Rock Bridge golfer Meyer gains confidence from long putter

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | 9:11 p.m. CDT; updated 10:36 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Rock Bridge golfer Reid Meyer, uses a Ping B-90 putter to putt the golf ball into the hole on Tuesday at L.A. Nickell Golf Course. The Ping B-90 putter is used for stability and accuracy.

COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge boys golf coach Doug Daniels describes it simply.

"It's like a pendulum," he said.

That seems to be the best way to describe how the Bruins' Reid Meyer putts.

The junior uses a long or belly putter.

Daniels, can't recall the last time he has seen a high school golfer use this type of putter. His teammates say they don't understand how he putts with the club.

None of this bothers Meyer, though. He likes the stability the club gives him.

When Meyer pulls out his black Ping putter on a green, he sometimes gets a strange look. The club has grips at the top and in the middle of the shaft and goes from his feet all the way to the Rock Bridge logo on the top of his chest. As Meyer kneels to scout the green, the club sticks up over his head like an antenna.

"I don't think I've played with anyone in high school who's used a long putter," Meyer said.

Although Daniels isn't quite sold that Meyer can handle the tall club, he understands why Meyer changed putters this season.

"Putting is such a mental thing, a confidence thing," Daniels said. "I'm sure his confidence was shot putting the other way."

Meyer had struggled last season with a traditional, shorter putter, especially on short putts. The longer, more stable putter allows Meyer to better control the direction of his putt.

"It takes the 'jitteriness' of the hands out," Daniels said. 

Meyer says his putting confidence has improved.

If Meyer's height to club length ratio doesn't throw off his opponents, the technique will.

Meyer grips the club in two different places. His left elbow extends from his body at a 90-degree angle with his forearm and hand pulled across his chest so he can grip the top of the club with his thumb placed on the top of the handle.

The positioning is used to stabilize the club and make sure the club head doesn't open. His right arm, placed on the middle grip, acts as a pendulum and allows the swinging motion of the club.

Meyer's frequent playing partner, Bruins junior Skip Miller, said he and the other Bruins can't putt with Meyer's long putter.

"I sure can't hit with it," Miller said. "But he's good with it and is able to keep good tempo."

Meyer has offered his teammates a chance to test out his club, but after a try or two they usually give up.

"They just don't want to learn," Meyer said with a smile.

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