TaylorMade Golf today announced that it is tripling its fourth quarter forecast for belly and long putters, stating, “We can’t make these putters fast enough.”
So there you have it, the latest proof that the tail of tour success is what wags the retail dog. If a putter wins on tour, then it’s probably going to win on the shelf. And in terms of winning on the PGA Tour, belly putters are the hottest thing going right now. In the latter half of this year, they have been used to win the PGA Championship and the $10 million FedEx Cup title, and numerous high-profile players such as Phil Mickelson and Rocco Mediate have been toying around with them.
According to TaylorMade, the company has ramped up production and expedited in-store dates significantly in an effort to get its two models, the Corza Ghost belly putter and the Ghost Spider belly putter, to retail.
Cleveland Golf is also responding to increased demand with its new Cleveland Classic Black Pearl belly putters, which will be released this month, and which PutterZone.com reported on earlier. At $119, the Cleveland belly putters are poised to drive the value category in belly putters.
At PutterZone.com, we don’t get too worked up about golf consumers following the lead of their favorite tour professionals. It’s a very human impulse to imitate what we see as elite and successful, and to want to use the same putter on Monday that just won PGA Tour event on Sunday.
Along the way, however, most recreational golfers fail to imitate tour professionals in a more important way, and that is to make sure that their putters are properly fitted (see PutterZone.com’s putter fitting guide, Putter Perfection).
Clearly, many golfers are in a rush to try the belly putter. That’s understandable. But if you’re one of them, just remember that a little fitting diligence will go a long way toward achieving better results, whether it’s with a traditional putter or a belly putter.
Also, once you have belly putter that properly fits, you still need to know how to use it, and it may not be as intuitive as you might think. For example, many golfers instinctively press the butt end of the grip directly on or above their belly button. But some instructors suggest that, for most golfers, the ideal position is to anchor the grip one to two inches ahead of the belly button, ie: toward the target line.
In other words, with a belly putter, as with a traditional putter, you need to do your homework and take an informed approach to finding what works best for you in terms of setup and stroke.