Belly Putter Controversy - Is The Belly Putter Right For You?
Belly Putters are a little like marmite - you either love them or you hate them with just as many golfers calling for them to be banned as their are golfers singing their praises.
Professional golfers like Garcia, Singh, Goosen and Tolles have all at different times switched to the belly putter in an attempt to take control of their putting and cut their scores. For Garcia, in particular the switch was nearly significant enough to win him the 2007 British Open during which he uncharacteristically made no three-puts.
On the other side of the fence you'll find professional golfers like Ernie Els and Adam Scott who have made public calls on golf's ruling bodies to ban the belly putter.
Their criticism has been echoed by Frank Thomas, the former UGSA technical director, who in an interview with WorldGolf.com back in 2003 said that he had wanted to ban both long and belly putters when they first hit the mainstream market in 1999.
His argument is that "there are five degress of fredom in putting and these putters take away three of the five".
There is truth to that statement which perfectly explains why they are both loved and loathed in equal measure as it means that less talented putters can close the gap on more talented putters simply by using a different piece of equipment - ie with no actual improvement to their game beyond the change in putter.
However, on the flip side there have been similar complaints made against the assistive technology used in the irons and drivers of today. The other truth, therefore, is that both technology and sports evolve...where do you draw the line?
The reality is that for the forseeable future at least the belly putter is here to stay and if the green is an area of your game where you struggle or lose unneccesary shots a belly putter may be exactly what you need to lower your score in the short term and more importantly increase your confidence in the long term - the real key to attacking the course and hence your score.