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How To - Chose the right putter


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another part in the "how to" series
Ok everyone,


In this episode of the how to series I am going to detail how one should go about finding the right putter, both for them as far as fitting etc. and as far as general style.



1. The first thing to consider when deciding on a putter is something that can be applied to any style of putter and stroke. You must make sure that your putter is fitted properly. One thing you cannot afford to do is assume that the lie on your irons is the lie your putter should be. This will not always be true, as in my case, I play iron that are 2 degrees upright, but because of my stance and my arm hang, I actually play a putter that is bent 3 degrees flat. My suggestion would be to really try to get into a store to get fit using the PING putter fitter or something of the like. These are putters that often times can be adjusted for the three major things: Length, Loft, and Lie. These are very important based on your setup as it can be a great detriment to your putting if you ignore these basic fitting principles. If you cannot get a hold of one of these putter fitters your next best suggestion would be to go to PING's static fitting online. Take the measurements that they require and you should have a pretty good idea as to what your lie should be. If you cannot get the putter the best way to chose the length is just to take a putter you have and either choke down, or start cutting it in increments of half inch until you find a length you like. Once you have found that length take note of that and the lie and have the putter cut and bent. For those of you who cannot get a hold of a test putter if you forward press I would reccomend adding a degree or so to your putter's loft.


Summary of fitting -


Lie - very important to your putter and successful putting. You cannot afford to make assumptions here as the putter may require a different lie than the rest of your set. This will allow the putter to be soled correctly so that the heel and toe are evenly off the ground on a putter which such a shape as to cause this. A putter that is too flat or too upright can adversely effect your putting stroke as well as the spin imparted upon the ball.

Loft - consider your setup to the ball when determining what loft putter you want to go with. Optimal loft is about what is standard (3-4*) yet most of us do not set up with the putter shaft perfectly vertical. Therefore consider if you forward press or lean the putter back at address. If you lean the putter back have the loft on your putter bent a degree or two stronger (2-3*) to make it play like a 3-4* when you set up to the ball. If you forward press your hands have loft added to your putter i.e. a degree or two to make sure that it plays 3-4* when you set up.


Length - Find a length that allows your arms to hang and feel comfortable for you. Length is for the most part a personal preference, so try out some lengths and chose your best feel.


2. The next important factor in chosing the right putter, is considering your stroke path. There are generally two types of stroke paths; gated, and straight back straight through. The type of stroke you have greatly influences the type of putter that would be best suited to making your putting solid. Here is what the reccomendation is:


Gated stroke - to find a putter best suited to you find something that is NOT face-balanced. You will want to try putters that have toe hang so that when balanced on your fingers, the toe hangs lower than the heel. These types of putters are things like the anser/newport and other blades of the like as well as the truly blade putters 8802/napa and the jat/del mar 3.5. These type of putters allow the face to open and close with the gated putting stroke, and therefore are not fighting your stroke style. Attempting to putt with a face balanced putter can certainly work, I will not say that it can't happen, but it certainly can at times fight your stroke. However, I will caution you on this, sometimes face balancing is due to shaft position (i.e. the futura by cameron) and not the actual weighting, these putters can still work quite well with a gated putting stroke.

Straight back and through - Face-balanced putters are great for straight back and straight. These putters facilitate the ability to keep the putter face square to the target line and prevent it from wanting to open and close. Consider things such as the odyssey 2 and 3 ball, monza corza, and a few of the face balanced blades. These putters can greatly help the consistancy of your stroke. Again I will not claim that is impossible to putt well with a heel/toe weighted putter; however, it will want to open and close thus fighting your natural stroke path.

Putting stroke style is the greatest influence imo on the style of putter that you chose when purchasing a new putter. Keep in mind the above and you should find a putter that greatly suits your putting style.


3. Consider the look and feel - This is the most obvious and goes without saying almost, that you should always chose a putter that fits your eye and feels good when putting. With all the different brands, styles, and materials you are bound to find one you like. Carbon steel is quite soft but can require great maintenance without certain finishes, these putters will often times requiring oil cloths etc. Stainless steel can feel quite good to many and requires much less maintenance. Consider what you want out of a putter etc.



4. Consider the speed of the greens - this can greatly influence the weight you want in a putter above and beyond personal preference. I will say that many people have many different philosophies heavier putter for faster greens to keep from swinging too hard, heavier for slower to get momentum going to hit it harder, etc. Whatever your philosophy is consider the type of putter you like on the greens you most often play.



Good luck in your putter hunt, and feel free to PM me if you have any questions and want any help.



Thanks,


Adam
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It's pretty simple actually...

 

You take a putter in your hands, you make a stroke and ask yourself a question "Could I hole every single put I'll have with that beauty" - It the answer is a YES - Get it cause it's a feeling, no rules about putting it's just feeling

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I have to agree about how it feels. I used a 2 ball for .... well forever until one day I used a friends mil spec Newport... I loved it. Now I use a studio Newport 2 and I dont like it nearly as much as his old one. I still keep the 2 ball around just to give me another look when the cameron doesnt feel quite right or I cant seem to find the hole.

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[quote name='toustic' post='583335' date='Jun 1 2007, 01:57 AM']It's pretty simple actually...

You take a putter in your hands, you make a stroke and ask yourself a question "Could I hole every single put I'll have with that beauty" - It the answer is a YES - Get it cause it's a feeling, no rules about putting it's just feeling[/quote]
You just single handedly put the PGA of America's teaching staff out of business. :yes:

As much as feeling is important, it still doesn't help with matching a putter to your stroke. The 1st post was spot-on! :D

Very well done!!!! Reminds me of the week I spent at Ping going through the Fitting school.
More posts like the 1st make for more well-informed golfers!

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So let me see if I understand you guys.

I am left eye dominant,putt right handed and have a gated stroke so I should "probably" use a non-face balanced blade anser style putter. Right?

BTW,about a year ago I bought this gizmo that you attach to your putter face and it has a little lazer built in and it will SHOW you very plainly what sort of putter stroke you have.

After using this gadget I feel that it is almost impossible to have a straight back and through stroke.

IMO most people have a gated stroke.They may not realize it but they do.

Callaway Rouge 10.5

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I have struggled with putting for as long as I can remember. Some rounds have included stellar ball-striking and I just cannot get the putting going. I've switched around to just about every putter on the market--and I mean literally everything--and while I might find something that I like, it usually doesn't last and I am left with a putter I used to make putts with, but can't stand to look at any more. At one point, it became psychological and I even have a few left handed putters to prove that point. (I putt right handed).

 

Reading several books and getting some lessons on the issue hasn't done anything for me, until I understood the reasons WHY I like a certain putter. Having someone write this post has opened my eyes and after reading it, I went out to have one of the best putting rounds in years. And it stuck! I am using an anser style Yes putter(Callie) with a UST frequency filtered shaft, 34" in length with a pingman grip and rather than it just looking like a good putter and "feeling good", I know for sure that I won't be touching belly putters anymore, no more broomsticks, and definitely no more mallets. I'm really glad that I was able to read this thread and felt that I had to contribute.

 

Spend some time getting fit and really working on what makes your stroke "tick" as it were and it can really turn things around for your game. I'm starting to consider whether or not to return to the circuit with my newfound faith.

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Hey Adam, interesting post I agree with you on the loft lie and length, but tiger isn't the best putter in the world because the putter

is one flat or the length is right. It's because he believed he was the greatest putter in the world and that transcends into

confidence . You have to choose a putter that when you set it down your like[b] damn this feels good[/b]. Then you can fiddle with the

technical aspect of the loft and so forth. Just a different view let me know what you think. Or check out some of my other posts.

Pete

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My putting stroke is more straight-back, straight-through than gated, but it's not perfectly straight either.

I hate the look and feel of mallet putters. I love blade putters and that's what I would prefer to get, although it technically isn't attributed to my type of putting stroke. But I've putted well with them in the stores on the practice greens, and they feel great.

I'm looking at getting the Nike Method Core 3i. I like the look and feel of it...although there is one issue: I seemed to leave a lot of putts short. I don't know if it's just because of the artificial carpet greens in the stores (Golf Galaxy), or actually something with the putter that I'll have to get used to.

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My son used an Odyssey 2 ball, mallet, until i showed him how my Odyssey 1 worked and he used that for 6 months until he tried a Nike Method 001 putter in the store and that was it, he was hooked. Of course it was the expensive one with the milled face, but I saw how the roll technology works where the ball doesn't hop but immediately starts rolling very flat. He has much better feel with these blade type putters, the mallet style he just couldn't seem to square up and would push his putts to the right often.

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