The big hitters will tell you that girls dig long ball. What about long putter? While there is no evidence that girls swoon over long putter it certainly has proven its worth in gold on PGA Tour in recent years.
Stewart Cink, who uses a belly putter, became first player to top TOUR's putting stats with a non-standard-length putter in 2004. Tom Lehman posted four top-10 finishes in five events to finish 2004 season after placing a long putter in his bag.
Where did this trend begin? In 2000, Paul Azinger won Sony Open with a homemade belly putter. Paul was in Putter Studio with Titleist's chief putter designer Scotty Cameron a few months before Sony. They analysed where butt of putter aims at address, during backstroke, at impact, and during forward stroke. It was found that best putters keep butt of shaft aimed within a two-inch circle in belly area during stroke. Paul, thinking about two-inch circle, made a putter by shoving a shaft down shaft of his putter, and worked on anchoring butt of extended shaft into his belly. He made sure putter was legal and rest is history.
"According to Cameron, belly putter puts player in a repeatable position where mental memory can create muscle memory. Anchoring putter helps eliminate unnecessary moving parts, like wandering butt and flipping head through impact, and it allows a controllable and repeatable stroke that creates a consistent arc."
Cameron says, "I believe in belly putter and I believe in long putter." The fastest growing segment of his putter business last year was belly putters. If nothing else, it can be a good training aid to help feel where butt of putter should stay. It is a good way to feel proper stroke if you are struggling. Check where butt of you putter points by using a laser pointer or small flashlight while making a stroke in a mirror. If it is wandering more than two-inch circle, you could probably benefit from using an anchored stroke. If you have a problem consistently hitting putts solid including directional and distance issues, and a ball that hops, skips or just doesn't roll pretty, you could probably benefit from a belly or long putter.