Putter Fitting – The Most Important Club to Custom Fit
Golfers use the putter more than any other club in the bag, yet Putter fitting rarely gets the attention it deserves. 43% of the average golfer’s shots during a round of golf are struck with the putter. Yet how do most golfers buy a putter? By trial and error, with the emphasis put almost entirely on its appearance or what pro on tour plays the particular model instead of the 4 critical putter fitting elements which, if properly fit, could strip strokes off your score.
Granted, if the golfer isn’t positive about the look of the putter behind the ball, they won’t have the confidence or the ability to accurately line up the putt. On the other hand, if the putter’s Length, Loft, Lie and overall weight balance are not matched to each golfer’s style of putting, there is little chance the putter will help lower your score.
When you consider that golfers are so different in their height, arm length and putting posture, it’s logical to think that the length of the putter must be custom fit to ensure a smooth, consistent, repeating putting stroke. Having the arms scrunched up into the body or stretched out to the point of tension while stroking the putt is not conducive to putting consistency.
The loft of the putter must be matched to the golfer’s hand position at impact to ensure the ball rolls smoothly. Does the golfer forward press to start their stroke or position the ball back of center in their stance? If so, they likely need more loft. Does the golfer adopt a wristy putting stroke or do they position the ball ahead of the center to front of their stance? If so, they may need a lower loft. Do keep in mind that bending the hosel of a putter to change loft will cause the putter head to fall into an open or closed face position when the sole of the putter is rested on the ground. If the hosel is bent to change loft, the golfer will have to consciously hold the putter face square behind the ball to be able to benefit from the loft change.
Putter Lie Angle
Since putters do have a little bit of loft, typically between 3 and 5 degrees, that means if the toe or the heel of the putter is tilted off the ground at impact, the face is pointing somewhere other than the intended target line. For consistent accuracy, the putter’s lie angle must be adjusted for each golfer so the putter sits perfectly in the center of the sole from heel to toe.
Putter Weight Balance
There is a weight balance for putters that will allow every golfer to be more consistent. One of the most interesting developments in modern putter fitting is adding a substantial amount of weight in the grip end of the putter. Counterweighting, as it is called, with a 60 to 100 gram weight installed in the grip end of the shaft has proven to allow many golfers to develop a smoother stroke which results in more on center hits with the putter and more consistent distance control of the putt. Counterweighting only works with conventional putters. The most likely candidates for success with a putter counterweight are golfers who struggle with one or more of the following problems in their putting – 1) tendency to push or pull the putt; 2) distance control; 3) hitting putts off-center frequently.
When you think about custom fit golf clubs or when you act to book a custom Clubfitting appointment, be sure you talk to your custom Clubmaker about fitting for the putter too. If you do, your handicap index will be on its way to heading south on a permanent basis. So don’t hesitate, go and FIND A CLUBFITTER and you will most definitely see dramatic improvements in your putting this year!