Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Five questions with Jake Schmidt of Plop Golf
I founded the company in 1990 and named it PLOP, an acronym for “Physical Laws Of Putting.” PLOP originated with the design of its innovative, perfectly balanced, center-shafted, brass blade putter. It was used by many players, including Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros and Lorena Ochoa.
What’s your company’s mission?
The company has two missions. The first is to custom-fit every golfer. Every Tour pro’s putter is custom-fitted to his or her individual stance. Most amateurs don’t have a Tour-like swing, but many do have a putting stroke as good as a Tour professional’s. And it’s our mission to fit you and custom-make your PLOP putter just like we do for Tour pros.
Our second mission is to design and produce custom-fit putters that are works of art, possess superior physics and are the best performing in the world.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a boutique company?
While the quality and design of a putter’s shaft, grip and head are crucial to performance, without the proper fit, the golfer is missing an intrinsic component. PLOP’s new patented computerized measuring device, the “PFIT” device, precisely measures each golfer’s personal putting stance, assuring the proper lie angle and length, which places the golfer’s eyes over the ball and intended putting line. By providing the standard for fitting, our device eliminates the guesswork of getting the correct size for every golfer’s individual putting stance. The result is straighter, repeatable putts.
Consumers also are more selective when purchasing their golf equipment, especially with the higher prices of putters. PLOP sells its custom-fit putters for the same price as or less than an off-the-shelf putter, no matter which manufacturer. This is a distinct advantage to both PLOP and every golfer.
You mill your putterheads differently than other companies. Why?
I only believe in designing center-shafted putters. It’s the only club that the USGA allows to be center-shafted, and that’s a big advantage for the golfer.
The new RSVP 2 putterhead body looks like the PING Anser 2 heel-shafted putter where the hosel is attached to the heel and made out of a singular block of metal. However, the RSVP 2 center-shafted offset hosel floats through a topline heel opening untouched and only connects to a vertical center post at the center of gravity. An advantage of all heel-shafted putters is that there’s an unobstructed view of the ball at setup and through the entire putting stroke.
In 2008, I perfected the method of manufacturing and permanently inserting a separately milled offset hosel (CSH) into a separately milled body (RSVP). The CSH technology increases the amount of feel and feedback that a player receives at the moment of impact with the golf ball, thereby increasing distance and control performance on long putts and keeping the golf ball on line. It also increases the sweet spot and provides virtually no twist in the golfer’s hands at the moment of impact, helping the putt to stay on its intended line. This is a direct result of the CSH technol-ogy, reducing the variables of how much grip pressure the golfer needs to make to counteract the torque imparted at impact with a golf ball for different distances of putts. Moving the connection of the hosel from the heel to the center also helps keep the putter from opening and closing during the putting stroke, a major advantage to keeping the face square at impact.
What’s new for 2011?
I just finished designing the first Center Shafted Hosel (CSH) mallet, the new ICON 2. Check out the photos and details on our website at plopgolf.com.