection or belly. Anchoring the putter reduces unwanted movement of the hands, wrists and arms, which will improve putting consistency if used properly. Most people that switch to a belly putter do so because they are unhappy with the results that they have been getting from their traditional putter. Following is a description of the most common--and arguably the most effective--technique for holding a belly putter:
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Assume a comfortable stance with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Begin by using a stance that is similar to the one that you have been using with your standard putter. If necessary, adjust to a more upright stance if that is more comfortable to you.
Rest the top of the belly putter against your mid-section, 2 to 4 inches above your belt. Experiment with different-length belly putters until you find the length that feels most comfortable to you. Golfers with a rounder mid-section can rest their belly on top of the putter rather than against the front of their body.
Hold the handle of the belly putter using your normal putting grip. Experiment with different grips if you like since the pendulum affect could make alternate grips more comfortable or effective. If you don't have a preference, first try a putting grip with the back of your left hand and palm of your right hand pointing to your target line (for right-handed golfers).
With no golf ball, make 20 to 30 practice strokes to familiarize yourself with the pendulum motion of the belly putter. Begin the back stroke first with your right arm, then with your shoulders, to determine which feels most comfortable.
Using a golf ball, practice putting on a level surface to determine how the belly putter affects your distance control. Practice putting strokes on uphill and downhill slopes to familiarize yourself with having more weight on one leg than the other. Adjust your grip and stance until you find the combination that works best for you.