Belly putter a big winner

Putting guru Dave Pelz believes that along with Keegan Bradley, belly putters were the big winners at the PGA Championship.

Dave Pelz, recognized as one of the world’s greatest short-game coaches, believes that along with Keegan Bradley, belly putters were the big winners at the 93rd US PGA Championship.

Bradley, a PGA Tour rookie graduate of the Hooters and Nationwide Tours, made history with his belly putter at Atlanta Athletic Club this past week.

He was the first-ever winner of a major to use an non-traditional long putter, in his case a belly putter as opposed the longer broomstick putter Adam Scott had used to win the WGC-Bridgstone Invitational in the week before the PGA

And Pelz, who runs six resort-based short game schools across the United States, believes the dramatic TV coverage and Bradley’s valiant fight back and his eventual three-hole play-off victory over the faltering Jason Dufner, will create an enormous amount of interest in long putters

“Millions of golfers will have seen this and tens of thousands will go out try it (the belly putter) at least,” the Toronto Star quoted Dave Pelz as saying on Monday.

Pelz, who has worked with some of the game’s greatest professional including short game king Phil Mickelson, says the stance forced upon belly-putter users, whether they be top-rank professionals or weekend hackers, prevents them from committing the “two cardinal sins” of putting.

“When you anchor the shaft in your tummy, and then you swing the putter, you can not break your wrists,” says Pelz in ruling out what is probably the biggest putting transgression a golfer cam make.

“There’s just no wrist break at all, it’s all in the swing of the putter as determined by your hands.”

Problem number one solved. The next biggest mistake golfers make during the putting stroke is rotating their forearms which, says Pelz, comes from moving the torso during the swing instead of the arms. Belly putters also prevent that happening, he points out.

Forearm rolling, he says, putts the ball on the wrong path while wrist-breaking affects touch and makes stroking the ball the right distance difficult to achieve

“The good putters in conventional putting (using traditional putters); that’s the way they putt (anyway),” Pelz says.

“If you look at Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Steve Stricker – they swing their putters with their arms and they don’t break their wrists or rotate their forearms with the stroke.”

“When you hand this technique to very bad putters, it helps them a tremendous amount,” he says, talking with a great deal of experience and adding: “That’s not to say that professionals couldn’t benefit from the belly putter too, They can.”

Pelz disclosed that he has run structured trials involving hundreds of students from his six teaching schools in order to try and determine which putter, conventional, belly or the Broomstick, gives golfers the most accurate stroke.

And it should “not be to your surprise, that the best putts came from the belly putter,” he stated.

“They putted second best with the longer (broomstick) putter anchored up against their chest or their chin,” he added.