Long Putters Surge in Popularity

MICHELLE_WIE_PUTTERWhat’s responsible for the surge in popularity of the long putter on professional golf tours? Why are so many PGA and now LPGA Tour golfers using the belly and broomstick models? For golf purists, the question is quite perplexing.

When Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, he became the first golfer to win a major championship using something other than a standard-length putter. Bradley uses a belly putter, which is different from the broomstick putter that is anchored to a players chest or chin. That’s the putter that purists insist is not a real golf swing.

It’s not that long ago when a player using a long putter (belly or broomstick) was considered to be a player who couldn’t putt. Sure, there were the players who switched because of injury or age, trying to relieve a certain stress on their back or shoulders. But for the most part players with long putters were failed putters, golfer who had to search out a gimmick to come close to holing a putt.

A few weeks ago, 21 year-old Michelle Wie, began using a belly putter in an LPGA event. She joins a number of PGA Tour players in their 20s, including Bradley, who use either a belly or broomstick putter. It seems as though a long putter is no longer the last resort or something you fall into in your mid-30s or early-40s to stay on tour or when you are 50 and your back makes it tough just to mark you ball.