As 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 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.
Now, 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.
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
interchange different weights without having to replace a grip. I 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.
As 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.