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Rise of the Belly Putter: The New Revolution in Golf?

GREENSBORO, NC - AUGUST 21: Webb Simpson lines up his birdie putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 21, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, NC - AUGUST 21: Webb Simpson lines up his birdie putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 21, 2011 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Mike WassersonContributor IIAugust 23, 2011

If you’ve been following the PGA Tour throughout the past month or so, you may have realized that the game is currently undergoing a brisk revolution.

No, it’s not the amount of international players that have been taking the game by storm ever since Tiger Woods has dipped into mediocrity (if you even want to call it that). It’s not even a human-being that has been in charge of this coup.

Instead, a piece of equipment has been invading the traditional nature of the game and it goes by the name of a belly putter.

That’s right, the PGA’s past three consecutive winners have all utilized the longer flat stick, which enables its user to integrate more of a pendulum based putting stroke. Webb Simpson, PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott have all reaped the benefits of the belly putter throughout the past month.

But what exactly is the advantage of using such a putter?

Well, for one it essentially makes the hand and wrist movement in the putting stroke secondary. Because of the connection between the putter and the torso, the golfer’s body is now essentially controlling the putting stroke. Ask anyone, in a tense situation their nerves immediately impact the ability of their hands to stay steady.

Thanks to the belly putter, that’s not as big of a problem as it is for a player using the traditional, shorter putter.

Some have questioned the legality of the belly putter, claiming that it gives the player a significant advantage over other competitors.

That couldn’t be further from the truth, because if it was that easy, wouldn’t everyone use it?! Everyone has their preferences and a player shouldn’t be ostracized if they decide to stray from the ordinary.

Who knows if the belly putter is here to stay, but it certainly has been crashing the PGA party throughout the past month. It’s only a matter of time before the phenomenon spreads not only throughout the PGA, but over to the weekend duffer as well.

After all, putting is the most fickle part of the game of golf.

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