Ping released an adjustable-length belly-putter shaft, the company announced in a statement last week.
The adjustable putter shaft, offered exclusively with the Nome 405 putter, allows players to adjust the length of the putter within a 9-inch range. Ping said it is the first major golf company to introduce a USGA-approved adjustable putter shaft.
Belly putters have surged in popularity since to Tour pros like Adam Scott and Webb Simpson used them in victories in the 2011 season. At the 2011 PGA Championship, Keegan Bradley became the first major winner to use a belly putter. In February, a New York Times article called belly putters, "the hottest product in golf equipment."
“At PING, custom fitting is our priority, and with the popularity of belly putters we saw a unique fitting opportunity because shaft length is so critical to performance,” Ping CEO John A. Soleim said in a statement. “Adjustability is key because the standard 42-inch belly putter fits a narrow range of people. When the shaft is too long or too short, it alters your distance from the ball, your eye position, and the path of your stroke. Adjustability lets you experiment until your posture is comfortable and your eyes are over the ball, which helps you make a consistent stroke and solid impact. We’re pleased to have USGA approval of this easy-to-use, innovative technology. Golfers are going to find it will help improve their putting.”
According to Ping, the putter's length can be adjusted from 37.5 to 46.5 inches. How does it work? Here's how Ping explains it:
The player changes the length using a Ping adjustment tool that threads into a locking ring on the shaft. Turning the tool loosens the ring, allowing the shaft to slide telescopically. The player then adjusts the shaft to the desired length. Turning the adjustment tool in the opposite direction and removing it locks the ring and secures the shaft so it’s ready for play.
As one more fitting step, the shaft is available in three different bends to match Straight, Slight Arc, and Strong Arc stroke types. This coincides with PING’s Fit for Stroke™ putter-fitting concept.
The standard-length Nome arrives in pro shops this week, but it had an impressive debut on the PGA Tour when Hunter Mahan used it during his winning run at the Accenture World Match Play in February. He also used it en route to his win at the Shell Houston Open. The Nome long putter with adjustable shaft will be available May 1 for $320.