In response to the growing interest and increased usage (depending on whom you ask) in belly and long putters, TaylorMade-adidas Golf is making available 3,000 belly-putter fitting tools at on and off-course retail shops across the U.S. TMaG says device’s all-steel telescoping shaft is designed to easily and accurately fit consumers for the proper length belly putter.
“As this category continues to emerge, we wanted to provide consumers with a highly visible device at retail that would bring awareness to the importance of properly fit belly putters,” said Michael Fox, global product category manager for putters and wedges. “Even a half-inch of missing or excess length will impact performance.”
The TaylorMade belly putter fitting tool offers a seven-inch range of adjustability to fit putter lengths from 39 inches to 46 inches (Matt Kuchar used a 44.5 inch putter to win The Players Championship) through the use of a continuous-flow telescoping shaft with clear markings at every quarter-inch to allow exact fitting. The telescoping shaft includes a quick-release lock that, when engaged, allows golfers to test their length while experiencing the same feel of an actual putter. That’s important because one of the criticisms of belly putters has been the “feel” issue.
“We expect that belly putters will account for more than 10 percent of TaylorMade’s putter purchases over the next year, and we want to make sure those who purchase them are getting the right fit,” Fox said. “Our tool is designed to precisely determine the proper length of belly putter for a given player, which depends on several variables including the player’s height, build and posture.”
Fox said the shaft system allows TaylorMade to build the tool to a weight and flex consistent with that of a fully assembled belly putter. This consistency provides proper feel through the fitting process and can allow golfers to putt normally with the tool while testing different shaft lengths and positions. The tool’s grip includes reference markings at 15 inches, 17 inches and 21 inches, to determine correct club and grip length.
The fitting tool is equipped with TaylorMade’s Ghost Manta belly putter head, designed with a 380-gram head weight and 2.5 degrees of loft on the belly putters, and includes two alignment lines consistent with each Ghost Manta putter model.