As promised, the final installment of my chronicle of the instruction given me by PGA Professional Mike Richards at the Parkland Golf & Country Club has to do with my “Yips”. I would venture to say that every player has dealt with the Yips at some point, for reasons known, and unknown. In my case I know the reason for my Yips. I have always used a standard length putter. I just grew up thinking that was the “proper way”. Recently, however, I have seen long shafted putters, sometimes called “belly” or “chest” putters, become much more prevalent on Sunday. I couldn’t help but wonder if a long putter might be beneficial for me as well.
The focus of my lesson was not putting, but I could not resist the urge to seek Mike’s opinion on the long putter as it relates to my Yips. The main reason I get “yippie” with my putting stroke is because my right hand and arm (the extremity that is affected by my disability) is spastic. Thus, my stroke tends to be jumpy and quite inconsistent with a standard putter. I brought this up to Mike at the very end of our time together and he confirmed my suspicion; a long putter would allow me to pin the butt of the shaft to my chest with my affected hand immobilized, removing it from the equation. My left hand and arm, which are not affected by my disability, would then be the only thing controlling the path of the putter. Quite ingenious really.
Fact is, this applies to most everyone. In that, the less moving parts in your putting stroke, the more consistent it will be. Arnold Palmer stated this past weekend while hosting is own Invitational that he felt the long shafted putter ought to be disallowed due to the advantage they provide. With all due respect… We need all the help we can get Mr. Palmer! You cannot deny his wisdom of the game, however, and his statement further confirms that a long putter might be better for the majority rather than the minority.
I was on a mission to find a left hand long shafted putter, a tall order for sure, (Ahem). I was able to find a Yes! Putter on RockBottomGolf.com’s Ebay store for $59, an affordable risk for a good brand name. It came with the grips separate, so back to Golf Galaxy I went! Jason Krier, the PGA Pro there who also helped me with my Club Fitting (and on numerous other occasions) sized me up and 20 minutes later the 2 grips were installed. It was no easy task getting those grips on, and my thanks go out to Jason once again!
After the grips were installed I sauntered over to their putting green and took my Jack Nicklaus open, side saddle stance, tucked the butt of the shaft into my left armpit, immobilizing it with my right hand and proceeded to drain 4 footers repeatedly! I thought, “ummm, yea, there may be something to this!” See the photo’s below:
As you can see, it shipped with the 2 grips separate so you can fit them to your liking.
Here it rests next to one of my drivers. You can see its a good 3-5 inches longer!
And here is the finished product! Now lets see if I can keep draining those 4 footers!