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Putter Fitting

About The Author:
Tom was elected to PGA Membership in 2001. Tom is the Director of Golf Operations at WCI's Sun City Center near Tampa Florida; guiding the golf operations and maintenance departments for seven golf courses comprising 144 holes of golf. Tom enjoys spending his free time with his wife and son.

Sun City Center
Tampa, FL
Author: Thomas Ritenour | Published: March 2008

The putter may be the most important golf club in the bag since approximately 40 to 50% of all strokes during the round are made with it. The length, lie angle, loft, grip size and shaft orientation are the key factors.Appearance and putter face composition are secondary factors.Most golfers play with putters that are too long thus not allowing them the position their eyes directly over the golf ball. Correct lie angle permits the putter to lie flat thus helping with alignment and contact with the center of the putter face.Loft is important based on positioning of the hands during the stroke.Golfers with a pronounced forward press will need a putter with more loft, while a golfer with little to no forward press will require less loft. A putter with too much loft will lift the ball in the air and a putter with not enough loft will cause the ball to bounce.

Quiet wrist action is very important to a consistent putting stroke.A grip that is too small will encourage too much wrist action while a putter grip that is too large will feel awkward and cumbersome.Shaft orientation is very important based on the desired putter path.A golfer who wishes to create a straight back and through stroke would benefit from a center shafted putter, while a golfer who desires a more rounded stroke will have better results with a heel shafted putter.Face balanced putters work well for the straight back and thru stroke, while non-face balanced putter will help the rounded stroke.

Appearance and putter face composition are intangibles that cannot be measured. The way the putter looks to the golfer's eye is important to building confidence.Some golfers love the look of a mallet style head, while others like a more traditional blade style putter.Appearance is strictly a personal decision but must be factored into the equation when choosing your next putter. The composition of the putter face is important to feel.Speed of greens, type of golf ball used and the desired sensation of impact will determine if the putter should have some type of insert or not.If the golfer plays fast greens an insert may dampen impact and allow an aggressive stroke.While slower greens may call for a putter with no insert to help get the ball to the hole.

If you have a putter properly fit for your stroke and like the way it looks you are well on your way to becoming a consistent putter.