How To Use a Belly Putter

It’s all in your posture. Stand up straight. Line up the putter to the starting line and then align your stance parallel that line. Now comes the key point. Stay your standing posture and step forward so the putter contacts your abdomen. There is no need to bend over and get small. It doesn’t matter where the putter hits you. Wherever it comes to rest is where you anchor it. Now make your stroke, being sure not to move the end of the putter that lies against your abdomen. You have established a pivot point that must be fixed. (The same goes for using a very long “broom-handle” putter. That hand the holds it against your chest must be a fixed pivot point.)

This is how you would hit short putts up to about twelve to fifteen feet. Longer putts are harder to hit because pivoting the club around a fixed point takes power out of the stroke. You must, beginning at some distance, detach the putter from your abdomen and let the putter swing freely. Such a long putter will be somewhat unwieldy when used in that manner, however, so anchor the putter in a different way by holding your upper arms gently, not locked, against your side and stroke the ball by allowing your arms to slide on your torso.

Having missed all those short putts at Pebble Beach two weeks ago, and now short-putting himself out of the WGC Match Play event, it seems to me that Tiger Woods could benefit by having a belly putter in his bag. We don’t always get to see what he is doing on the green, but at the AT&T we saw one putt looking right down the line and it was a push from the very start. Very uncharacteristic of him. You can link his putting in the past few weeks to how he putted in the Masters last year – lots of short putts missed. Just sayin’.

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