For many years (about 16 to be exact) I have used a long putter and I am often asked why I use the “broom handle” as it is known.
Many golfers look at you as if you have had the affliction (the unmentionable yips) however this has never been the case. I was always a decent putter but never an exceptional putter and when Same Torrance first yielded a long puter I tried it out of curiosity however his style of putting it under the chin felt awkward to me and when I adopted this method the putter seemed to wobble and I had no control.
About 4 years later I was playing with a fellow professional who had adopted a different style and he had a shorter longer putter (seems a bit daft that) and he braced the top on his chest and when I watched his technique it looked very simple. I decided I would give it a go and to my surprise it worked really well and after I had experimented with different sizes I eventually found a style that felt really good.
Initially I had quite a few three putt greens as I got used to the new style however I was also holing my fair share of good length putts and after only a few months I felt really confident with my new style.
One of the factors that I encountered was that 15 years ago long putters were a bit taboo and only a handful had embraced the new style and whenever I was playing with fellow golfers they would often asked if I had a problem or “have I had the yips”
The amazing thing with a long putter for me is that I can go quite a while without playing and I stil feel like I am going to putt well, previously when I used a standard putter I was always trying to copy someone else (at the time I would try and copy Nick Faldo, Seve, Woosie or Olly and I often felt different each time I stood to a putt however when I stand to any putt now I am just trying to be me and I have my style and it suits me and me alone.
I do not recommend the long putter to any of my students and when I see golfers that are struggling with there putting and they try thre long putter they seem to look just as bad with the long one as they do the short one and they often revert back to their original style and I still believe that using a long putter is as skillful as using a short one and I for one hope that the R & A never ban the use of these brooms.
If I could give any advice when using a long putter it would be the same as when using a shorter putter and that would boil down to belief as whenever I am stood over any putt I seriously believe that I am going to hole it and although it does not always happen I do get very close.
I have only ever had two putters in the past 15 years and the first being a Ping copy which I thoroughly enjoyed for about eight years however when the Odyssey long putter emerged I just fell in love with it and I even have a spare just in case it gets broke or stolen as this is one of the most important pieces of golf equipment in my bag and something that I would not want to be without.