Belly putters are all the rage these days. A few years ago, you could count on one hand the number of Tour pros using a belly putter; now, you’d need more than a couple hands to count them all. Even in pro shops around the country, belly putters are becoming common as amateurs try their hand (and gut) at a new kind of putter. But the question remains, is a belly putter that much better than a standard length putter? Is there a difference at all?
The main concept behind a belly putter is that you’re anchoring the putter to your body. The theory is that doing so actually eliminates some of the elements in putting that can go wrong. Ultimately, the result should be a more consistent putting stroke. Some Tour pros swear by belly putters while others equate it with cheating, but for the amateur golfer, does it really work?
I had the opportunity to take a Boccieri Heavy Q2-MT belly putter out for a round of golf recently. I’ll start by saying that Heavy Putter (as they’re more commonly referred to) is more than just a brand name, it’s a pretty accurate description too. The Q2-M weighs in at about 750 grams (just over a pound and a half) compared to my Newport 2 which clocks in at a measly 340 grams (about three-quarters of a pound). The difference is huge, immediately noticeable, and will definitely take some getting used to.
The Q2-M has a milled stainless steel face, but it’s nowhere as loud or firm as other milled putters you’ll find on the market (Scotty Cameron, Ping Anser, Nike Method, Odyssey Black Series). As a result, there’s a fantastic balance struck between the solid feel of a milled face and the softness of an insert face.
After about fifteen minutes on the practice green with it, I had (mostly) acclimated to the weight, length, and feel and was headed out on the golf course to see if I saw any noticeable changes in my putting. I think there’s something to be said for a belly putter helping to stabilize all the moving parts of a putting stroke, especially for those ten to fifteen footers. I found that once I got outside of that range though, it became more difficult to keep my head steady during my putting stroke. As a result, I noticed that while shorter putts felt more solid, distance control and accuracy on longer putts wasn’t anything near what I was used to.
All in all, I think there are some positives that come from a belly putter, so if it’s something you think might help your putting, get out to your local pro shop or golf store and give a few belly putters a try. Who knows, it may be the difference between paying out to your golfing buddies at the end of the day or having them pay out to you!