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Long Putters and Belly Putters Taking Over


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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

I noticed Michelle Wie is rocking a belly putter today (although she uses it more like a conventional putter with a cross-handed grip). How long has she been using one?


She had it at the Canadian Open. Pretty sure she had it before then.

She runs it up her left arm IIRC.

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Originally Posted by GolfSteady

I'm all for whatever will grow the game.  I do think the belly putter takes pushing and pulling out of play.  Which is HUGE.  You still have to have the right line and speed.



How exactly are belly putters growing the game? I never seen anybody using one locally. Allowing walkers/caddies or riders might grow the game, but belly putters? Okly dokly.

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So, scores must be dipping into the mid-50's with the amazing advantage given by the long putters?

Nope.

Everyone must keep a really long one in their bag for relief purposes because they are so long!

Nope.

Egads!

The principle complaint seems to be 'they look ridiculous', and the complainers are too self-conscious to try it out themselves so they demonize it.

I use a 48" two grip putter right now, and I like it.  Some days I putt better with it, some days I putt better with my old newport 2.  I like being able to stand up at address (back issues) and personally it lets me see my lines a bit better because I have a better vantage point rather than being hunched over and having to turn my head to see the hole.

It has been brought up many times: if belly/broom putters are wrecking the PGA tour, then the putting stats should all be topped by them. But they aren't, and they don't.  It's just a preference.  The only legitimate complaint I see is the hazard relief complaint.  And to that I say, just slap a 48" limit on all clubs.  That keeps it fair.

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Originally Posted by bustaone

The principle complaint seems to be 'they look ridiculous', and the complainers are too self-conscious to try it out themselves so they demonize it.


I don't think that's been the "principle" complaint at all. That may be why some people choose not to use them, but speaking for myself and more than a few others, the principle complaint is more to with the fact that the game of golf was not intended to be played by anchoring something to our bellies or chests. It's a strong or weak argument, depending on the side you're on, but "it looks ridiculous" isn't the top complaint, not from where I'm sitting.

Originally Posted by bustaone

It has been brought up many times: if belly/broom putters are wrecking the PGA tour, then the putting stats should all be topped by them. But they aren't, and they don't.  It's just a preference.  The only legitimate complaint I see is the hazard relief complaint.  And to that I say, just slap a 48" limit on all clubs.  That keeps it fair.

It's "fair" right now because everyone can use them. Your rule is more "unfair" than the rule now because you're preventing a taller person from putting the exact same way you putt now. How would a 6'5" guy putt the same way as Ian Woosnam if Woosie used a 48" putter? He couldn't. That'd be more "unfair" than the current rules.

And the point to me has nothing to do with PGA Tour stats. Belly putters aren't racing to the tops of the putting stats.

To try an analogy, belly putters are to putting what bumpers are to bowling. Just imagine if a bunch of bowlers said "I've got the yips, and once out of every ten first balls I throw, I just throw it right in the gutter!" So they put bumpers in, because it makes it just a little easier for some bowlers not to throw a gutter ball with their first throw in a frame. The regular bowlers, the ones who don't have the yips, never throw the ball in the gutter anyway, so it does nothing to affect them.

That's similar to what we see in golf. It has helped turn poor putters into average putters. It's let guys who can't perform a required part of the game get "decent enough" that they can now compete. Yet they're competing by, in my opinion, doing something that's not very "golf-like" by anchoring something to their body.

And now we're seeing people who may be average putters with a short putter using the belly putter because that's what they've known for a while now. They might be better putters with shorter putters, who knows... Maybe if they start to struggle with the long putter they'll switch to short ones, like Stewart Cink.

How much do I really care? Eh, not a lot.

But I'm not on the PGA Tour and I'm not competing against guys who are doing something that I consider "not the way golf is played." If I was, and these are guys I was beating, but since they're no longer crappy putters and are instead simply average, I might be a little upset.

Other sports have rules that protect the way the game is played. I think golf's ruling bodies slightly missed the boat on this one. I think they could still ban them, but they'd suffer horribly , and I'm not sure it's worth it. Then again, I don't really care that much. Others are more fervent than I.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I don't think that's been the "principle" complaint at all. That may be why some people choose not to use them, but speaking for myself and more than a few others, the principle complaint is more to with the fact that the game of golf was not intended to be played by anchoring something to our bellies or chests. It's a strong or weak argument, depending on the side you're on, but "it looks ridiculous" isn't the top complaint, not from where I'm sitting.

It's "fair" right now because everyone can use them. Your rule is more "unfair" than the rule now because you're preventing a taller person from putting the exact same way you putt now. How would a 6'5" guy putt the same way as Ian Woosnam if Woosie used a 48" putter? He couldn't. That'd be more "unfair" than the current rules.

And the point to me has nothing to do with PGA Tour stats. Belly putters aren't racing to the tops of the putting stats.

To try an analogy, belly putters are to putting what bumpers are to bowling. Just imagine if a bunch of bowlers said "I've got the yips, and once out of every ten first balls I throw, I just throw it right in the gutter!" So they put bumpers in, because it makes it just a little easier for some bowlers not to throw a gutter ball with their first throw in a frame. The regular bowlers, the ones who don't have the yips, never throw the ball in the gutter anyway, so it does nothing to affect them.

Reading through this thread, I remember the 'looks' complaint coming up more often than anything else.  I should probably go back and tally, but that seems a little over the top.

You're right though, imposing a length limit would not be fair to the tall people.  Simply excluding the putter from being used for hazard relief is probably the most safe (and only needed) fix.

I don't think that your "bumper" analogy has any basis here though, really.  I find that, personally, I putt similarly with both my long and short putters.  I find it a little easier to line up with the long one due to standing well over the ball rather than really close (some people I have heard make the opposite observation; that being closer to the ball makes it easier to line up).  That and  my back are the two 'benefits' I get, but neither are a competitive advantage.  Then again, I'm not a particularly good putter in the first place.  But despite my poor putting, I never just wail the ball in a random direction.  My misses are usually due to misreading the slope or speed of a green.

I think that cross grip putting is just as 'against the way golf is intended' as a long putter.  No other club is cross gripped so it should not be allowed, right?  But what about center-shafted putters?  There are no other clubs in the bag that are center-shafted so it should also not be allowed?

It mostly comes down to style, and we all know how 'styles' change over time.  I think it's pretty cool how much variety there are in putters though.  And with all that variety, there still seems to be no clear-cut best way of doing it.

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Originally Posted by bustaone

I think that cross grip putting is just as 'against the way golf is intended' as a long putter.  No other club is cross gripped so it should not be allowed, right?  But what about center-shafted putters?  There are no other clubs in the bag that are center-shafted so it should also not be allowed?


Gripping the clubs cross-handed is the same as anchoring a club to your body? Not even close, dude.

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  • 1 month later...

Been months since I've been on.  Need to stir thing up again. This time I am wondering were the opinions fall concerning the long putter.  I haven't looked up the rule about anchoring a club to your body but if that is the rule than how can they be legal?  Golfers seem to have the "our sport is a sport of gentlemen, with strict compliance to the rules" attitude. If so, how have long putters circumvented that rule?? Can anyone clarify the rule?

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Thanks for the link to the older tread.  I want to talk mainly about golfers and their following of the rules.  If the long putters are better or worse for someone is strictly a matter of opinion and good arguments can be made either way.  I want to know more about the "anchor" the club to your body rule.  Golfers call 'fouls"   ( I use the word foul) because you can't "call a penalty" a penalty is the punishment for the foul,   on themselves all the time in competition.  So are they breaking a rule or not? It shouldn't be that complex. Any answers?

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Right now as I understand it, there is no rule to prevent one from anchoring the putter to their body.  There is a rather lengthy thread on here somewhere (started by iacas if I recall correctly) about whether or not they should be banned, and if so how to go about it.

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Hi everyone:

I'm brand new to this board...a refugee left at the curb when the Golf Channel reneged on its promise of creating a "new and improved" discussion board...then eliminated the entire thing instead!

Anyway, this looks like a very nice place to call my golf discussion home -and I've been thirsting for good on-line golf discourse for quite some time...

that said the issue at hand is the belly putter...I just purchased a new putter adaptor to try on my existing putter because when I fooled around with a putter too long for me and made believe it was a belly putter I essentially couldn't miss!!

Is it legal?  Well a fundamentalist interpretation of "anchoring" the club would say "no"

But economic reality may win out as the mania for this putter grows with every Sunday's PGA winner wielding one!

That's an awful lot of $$$ for OEMs to turn their back upon-especially during these difficult economic times ...and all of them are now introducing belly and long putter lines for the holiday gift season!

Methinks that the objections will eventually subside as more players young and old find success with the innovation...it may be something akin to those who objected to hybrids and dimpled golfballs in the past...LOL

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Originally Posted by stogiesnbogies

Hi everyone:

I'm brand new to this board...a refugee left at the curb when the Golf Channel reneged on its promise of creating a "new and improved" discussion board...then eliminated the entire thing instead!

Anyway, this looks like a very nice place to call my golf discussion home -and I've been thirsting for good on-line golf discourse for quite some time...

that said the issue at hand is the belly putter...I just purchased a new putter adaptor to try on my existing putter because when I fooled around with a putter too long for me and made believe it was a belly putter I essentially couldn't miss!!

Is it legal?  Well a fundamentalist interpretation of "anchoring" the club would say "no"

But economic reality may win out as the mania for this putter grows with every Sunday's PGA winner wielding one!

That's an awful lot of $$$ for OEMs to turn their back upon-especially during these difficult economic times ...and all of them are now introducing belly and long putter lines for the holiday gift season!

Methinks that the objections will eventually subside as more players young and old find success with the innovation...it may be something akin to those who objected to hybrids and dimpled golfballs in the past...LOL


I think for the right person it can definitely help.  But I don't think it's illegal, there is no "guarantee" you're going to make a perfect stroke.  You can still "yip" a belly or long putter.  And there is so much more to putting, reading the slope, getting the right speed, aiming, etc.  The game is hard enough already lol.

Guys are alway trying something new and are just like us, if someone in your group is hitting it longer with so and so driver the other guys are going to check it out.

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Originally Posted by nleary9201

Been months since I've been on.  Need to stir thing up again. This time I am wondering were the opinions fall concerning the long putter.  I haven't looked up the rule about anchoring a club to your body but if that is the rule than how can they be legal?  Golfers seem to have the "our sport is a sport of gentlemen, with strict compliance to the rules" attitude. If so, how have long putters circumvented that rule?? Can anyone clarify the rule?

What rule? I am assuming that you looked up the Rules of Golf. There is nothing to clarify.

Once again, in golf, we have a situation where a consensus begins to exist because of perceptions about a "rule". In this case, it stems from the word "anchoring" or "anchored" or "anchor".

People read this word often enough in golf forums and assume that there is some rule that prevents a club being "anchored" to the body. It sounds even more official when the word "deemed" is thrown in there.

Problem is, there is no such rule. No rule is being broken.

There is debate about what constitutes a swing, but as far as rules about clubs being "anchored" no such rule exists.

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Just think its a little funny that golf seems to pride itself on being a game where the purists pride themselves on adhering to the rules no matter what, and all of a sudden when something seems to help their game there isn't much of an outcry if a rule is being broken or not. Someone please clairfy  this. What does the rule in question say?  If there isn't a rule, then why is everyone talking about it?  Come on golf and golfers, figure it out.

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Originally Posted by nleary9201

Just think its a little funny that golf seems to pride itself on being a game where the purists pride themselves on adhering to the rules no matter what, and all of a sudden when something seems to help their game there isn't much of an outcry if a rule is being broken or not. Someone please clairfy  this. What does the rule in question say?  If there isn't a rule, then why is everyone talking about it?  Come on golf and golfers, figure it out.

People have already answered your questions. Specifically, there's no rule about "anchoring," but some feel it's in violation of the spirit of the game or the way it was intended to be played.

This thread's being merged now.

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