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Long or "Broomstick" Putters - Anyone?


Tiftaaft
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I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

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32 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

@Jmikecpa I believe this is your area of expertise 😁

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9 hours ago, Tiftaaft said:

I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

I tried it for a season before the anchoring ban, although I really never anchored it.  The momentum of the putter head going back and coming through felt really good on short and mid-range putts, however, judging the distance on long (+20 ft.) putts was more difficult.     Putting off the fringe was harder as well.   Easier to see the line? Not really.

And I concur it was much better on the back.   

Sometimes they went in, most times not.

One thing that I remember, that there was actually less control, or less room for error, with the putter face on the long putter, even though it felt more stable. When I went back to a shorter putter, I was amazed how much more control and feel for the putter face I had.  

I use a saw grip with a 35" mallet now.   Sometimes they go in, most times not.

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9 hours ago, SlowNLow said:

I tried it for a season before the anchoring ban, although I really never anchored it.  The momentum of the putter head going back and coming through felt really good on short and mid-range putts, however, judging the distance on long (+20 ft.) putts was more difficult.     Putting off the fringe was harder as well.   Easier to see the line? Not really.

And I concur it was much better on the back.   

Sometimes they went in, most times not.

One thing that I remember, that there was actually less control, or less room for error, with the putter face on the long putter, even though it felt more stable. When I went back to a shorter putter, I was amazed how much more control and feel for the putter face I had.  

I use a saw grip with a 35" mallet now.   Sometimes they go in, most times not.

Thanks SNL, great comments there.  That would make sense that the "lag" putts would be more difficult with a longer length.  "Sometimes they go in, most times not".... best line ever!!

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I tried for a year before the ban. agree with SNL assessment. One thing I notice is that I was more conscious of the stroke motored by rocking /turning my shoulder with long putter

Short putter sometimes I would get too handsy/armsy and was not as consistent with distance control 

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I putted with a broomstick for about a year. I was having mental problems putting with a conventional putter. Now for me the broomstick putter really putted well from 5 ft in. So So on long putts and useless off the fringe. I am old school as heck and anytime if off the green I can get the putter in my hand I do so. One thing anything you do wrong with a broomstick it will be equally worse. Like say with a conventional you pull a putt 2 inches off line you will pull it 4 inches or more with a broomstick. I also during that time worked on a new method instead of my lifetime way of arc putting I went to SBST with a claw grip. Worked good for me

Now back after I had my accident in April 2000 3 weeks after I was released from the hospital I was out on our putting green back brace and crutch and putted with my old Ping B-90I broomstick. I also converted back an old Bobby Grace V-Foil that had been a broomstick to begin with back to broomstick status. I wanted to get out and move some. I putted so so with either one. But soon after I healed enough to practice some I went back to my Santa Fe. Now I did some work on it. For a tall guy 6' 2" I always bent down and used a 33" putter. Could no longer practice much that bent over. I ended up putting a 35" Fluted Bulls Eye shaft in the Scotty and changing the lie slightly. Have gotten use to it now> But seriously I will hang on to the broomhandles because you never know because of my back I may have to go back to one. 

I do know some of the "stigma" concerning the anchoring etc. We got paired up with an older gentleman one day who was putting with one on the putting green. When they  called us up he stated to my other buds that he used a long putter. My buds are like me do not give two hoots and we told him we did not give 2 hoots if he anchored or not or if he stuck it up is wazoo to putt the first tee was over there tee it up. So if you feel comfortable going to one by all means do so. IMHO if someone raises hell about that then play with someone else because they are not worth playing with anyhow. Now in stipulated events you are ok there as long as you do not anchor the top hand to your sternum. And I know there is a gray area there

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17 hours ago, BIG STU said:

anything you do wrong with a broomstick it will be equally worse.

Thanks Stu.  That is interesting, but makes sense.  I wouldn't say I have the dreaded "y" word with a conventional putter, but I can say that I have a tendency to pull a lot of putts... maybe a precursor to the "y"word.  I am just looking for ways to keep my putter face on line... maybe a long putter is the trick for me... I'll definitely do some testing with one.  Because of my lackluster approach game... I have a fair amount of fringe and long putts... so I am definitely heeding that warning from you.

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54 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Thanks Stu.  That is interesting, but makes sense.  I wouldn't say I have the dreaded "y" word with a conventional putter, but I can say that I have a tendency to pull a lot of putts... maybe a precursor to the "y"word.  I am just looking for ways to keep my putter face on line... maybe a long putter is the trick for me... I'll definitely do some testing with one.  Because of my lackluster approach game... I have a fair amount of fringe and long putts... so I am definitely heeding that warning from you.

Diving in a little deeper,  I am assuming face on line means you struggle with face control and starting the ball on your intended line.  Some questions/thoughts:

  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
  • do you do ok with distance control?
  • what do you do to work on face control?
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
  • how do you practice your putting?
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4 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Diving in a little deeper,

  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
    • usually where the pull comes into play... once is too many especially at 3 ft.... but if I had to put a number to it... 20% pulls.  a few more % would be the opposite, a push, by holding the face open at impact... usually as a result of a pulled putt on the previous hole.  a few more % on mis-reading a break (intended line, missed putt) and hitting it through the break.  My I am probably a 75% make at 3'.  But that would be a good metric to track, so I'll make a point of that.
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
    • est. 6 feet.
  • do you do ok with distance control?
    • Mostly, yes.  My lag is usually pretty good.
  • what do you do to work on face control?
    • Time spent on the practice green with straight short putts, and sometimes a "tee gate" drill.  practice and on-course I try to focus on the area in front of the ball (between the ball and hole) rather than focus on the ball.  I get my line, and roll it.  Less pulls when I'm outside 6 feet, if I miss a putt, it is usually a bad read at longer lengths, but I hit my intended line.
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
    • Yes, on occasion.  Drills and on course.  Also, not looking up to watch the ball on shorter putts.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
    • Middle/slightly ahead of middle.
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
    • I have tried it... I don't care for using an alignment line on the ball.  To much focus on the ball for me, and I didn't see any improvement on pulling the putt... I can close my club face across the line just as easily with or without a line.
  • how do you practice your putting?
    • noted above, also trying to take my right hand out of the stroke as much as possible.

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1 hour ago, Tiftaaft said:
  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
    • usually where the pull comes into play... once is too many especially at 3 ft.... but if I had to put a number to it... 20% pulls.  a few more % would be the opposite, a push, by holding the face open at impact... usually as a result of a pulled putt on the previous hole.  a few more % on mis-reading a break (intended line, missed putt) and hitting it through the break.  My I am probably a 75% make at 3'.  But that would be a good metric to track, so I'll make a point of that.
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
    • est. 6 feet.
  • do you do ok with distance control?
    • Mostly, yes.  My lag is usually pretty good.
  • what do you do to work on face control?
    • Time spent on the practice green with straight short putts, and sometimes a "tee gate" drill.  practice and on-course I try to focus on the area in front of the ball (between the ball and hole) rather than focus on the ball.  I get my line, and roll it.  Less pulls when I'm outside 6 feet, if I miss a putt, it is usually a bad read at longer lengths, but I hit my intended line.
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
    • Yes, on occasion.  Drills and on course.  Also, not looking up to watch the ball on shorter putts.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
    • Middle/slightly ahead of middle.
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
    • I have tried it... I don't care for using an alignment line on the ball.  To much focus on the ball for me, and I didn't see any improvement on pulling the putt... I can close my club face across the line just as easily with or without a line.
  • how do you practice your putting?
    • noted above, also trying to take my right hand out of the stroke as much as possible.

Your 3’ make percentage should be 95%+ as that is the distance you want you lag putts to stop within giving you an high probability of make.  Sounds like you are trying to steer the ball into the hole and making lots of compensations when you miss one.  Those short putts can be a struggle because the stroke is so short leading to the face angle getting off.   this is one of my struggles as well and I tend to lighten the grip pressure on the shorter putts to let me make a little longer swing.   You mention that you look at the shorter putts,  which opens the shoulders, moves the path left and closes the face more…..left miss.  eyes closed, quiet eye, waiting for a time before you look up are all strategies to maintain setup.   Work on gate drills or putting down a yardstick to get those 3’ putts starting online.  You say keep the right hand out of the stroke,  do you putt left hand low or power the stroke with the left side/left arm?  

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8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

our 3’ make percentage should be 95%+

No argument here. 

8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Sounds like you are trying to steer the ball into the hole and making lots of compensations when you miss one.

No question.

9 minutes ago, cnosil said:

You mention that you look at the shorter putts

Might have been a slightly misleading comment.  What I meant was I get my line, then set over the ball, look at the hole a few times, but then make my stroke looking down at the ball... not that I make my stroke looking at the hole, or ahead of the ball.  

I putt conventional grip.  right hand low.

 

Thank you for taking the time to dig in to my faulty stroke... all good suggestions and advice CNosil!  I will keep working at it.  

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11 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Might have been a slightly misleading comment.  What I meant was I get my line, then set over the ball, look at the hole a few times, but then make my stroke looking down at the ball... not that I make my stroke looking at the hole, or ahead of the ball.  

I putt conventional grip.  right hand low.

 

Thank you for taking the time to dig in to my faulty stroke... all good suggestions and advice CNosil!  I will keep working at it.  

Wasn’t misleading, I am guessing that you are peeking at the hole early which opens everything up and creates a pull. Right hand probably isn’t the problem unless you are really trying to rotate it thorough the stroke.  
 

no problem, we are all here to try and help each other.  I‘D personally start with gate drills or the yardstick and make different length strokes to work on face angle.   Can do this at home on carpet or a putting mat.   Don’t putt at a hole,  just work on getting the ball through the gate or down the yardstick; I put a pillow or something to stop the ball just after the gate/ruler.  

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I used a 50" years ago and never putted that good since.  I just didn't like that huge thing sticking out of my bag.

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@Tiftaaft Here's another drill to use for consistent start line on short putts. 

 

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I've tried :broom-stick" putters, but couldn't keep them steady. I also had belly putters but eventually cut them down and adjusted the lie & loft to a 36".

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I've tried them on and off for a number of years with limited success. It has only been within the last couple of months that I had an epiphany. It was actually the wife that noticed how I was sweeping off the front steps with a broom and she said, why don't you putt that way? What way I said and she referenced that my stance was open (left foot toe facing forward) which I then realized that it cleared my left side out and I was looking directly down the sweeping path. So I did changed 2 things. The first of course was the stance and the second was cutting down the shaft from 48" to 41". This allowed me to bend over the ball instead of standing to upright, which unto itself created stroke problems. My putting has greatly improved and even my playing companions have remarked accordingly. Now it also took some testing to find the right grip for myself and that was the Langer grip, with the shaft between the first 2 fingers and the palm facing the target. I've tried all the different grips, full right hand, claw, pencil, thumb and palm and that was the most comfortable and controlled. Back problems forced the necessity to change, but it now seems it's for the best.

Now one additional thing I also due is that I carry 2 putters. A 35" bullseye, for those Texas wedge shots and any really long putts on the green. The 2 actually compliment each other well and my scoring has improved around the green. Now if I could only find the cure for the needed extra distance of the tee. At 78 though, I think I'm just going to have to suck it up and take lots more club into the greens.   

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Agree that the one thing I find difficult  with the broomstick was as it was not reliable from the fringe putting

Also I had a hard time with long uphill putts with a broomstick  ( I have a hard time with short stick  for long uphill putts and left them short but seem to twice as worse leaving short with the broomstick )

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There are a couple of regular tour players and senior tour players that use the long putter, but the LPGA does not have any players, at least to my knowledge, that use one. Anyone care to offer an opinion as to why............ 

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Sorry I am late to the party but better late than never. I have used the long putter most of the time for the last 20 or so years with a lot of success. Main plus for me is that it is an easier stroke for me than using a shot putter and it also keeps the demons in my head quiet. Cons are it is not really a natural way to putt and takes some time to develop feel with the long putter.  I have also found that it is better for me these days if I use a 45” putter as opposed to 48” to get over the line of the putt a little more. 

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Not a fan of the broom stick !!! Players still ground or anchor it against their chest and PGA lets it go. The extended putter shaft should be outed and go back as it was ....

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