Is the Belly Putter a Crutch?

Overcoming Golf Yips

Keegan Bradley Says “No Way”

Many golfers are switching to the belly putter as a way to help with their putting yips.

When Bernard Langer switched to the long putter, this seem to help him with his putting problem as with many other golfers who have went to the long putter. So anecdotal evidence suggest that a long putter helps with the yips, at least for older players on Tour.

But what about for younger players on the Tour?

The idea is that wrist movement is less with the long putter and you use the larger muscles when putting.

Translation: anxiety will not affect the bigger muscles as much as the smaller ones.

“When you’ve had the yips, you want to keep the small muscles out of your stroke,” said David Leadbetter, who coached Langer.

Bernard Langer was able to reinvent his putting by changing his method and changing the putter he uses. Sometimes changing something in your game can make you feel like a new person.

You don’t have any bad experiences with a new putter. It’s harder to label yourself as having the yips with a new technique.

So is the belly putter a magic wand that brings success to all golfers who hold it?

Are golfers using the belly putter as a crutch?

Keegan Bradley, who was the first to win a major on the PGA tour with the belly putter, says it is not an instant cure.

“I hate when people think that the belly putter is a crutch for us to putt with.  For me it’s just a better way to putt.  I always considered myself a good putter before I had a belly putter… I’ve seen guys grab it and it looks like they’ve never played golf before.  It’s not like it’s something you grab it and you automatically are one of the best putters on Tour, which is a huge myth,” Bradley says.

So for those who are looking for a quick fix, the belly putter may be the answer. However, Bradley says that adjusting to a new putter takes a lot of practice and dedication to perfect.

“I hate the negative press the belly putter gets because it’s not some magic thing that you grab and you can just the first week out you win.  It takes hours and hours of practice, and I hope people realize that.”

If you’re experiencing the putting yips, you may want to consider improving your mental game.

Switching putters, changing your grip, or changing your putting style might help you temporarily, but it’s only a band-aid to the real problem.

What goes on inside your head when you stand over a putt will have a major impact on your game.

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4 thoughts on “Is the Belly Putter a Crutch?”

  1. It’s not personal, some of my favorite pros use a belly or broomstick, but there still illegal in my mind.
    Technology can be good in some ways, but its starting to ruin the tradition of the game. As usual
    its all about MONEY!!!!!!!!!

  2. What is most interesting to me is that argument that the LONG putter should be outlawed because players are being succesful by using them . The corollary is that it would be OK if people were not being succesful with them. Do we really need to be chasing away people by making whats their prefered tools unavailable.
    I dont have a vested interest ,I dont use or like the long Putters but its hypocritical saying, ITS OK as long as you werent winning?
    My beef is symply the hypocresy in allowing something for more than 20 years as long as it is not advantageous, but prohibiting it once some players become proficient at its use.

    • What was said by Roberto pretty much echoed my thoughts on anchoring and the Long Putter and is pretty much what I told the USGA in my angry letter to them a few months ago. The USGA and R&A really blew it. They didn’t have a problem with anchoring until a couple guys won majors with them, then all of a sudden it was bad for the game. Eventually it was going to happen and I believe long putters are used by more PGA pros than ever before too. There is no proof of any advantage in anchoring, in fact on longer putts the bulk and size of the putter is probably a disadvantage to some degree, and there was never a rule banning anchoring to start with, but now after 30 years or so the USGA comes out and says that it doesn’t fit the tradition of the game or however in the hell they put it. Absolutely crass. There is probably more downside to upside with an anchoring ban.

      No doubt a lot of folks using short putters feel like they are now at a disadvantage on the greens, which is probably not true, and a certain percentage of people are going to develop the yips over time and when that happens some opinions on anchoring and long putters will change, but of course by then anchoring might be banned. I am using a long putter but still am trying to work back to using a short one again. I would much prefer a short putter and used to be very good with one before the yips came along. I am pretty much mediocre with the Long 50 inch putter after about 2 years, have had streaks of pretty good putting but over all just average at best, and not near as good as I was with the short putter. Hopefully will find a cure for the yips. A long putter is pretty cumbersome and adds weight to the bag too. Anyway, I hope the USGA and R and A pulls their head out and decide not to ban anchored putting or my bet is that they WILL hurt the growth of the game.


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