Last time, I asked you to visualize the following:
Picture yourself standing on the center of a giant clockface and move your putter back and forth as you would when putting. Does it feel like the putterhead flows in a straight line from the 3 to 9 consistently, or swings more in an arc from the 4 to 8? Neither way is wrong, but very important to deciding the right tool for the job!
The reason this was asked is because it will help you to determine the type of putterhead you require to best suit your putting stroke. See the below graphic:
If you have a straight line stroke (from the 3 to 9) then you should look for a mallet style putter. These have most of the weight in the face to keep the putter square throughout the stroke and naturally aid this type of stroke. If you have an arcing stroke (from the 4 to the 8) an Anser-style putter will benefit you because they are toe and heel weighted to provide a larger sweet spot while also aiding the natural in-to-out-to-in style of this putting stroke.
Once you have the right tool for the job, you can now have confidence that your putter fits you, rather than taking a random putter and hoping that it will be the right fit. And make no mistake, CONFIDENCE is the key to good putting!
Often, you will hear or know of someone who has a garage full of putters and when they putt poorly, they switch their putters and putt better the next time. Believe me when I say that very rarely is the putter (club) the difference – instead, it is the BELIEF of the golfer that they will do better, and that mindset translates into confidence and better results. When they start to putt poorly again, they switch putters and the process repeats. A better scenario for long term improvement is to actually select the best putter for your stroke, then practice knowing that you and the club work in harmony. Now the success and better results are based on science, dedication and good choices, versus random chance. Now your confidence will be permanent!
When you have the style of putterhead decided, the length of the putter is important to consider. Your arms should hang naturally and be relaxed, with your eyes over the ball when you address it. You will find that you most likely will need to have the putter shortened. The standard length of a putter is 35”, which is actually better suited for the average men’s PGA Tour player’s height (over 6 feet tall). I’m not sure why equipment manufacturers continue to make putters this long when a great portion of the market would benefit from a shorter length! Even taller players will still want their putter shortened to assure that their eyes are directly over the ball at address.
Once you have the correct tool, and then make an effort to practice your putting, you will need to focus on grip, aim, and commitment, which we will look at in our next article.
Golf Operations Manager - Kokanee Springs Resort