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How to choose a Putter

Oh the putter. The one club in the bag that has ruined many games yet also acts as a great equalizer. The one club in the bag that has seen the most rotation in and out of the bag; in the bag, out of the bag, into the darkest corner in the closet and into the bag again. Some players have been together with their putters longer than they have been with their wives, and other players have shorter relationships than the life span of an ice cube. Finding a putter is tough. Length, loft, look, finish, the grip, the brand, the insert, not to mention the putter the hottest player on the PGA Tour is currently using, all play a part when picking a putter.  All of these things are variables that affect one’s decision.  The fact that a 2-foot putt counts the same as a 330-yard drive makes it easier to blame one’s putting for our undesirable scores. Since putting accounts for over 40% of the shots any given player hits during a round, picking a putter is an important process.  Here is our take as to how to go about it.

 

There is no doubt that the end goal is for the putter to perform, that it helps you make more putts.  We define performing, as a putter that allows you to set up consistently to the ball, that you can aim it properly, one that allows you to control your speed and one that puts a consistent roll. Having said that, there are still other variables that influence how a putter performs.  Therefore we have devised a short list for every player to go through when choosing a putter. 1-The look. 2- The feel. 3- The Performance.

As the famous saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  It holds true even when choosing a putter.  We believe that the look of the putter is the first thing that draws a player to a particular model.  If it’s easy on the eyes then that’s a great step in the right direction.  The feel of the putter is also vital to ensure that it performs well.  Weather the putter face is milled, has an insert, the weight of the putter, it’s length, the grip itself and the size of the grip all affect the feel of a putter.  Even the golf ball one plays affects the feel of the putter.  Once you can combine both aspects, what you like to see as well as what you like to feel, you can test how the putter will perform.  We believe the performance of the putter will suffer if the player doesn’t fully love the look and feel of it. Even if players pick it purely on performance, I have a strong feeling that a break up is in the future.

I have devised a combine that I put my players through when they are going through a putter change. I use The Perfect Putter and set up 12 different putts, which vary in length and in break.  On 6 of those putts I put the Professional Gate about 10 inches in front of the ball and on the other 6 I set up the H alignment aid.  While setting them up I also find putts with various speeds and breaks so that my players can really test out the putters.  I allot a grade to the combine for putts made as well as putts that go through the gates and after the testing has concluded the player gives me a grade as to what the putter felt like.  At the end we can tangibly see which of all the putters has performed best and also compare which of all felt best to the player.  As you can see, it’s not as simple of a process of going into the nearest pro shop and picking whatever is out there.

I am the first one to acknowledge that not all of us have the availability to numerous putters as the guys on the PGA Tour do but the average golfer can still go to their local pro or proshop and put several putter though our test. I guarantee that if you put them through our checklist, you will find a putter that you like, trust and performs.

Cheers,
Ramon Bescansa

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