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RoverRick

Size Does Not Matter. (a case of putter envy)

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Over the last year, the debate on the long putter has really heated up. I have heard people who you think would know something (Nick Faldo) say it is unfair because they are anchoring the club to part of the body. Poppycock. Where in the Rules of Golf does it tell you how to swing the club? You could therefore hold the driver against you chest to drive the ball. This will not have good results.

 

Most people who use the long putter can not putt well with a regular putter. Most people that can putt well have never tried to use a long putter for any amount of time so they think it is an advantage. They look at the putter and repeat what they have heard about it being unfair. I have just had a unique experience with both putters.

 

In 2007, I decided that I was going to become a single digit handicapper, and the first thing I needed to so was improve putting and chipping. I bought a 7' putting green and for the first 2 hours I practiced on it I made 1 putt. I have had up to 6 putters at once, including a belly putter. I eventually figured it out and my putter of choice was a 33 inch 2 ball putter. I became a really good putter even carding a 67 with 23 putts once. (Barely broke 90 the next day but that is a different story.) I found that what works best FOR ME is to look at the hole, and make a very short stroke and give the ball a little pop. I am often surprise to see the ball start out looking like it is going to miss by several feet only for it to curve towards the hole and fall in or stop close. I look at the line and see where the ball has to enter the hole and then line up and hit it.

 

In November, I suffered a ruptured disc in my back, and could not bend at the waist to putt or chip. I dusted off the belly putter, lengthened the shaft, and made a putter so that I could stand up straight. I was told to walk for my back so, in addition to diet and exercise, I spent 3 weeks walking around the greens putting with my "new" long putter. I became proficient at it, but still did not like it.

 

Now, after 2 months of diet and exercise, I am back to my old self, however 37 pounds lighter and in much better shape. So today, I dusted off the short putter again. I had the best score I have had in two months. I shot a 73 and missed some putts early in the round because I was running late, no warm up, and decided at the last minute to use the short putter.

 

So now I say, there is NO unfair advantage to using the long putter. It does not matter if your putter is 33" or 54", whatever you are comfortable with, or whatever helps you get the ball in the hole is all that counts. I had to work very hard to become good with the short putter, I had to work just as hard to become good with the long putter. Two totally different strokes but found no advantage of the long putter over the short.

 

Last week one of the analyst stated that the long putter was much better because you had to set up the same way every time. That is so not true. There is just as much variation as with the short putter.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Good post, Rick. I happen to agree 100%. I've owned both a belly and a long putter and neither one was a cure-all. I will say that, for what it's worth, I never mishit a putt with the belly putter. That doesn't mean I didn't hit putts too short, too far, left or right, though.


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I agree as well, of course with using a 43" I'm not likely to argue.


I have a revolving WITB policy.

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By using the short stroke and popping the ball, like Nicholas, Hogan, Snead and most of the golfers did a long time ago, I found that I do not pull near as many putts. The popular putting philosophy now is to take a long slow pendulum like stroke, a must with the belly putters, but if you look back to those thrilling days yesteryear, you will see them giving the ball a good pop. I was Sam Snead play Harpo Marx on Celebrity Golf from back in the 60's last night on the Golf Channel and he putted like that. (Snead not Harpo) Hogan said that on the older courses, before they came out with the smooth greens and manicured parks they play in now, you had to pop the ball to keep it on line. I read that and started doing that and it has worked really well for me. I will say that I tried that at some resort in Washington State, where the greens are much different than here in the south and it did not work. The ball rolled forever. On slower greens it is great.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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I'm sure the USGA has scrutinized the PGA Tour Shotlink data on putting and determined that players using long and belly putters do not have better putting stats on average than players using standard length putters.

 

That being said, I'm a traditionalist and don't like long putters. Long putters take the wrist hinge out of the stroke. Players who have difficulty controlling that hinge can immediately solve their problem by going to the long putter. I think removing the wrist hinge is a bigger factor in eliminating mishits than bracing the putter against the body. To me, removing that element of wrist hinge in putting is an advantage that shouldn't be permitted.

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I have used all of them. I did not like the belly putter but loved the broomhandle 50 inch. I putted with the broomhandle for 2 years. I did find out with the broomhandle though if you mis hit it push it or pull it it is exzagerated more than with a conventional one. About a year ago I went back to a conventional Ping Anser which I putted with for years. Recently I was watching the golf channel and they were speculating on whether Phil would go with the belly putter or a conventional one this year. I told my wife that if he was smart he would go back to the convential 8802 style like he putted so successfully with over the years. Lo and behold that is what he came out with this week. I do pay attention to his putting style since my putting stroke is simular. I remarked on this and my wife said why dont you get out one of your old putters like that and try it? I got out one of my old Macgregor Nicklaus putters with the origional leather wrap grip and tried it yesterday on the putting green. It felt real good to me and I made darn near everything I stood over inside 10 feet. It will be a couple of months after my surgery and recovery before I can play real golf again but I am looking forward to trying the old putter again. As far as the contriversy surrounding different lengths of putters i dont care as long as it is legal (USGA rules)and helps someone enjoy the game. As far as the tours go I dont see any problems with the pros using them. The ones that seem to have a problem with them is the GC with Frank and Brendell being the most vocal


Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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15 years ago in college I went to the long putter after tearing my ACL playing football and it stayed in my bag for the next 14 years. I never went to it because I could not putt, I went to it out of need so that I could do something on a golf course with a brace on my left leg from my ankle to my groin. That being said I kept it in the bag since it just flat out worked well for me and I was putting as well as ever with little or no practice time on the greens. With a budding career, marriage and then three children it fit well since any practice time at all consisted of a quick bucket of balls at lunch. I personally have no problem with either the belly or the long putter and when you see the pros playing for a few million bucks a week each one of them would use the longer putter if they had perceived an advantage to it. The question to ask is why did I go back to a conventional putter and it is quite simple.......I got the yips with the long putter and could not make anything.


In the Bag for 2020

PXG 0811XF Gen 2 10.5* (set at 9*) AD VR 6x

PXG 0341X Gen 2 15* AD TP 7x

PXG 0317X Gen 2 19* KBS Proto 95x

PXG 0311T Gen 3 4-6 KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 ST 7 - PW KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy 50/10 KBS $ Taper 130

PXG 0311 Sugar Daddy 54/10 & 58/07 TTDG TI S400

:rife-putters-1: Two Bar Blade Long 47"

 

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Well, I went back to the short putter this weekend, I was very excited about being able to do that that because I had been putting so well before I was forced to change. I putted great with it but after a few days with it, my back started bothering again so I went back to the long putter, but with a new outlook. I found that I liked the routine that I had established with the long putter, I could not do it with the shorter one because I can not stay bent over the ball that long. This is not Sergio long or even Johnathan Byrd long, just a 20-25 seconds but by the end of the round I was becoming more uncomfortable in shorter amounts of time. With the short putter it was point and shoot. This is great when I am having a good day for the "feel" of the greens but not great if I do not have it. With the long putter, I can pick my line, address the ball, double check my line and look back and forth an extra time or two and gauge the distance. I am much more consistant that way. After I did that on a few holes I asked my playing partners to pay attention and see if I spent too much time before I putted. They said that I did not take longer than anyone else. Plus the added bonus was that most of the putts went in the hole, and those that did not were tap ins. That if I did take an extra second or two that was much less than the guys that walked up and got set up on their 6 footer. I only had 28 and 27 putts and I did not have a single second putt over 3 feet in two days.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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