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Using the Belly Putter
Bernard Gallacher

On fast greens, the belly-putter can be a solid solution.

When I joined the Senior Tour and started to play competitive golf again, the belly-putter was an attractive alternative for me.

The reason is that there is no wrist action at all involved in using this particular putter effectively. And with greens so much quicker today than they were in my days on the regular tour, I have to say that it really does breed a solid technique; it teaches you to pretty much eliminate wrist action altogether and so creates a true pendulum stroke.

Let me talk you through it.

NO PRESSURE IN THE HANDS as the weight swings back and forward.

Let's start with a look at how to hold the putter.

I take it in the fingers of the left hand, the thumb holding the top of shaft, and then gently press that hand against my chest -that's gently, not anchored too tight.

The right hand is also in the fingers, the grip again lying in there quite 'loose'.

I like to play the ball a tad forward of centre in my stance, and set up with my eyes directly over the ball (and bear it in mind that you will need to have the length of your putter customised to allow this).

Once established at the set-up, the left hand must remain in this central position throughout the stroke. It's the pivot point (or fulcrum) about which the putter swings.

The putter head itself is lying very gently on the ground, and from here I think of it as a a right-handed putting action.

I ease the putter back and through with the right hand/right arm, while the body remains still. The left arm hardly moves at all. There is a little 'give' in it, but essentially its function is to give the right hand something to work against.

Above all I try to swing the putter head smoothly, and also picture striking the ball on the equator to give it a nice roll.

When you are young, you can putt any which way, but as you get older you have to adapt your style. And I do believe that people should be open-minded about putting.

Don't be scared to change.

The whole idea is to find a way of getting the ball into the hole.









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