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The Putter Butt refers to the top of the shaft.


Keeping the butt of your putter stationary between your hands helps you to avoid excessive wrist movement. Where it actually points throughout your stroke can differ.

During your stroke it should retain the same relationship to your arms, hands and wrists as established in your setup. But where should it point?

Demise of Wrist Putting

Stuart Dowsett

Stuart Dowsett
Sunridge Park GC

The way of executing a putting stroke has changed with the continuing improvement of the green surfaces. 

When greens ran at half the speed of what is now considered acceptable, golfers used a wristy stroke to propel the ball. Today golfers use more of a shoulders-and-arm stroke with little, if any, wrist action.

Popular putting instruction advocates that you should keep the grip end of the shaft aimed at the same spot on your stomach throughout your stroke. This will keep your shoulders, arms and hands working in harmony and help you to avoid your wrists hinging.

Golfers using a belly putter were able to anchor the putter butt in their stomach so that it doesn't move. (However, anchoring has been banned from 2016.) 

Simulation of Putter Butt

Rick Smith

Rick Smith
Golf Digest Teaching Pro

One technique to monitor any untoward movement is to stick a tee in the hole at the end of the grip and focus on keeping the tee aimed at a spot just to the left of your belly button. Rick Smith, a Golf Digest Teaching Pro, demonstrates this idea.

As with everything in putting, there is not just one way to manage your putter during the putter stroke. Certainly by keeping the butt of your putter pointing at the same spot you will avoid any tendency to push your hands through the stroke. But this is not necessarily a flaw.

Manage your Wrists

When a putting stroke starts to break down, it is often the result of excessive wrist movement. The butt of the putter, instead of remaining stationary between your hands, moves backwards and forwards during your stroke. To my mind keeping it steady is more important than the direction in which it is pointing at any one time.

Another Way

Dave Stockton

Dave Stockton
Putting Coach

Dave Stockton shows that you can still putt exceptionally well without the butt of the putter pointed at your stomach.

This is because the critical moment in any putt is at impact. If your putterface is square to your aimline (target line) and and meets the criteria for solid contact, what you do with the position of the putter shaft is less important.

Solid putting requires that you retain the wrist angles establish at address throughout your stroke. This can be accomplished in different ways. However, focusing on keeping the putter butt pointing at the same spot on your stomach is one way of combating over-active wrists.

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Image Source
1 = www.stuartdowsett.co.uk /Play Better Golf June-July 2004
2 = www.golfdigest.com / February 2010
3 = Dave Stockton's Putt to Win

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