When putting, a smooth motion, back and forth, is the ideal. Some golfers have tried to achieve this by anchoring a putter to their belly or chest. The game's governing bodies, however, want to ban the technique (Read: "The End of an Era: USGA/R&A ban anchored putting"). But like every equipment ban in the past, it has inspired designers to pursue new alternatives. "There are ways to make you feel like you're swinging an anchored putter without actually anchoring it," says Brad Schweigert, director of engineering for Ping. For example, by increasing the length from the standard 35 inches to about 38 inches, the putter's mass can increase by 25 percent or more. The extra weight enhances stability, and the extra length forces golfers to grip down on the club, which adds weight above the hands to counterbalance the extra mass, almost like holding a dumbbell."Anchored putters change the center of rotation of your stroke, moving it closer to where it's anchored in your body," says Brian Bazzel, product-creation director for TaylorMade. "Gripping down moves the balance point closer to your hands."More weight in the grip also can prevent your hands from lagging during the stroke. "The head of your putter shouldn't be the activator that hits the ball," says Stephen Boccieri, founder and CEO of Boccieri Golf, maker of the Heavy Putter. "You want your hands to lead the impact. A lighter grip or a heavier head lowers the balance point of a putter, making it harder to stop the head from getting ahead of the hands."Another technique involves bracing the putter to your lead forearm. "Anchoring to your arm is better because it allows you to finish your stroke," says designer Bobby Grace. But don't try to arm-anchor a standard long putter. Says Robert Bettinardi of__Bettinardi Golf__: "When you arm-lock a putter, you tend to forward press it. Arm-anchored putters need more loft and shaft offset."Not all alternatives to anchoring involve a longer putter. By increasing the weight of the head, shaft and grip of a standard-length putter, designers can boost the stability and maintain the same balance point. "When golfers have the yips, they have trouble controlling fast-twitch wrist movement," says Austie Rollinson, principal designer at Odyssey. "Putting with a heavier putter quiets the wrists, stabilizing the stroke without anchoring."A qualified clubfitter can guide you through the options and even retro-fit your current putter with a new, heavier grip. Our advice: Start with standard lengths and heavier models before going longer. Chances are you might not have to anchor the putter to get its benefits.
Kuchar Model 1$375This face-balanced, arm-lock putter has a double-bend shaft with 2½ degrees of offset (standard is 1 degree). The 400-gram, milled carbon-steel head has 7 degrees of loft to counter the forward press.More info and photos⇒
NYC Ass Kicker$390This arm-anchor putter's standard length is 42 inches. The head weighs 420 grams and the 21-inch grip, 147 grams. The face's curved insert features grooves designed to get the ball rolling sooner after impact.More info and photos⇒
T-Frame Almost Belly$150The 39-inch putter (also available in 41, 43 and 45 inches) has a 21-inch, 115-gram grip. It has a 400-gram head, and more than 70 grams of that weight is redistributed for maximum forgiveness on off-center strikes.More info and photos⇒
P3 EL$170The putter features a 465-gram head, a 160-gram shaft and a 17-inch, 130-gram grip. The significant weight is designed to help golfers engage the large muscles and quiet the wrists. It's available in 36, 38 and 40 inches.
Tank$200The heavy head (400 grams), shaft (151 grams) and oversize grip (111 grams) of the 38-inch putter (shown) help double its moment of inertia (MOI). It's also available in 34, 36 and 40 inches.More info and photos⇒
Scottsdale TR Anser 2B$220The shaft adjusts from 37½ to 46½ inches, and the 21-inch grip weighs 154 grams. The 395-gram head features an insert with grooves that are deep in the center and become shallower toward the toe and heel.More info and photos⇒
Spider Blade$200Counterbalanced by a 130-gram grip, the MOI of this putter is 50 percent higher than standard. Its 355-gram head is made with eight materials--for precise weight redistribution, and it's available in 35 and 38 inches.More info and photos⇒