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Long Putters and Belly Putters Taking Over


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Originally Posted by jgreen85

Maybe the tour should start looking at the legality of these putters that are being anchored to players' bodies.


They are legal. Do you think that if they weren't the tour wouldn't have "looked at the leagility" of them by now?

They improve the putting of some players who struggle with a "normal" putter.

If you are suggesting a change of rule, why? There is nothing to stop a  player using one, or not using one.

Some people think they look unseemly, but so what?

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I think if you're playing for that much money, it's possible your nerves can go -- sooner for some, later for others.

I've tried a couple over the years, and the recent trend had me working one in the store over the weekend -- but I putt with more consistency with a standard length putter. Perhaps it is my grip - dominated by the fingers and the left hand, and setup -- upright, very neutral, everything is square, shaft is vertical, feet and ball position are consistent (think Zach Johnson). Staying simple, neutral and consistent work for me.

One of the advantages of a belly putter may be the simplicity - it's stuck in your belly and that may lead to a more consistent setup.

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I dont like the long putters personally. Im in the same opinion as Mickelson's caddie whom said that they are hurting the game of golf. Players should just practice more with regular putters. If they have a bad stroke, just practice at it. To me it's becoming more about the technology than the golf stroke with putting anymore.
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I initially was against them as well, but I see it a bit differently now.  I place long putters in the same category as hybrids.  Not every golfer can hit a 2i or 3i as accurately or as far as a hybrid, so they use them in place, the fact is hybrids make hitting long distances off the turf easier than long irons for most golfers.  Long putter, short putter you still have to put the ball in the cup.  Erik and others have pointed out in past threads, creating a rule that restricts long putters would be near impossible without it impacting other clubs in your bag or a situation where it would be appropriate or necessary to anchor a club to your arm.

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Originally Posted by mikelegacy

I dont like the long putters personally. Im in the same opinion as Mickelson's caddie whom said that they are hurting the game of golf. Players should just practice more with regular putters. If they have a bad stroke, just practice at it.

To me it's becoming more about the technology than the golf stroke with putting anymore.



Because Figjam's putting sucks. Phil has practiced putting for years - yet he still can't sink 3 footers consistently. Maybe Phil should use one?

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Since you share the opinion, could you please elaborate on how they are "hurting" the game of golf?

Originally Posted by mikelegacy

I dont like the long putters personally. Im in the same opinion as Mickelson's caddie whom said that they are hurting the game of golf. Players should just practice more with regular putters. If they have a bad stroke, just practice at it.

To me it's becoming more about the technology than the golf stroke with putting anymore.



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I initially was against them as well, but I see it a bit differently now.  I place long putters in the same category as hybrids.  Not every golfer can hit a 2i or 3i as accurately or as far as a hybrid, so they use them in place, the fact is hybrids make hitting long distances off the turf easier than long irons for most golfers.  Long putter, short putter you still have to put the ball in the cup.  Erik and others have pointed out in past threads, creating a rule that restricts long putters would be near impossible without it impacting other clubs in your bag or a situation where it would be appropriate or necessary to anchor a club to your arm.

Long putters are essentially game-improvement clubs; they help close the gap between lesser and greater players, but only to a point. Give a mid-handicapper an oversized cavity-back iron, and it might help him hit more greens, but give the same club to a top professional, and the shots he hits with it will bear no different results compared to his usual players iron. A belly putter might help a balky putter gain more consistency, but it won't make an already-great putter any better.

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I think that what you saw in the tournament is a lot of the players on the bubble and trying to get into the playoffs, so, a lot of them are middle of the pack players, they are not the best putters and are trying to do anything they can to get that extra little bit out of their putter.  Conversely, watch the Tour Championship, which should be the top 30 players and you will probably only see a handfull of long putters.

I really stick by the notion that good putters don't use long putters, only bad putters.  I did a quick look at the overall putting stats on the PGA Tour and it looked like Adam Scott was the only long putter in the top 20, however, he was in the top 10.  He has caught lighting in a bottle with his long putter, but can he keep it going.  He found something this year, but will it stay with him for the next couple of years, is this a one year wonder?

I think it will still be some time before we see the impact of the long putter, when we see young players, who have putted with a long putter there whole life you might see things change, and good putters might actually play with long putters.  Kind of like the change from hicory shafts to steel to graphite.  The swing for each type of shaft is a little different and not until the generation that started with that technology did the swing mechanic change to meet the improvement.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

They are legal. Do you think that if they weren't the tour wouldn't have "looked at the leagility" of them by now?

They improve the putting of some players who struggle with a "normal" putter.

If you are suggesting a change of rule, why? There is nothing to stop a  player using one, or not using one.

Some people think they look unseemly, but so what?



Comon man - the long putter anchored to your chin is clearly a different tool than a conventional putter.    The stroke is different, the anchoring of it is different ... they simply should not be allowed.     While we're at it, outlaw belly putters too - anything that touches the body in addition to the hands - simple enough to understand.   Fergodssake, they outlaw double sided chippers (not that I'm a chipper advocate) and allow putters with an anchoring point ?!?!??!?!?!

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Originally Posted by inthehole

Comon man - the long putter anchored to your chin is clearly a different tool than a conventional putter.    The stroke is different, the anchoring of it is different ... they simply should not be allowed.     While we're at it, outlaw belly putters too - anything that touches the body in addition to the hands - simple enough to understand.   Fergodssake, they outlaw double sided chippers (not that I'm a chipper advocate) and allow putters with an anchoring point ?!?!??!?!?!

It's quite possible to putt with a broomstick without anchoring it against the body. And plenty of guys also putt with a belly that never actually touches their bellies.

The only sensible reason to ban an equipment variation is if it confers some unfair advantage, and that has not been demonstrated in this particular case. Some people do better with long putters, sure, but plenty do worse. I go back and forth myself. Yes they happen to be in vogue again on tour, but it's hardly like we're discussing some magic new technology. Bet you half the guys trying out 45" mallets at the moment will be back to 35" Ansers in a year or less.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

The only sensible reason to ban an equipment variation is if it confers some unfair advantage, and that has not been demonstrated in this particular case.


I don't think that's the only sensible reason.

How about this: it's not the way golf is to be played.

If you developed the yips and you could putt as poorly/as well as the 150th ranked putter on the PGA Tour by turning your putter around and hitting it with the flat part of the grip, should that be allowed (it's not, but go with the hypothetical)?* You'd still be a sucky putter, but it'd be an advantage to you. Adam Scott or whomever wouldn't be using the putter if they didn't feel it was an advantage to them.

Rather, the belly putter fundamentally changes the game. I'm of the opinion that anchoring something to your body fundamentally changes the way the game is played. And that's why I support banning them. I think it doesn't jive with the fact that the golf ball should be "struck" and the general unsaid "way" we play golf - by holding onto clubs with our hands together, standing to the side of the ball, and swinging the club. It requires a level of skill that "anchor this part to your body, stay still, and pull back the handle" doesn't, in my opinion.

I think we are seeing that it's an "advantage." So even if that's your definition, there's reason to ban them, too. But it depends on how you define "advantage." Adam Scott's not the best putter in the world, but he's improved, and if you gave him a regular putter, he'd probably get worse again.

So no, I don't think "an advantage" necessarily has to be the only reason.

Examples are difficult to come up with because so many things that would change the way the game is played are already illegal - like, say, setting the putter down behind the ball and "pushing" it into the hole.

Chippers didn't really offer an advantage - but they fundamentally changed the game by having a club with two purposes. What if the loft of each side was different? Plus one club with two faces could be used to get out from behind trees in a way that a player with "normal" equipment couldn't. You might say that's an advantage, but I never saw a good player with a two-faced chipper, so "proving" the advantage would be difficult.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

It's quite possible to putt with a broomstick without anchoring it against the body. And plenty of guys also putt with a belly that never actually touches their bellies.

The only sensible reason to ban an equipment variation is if it confers some unfair advantage, and that has not been demonstrated in this particular case. Some people do better with long putters, sure, but plenty do worse. I go back and forth myself. Yes they happen to be in vogue again on tour, but it's hardly like we're discussing some magic new technology. Bet you half the guys trying out 45" mallets at the moment will be back to 35" Ansers in a year or less.


They banned square grooves. What "unfair" advantage did that provide? Everyone used the square grooves, so it was fair, but it wasn't the way the game was supposed to be played. The rough is meant to be a punishment; these wedges made it much easier to play out of the rough; hence they were banned.

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I agree with the Eric, it's not the way to play the game. Why don't we do like gym class, the yippers get a doctors note and won't have to play the greens at all.

Originally Posted by iacas

I don't think that's the only sensible reason.

How about this: it's not the way golf is to be played.

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Originally Posted by jgreen85

They banned square grooves. What "unfair" advantage did that provide? Everyone used the square grooves, so it was fair, but it wasn't the way the game was supposed to be played. The rough is meant to be a punishment; these wedges made it much easier to play out of the rough; hence they were banned.


To be fair, they didn't ban square grooves, they changed the rules regarding groove volume, spacing, corner radiuses, etc.

But good point - they were "fair" because everyone could do it, but they did offer better performance so they looked to scale back that performance. To that end I think Stretch's point still holds: they can't be "proven" (like the grooves were) to affect performance, because there's no real good way to compare them. They both just hit the ball and make it roll.

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