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Won 2 Watch: The Belly Putter Debate

Posted By High Fade On Jun 1 2011 @ 1:47 pm In PGA | 1 Comment

Remember the days when you would not have found a hybrid in a PGA Tour player’s golf bag?  The assumption was that only women and short hitting men used hybrids, therefore years went by where the collective golf conscious held onto the inherent difficulty of the long irons.

For example,  David Toms, a notoriously short hitter on the PGA Tour was one of a few players with hybrids in his bag.  Toms to his credit has always played to his strengths and used precision and control of his golf ball to have success on tour.  Just look at the 2001 PGA Championship where he successfully navigated the Atlanta Athletic Club for his 1st major championship.

It may not be the sole reason but the way in which Toms won the 2001 PGA Championship, definitely served as a catalyst for other tour players to venture into the world of hybids.  Now…I dear to ask, how many tour players still have long irons in their golf bag today?

Granted, technology has revolutionized the game of golf and trends will continue to come and go.  However, tour players finally came to the realization that fairway woods had its advantages such as improved distance and more control out of the rough.

Fast forward to today and we have another trend forming…the belly putter.

Looking back at history, the belly putter was viewed as the “old man putter” or typically used by senior players that were having back ailments.  However those days are long gone, as multiple players are now utilizing the belly putter with measurable success:  Tim Clark-2010 The Players Championship, Martin Laird-2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Brendan Steele-2011 Valero Texas Open and Keegan Bradley-2011 Byron Nelson Championship.

Detractors suggest that the belly putter is serving as a competitive advantage, since the putter is actually attached to the player’s body.  Other suggest that there is no competitive advantage, as the belly putter is available to everyone and that putter selection is a matter of feel, comfort and personal preference.

As you know, most tournaments are won and lost on the putting green and it will be interesting to see where the USGA’s position will be on the belly putter going forward.  All we need now is a major championship victory and “The Belly Putter Debate” can take full affect.

What do you think?

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