Long Putter Tips

By Denise Sullivan
The transition from a standard length putter to a belly or long putter requires patience and practice.
The transition from a standard length putter to a belly or long putter requires patience and practice.

Long putters and belly putters are two popular variations on the standard putter designed to give golfers added stability on their shots. Both clubs use a longer than normal shaft that rests against the body to provide a leverage point. Belly putters are used with a golfer's regular putting stance, while long putters require a bent-over stance to anchor the end of the club against the sternum.

Lining Up Your Shot

Walk in a line from the ball to the hole to become familiar with the topography of the green. As you walk back to the ball, stop halfway to assess the length of the putt. It is easier to judge distance if you are in the middle of the shot instead of standing behind the ball. When you are setting up for your shot, select a spot a few inches in front of the ball to use as a target. Make sure the face of the long putter is aiming toward this target when you begin your stroke.

Use the Proper Stance

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your weight evenly balanced. Align your stance so the ball is at the halfway point between your feet. Line up the putter with the ball and bend over to rest your sternum on the end of the club shaft. Keep your eyes centered above the ball and look toward the hole to read the curvature of the green. Place your non-dominant hand on top of the grip with the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the hole. Hold the bottom of the grip with your dominant hand. Keep the palm of your dominant hand facing toward the hole and extend the index finger along the club shaft if you need extra stability.

Remember to Follow Through

Because swinging a long putter is so effortless, it is tempting to allow the club's momentum to carry it instead of driving it through the putt with your dominant hand. Stopping short on the follow through will reduce the force generated at the point of contact and your putt will not travel the required distance. Hitting the ball weakly can also cause the club face to rotate on contact, which reduces the accuracy of your putt. To prevent these problems, try to maintain contact between the ball and the club face as long as possible when following through. The follow through should be approximately as long as your backswing.

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