Andrew Morris Golf

Custom Putter fitting

Most people have heard of iron fitting and driver fitting but fitting a putter would be less common.

Wait… Custom Putters?

When speaking to golfers coming into the shop, we would try and get as much information about their game as possible. After the first few questions it usually goes like this:

Steve: ‘Is there a particular area of your game you struggle with and a reason why your scores don’t reflect how you’ve played?’
Customer: ‘My long game, especially off the tee is a problem, but my short game is good and I don’t have a problem with my putting’

This is such a common situation as most people, including ourselves here at Andrew Morris Golf are consumed by distance and performance in the long game area.

Now there are serious advances in equipment that enables amateurs to hit longer and straighter drives. What we are not saying is that you shouldn’t spend your hard earned money on drivers but what we are asking you to do is to think about how important the putting game is and that technology has advanced here as well.

As with any part of the game if you have a sound technique and strong set-up as well as a good understanding of how to read a green it will give you more of a chance to improve your putting. Couple this with the correct putter and it gives you even more of a chance.

What Is The Correct Length?

The correct length sets your eye position about 1-2” inside the target line. You might have been told that when you putt, your eyes should be over the ball. But if you set up that way, your perception of the putting line can get distorted.

When you lean over a ball and turn your head toward the hole, your eyes trick you into thinking the cup is left of its true position. A putter that is too short will position your eye line either over the ball or too far outside as well as cause your posture to be too hunched over. Having a distorted view of the hole and the putter being too short will create a path that starts too far outside and as a result putts are generally pulled to the left.

A putter that is too long will cause your posture to be too upright and set your eye line too far inside the ball-to-target line, again giving you a distorted view of where you think the hole is but this time to the right. This also creates a path that starts a long way from the inside and for the right handed golfer putts pushed to the right of the target.

What Is The Correct Lie?

The lie of the putter is generally affected by the length as mentioned above. If the length is too long it makes it harder to hit the centre of the putter face as well as promoting a toe upright position at address. Putters generally have around 4 degrees of loft at address. With a square putter face if the toe is upright the face angle tilt will be aiming slightly to the left of the target causing a pull for the right handed golfer. Couple these variables with a stroke that would be strongly from the inside the consistency of impact would be very poor.

How Many Putter Head Types Are There?

Typically there are 3 different head types of putters you can buy.

  • Classic Blade

    Classic blades are toe weighted putters which hang with the toe pointing to the ground

  • Heal-toe weighted

    Heal-toe weighted putters hang at a 45 degree angle (4 o'clock) to the ground.

  • mallet

    Mallet putters are usually face-balanced with the putterface pointing to the sky

Without getting too technical MOI is the ability of an object to resist twisting. You will see and hear this technology mentioned a lot more in drivers. An off centre hit causes the club head to twist during the strike. The higher the MOI basically means that there is more resistance to twist from an off centre hit, keeping the face much squarer at impact thus making it more forgiving.

Now you might be saying that hitting the middle of a putter is much easier then hitting the middle of a driver!! This is true but hitting the middle of the putter can be more difficult than you think. If you have a tendency to be very inconsistent with your distance judging it can be down to strike problems. If this is the case I would recommend going for the mallet option as it has a higher MOI.

Something else to consider is your stroke. If you have a slight arc to your putting stroke then going for a blade or heel-toe weighted putter would be a better option. If you are more of a straight back and through stroke then a mallet putter is the one for you.

Most people reading this will be clueless when it comes to knowing what type of stroke they have. This is where we come in. We can view your technique and be able to direct you to the type of putter that will suit your stroke.

  • What are counter-balanced putters but and are there advantages over a standard putter?
    What we have seen on the European and USPGA Tour is the influx of counter balanced putters. These are usually longer than a standard putter and can come with their own individual weight packs. The weight is usually fixed in the top of the grip or has interchangeable weights also at the top. The reason why they have been so popular is that taking weight away from the head and positioning it to the top of the grip keeps the balance point closer to your hands. This helps keep the head much more stable during your stroke. If you have a tendency to get quite wristy or flicky during your backswing and follow through this type of putter can be your saviour. With a smoother action you should get much more consistent outcomes.
  • What are the benefits of the thicker designed putter grips you see on the US & European Tour?
    This is something that has also made a big impact on the European and USPGA Tours. The most famous of these is SUPERSTROKE. They have designed and produced grips that come in ranges of sizes that are the same width from top to bottom. The idea behind this is that it keeps the grip in the right and left hand the same thus making a more consistent stroke. The thicker grips they produce can also help prevent the hands from becoming too active during the stroke, which also aids consistency. Equipment companies have now teamed up with the grip manufacturers as the benefits they have seen with using this type of putter grip has been huge.

In Conclusion

Putters come in all shapes and sizes, lengths and lies which is why we also feel that personal choice is a huge part of putter fitting. If it looks ugly to you, no matter how perfect it is for your stroke then it’s not going to perform. There are so many choices out there that we are sure with our expert advice and a bit of trial and error we will find a match made in heaven.

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