The latest announcement from the R&A and USGA that anchoring a belly putter is likely to be banned from 2016 is sure to upset a lot of golfers around the world, who have come to rely on the belly putter as the final solution to their putting woes. For some, the thought of going back to a conventional putter may even conjure up thoughts of giving up the game all together. If you are one of them then, before you do, I would advise you to experiment with what we refer to as SeeMore’s virtual belly putter which incidently remains conforming under the new rules.
Why the need for a belly putter?
In our experience the belly putter is a last resort to fixing putting flaws which plague so many of us. These include random set-up, stroke inconsistency, poor putter path, excessive use of the hands, off centre strikes, and many more, often culminating eventually in a serious case of the yips. So for many, the belly putter is a Band-Aid solution and the thought of removing it brings back a lot of unhappy memories. I should know as I was there myself and did test a belly putter on SAM Puttlab to see if it might help. It definitely resulted in a more consistent and improved putting stroke, but I didn’t like the feeling of a putter stuck in my belly. Maybe I would have got used to it but I didn’t give it a chance. Perhaps just as well considering the recent R&A announcement. In the meantime I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the SeeMore system of putting at the 2012 PGA Merchandising Show.
How to turn a conventional SeeMore putter into a virtual belly putter
John Higgins of SeeMore walked me through the SeeMore set up:
1. Shoulders relaxed and back, rather than hunched forward.
2. Posture slightly more upright
3. A feeling of my upper arms staying connected to the sides of my chest (the invisible anchor)
4. Putter shaft vertical in the middle of my stance, ball slightly forward of centre
5. Eyes over the heel of the putter rather than over the centre of the ball
6. Hiding the red dot on the SeeMore putter which results in feet, waist, shoulders, and eyes parallel to the target line
This set up required a 34.5 inch putter, 2 inches longer than my previous one. For the first time I then experienced control of the putting stroke by simply rocking my shoulders with virtually no wrist action. My shoulder movement was now driving the putting stroke through my invisible anchor, resulting in my arms and the putter acting as one single pendulum.
In effect this results in the same benefits achieved with a long putter anchored in the belly, namely:
1. Improved stroke path (inside to square to inside as confirmed with the putting arc)
2. Proper release of the putter
3. Stability and consistency from setting up the same way every time
4. Consistent loft at impact as a result of making contact with the ball at the bottom of the stroke arc with the shaft vertical
5. More consistent centre strikes
6. A stroke driven by simply rocking the shoulders, with no need for manipulation of the putter
In addition to this , by hiding the red dot, I then had an important feedback signal prior to pulling the trigger. The difference this made to my putting stroke was nothing short of amazing as confirmed by my SAM Puttlab stats.
The invisible anchor point
What turns a conventional putter into a virtual belly putter is the invisible or virtual anchor point between the sides of the chest and the upper arms. In order to achieve this, the proper putter fitting for length and lie is essential. Thinking back to when we had a visit from the the late Ramsay McMaster, he stressed to us at the time that anchoring the upper arms to the side of the chest was the key to a solid and reliable putting stroke. His tip for achieving this invisible anchor was to slightly tense your chest with your upper arms by your side in the putting position. This tends to push your shoulders back and chest forward, locking your upper arms to the side of your chest, from where you can control the putting stroke by simply rocking the shoulders.
Who needs an anchor point in the belly when you can have an equally effective one by locking your upper arms to the side of your chest in the SeeMore setup. Now is a great time to test the SeeMore putting method as we have a special Christmas offer of 10% off our website listed putter prices. Offer ends 24th December so don’t miss out. Just give us a call at 01334 466728 to fix up an appointment. It could be the last putter you will ever need to buy.