2016 Putter Review
Are putter woes killing your golf game? If so, you're not alone. While it seems like putting should be one of the easier aspects of playing golf, nothing could be further from the truth. Luckily for all of those who struggle with the flatstick, the major club manufacturers are investing significant time, as well as ample research and development resources, into improving putter technology. So if you haven't been paying attention, it would be a good time to start, as there are significant innovations taking place that can help you improve your performance on the greens.
How To Find The Right Putter For You
How to match up your putter and putting stroke
Earlier this year, TGW sat down with PGA Professional Tyrus York to talk about putting and putter fitting, and one of the most important aspects of that discussion related to the need for golfers to correctly match their putting stroke and style of putter they were using.
In York’s opinion, and we’re talking about Kentucky’s 2014 PGA Teacher of the Year and someone who’s a SAM PuttLab Level 2 Instructor, that union is imperative for most golfers.
What’s great is that the putter manufacturers are doing more than ever to help players make a good choice, and here’s a look at how some of them are doing just that:
PING PUTTERS REVIEW
PING TR 1966 Anser Putters
PING Vault Putters
PING has become one of the largest and most successful golf club companies in the world over the course of the last several decades, but it all started with Karsten Solheim making putters in his garage nearly 60 years ago.
Not surprisingly, putters have always been a crucial aspect of PING’s business and through the years the company has produced some of the most popular putters ever made.
Also not surprising is that PING was a pioneer when it came to putter fitting, as it quickly recognized the different needs that different players have when it comes to their stroke.
In addition to a comprehensive fitting system and a putting app that it has created, PING has also developed its Fit For Stroke system.
Using red, green, and blue shaft bands, PING helps players identify which putters will work best for straight back, straight through putting styles (blue), which will work best for putting strokes that operate using a slight arc (green), and which will work best with more pronounced arcs (red).
Additionally, on its website, PING will indicate in the “Specifications” section for its various putter lines which type of stroke a respective putter was intended to work with. With so many different head designs and styles to choose from, this is invaluable information for consumers in terms of getting the right putter in their hands.
In short, whether you’re looking at a Cadence or Scottsdale TR putter or a classic Vault or TR 1966 design, all of which have tremendous performance benefits, PING has made it easy for you to make a good decision when it comes to your game.
TaylorMade Putter Reviews. OS Series: Oversized For More Forgiveness
TaylorMade OS Putters
A major focus in recent years when it comes to design strategy has been to make putters more forgiving by increasing MOI (moment of inertia). And with its new OS series, TaylorMade is taking forgiveness to all new heights. The company has taken several of its classic and most popular putter designs and expanded the size of the heads slightly to improve forgiveness without sacrificing look. Accomplishing that objective was done in a unique manner. “We've done that by actually making them hollow,” said Clay Long, TaylorMade's Director of Product Creation For Putters And Wedges. “They're constructed much like a fairway wood is. They have a sole plate that's welded on, they're hollow inside, they're filled with a vibration dampening foam. That's allowed us to increase the size of the putter slightly but still maintain a nice, aesthetic look.” Additionally, the OS series offers options in both standard and counterbalanced models. The counterbalanced choices are slightly larger than the already oversized standard models and feature even greater MOI, as well as a heavier overall feel thanks to a 130-gram grip. The counterbalance technology is ideal for players who are looking for assistance in stabilizing their putting stroke.
TaylorMade might not get as much press as some of the other manufacturers on this list when it comes to putters, but it’s ramping up its game with the addition of industry veteran Clay Long, who early in his career designed putters for MacGregor, including the model Jack Nicklaus used to with the 1986 Masters.
In terms of its putter offerings, TaylorMade has made forgiveness a priority, creating high MOI models in its OS Series to help golfers achieve better results when they miss the center of the face.
That has been done by taking some of the company’s classic designs through the years and making them slightly larger. Additionally, counterbalance models exist in the OS lineup as well. They’re even slightly larger and designed to help players who need additional help in making a smoother stroke.
That said, the lineup also features three distinct models that will work well with different styles of putting strokes, something TaylorMade makes readily apparent for its players by featuring the degree of toe hang for each model as one of its specs.
More specifically, the Daytona model is a classic blade design that features 36 degrees of toe hang, meaning it will work well for players who putt using a fairly significant arc.
Players with a smaller arc, however, might benefit from using the Monte Carlo, a mid-mallet design that has 20 degrees of toe hang, while the face-balanced Spider will be a great option for players who putt using a straight back, straight through stroke.
TaylorMade also includes toe hang numbers for all of its other putter lines, including the face-balanced Spider Limited Red putter that helped propel Jason Day to No. 1 in the world.
All said, if you’re in the market for a new TaylorMade putter, make sure you pick a model that will suit your putting stroke.
Odyssey Putters Reviews: Odyssey Works - A Perfect Mix Of Feel And Performance
Odyssey White Hot RX Putters and the Odyssey Works Putters
Which Odyssey Putter Is Right For You?
The Odyssey White Hot insert has become the stuff of legends when it comes to incredible feel in a putter. But Odyssey engineers weren't willing to rest on their laurels and set out to find a way to incorporate an even better roll with the beloved White Hot feel. They decided to implement their patented Metal-X roll pattern into a new design by creating the RX Fusion insert, and the Odyssey Works family was born. “Odyssey Works is the most complete embodiment of everything we know about making more putts,” said Austie Rollinson, Chief Designer - Odyssey. The RX Fusion insert is comprised of a White Hot insert that has been covered by a thin layer of stainless steel mesh. The feel is still incredibly soft, albeit maybe slightly firmer than the White Hot, but the design gets the ball rolling more quickly, which gives golfers better speed control on the greens. To say Odyssey Works has been a success would be a significant understatement. In early May, Works putters were in the bags of the winners on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, and European Tour … all on the same weekend. The Works family features standard and counterbalanced models and includes some of Odyssey's most classic designs, such as the 2-Ball and No. 7 model, the latter of which is arguably the most popular choice on Tour.
Odyssey has achieved its position as one of the leading putter manufacturers in the world by giving players a multitude of great choices, all of which provide consistent roll patterns and excellent feel.
Included among those options, regardless of the family you choose from, are head designs that will accommodate different putting strokes with great success.
Whether it’s the highly popular White Hot RX or Works lineup, or one of the other collections offered to players, if you talk to Odyssey personnel, they’ll describe their putters in terms of toe hang, using modifiers such as full, mid, and slight to help players better understand what style will work well for their stroke.
As a specific example, the classic #9 head design, which has often been seen in Phil Mickelson’s bag, is a full hang putter that will work well for players who have extremely pronounced arcs in their stroke. The #1 head design, meanwhile, would qualify as mid hang, meaning it will work well for players with significant arcs.
In terms of a slight-arc design, the classic 2-Ball putters would fall into that category, meaning they’ll be a good choice for players with minimal arcs in their stroke, while face-balanced models like the #7 or V-Line will be excellent options for players who putt using a straight back, straight through method.
Unique to the Odyssey lineup and also noteworthy are the Toe Up designs. Odyssey has taken the classic #1 and #9 head shapes and made each as a face-balanced model, which is a dream come true for the player who wants a blade design from a look standpoint but employs a straight back, straight through stroke.
While Odyssey doesn’t list toe hang or toe flow among its putter specs, it still makes it easy for players to match up their stroke and putter style, doing this through an online fitting tool.
Golfers can enter information about their stroke and putter preferences and the program will provide recommendations accordingly, a tremendous feature for helping players pick the right putter for their game.
Cleveland Putter Reviews. Fix Your Alignment Permanently With TFI 2135
Cleveland TFI 2135 Putters
Fundamentals are crucial in golf and alignment is probably the most important of all fundamentals. That's especially true when it comes to putting. After all, if you're not aiming where you think you are, how much success can you expect to have? Even worse, you might start tampering with a perfectly sound putting stroke based on poor results that are being caused solely by alignment. In its efforts to help make putting easier for golfers, Cleveland found through research that the sightlines located on the flanges of most putters were not effective alignment tools for many players. “The sightline at the bottom just doesn't show true alignment unless your eyes are over the ball,” explained Cleveland Golf Senior Product Manager Brian Schielke. ”But we found that eighty percent of golfers don't have their eyes over the ball.” To remedy that issue, Cleveland moved the sightline on its new TFI putters 21.35 millimeters above the ground, which is exactly even with the center of the golf ball -- on the TFI putters, hence the “2135” name. The move allows golfers whose eyes fall naturally inside or outside of the ball at address to still line up correctly using the sightline. On the surface, the technology seems so obvious that even putting guru Dave Pelz was left wondering why he hadn't thought of that previously. Said Schielke: “It's been fun for us and it's really been an oversight in putter design for the last 30, 40, 50 years.”