Who says it’s difficult to control distance from long range
with a belly putter? Not Bill Haas, as the talented young American
captured his fourth PGA TOUR title by dropping a bomb on the second
playoff hole to win the Northern Trust Open.
There is no question the belly putter has
officially made its way from the Champions TOUR to the PGA TOUR.
Not only did Bill Haas operate the oversized putter beautifully
this week, but Keegan Bradley certainly made it look easy with the
long stick as well. At the TOUR Academies, we get a lot of
questions about the belly putter, and whether or not many of our
students should invest in one. There are many things that the belly
putter can help you with, and it only makes sense to talk about
what the belly putter perhaps can do for you.
One of features concerning the belly
putter is it promotes a natural arc to the path of the putterhead.
What’s important to understand is the putterhead works on a
slight arc, and not a straight line. How you set up to the ball
will determine greatly to how natural and instinctive this will
happen. With a good set up -- and a belly putter that fits -- it
can really help promote not only the natural arcing action during
the backstroke, but also the necessary release of the putter head
through impact. Secondly, the belly putter promotes the perfect
ball position. Once anchored, the ball position should be slightly
forward of center and under the lead wrist. In addition, notice how
the lead wrist is slightly cupped. This wrist position, and its
relationship to ball position, are critical because it represents
the low point of the swing arc. As the putter head swings on its
natural arc, the putter head will be moving slightly down out into
impact – much like the golf swing. The key is when this
happens is the putter face and the path of the putter head is
matched up at impact. Unlike a full swing 7-iron, when putting this
impact dynamic should occur close to the low point of the swing
arc, promoting a repetitive path-and-face relationship from any