Saving Strokes with Science

With so many limits and restrictions being placed on golf club manufacturers these days it's amazing to see what really smart people can do, within the legal lines, to help us save strokes. This is a prime example from the engineers at Ping. Watch...

What the people at Ping found was that the depth of the grooves on the face of a putter played a tangible role in determining ball speed and thus how far the ball travelled off the face. They also knew that off-center strikes tended to travel shorter, so they used the groove depth to actually help maintain the intended ball speeds on off-center strikes.

All of the six balls pictured above were struck with a putting robot and the exact same stroke. The three circled/striped balls were hit with a variable depth grooved putter, with one being hit out the center, another 0.75" out the heel and the other 0.75" out the toe. The three non-circled balls were struck in the same fashion, but they did not have the advantage of the variable depth grooves. Notice the massive difference in dispersion!

We all hit off-center putts. We all despise three putts. The answer seems pretty simple to me! Please know, this is not a sales pitch for Ping putters, but before you go out and buy your next golf club learn about the science behind the design.

Thanks for reading.

A Proper Putting Set Up

I see far too many "regular" golfers setting up with their hands too low and the toe of the putter way up in the air. The picture below shows the difference between what it should look like and what I see all too frequently...


If the toe of the putter is overly elevated, as we see above, then the effective loft on the face (and a putter always has some loft) will point left for right handers.

Here's a video I made after a recent lesson that shows what to look for, the changes and how to make the necessary adjustments to set up like the pros.

Spend some time with your putter in front of the mirror and you'll soon start to grasp the sense required in order to improve how you set up correctly to your putter.

Thanks for reading and please post your comments below.


The Facts About Putters

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 green means 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 on the putter face to the amount of loft they add 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.

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