Gain the Benefits of an Anchored Putter Using a Near-Anchored Putter

There is an alternative method in building a near-anchored golf putter that will do the same thing as a belly putter but without having it be anchored to the body.

Conventional Golf Putting Swing IllustrationAs the ban on the anchored golf putter is a few years away (beginning in 2016), a certain number of golfers are reluctantly going to want to switch back to a conventional golf putter. This is especially true for those that suffer from the yips.  Spending the better part of the summer season tinkering around in the shop, on the practice green and on ultimately the course, I found a simple solution that I would like to share with you that has helped my game immensely.

Let’s first discuss what an anchored golf putter does. It forms a brace against some part of the body so the putter can be swung in more of a pendulum motion.  Many golfers don’t keep their hands steady during the stroke and some might even say the golfer is “wristy” or “handsy”. With the butt end of the club anchored into say their belly, there is less chance the hands will push or pull the golf putter off-line.

Conventional golf putter
A typical conventional putter might be 34” in length and one would hold the grip at the very end. In all actuality, your upper wrist is at the end of the putter while the center of your hands approximately 6” down on the grip.  Take a moment to look at this diagram and see how it differs from the next few.

Belly Golf Putter Swing IllustrationBelly or anchored putter
A belly putter is basically an extension of a conventional putter – roughly 8” longer. One will possess a very long putter grip where the center of the player’s hands may be a foot down on the grip leaving 6” or so of the grip exposed between the wrist and the end of the putter.  In reality, the hands are in the same position as they would hold a conventional putter.

The idea is a near-anchored putter
Think of a belly putter that, well, doesn’t go all the way to the belly or an inch or so from contact.  In a near-belly or near-anchored putter, the distance from the upper wrist and end of the grip may be only 5”, but the hands will be in the same placement as on a conventional golf putter.

The downside of a putter in this position, it no longer a brace to keep the fluidity of the stroke when one rocks the putter back and forth. Instead, there is a tendency for the wrists to move or pivot due to the weight of the head.

Near Anchor Golf Putter IllustrationNow, I want you to think of a seesaw or a board with a pivot somewhere in the middle that will allow it to rock up and down.  If a child sits on one end and no one is on the other end, there is no equilibrium and the child just sits impatiently on the ground. However, add enough weight in the right location opposite the child and the seesaw will pivot in harmonious motion.

With a near-anchored putter, there is plenty of room to place an ample amount of weight above the pivot point of the hands to help offset the weight of the putter head to promote a pendulum stroke and reduce the movement of the wrists.

Counterweighting
In my experimentation, I used my favorite putter – Dynacraft Hindsight Mallet. The built-in forward hand press and roll face are two great technologies that more golfers should find out about.  Hireko offer different forms of counterweighting.   I started out with a conventional counterweight that is installed at the very butt end of the shaft. The Tour Lock Pro system works great for this type of testing as you can
Near Anchor Counterweighting Illustrationinterchange different weights without having to replace a grip.  Pivot With Counterweight IllustrationI found there was a benefit or improvement in putting with the maximum 100g weight; but still not enough.

Tour Lock offer another product called the Opti-Vibe that fits down inside the shaft and locks in place.  These come in various weights just like the Tour Lock Pro. Over countless trips to the practice green and course, I found the 150g Opti-Vibe placed just below where the 100g Tour Lock Pro (as shown) was my optimal configuration.  You may find a different combination based upon the components weights of your putter and the length.

Near Anchor CounterweightsAs you can see, there is an alternative method in building a near-anchored putter that will do the same thing as a belly putter but without having it be anchored to the body.  This way with a slight modification, you don’t have to ditch your belly putter and continue to use your putter from now until the new rule takes place and never miss a beat.  Even for a brand new putter, this makes a viable choice for those that suffer in the putting department.

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Do Touring Golf Pro’s Play Graphite Shafts In Their Irons?

If someone asks you “Do Touring Golf Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.

In my position I take it for granted that the professional golfers play a lot of products or conceptual ideas that may not be available to the general public (at least yet).  After all, this is the testing grounds for the manufacturers.  I’d like to share with you a comment I received like the one early last week from a customer who said “Graphite iron shafts must only be for ladies or seniors, because I don’t seem them in stock irons or see the

pro’s using them on TV.”  The fact is, we offer many men’s R, S and even X-flex graphite iron shafts and they sell too, just not as well as steel iron shafts.

Well, TV and print media can be very powerful and can imprint thoughts or ideas into the general public. If you see enough of something or not enough, you begin to take it as a fact. For instance, Congress can’t ever seem to work together.  That is because the media only wants you to see the one side of the story that sells.  I am sure there had to be at least one or two things in the past year or two our duly elected representatives did by working together.  Maybe the media can report on that too.

Let’s look at golf for a moment. Belly putters were nothing new as they had been around for nearly 50 years.  But a couple years ago, you started to see more and more pro’s on TV using these unorthodox looking belly putters and not only playing well, but winning with them too.  All the sudden there was renewed interest from the media that boiled over into the general public. This is what we call a trend and they tend to come and go.  Let’s face it, everyone (or company) is looking for the next big trend in order to capitalize on it financially.

Download Hireko Golf CatalogHowever, certain trends tend to stick around and become a way of everyday life.  How did we survive before we had computers and cell phones? In golf, we are fortunate to have rubber golf grips, metal and eventually titanium golf clubheads, graphite shafts for woods and hybrid golf clubheads to name a few.  At one point in time those were trends too.

Recently at the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational (Colonial CC in Fort Worth, TX) a professional golfer did not only play Aldila graphite shafts in his irons, but he won with them. The following week, the winner of the Memorial also won with graphite-shafted irons.  To be honest, it is not uncommon to see 5 – 10 pros play with graphite-shafted irons on a weekly basis, according to Mickey Uhlaender at UST. But if more and more do and they excel, the media is going to jump on that bandwagon.

The point I am trying to make is there are viable options for consumers that may not be totally mainstream.  Heck, Hireko Golf falls in that category. I remember in the 1990’s that G. Loomis iron shafts became popular on tour for a while.  Other companies had brief success on tour with graphite shafted iron as well like UST with their UST Tour Weight iron shafts.  You can trust me that you will see more and more graphite-shafted irons put into play on tour.  Back-to-back wins by two different golfers is a step in the right direction.

Who knows if this will be a trend that will continue to grow or become the standard of what we see sold in the future.  That will all depend upon exposure from the media, affordability and most importantly tangible playability benefits a consumer can actually see and feel. But if someone asks you “Do any of the Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.

Graphite Design Shaft Sale