Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and then Webb Simpson
again. All recent winners on the PGA Tour using a longer than
The onslaught of winners on the PGA Tour adopting the Belly Putter or
Long Putter has sparked both increased interest and criticism from the
golfing public. Increased interest from players looking for a better
solution on the greens and criticism from traditionalists who feel the
use of a longer putter is outside of the spirit of the rules of golf.
On my radio show, The Back Nine, which airs on 101.1 ESPN (www.101sports.com) in St. Louis, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ted Gallina of SeeMore Putters.
I was interested in understanding how the trend towards winners on the
PGA Tour using a longer than traditional putter was being perceived by
experts in putting instruction and putter development. For the past
four years Iíve been a user of a SeeMore putter and sincerely believe
the technology used in a SeeMore putter is far superior to anything else
on the market. [Listen to the Interview with Ted Gallina]
So when given the opportunity to test a Belly Putter developed by what I
believe to be the best putter company in the game, I jumped at the
The Belly Putter
The belly putter provides a third point of contact Ė the abdomen (along
with each hand) Ė between the putter and the player, which provides
stability and balance to the stroke.
The main advantages of this putter length are that the putter is
anchored against the body, and wrist action is easier to control, while
the player remains in a posture that is close to the ideal.
I received my FGP Original Ė 44″ Putter on Monday and couldnít wait
to get the course on Tuesday to try it out. I was the first person at
the club and spent about 90 minutes getting comfortable with grip,
weight and most of all posture. Surprisingly, it didnít take but just a
few minutes to realize what may be the biggest benefit of the belly
Golf instructors, regardless of their theory or swing methodology,
will stress the importance of the fundamentals of the golf swing Ė grip,
posture and alignment. Whatís great about the belly putter is by the
very nature of anchoring the end of the club into your stomach, you are
inclined to set up to the ball the same way every time. My posture had
never been better standing over a putt. As a result, it was easier to
return the putter head back to the golf ball allowing me to hit the
sweet spot of the putter. More putts are missed as a result of missing
the sweet spot than players care to admit.
Later in the evening, I returned to WingHaven Country Club to spend
more time getting comfortable with my new putter. I had a lot of
success in the morning and was anxious to see if I felt as good with the
belly putter as I did during my maiden voyage. Iíll admit, I didnít
make as many putts during this session, but I also experimented with a
few different grips. I tried cross handed, hands split and the claw but
I kept coming back to the grip Iíve used for the past four years with
my traditional length SeeMore. I also spent more time hitting longer
putts as this is the area where Iíve heard players have a hard time
adapting. I didnít find lagging a putt from 30 or 40 feet to be much
different with the belly putter than with my traditional SeeMore.
Iím going to chronicle my progress and exploration with the belly
putter and hopefully will help others understand the true advantages and
benefits of using a belly putter vs. a traditional length putter.