Belly Putters…The lack of knowledge out there in the marketplace

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

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(email received on January 18, 2012)

I have gone to 2 stores for fittings and also asked the golf pro at (blank) to fit me. Not one person used a scientific method to do this as you advise; they all just said something like “whatever feels comfortable.” 

I would like to arrange for a fitting if possible. I know you are busy but if you don’t have the time could you recommend someone who is qualified to fit me for a Kombi belly putter.

SAY NO MORE….This is what I have discussed in the last three tips.

This is my 4th segment on belly putting and I am now going to discuss the fit again along with a few pictures.

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. 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? When you tilt from the hips, it puts your arms more out in front of you.

#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 won’t be an arc to the stroke at all.

#3 Hips over the heels…Once you set your hips directly on top of the heels you will feel very balanced. The balance at address is very important. The reason? 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 (Picture #1) properly, 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 of 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.

In picture #2 the putter is too short. You can tell this by the toe. It is on the ground instead of sitting flat. Conversely, picture #3, the putter is too long. Your first indication is because of the toe being up in the air. That has major repercussions. Not enough time to discuss in this tip.

Contact me 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 he teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to reach Scott, contact him through his website at