If you are thinking of up-dating your putter for the new season will you just wander into a shop and buy one off the shelf or take some extra time and be fitted correctly for the one to suit your game?
Many golfers would go for the first option, perhaps even based on price, but how do you really know if that one is good for you?
Take a look at the first picture and you will see that I am being fitted by my guest this week Nikki Ferguson.
She has placed an eye board on the ground, and is explaining the different types of putter in relation to balance that we can try. Having made sure that my eye-line is directly above the ball, with the line across my upper shoulders/head as level as possible, we are now ready to find a putter that suits my putting technique.
Basically putters fall into two main categories; face balanced or toe down. Nikki has asked me to hit a few putts, starting with a face balanced one to see if my path is straight back and through, or slightly inside going back and out towards the right on the way through.
After only a few putts she knows that the face balanced putter is best for me. Good news, as my own putter is a face balanced one that I have had for six years.
If however you have a stroke that goes ‘in-square-in’, then perhaps the toe down would be better suited to your game.
The weight being based more at the toe end of the blade will gently help to square up the face at the point of impact. Whereas a face balanced one, with this type of action will tend to leave the face open and result in a missed putt on the right side. Most putters have around 4 degrees of loft, but if like Bernhard Langer you run the handle up your inner left forearm then you will require an extra few degrees of loft to properly roll the ball.
In picture two, Nikki is explaining that this Ping (toe down) is not for me, as my action would result in a miss on the left side of the hole on a regular basis.
So there we are, the ideal way to choose a putter that is perfectly suited to your game. Then when you know the putter is perfect, there is no excuse for missed putts. It will then be down to your action. Good luck as always. Next week: Plane issues.