What To Take From Belly Putting
Now that the USGA has issued a ban starting in 2016 on anchoring the club to your body, it's the perfect time to improve your putting stroke with a standard-length club—and you can steal from the belly putter's concept to do it.
The belly putter helps keep the stroke on track by letting your torso—not your hands and arms—control the putter's movement. The good news is, you can create that control without resting the grip on your stomach.
First, wrap your arms across your abdomen as if you're giving yourself a hug, then gently rock your belly back and forth (above). Notice how your shoulders, arms and hands move along with this action. That's the foundation for a good, torso-driven putting stroke.
When you putt, copy this rock-the-belly motion. Your stroke will feel effortless, solid and easy to repeat—and you'll hole more putts.
Some golfers are reluctant to change their putting grip or method, but I don't see any harm in it. Tom Watson once told me that even when he was putting well, he was changing things. As long as you're transferring good energy into the ball, I'm all for it.
David Leadbetter, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, operates 26 golf academies worldwide.