Precision on the greens is vital to your chances of scoring well in golf. Recent innovations have led to the availability of a huge variety of putters. In addition to different weights, as well as different head sizes and shapes, putters also now come in varying lengths. Extra-long or broom-handle putters, and long or belly putters are widely in use, even on the pro tours. Using one of these putters does not carry the stigma it used to, and for many golfers, there are positive benefits. However, the belly putter does require a different technique than a standard-length putter.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Select the right length of putter. Belly putters can vary between 38 and 45 inches long. To use belly putters successfully, you must find one that is the correct length for you. When you are standing upright, the putter should come just above your belly button. When you take your stance, the putter needs to rest firmly a few inches above your waist, and the putter head should meet the ground at the correct angle
Take your normal stance and grip, but make sure that the putter is pressed firmly into your belly, a few inches above your waist. That point is the pivot around which your putting stroke will move. The use of a belly putter demands a good stance. The way the putter is used will ensure that you maintain that stance throughout your stroke.
Swing the club smoothly, backward and forward, accelerating as you hit the ball. The belly putter ensures that your wrist does not break in your stroke; the pivot point at the end of the club removes any chance of excessive wrist action. You can move the putter head either by pulling it back with the right hand (for a right-handed golfer) or by moving the shoulders and upper torso.
Tips & Warnings
The belly putter is worth a try for anyone who has a problem with too much wrist action in his putting stroke. If you are suffering the dreaded yips, or you do not have a firm and stable stance when putting, the longer putters offer a good solution to these faults, too.
A belly putter takes a while to get used to. Putting with one end of the club anchored in your midsection promotes a different action than you would use with standard-length putters. Take time on the practice green to become accustomed to the club before you play a round with it. Try using string or a club placed on the ground while you practice to gauge whether you are swinging the club on the correct line and hitting the ball squarely to your target.