For those who are serious golf fans, you know that anytime you hear Tiger Woods and belly mentioned in the same sentence, it has to deal with a type of putter and not his ripped physique. Traditionally, the putter has been swung on a pendulum, making it similar to a miniature version of a golfer’s full swing with their irons or woods. However, golfers are also some of the most creative athletes on earth, and they have a tendency to tinker with new concepts that could shave strokes off their scorecard virtually overnight. As a result, one of the things that has popped up on tour over the last few years is the belly putter, which the player holds against their stomach or chest.
When a golfer is able to firmly press the putter’s grip against their chest or stomach, they are essentially creating a fixed pivot point, which is not possible with a traditional putter. Many professionals, including Tiger, have argued that this creates a non-traditional feel to the game of golf, and it is an unfair advantage to those using traditional putters.
However, those who use belly putters argue that the new style of putter is not a robot, and that they can still miss putts. In fact, golfers who favor these putters do have a point because statistics have proven that these putters are actually less accurate with longer putts because they sacrifice feel for stability.
Some might argue that longer putts are just a luck of the draw anyway, but this is not the case because, believe it or not, putting from longer distances is what oftentimes separates the best players in the world from a local club champion who happens to be a scratch golfer. And, when we look at Tiger Woods’ in his prime, it is easy to see that he was easily one of the best putters in the world, so he should definitely have some say in the rule change.
It is likely that the belly putters will be banned by tomorrow. Most believe that Tiger Woods’ strong comments against this style of putter did have quite a bit to do with the decision to ban these putters. As most of us golf fanatics remember, when Tiger spoke out about how he would like to see drug testing added to golf, it was implemented on tour shortly thereafter.