My thoughts on the Belly Putter after my fitting

I was able to go through a Belly Putter fitting this past Saturday at Club Champion Golf and I wanted to take a few minutes and share my experience.  I will start by saying that going into the fitting I was very skeptical towards belly putters.  As far as I was concerned it was just the next fad in golf.  More than that I was expecting the belly putter to be awkward and not for me at all.  I love my current traditional putter, but my curiosity towards the recent trend and towards wanting to putt better led me back to Club Champion to check them out.

The fitting started by me hitting a handful of putts with my current putter on the SAM machine.  My stats really weren’t bad other than my path swings a bit to the inside on my follow through.  Next I used an adjustable putter to find what length felt best for me.  I landed right around 40 inches and started hitting some putts.  At first it was definitely awkward.  I wasn’t really sure why this would be an advantage since it seemed so foreign.

Once I got a few tips on how to properly use the belly putter it started to make more sense.  The biggest thing about the belly putter for me was how easy it was to replicate the set up.  All I had to do was put the butt end right above my belly button and get my hands in the right spot and I was ready to go.  I felt extremely comfortable that my set up was the exact same over and over again and this is not a feeling I get all the time with the conventional putter.  Once the set up was right it was all down to getting the ball position correct and swinging the putter.

I was surprised at how much I had to break my wrists down on the back swing and follow through to properly release the putter and hit good putts.  Once I got the hang of the new feeling it was surprisingly simple and comfortable.  It takes a lot of the mechanical thoughts out of putting which is a big advantage for a lot of players.  As I expected I hit certain putts much better and more confidentially, but not ALL putts.

It really came down to preference for me.  I am planning to stick with my conventional putter for now, but my interest in the belly putter fad definitely increased after using one.  If I were to go down the belly putter road I would get fully fit for one that fits me best and I would commit to using it for an extended period of time and practicing with it a ton.  It is very different from conventional putting and I assume it would take a lot of work to become really good with one.

I do, however, think that if you are a weekend warrior golfer and don’t have a ton of time to practice your putting it could help you out.  Like I said earlier, I think it takes a lot of the mechanical thinking out of putting which can be incredibly helpful.  I could easily see using the belly putter as an advantage simply because the set up is so repeatable and once you get your aim right it is a simple hinge swing.  I think truly great putters would shy away from the belly putter, but for the majority of golfers who are not great putters there is something to it.  I would suggest checking them out if you are the least bit interested.  I know I was surprised by them even though I wasn’t totally sold on them.

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6 Comments to “My thoughts on the Belly Putter after my fitting”

  1. So ease of setup was a plus. Any major drawbacks to the belly putter? Seems like this would run directly opposite in some regards to proponents of traditional fundamentals like keeping the putter head low, leading with the left hand.

    • If you are at all a proponent of the Stockton method (which if I remember correctly you are!) then you will find the belly putter a bit odd. In order to release the putter properly you really have to break your wrists through contact which can feel very strange to someone who is keen on traditional fundamentals. I admit that it was strange for me at first, but once I got the hang of it the putts were rolling quite well. The only way I could see making the switch is by committing to it 100%, getting properly fit for the right putter and practicing with it ALL the time. It is a different feel all together and would require a lot of practice, but I wouldn’t write it off as a potential option.

  2. Well I WAS a proponent of Stockton but have since abandoned the preshot routine of no practice swing and placing the club in front of the ball. Now I’m a proponent of anything that’ll get the ball in the hole. I’m certain my issues are mental and am presently fighting a bout of scared putting. Thinking of radically altering the physical approach (belly putter) to clear my mind of the mental baggage that accumulated over the season. Kind of like Kevin Costner’s cure for the shanks in Tin Cup. Might be just the thing I need.

    • If that is the case then you should 100% go check them out. The main thing I took away was the set up and the lack of mechanical thought during the stroke. Let me know how it works out either way you go.

      • BTW, I totally chucked Stockton in my last round and was very successful using a new pre-shot routine. As is usually the case with me, the adjustment was a mental one. Will go with this one until it needs replacement 🙂

  3. I think you may have just talked me into giving the belly putter a shot. Can’t hurt anything to give a go. My game is bad enough as it is. Heh. Good post.

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