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Long Putters and Belly Putters Taking Over


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I would like to hear your opinion on long putters.
Have you tried to convert to them from the standard putter? Whats good and not so good about them?

I am trying a new approach with putting my Odyssey Teron. Its a 35" putter but i'm holding it more like a 'long putter' (but bending over since its a short club) with having my left hand on the top part of the club and putting my right hand to the base of the grip and either pointing my forefinger down or partially. I like the motion and feel of this and having better results with distance control. So, i  was wondering if i should just go with a long putter.....

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I started using a 48" putter in the middle 80's. It was great from inside 6 ft and outside of 30 ft. Between 6 and 30 ft I couldn't get it close,let alone make anything.  I cut the putter down to 41" and started making everything. . You would have to have your Teron bend more up right when add length. The longer the club,the more upright you are at address and therefore need an upright putter (mine is 77*-The legal limit is 79*). I use a 21 inch Winn grip as you have to have your hands spread to use it  correctly.

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  • 3 months later...

I have mixed opinions on this subject. I don't like to make the game harder for people, but with in the rules of golf i alsmost think there illegal depending on how there used. Like how you can't straddle the line to putt the ball.

Here is what i mean, you have to stroke the ball, that is you have to make forward movement with the club with the intention of striking the ball and moving it.

So here's were i have concerns, if they anchor the end of the club againts there chest or there belly, and bring the club back and basically make the club a Pendulum, then i don't constitute that as a stroke. Because you have to cause the club to move forward, if your allowing gravity to move the club back to the ball, then that is not a forward movement caused by you.

Given its impossible to prove intent, unless your able to watch film of them putting and prove they are just guiding teh clubhead back to the ball with no forward motion given to the clubhead physically themselves.

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Funny Story....

Working in a Pro Shop back in 1998 I had my first experience with a long putter.....behind the counter we had cardboard cut out custom hole.....the pro & I would put or chip for money in the early mornings or off-season times....One day there was a Ping long putter that had been re-gripped and was waiting for the member to pick it up.....well I started putting with it and was making everything.....then our pro comes in and in less than an hour I had lost over fifty dollars and yet I was strangely putting well.......our pro left to give lessons and the member came in and saw me putting with his putter.....we got to talking....I mentioned it cost me fifty dollars........he asked who took my money.....I told him.......he then laughed......."you do know this was his old putter right"    and at that time I knew my friend had played me perfectly.....

the putter had LTS written in black marker on the face......I asked what does it stand for "License to Steal"....

I have had a long or belly putter in my bag ever since.......

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I gave them a shot once at golf galaxy, never liked them I never had issues with yips. Right now i am putting better than i ever have. My only problem is confidence, when i get that feeling like i have my line i really can drain putts. When i start to doubt my read, i get hesitant.

I am good with what ever helps you out with in the spirit of the rules.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

So here's were i have concerns, if they anchor the end of the club againts there chest or there belly, and bring the club back and basically make the club a Pendulum, then i don't constitute that as a stroke. Because you have to cause the club to move forward, if your allowing gravity to move the club back to the ball, then that is not a forward movement caused by you.

Given its impossible to prove intent, unless your able to watch film of them putting and prove they are just guiding teh clubhead back to the ball with no forward motion given to the clubhead physically themselves.


I don't particularly care for them (I'd effectively "ban" them by changing the rule regarding grip sizes/length), but you could "let gravity move the club back to the ball" with a regular putter, too. It's not like guys with belly putters are just anchoring it to their bodies, drawing the putter back x distance, and then letting it swing with gravity alone.

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I really don't see them as an advantage, to me it seems like if they were an advantage then everyone would be using them.  To me it seems like the people using them are the people who aren't good putters to begin with and they are desperate.  When half the PGA Tour players start playing with them and they are all on top of the statistics for putting, then I say they might be an advantage, until then, don't see them as an issue.

I think it still goes back to the indian, not the arrow.

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I've been using a longer putter myself for a while and can tell you that it's perfectly possible to putt just as badly with one.

Can't speak to broomsticks, but my impression is that bellies primarily benefit players that battle with the forward wrist breaking down through the stroke. That's always been my main issue -- when putting with a standard putter I have to go left hand low -- and so far I'm happy with the results with the longer putter. Being really tall, I also had a tendency to get my eyes outside the line at setup and using a (very long) belly at 48" has fixed that nicely. Is that a "cheat"? I don't think so, but obviously I'm hardly a disinterested observer.

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I don't really believe the longer putters are better for everyone.  Maybe for some however they are an advantage.  But to a large extent I see the argument as the same as toe weighted Vs face weighted and center shafted Vs end shafted and maybe even mallet Vs blade.  Lots of putters out there and I see the long and belly putters and just another variation.  Not that many wins on the tour with them so don't see how they are a big advantage. They should be outlawed for use in measuring a club length relieve however.

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Using them in a conventional manner like the guy in the above picture  I couldn't find any advantage. Then I bought one from Play it Again Sports for $20 that had a huge heavy bulls eye head and a fiberglass center shaft. It's a legal design, the angles correct. Used in front of my body I couldn't sink a 3' putt. (A department store special it had no feel at all, and was impossible to align.)

Then I figured out that if I faced the target, stood straight, placed the shaft in my arm pit, brought it back x distance gravity would work with me and yes the ball would still be fairly struck! (Only because I can't make my left hand in my armpit into a ball bearing.)   Alignment is no longer an issue, only reading the break. (I don't even have to look at the ball, it's just outside of my instep, as close to my body as possible.)  After a half hour of playing around like this I'm sinking balls like I never did before at some absurd distances. (Wrapping my arm around the shaft so my knuckles faced the target essentially made the putter an extension of my arm and prevents twisting - a pure pendulum.)

If I can figure that out I'm surprised that some pro hasn't and isn't winning doing it. When he does then they will be banned. I think the major obstacle to discovering this is that my junker is the only one I have seen that will swing vertically without the head catching in the turf.  (Not an issue for somebody with a fitting truck at their disposal.)  I'm not 100% versed in the rules but I think what I was doing is legal.

It was a lot of fun at first and I couldn't wait to take it into a game. The guys I play with wouldn't stand a chance, that's when I knew I wouldn't do this to them unless somebody did it to me. Would I use it this way if I was good enough to be on tour - YES!  (I'm not stupid)

My prediction is they will be banned. If I thought of this a lot of others did too.

PS: I'm still using conventional putters. But, if somebody shows up with a long shaft mines ready in the car.

Originally Posted by iacas

I don't particularly care for them (I'd effectively "ban" them by changing the rule regarding grip sizes/length), but you could "let gravity move the club back to the ball" with a regular putter, too. It's not like guys with belly putters are just anchoring it to their bodies, drawing the putter back x distance, and then letting it swing with gravity alone.



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Long putters don't bother me. You still have to make the right read, get the speed right, and a good stroke is not guaranteed.

I'm still getting over croquet putting, developed by Oregon professional Bob Duden, being outlawed. He's the one from whom Sam Snead got the idea.

I would like to read what a lawyer on the forum thinks about long putters from the common law point of view. (See http://www.pennumbra.com/issues/pdfs/157-1/Infield_Fly_Rule.pdf)

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I tried croquet with a long putter and quickly realized why it was illegal. Then I played around with finding a legal way to do it and came up with the stick it in your armpit and face the target method. The armpit stroke is even easier because you don't have to squat. Also it's more of a "tap" then a stroke - a hammer rotating on a bearing. The whole idea is to have only one arc to deal with and as little use of the body as possible.

I think it's legal? I only have the thin rule book. (For fun I was going to put a brass hammer head on a long shaft and found out that is illegal. There's a minimum shaft to head angle.)

I'm a Practice Green Rat, I enjoy messing around with putters.

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IMO, long putters should be banned because they take most the skill out of putting.  Just as the size of driver heads has been limited, so should the length of putter shafts.  IMO, the limit should be 35" because long putters make it so easy that anyone can putt well with one.

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That is nonsense. You still need to be able to read the green and get the speed right. If it were that easy, all the pros would be using them and there would be many more wins with them.

Originally Posted by TitleistWI

IMO, long putters should be banned because they take most the skill out of putting.  Just as the size of driver heads has been limited, so should the length of putter shafts.  IMO, the limit should be 35" because long putters make it so easy that anyone can putt well with one.



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Originally Posted by shades9323

That is nonsense. You still need to be able to read the green and get the speed right. If it were that easy, all the pros would be using them and there would be many more wins with them.


You do still have to read the green but it makes it much, much easier to make a nice, smooth stroke with a long putter because you can anchor it to your body.

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Don't take my word for it, grab a long broomstick and work it out in front of a mirror.

Lets put it this way.  When I use my regular putter I can't compete against me using my long putter side saddle (one that will swing vertically).  Facing the break with a pendulum swing is a huge advantage.

PS:  I'll state again I prefer to putt conventionally. A low score is not what motivates me.

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What's with all of the long putters at the Wyndham? It seems like half of the players shown on tv had a belly/long putter. Vijay, Ernie, Carl Pettersson, Webb Simpson, John Mallinger; i'm sure I could go on, but that's who was putting while i typed this post. Not to mention, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley winning with them recently.

I was in the camp that said, "if they were an advantage, everyone would be using them." Well, it looks like all the players on tour are starting to use them, which must mean they do provide advantage. Maybe the tour should start looking at the legality of these putters that are being anchored to players' bodies.

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