Friday, April 22, 2011

Fashion Alert: Belly Putters Are All The Rage

   I'm one of those people who lives on the dull side of the cutting edge.

   I still have a land line at home. I still wear a watch. I still read a newspaper.

   And, I still putt with a conventional putter, one that reaches to about my waist and looks like a putter is supposed to look despite a price tag that should be attached to a washing machine.

   The rage on the PGA Tour now is longer putters, mostly belly putters but some long putters. They used to be crutches for old men whose nerves had been burned away by too many six-footers that slid past the hole. Not any more.

   Adam Scott, a regal looking figure on the golf course, nearly won the Masters using a long putter. Considering no player has won a major using a long putter, a Scott victory would have given new meaning to the term 'a tradition unlike any other.'

   This week at the Heritage, putter reps were overrun with players wanting to try belly putters or longer putters. Martin Laird won with one. Brendan Steele won with one. Tour guys will spot a trend quicker than a stock analyst and go with it.

   Ernie Els put a belly putter into play this week. Bill Haas has been working with one. First-round leader Garrett Willis was planning to use one but backed off at the last minute, while keeping his options open.

  Matt Kuchar is using a putter that seemingly gets longer every week as he adds length to the top. It's a semi-belly putter, I suppose. D.J. Trahan yields one. The list goes on.

   Webb Simpson, who has been using a belly putter since 2004, said he would putt with a broom if it helped him make more putts. So would everyone else on tour.

   There's no more stigma with long putters or belly putters. Makes me wonder if I should give it a try.