Match the right putter to your stroke
If you play with a shorter putter, you have to add weight to the clubhead to keep the swing weight consistent. (Most putter companies do this automatically, but double-check to make sure they do.) Conversely, if you use a longer putter, you should use a lighter clubhead.
If you cut down your shaft, and the putter feels too light, consider the “old school” remedy of adding lead tape to the putter’s clubhead. Every two inches of tape equals one swing weight (approximately two grams). Apply the tape evenly to the bottom of the putter until you feel as though you’ve “built” the putter that feels best to you.
I’m a certified putter fitter with Odyssey Golf here at Troon North Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Last year, the company introduced the Backstryke putter, which is one of the most revolutionary new putters to hit the market in years. What makes it so special? It’s built with an ingrained forward press, one of the qualities most great putters naturally incorporate into their strokes, but most amateurs don’t. Using the Backstryke will help you make an accelerating stroke without losing loft. Try it at your local golf course and see how it improves your roll. Better yet, come visit us at Troon North—we’d love to help you.
5. Stabilize Your Off-Center Hits
Because larger mallet clubheads are face balanced, they’re much more forgiving than blades on off-center hits. Notice the nine photos above. I didn’t strike the ball particularly well; in fact, I toed it, which if I had used a blade putter, the ball would have skidded to the right. However, with the mallet, it stayed right on the line, and I jarred it. If you struggle making consistent contact, pick up a mallet and straighten out your misses.
These days, there’s no excuse for not being properly aligned before you make your stroke. If you look at the photo here, you’ll see that I’ve drawn a line on my ball, and aimed it at the hole. From there, I used the alignment aids on the top of my 2-ball putter to ensure that everything is heading in the right direction. If I’ve read the putt correctly, and I make a good straight-back and straight-through stroke, there’s no reason this ball won’t go in the hole. The key to alignment and new alignment-aid putters is to eliminate all the things that could go wrong. Once you’ve done that, it’s up to you, your stroke and the grass between your ball and the cup.
Doug Hammer is a Class A PGA Professional and Director of Instruction at Troon North Golf Club, in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, visit www.troongolf.com.
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