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Newish to Golf, is a Good Putter Actually Necessary?


hicksaj2
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Hi!  I started golfing last year after a 20 years of thinking it would be boring, and love it now.  I've gotten a few lessons, and I'd say I'm a 15 handicap.  One of the many things wrong with my game is a consistency on the greens.  I don't think I need to upgrade my putter, it's an old ping anser 2.  Am I wrong for thinking this putter could last me a lifetime playing golf?  I think I'm just confused at what makes putters better each other.

 

Edited since my second question wasn't about equipment

Edited by hicksaj2
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  • hicksaj2 changed the title to Newish to Golf, is a Good Putter Actually Necessary?

There are an awful lot of golfers that have shot a lot of great rounds and have their names on multiple trophies with a Ping Anser 2. It's pretty much the putter that every "modern" blade putter used as its design basis.

 

Yes, newer putters have new materials, inserts, etc. But you can absolutely get the ball in the hole with that vintage Anser! I would devote the time to really learning to putt with that ... lag putting, short putting, and consistency of stroke. That will pay far more dividends than joining the "putter of the month" club!

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Ping Anser 2 is a great putter, has a history of winning on the pro tour. If you are comfortable with it, it will meet your needs.

Weight of putter head is lighter, but you can certainly get used to that. I still have a couple in copper and stainless.



Play Golf.....Play Blades......Play Something Else.....Just Go Play.....

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2 minutes ago, goaliedad30 said:

There are an awful lot of golfers that have shot a lot of great rounds and have their names on multiple trophies with a Ping Anser 2. It's pretty much the putter that every "modern" blade putter used as its design basis.

 

Yes, newer putters have new materials, inserts, etc. But you can absolutely get the ball in the hole with that vintage Anser! I would devote the time to really learning to putt with that ... lag putting, short putting, and consistency of stroke. That will pay far more dividends than joining the "putter of the month" club!

Yeah that’s what I’m thinking.  Really really dial it in with one model….  Mostly played baseball, so I’m curious does a putter eventually go dead like a baseball bat?  I know you’re hitting the ball significantly less hard, but would there ever be a scenario to get a new one?

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An expensive putter is definitely not necessary. As long as you feel confident with it you really do not have to "upgrade". If you feel confident with what you have, that putter is priceless!

 

Sim 2 8* (Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6x) - Driver

Sim 2 13.5* (Fujikura Red 7x) - 3 Wood

SIM UDI (KBS Proto Hybrid 85 S) - 2 Iron

P770 (Nippon Modus 105 S) - 4-AW

SM8 (S200) - 55*, 60*

Phantom 5.5

 

 

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I’m playing with a vintage Ping Anser that is now 50 years old. I have never putted better than I have since I bought that club when it was new and I was still in high school. As has been said many times before, it’s not the arrow, it’s the archer. You can easily change the grip without replacing the club. That can make a big change.

Edited by ScottF
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4 minutes ago, puttingmatt said:

Ping Anser 2 is a great putter, has a history of winning on the pro tour. If you are comfortable with it, it will meet your needs.

Weight of putter head is lighter, but you can certainly get used to that. I still have a couple in copper and stainless.

I have noticed it’s light.  Which is okay with me because it’s the only thing I’ve ever known haha

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4 minutes ago, Popeye64 said:

It wouldn't be a bad idea to make sure the putter fits you properly. Putting on a nice fresh grip you like as well. 

On the greens is one of the best places to make up strokes. So put the practice in.

That brings me to my next question, what’s the deal with the super stroker putter grip?  Maybe it’s just because I haven’t gotten used to one (only hit probably 5 putts in my life with one).  But it feels a bit awkward to me.

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10 minutes ago, hicksaj2 said:

That brings me to my next question, what’s the deal with the super stroker putter grip?  Maybe it’s just because I haven’t gotten used to one (only hit probably 5 putts in my life with one).  But it feels a bit awkward to me.

If you are used to the Anser 2 and an old-school pistol grip - and most importantly, if you are putting well with it, don't change the grip.  The A2 has a light head and grip, so a heavier grip will make it feel quite unbalanced. 

 

"Better" putters are mainly just expensive combinations of high-end materials, milled faces, unusual head-shapes, heavier weighting, etc.  Often I find that the best players are those who show up with a battered old Bullseye or 8802 blade, not a shiny new Scotty.

 

If you are going to buy a new putter, my advice would be to go somewhere that you can try lots out and see what suits your eye.  And - don't get rid of the Anser 2, as it'll always be a useful backup to return to if (when...) a fancy new putter goes cold!

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  • PING G400 Max 9* Tensei Orange 60g S
  • PING Anser 17 & 20* hybrids Graphite Design 85S
  • PING iBlades Green Dot CFS 80-S
  • PING Anser Forged wedges Blue Dot DG Spinner
  • PING PLD Anser (Trisole Carbon Steel) / PING Ketsch TR 400g CB
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, hicksaj2 said:

I have noticed it’s light.  Which is okay with me because it’s the only thing I’ve ever known haha

 

Old school Ping putters are made for adding lead tape to the sole.  Use the 1" = 1 gram variety, add to preference and "feels".  Doesn't work out as anticipated, peel it off.  Nothing sez baller like a classic A2 taped.  

 

Want a "new" putter, buy a BeCu A2.   

 

Be careful with installing heavier SS style grips.   Will make a already light putter feel even lighter.

 

The thing with acquiring new and relatively expensive putters.  That one doesn't make anymore putts than what was in use prior.  And all you're left with is a lighter wallet and one more thing to be PO'd about when missing putts.  These chronicles are filled with peeps stating "GOAT" putter, never going to change, only to note that the implement mentioned is nowhere to found in their WITB signature.  

 

Putters can go "dead".  Happens.  They bring joy and pleasure, only to turn cold and lifeless.  May be temporary, perhaps permanent.  Hard to assess at a singular moment in time.  Best to have options as a contingency plan if and when it occurs.  

 

My take.  YMMV.  Play Your Best.

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Laissez les bons temps rouler!

OGA - Mitglied Nummer Sechs

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If you have a putter that is not quite there for your game, consider having a putter fitting.

 

Circa 2007, I found a vintage Ping Pal putter in the used club bin at a newly opened golf shop. I dropped three balls on the synthetic putting green and sank two of three from 10 feet. The teenage clerk sold it to me for $35 - including installing a new Ping grip.

 

I struggled with it on and off for about a year, and then decided to get a putter fitting. The pro looked at my stroke and the putter and recommended:

  • flatten lie by 1 degree (curtail left misses)
  • increase loft by 2 degrees
  • add 8 grams of lead tape to the top of the blade so swingweight wasn't so light

This straightened things out, and I used the putter for two seasons quite well...until - at a golf shop Christmas party - I won a new Ping putter.

 

If you get a tune-up fitting with your Anser, maybe this will get you on target. Or, the fitting may show Anser is just not for you.

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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The saying I was told growing up about a putter is it’s not the putter it is the person putting with it. A person that putts good could use a broom handle and still putt good. So the answer is no. The putter you have will work great so now go out and practice with it.

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A quality putter means something, but for some that varies. 
For you, if you like the aspects such as the look, weight(feel) then you’ll always be set to go. 
having one that you KNOW you can do work with is very powerful than the one you’re trying to seek out because of its nuances. 
if you have a style (anser 2 in this instance) then maybe you can finaggle others that play similar (different color ways/ mills) but for now focus on what your putting game needs and let the dice roll. 
 

Ping G400/ Ping tour 65 s

Ping 410 3w / Ping tour 65 s 

Nike VRS covert 5w/ kurokage black s

Titleist 718 T-mb 4 iron / amt white s300

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First off welcome to the game.  
everyone I play with that putts well consistently has used the same putter for years.  
keep at it and develop a solid practice routine for before your round.  
I like to hit a couple twenty thirty footers to get the speed then work in from ten till I’m happy with it.  
 

Sim max 10.5° ventus red r
Ping 5 wood G410 Alta s 
Ping G710 DG 105 R300 4-U 

Cleveland RTX zipcore Raw 52°
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The putter is my best club.  I bought two cheap putters, a 33" PGX and a 29.5 Odyessy Jr 2 Ball.  The first had a really heavy swing weight and the 2nd was really light. And a little short.

Made no difference.  I could consistently sink putts with either.  It helps that in my stroke rehab, I learned to accurately throw darts.  The hardest thing isn't to be able to repeatedly sink 8 ft putts.

Rather , it is to sink a putt exactly on line, then sink another by aiming at the edge, and precisely  adjusting the pace so it still drops in the hole!

 

What do you have problems with?  Lining up the putt?  Adjusting the pace or strength of the hit  so it stops close to the hole?  Confidence in making the stroke?

 

I cut down the 33" PGX putter.  I considered extending the Odyssey but realized it would just make more sense to buy a new putter and cut it down to the length I needed. 😀

Edited by ShortGolfer
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All you need is a putter that fits you well. Get your length, loft and lie and you'll putt better with that in a $100 putter than a random $500 you buy off the shelf. 

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Lefty

Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - HZRDUS RDX Smoke Blue 6.0

3W: 13.5° Ping G410 LST - Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75X

3H: 19° Ping G410 - Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: 4i - 7i Srixon 585 / 8i - PW Srixon 785 - AMT Tour White S300

Wedges: 51° MD3 - 56° Glide 2 - 60° PM2

Putter(s): TP Mills Handmade - Kingdom Putter - NCW Boyd - and more. 

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Here are my thoughts:

 

1) You already own a "good" putter. The Ping Anser 2 is a classic and there are still PGA Tour players using Ping putters from that era (Michael Thompson comes to mind).

 

2) Putters like an Anser 2 do not go dead. It is made from stainless steel and is extremely durable and long lasting. Tiger Woods' putter, which was made of an even softer type of stainless steel, has been used for 22 years. Think about how many rounds of golf and hours of practice putting that club has endured. If not abused, your Anser 2 will outlive you.

 

3) If you putt really well with the Anser 2, I encourage you to not experiment with putters with heavier heads or large grips (like the Super Stroke). I simply would not risk messing with the feel you currently have as most modern putters are much heavier and obviously the large grips have a much different feel. Your Anser 2 is not wrong--it's just different. I would preserve that feel and not mess with it (again, assuming you putt well with it).

Edited by Mustard_Tiger
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Draw an equator on a ball, point the equator at a target on a flat surface, and figure out how to putt so the ball "rolls".  When the ball is moving the equator marks should look "still" and should not be wobbling.  This is important since it gives you consistency in both the speed and the direction of your putts.

 

A lot of things can cause this to mess up, such as not having the ball hit the sweet spot of the putter, having the putter face be open/closed to the target line at impact, or having the ball initially skid before it begins rolling.  When I first tried this, I could not for the life of me get it to happen. It turns out that I was keeping the putter head too close to the ground at impact, so the ball (with a radius of .84") was making contact with almost the very top of the putter face (putter faces are 1" tall normally).

Edited by cadoipi
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2 hours ago, ShortGolfer said:

The putter is my best club.  I bought two cheap putters, a 33" PGX and a 29.5 Odyessy Jr 2 Ball.  The first had a really heavy swing weight and the 2nd was really light. And a little short.

Made no difference.  I could consistently sink putts with either.  It helps that in my stroke rehab, I learned to accurately throw darts.  The hardest thing isn't to be able to repeatedly sink 8 ft putts.

Rather , it is to sink a putt exactly on line, then sink another by aiming at the edge, and precisely  adjusting the pace so it still drops in the hole!

 

What do you have problems with?  Lining up the putt?  Adjusting the pace or strength of the hit  so it stops close to the hole?  Confidence in making the stroke?

 

I cut down the 33" PGX putter.  I considered extending the Odyssey but realized it would just make more sense to buy a new putter and cut it down to the length I needed. 😀

I love the alignment of the anser 2, locking in the distance (especially for longer putts) is the biggest issue in my putting game.  I’m thinking about the suggestion of adding some lead tape

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I believe it’s paramount to have 3 clubs you have great confidence in…

A driver

a wedge

a putter. 
They don’t have to be the most expensive but confidence in those 3 clubs is 75% of your score. 

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I too have a Ping Anser 2 and it is a tour proven putter for a loooong time.  Ping still makes variations of it till this day.  One putter isn't better than the other.  A putter is only as good as the person using it.  If you like your Anser 2 and have confidence in it, then don't change.

10.5 deg Titleist 905R with stock UST Proforce V2 Shaft (Stiff flex)
Titleist 990 (3-PW) with stock Dynamic Gold in S300
Taylormade V-Steel 5W & 3W with Grafalloy Prolaunch Red shafts (Regular Flex)
2011 Adams Tom Watson signature wedges in 52 and 56 degrees with stock steel shafts (Player's Grind)
Rife Island Series Aruba Blade Putter

 

"Loft for loft, length for length, and shaft for shaft, the ball will go the same distance when hit on the sweet spot regardless how old the iron."

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15 minutes ago, mogc60 said:

I believe it’s paramount to have 3 clubs you have great confidence in…

A driver

a wedge

a putter. 
They don’t have to be the most expensive but confidence in those 3 clubs is 75% of your score. 

Yeah that makes sense.  I do like the main wedge I play with, but still need some consistency off the tee.

 

Lifetime of getting better ahead (hopefully)

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I will jump in and say you really do need a 'good' putter.... but good for you rather than expensive.

 

The reason why there is so many putter styles is some styles suite different strokes and different people better. 

 

I have an extremely nice Custom Scotty Cameron putter that I loved but I never putted well with. I went in for a fitting and found much different style of putter suited my stroke better. I ended up hanging my SC on the wall and moving to a very different style of putter - a flanged blade with no offset. It looks supper unforgiving, but right away my putting improved and I have had the same putter for about 15 years (and I putt very well).

 

So yes - you have a great putter. But if it is not right for you - you may need to change.

 

 

Edited by 2bGood
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I think having a putter you are comfortable with and can strike consistently is about as important as anything else in golf, equipment-wise. For most people, at least 1/3 and potentially nearly 1/2 of your shots are going to be made with a putter. Confidence in the club making those strokes cannot be understated.

 

Putts are also generally more feel oriented than any other shot. So, having a club that feels right to you and allows you to match this feel with the shot you want to hit is hugely beneficial.  

 

Putts are also the most "mental" of all shots (at least for me). Any putter that doesn't feel or look right can quickly lead to dropped shots. 

 

This doesn't mean your putter needs to be a $400 Scotty Cameron or the latest TM Spider, but it does mean you should be careful with what you put in the bag. 

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