Finding the right length of putter for your height and stroke is key to producing quality putts. The wrong length of putter can lead to bad posture and inconsistent contact, which is serious trouble when it comes to putting. Recent times have created a debate and divide within golfing circles as to what is the correct or acceptable length of a putter. Putter length is measured from the sole of the putter below the hosel to the top of the shaft. The rules state that a putter must be at least 18 inches long, but other than that there is no maximum limit. Professionals and amateurs alike have tested with everything from small putter, to chest putters, to putters that rest on your chin and to the most common oddly sized one in today's game, the belly putter. The following information suggests the possible advantages of different lengths of putter.
Traditional Length (32-36 inches)
Still the most common length of putter although not as dominant as it has been, the standard 33-36 inch putter helps create a pendulum swing in your putting stroke. Acting as an extension of your arms, it should be the perfect height to allow you arms to simply hang down and grip. This enhances a player's ability to use a pendulum-like stroke to give the putt as true a roll as possible.
Belly Putter (41-46 inches)
The latest craze in the golf world has definitely been the introduction of belly length putters. The belly putters bring stability to the putt by creating a third point of contact. The three points are the two hands and the belly. The putter can be anchored against the body, thereby not changing the posture of the golfer. The wrist action is easier to control as the dynamic of the swinging motion is altered by the length of the putter. The main disadvantages with a belly putter are centred on distance control and feel. It requires the golfer to use more large muscles and fewer small muscles during the putting stroke. This typically requires additional practice to develop the necessary feel for distance control.
Long Putters (48-52 inches)
By far the least common of the three is the long or 'broomhandle' putter. Varying between resting above the belly button, the chest, or even the chin these putters differ from even the belly putter. They require a complete change in grip to belly putters and traditional putters which can be used with the normal putting grip. Most players grip the club with their left hand holding the putter into their body (thumb up) and the right hand working as a claw in the middle section of the putter to pull and push through the line of the putt, like a pendulum. This makes the entire stroke of long putter in the power of the right hand. This is a tough skill to master and one that is increasingly hard to perform in the wind. Which is probably why we only see a few top-level pros adopting this method.