Posts Tagged ‘toe weighted’
There is so much information out there about golf clubs, yet I never seem to see much data relative to putters. I recently had the privilege of spending an afternoon with Mike Shannon, noted putting guru from Sea Island and here are a few of the many interesting things he shared:
60% of all the grass on putting greens today did not exist 30 years ago and as a result the mow height on greens is 50% lower than it was 20 years ago. Greens are much faster than they used to be.
Faster greens mean shorter grass and shorter grass means there is no longer the need for 4 degrees of loft (the traditional loft) on putters. Most PGA Tour golfers have an effective loft of somewhere between 1 and 3 degrees. This means that when they add the loft of the putter face to the amount of loft added during the stroke it comes out to somewhere between 1 and 3 degrees. Consequently very little flight time and early roll mean less bounce and skid – a good thing! Zach Johnson actually has -1 degree of loft on his putter face.
Speaking of early roll – grooved face putters get the ball rolling 18-24% sooner than smooth faced putters. Not only that, they deter the ball from sliding up or across the face on poorly struck putts too. Sign me up for some of that help.
Keep in mind that there are essentially two genres of putters – face balanced and toe weighted. If you currently use a face balanced putter and are considering making a switch to a toe weighted version (pictured at the top of the page) keep in mind that your new putter will provide you with an additional 6-8 degrees of club face rotation or “toe float” as Scotty Cameron calls it. Toe float is the amount of rotation in the face from the backswing to the follow through. The top putters on the tour have 6-8 degrees of rotation from 6″ back from the ball to 6″ beyond impact.
Most putters are heel powered – that is, the motion is generated from the heel, which is where the shaft enters the putter head. Unless of course the putter is center shafted. This is pertinent because as the energy/power in a stroke dissipates (decelleration), the toe will have a tendency to continue closing. If there is too much acceleration through impact the toe will have a tendency to remain open and leads to missed putts to the right (speaking as a right hander). If you tend to accelerate (too much!) or decellerate through impact you might want to try a center shafted putter.
The average weight of store bought putters is a swingweight of D3-D6. The average weight of putters on the tour is E0-E5. Heavy putters are better for faster greens and vice versa for slower greens. If you need to add weight to your putter be careful when adding lead tape – you don’t want to change the balance characteristics of the putterhead. The best idea might be to get a reputable club builder to take care of it for you. Fit your putter weight to the speed of the greens you customarily putt on!
Regarding alignment: offset putters will work better for golfers who tend to aim left and non-offset putters will work better for right aimers. This is due to the manner in which a golfer sees the line of a putt. It really does work!
Before you run out and pick out your next weapon on the greens please consider some of the above advice- it really does come straight from the experts mouth!
Related articles and sites:
So often golfers are tempted into believing their equipment is the reason for the poor results they have been experiencing. Sometimes they may be correct, yet most times, this leads to the decision to make a change.
Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when considering making a change to your set:
- The latest and greatest is not necessarily all it is hyped to be. It is more than likely the same old thing with a new and exciting paint job. Decide what you like and stick with that! I am currently using a set of irons with the same type of heads (blades), shafts (Dynamic Gold s-400) and grips (rubber with reminders) that I used when I first started to play the game. (Titleist 690.MB)
- When it comes to irons there are three options: blades; the oversized helper set; and something in between the two. Get something you know you will be comfortable with.
- As far as fitting for irons we all need to know two numbers: the length and lie angle that we prefer! Not 2 degrees over standard or plus a half inch on length! This is because all companies have different standards (don’t we all?) and if you know the length and lie of your clubs you are immune to any problems that might arise. My 6 iron is 37.50 inches long and has a lie angle of 60.50 degrees. I will use those numbers for as long as I can swing.
- Get clubs that fit your body and not strictly your impact position on the day of fitting! Lose the lie boards and tape on the bottom of irons please.
- Find a shaft that fits your swing and feels good to you and then stay with it for as long as they make it! Make sure it is not too strong.
- When it comes to putters keep in mind that there are essentially two genres: face-balanced and toe weighted. If you are considering making a putter change try to stay in your genre unless things have just been horrific on the greens.
- There have been very few to no improvements made in the field of fairway woods. Titanium is very light and thus the heads tends get too big, so find a simple and small stainless steel head that you like the look of and set about developing a long lasting relationship with it.
- When selecting a fairway wood decide whether you would like to use it predominantly off the fairway or more as a tee club. Select the loft of the club accordingly.
- Limit the number of wedges in your bag to a maximum of three – that means a PW, SW and an LW at most! If you struggle with the wedges stick to a PW and SW so as to not cloud any decision-making around the greens. Tour players practice enough, are skilled enough and play the kind of courses that require precise enough shots to justify four wedges being in the bag.
- There should be an even number of degrees between each of your wedges. Most PW’s are 48 degrees and I have a 54 and a 60. Other viable options are a PW and a 52 and 56 or a PW and a 53 and 58.
- When selecting your wedges be sure to incorporate enough bounce in each club. Unless your name is Eldrick, Phil or Vijay you need more than 6 degrees of bounce on any wedge you own. That’s why manufacterers build clubs with 14 degrees of bounce!
- There are two shapes of grips folks – rounds and reminders! Find out what shape you like and ask for it by name the next time you refresh your grips.
- When it comes to grips forget the latest cool colors or which ones your favorite player is using - they are more than likely getting paid to use the ones on their clubs. Decide which grips are for you and your preference and now you don’t have to worry about the latest fad.
- The driver is the one club in the bag where it pays to stay current. Find a reputable club fitter in your area that uses a launch monitor and go and get fitted. Whenever you get the urge to replace your current big stick get back on that launch monitor to compare the latest offering with your trusty old steed!
- The current fitting carts that most companies have make it very easy to try multiple different heads with various shafts. Be patient, try them all and then find a club that gives you good numbers and looks great to you!
Enjoy watching the world’s best wade through the quagmire that appears to be the 2009 US open this weekend…..