Golf Equipment - Proper Putter Length

When you walk around your local sports store, examining the various different types of putter on the market, you may realize that there are lots of different types, sizes, and technologies available. However, there are only 3 main types of putter on sale. The standard or conventional model, the belly putter and a long putter.

The problem is each of these are very different and are used differently too - so which putter is right for you? The short answer is that it is all about personal preference over which kind you like best. You have to try out each of the different kinds of putters to see which one feels most natural to you. Each putter comes in a different length and therefore will have an impact on how you play your shots.

Each of the different putter types has its own benefits and qualities, so lets take a run through the how to measure a putter.

The Conventional Putter

If you are just starting out, you should definitely play with a standard conventional putter. Also, many golf teachers agree that this is the easiest kind of putter to play with and should be used if possible. It is also recommended that your putter be slightly shorter than your standard woods and irons.

This is because of the correct posture for putting means that you are hunched over the ball, bending forwards and therefore there is less distance between you and the ball. A conventional putter is the only model that lets you use that stance though.

The perfect putting stance requires that your arms and lower body stay perfectly still whilst the shoulders pivot and you hit the ball in a straight motion. If you can't seem to manage this because you inadvertently move your hands or body at the wrong moment, then this putter may not be perfect for you.

A conventional putter will allow for the perfect synergy of feel and precision but if you cannot keep to this solid stance and style, your puts will all be out of line and you will fail to sink shots.

The Belly Putter

A belly putter allows the player to anchor the putter against the upper body, therefore allowing for more stability in the shot. The advantage of this is that the putter rests along the arms and into the belly or abdomen, which gives you more control. If you have problems with your wrists moving the shaft during putting, this could be the perfect model for you.

The only issue with this kind of putter is that, due to the longer shaft and the larger grip, the amount of feel the golfer can ascertain from the shot is reduced. Compared to a conventional putter, the belly putter is not as intuitive or easy to use but can give a better shot. It will also be harder for the player to control the amount of distance the ball travels when using a belly putter. However, with enough practice, these issues can be overcome.

The Long Putter

A long putter is a sight to be seen. Also called the broomstick, this long putter usually measures up to your chest or chin and allows for a full "pendulum style" swing at the ball. The golfer stands to totally upright and looks down the shaft at the ball. It's a great putter if you suffer from a bad back.

Again, like the belly putter, we have already mentioned, the additional length decreases the amount of feel and controls you get. Distance is also a problem with this kind of model and lots of practice is needed to get to grips with how best to use it.

The long putter is seen as the last attempt for a bad putter to put some balls in the hole when they get to the green. If all else fails, use the long putter. It is not pretty and is a pain to carry around, but is great to use if you don't get on with any other putter.