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.