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Tables Turn on The Belly Putter

With belly putters becoming all the rage lately, it’s kind of amusing to hear a top golfer say that his stroke is “infinitely worse” when using one. And that top golfer would be Tiger Woods.

“I’ve tried it, and my stroke is infinitely worse,” Woods said this week at the Congressional tournament. “It’s just not good. I like the flow of my stroke. I like how I putt. Putting with anchoring or even different configurations of a standard grip, my stroke doesn’t flow at all. I think I’ve done all right with mine, and I think I’m going to stick with it.”

Woods must be really liking the flow of his stroke after yesterday’s third round, in which he notched a mere five putts in the opening six holes en route to positioning himself one stroke behind the leader.

Of course, Woods is famously outspoken against the belly and long putter, joining other golfers who feel that anchoring the shaft to the body violates the spirit and tradition of the game. You could say that he therefore has extra incentive to say that his stroke is “not good” and “infinitely worse” when using one. But we have no reason to doubt his personal assessment.

For the past few years, Woods has been using Nike Method putters, alternating between a blade and a mid mallet before settling on the Method 001 blade that he has used for the duration of what’s shaping up to be a comeback year. Prior to that, for most of his career, he used a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter. All of them have been traditional length in the 35-inch range.

The irony of all of this is that Woods is reaching the age when he could be an elder statesman of the game.

It used to be that the young golfers mocked the old golfers for using belly putters. Now, suddenly, the belly putter phenomenon is being driven by young players like Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson, and it’s the graybeard Tiger Woods, along with Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and others, who are doing the scoffing!


About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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