Belly Putters…The importance of the FIT

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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This is my 3rd segment on belly putting and I am now going to discuss the most important factor of Belly Putters.

 The FIT is everything! I am starting to have people bring me belly putters that have supposedly been fit and most of those putters are between 1-3” too long. When you are looking at the fit, it is paramount that you get the student in perfect posture and then put the putter in their hands. With the help of Mark Timms, Owner of Cool Clubs, he has created a brilliant fitting system for me. We can fit someone from 4’6” to 6’7”. That pretty much covers everyone. So I’ll ask you one more time, if you are looking to play better golf and lower your handicap, this would be a great place to start.

When you look at Picture #1 there are a lot of good things going on there. Here are the five most important.

#1 Tilt forward from the hips. When putting, whether you are using a belly putter or a conventional putter, this is one very important factor. The reason is that when you tilt from the hips, it puts your arms more out in front of you. By doing this, it is gives your arms freedom to work on more of a pendulum stroke. The arms do not go exactly straight back and straight through. They do come in a bit on the backstroke and the follow-through stroke.

#2 Hands under the shoulders. With the hands under the shoulders, it makes the overall stroke much easier. If the hands are too far away from you the stroke will have a big arc, and conversely if the hands are too close then there will not be an arc to the stroke at all. The putting stroke must have an arc. It does not go straight back and straight through.

#3 Hips over the heels.
Once you set your hips directly on top the heels you will feel very balanced. The balance at address is very important. The reason is because while you are making the stroke you want to feel very quiet, especially with the lower body.

#4 Elbows tucked in.
When the elbows are tucked in properly, see Picture #2, I should not be able to see if you are putting with a long putter or a conventional putter. This is the number one error that I see with belly putting. The arms for most people are too rigid…RELAX.

#5 Eyes over the ball. The importance of having the eyes over the ball is that it dictates what the stroke does during the motion. If the eyes are too inside at address the stroke will have too big an arc to it. If the eyes are too on top of the ball or outside the ball the stroke will be too straight back and straight through.

Next month we are going to look at how the putter face should look while addressing the ball. That is the most important factor of all.

Contact Scott if you have any questions, and more important if you are interested in going through the fitting process.

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the state for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City Utah and while in Scottsdale teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. Scott can reached through his website at