2011 – Year of the Long Putter
In August at the PGA Championship in Atlanta Keegan Bradley won not only his first major, but now holds the distinction of being the first player ever to win a major using a long belly style putter.
Earlier in the year notable players like Adam Scott also turned to the long putter. Scott won the Firestone using his new anchored putting stroke.
In 2011 Martin Laird won at Bay Hill using the long putter, Webb Simpson won with a Belly Putter at the Wyndham and Brendan Steele won the Valero using a long putter.
The $10,000,000 winner of the 2010 FedEx Cup, Jim Furyk also made the switch earlier this year.
On Friday I went down to the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston about 10 minutes from my home to take in some golf and I was pretty surprised at what I saw on the practice green in the early afternoon.
The Long Putter has Officially Hit Prime Time
Phil Mickelson was on the putting green wearing Yankee Pin Striped Pants, right in the heart of Red Sox Country!
Almost as shocking as the Yanks Pants was his putter. Yes, a long, belly style putter!
It is no surprise that Phil would try something different, he’s no stranger to tinkering with equipment. His putting woes from inside 8 feet have been well documented as well, and it appears he has decided to make the Year of the Long Putter thing Official.
Mickelson and Robert Garrigus were on the green warming up at the same time and there was a bit of a comical moment when Garrigus came over and took Phil’s big putter and stood it up next to his notoriously short 28 inch putter.
Bones said Anchored Putters Should Be Illegal
Phil’s usage of the long putter has a bit of foot in mouth impact with Mickelson’s caddy Bones. Bones was on David Feherty’s show on Golf Channel a couple weeks ago and Feherty asked him what was “wrong with the game today?”
Bones wasted no time saying that the one thing that needs to go is the Long Putter. His argument is that any golf club that by design anchors to the body should be outlawed by the PGA.
What are the benefits of a long putter?
- A common problem with the putting stroke for most high handicap players is the control over the pendulum motion of the shoulders, the hands customarily become disconnected with the shoulders. When utilizing the chest anchor style putter you are more likely to keep the shoulders and the hands connected.
- The ability to anchor the grip end of the putter to your body gives you a measurable increase in control over the height of the arc in the putting stroke, back and through.
- Once a player has used the belly putter for a while it will assist in making pure contact with the “sweet spot” of the putter face more consistently.
- Putts from within 10 feet should see an immediate improvement when using an anchored putter correctly.
- Once significant practice time is given and you learn how to lag longer putts, you could be deadly with a chest anchored putter.
Chest Style Putter Isn’t for Everybody
While most people could benefit from the device it may not be for you. I suspect we will see a glut of long belly style or chest style putters on Ebay soon.
If you have a putter you’re comfortable with you could try a Long Putter Extension as opposed to spending $200 on whole long putter that you may or may not like.
Belly Putt makes an extension you can simply use as an add-on to your existing putter. No need to buy a new putter, you can convert back to your regular putter with ease and you don’t need to search high and low for the exact right size for you, the Belly Putt is fully adjustable.
You can watch a video about the mechanics involved in the Belly Putt at the website.
You can learn more about Belly Putt Long Putter BellyPutt.com