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Does your putter “want” to stay on line?

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf InstructionGolf Videos

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I’ve been tinkering with putters, pictures and videos in the putter category this spring. This post relates to a putter’s “desire” to stay on target.

I see a lot of players who can’t keep their putters traveling on the target line. Much of this is due to the fact that they have poor technique I’m sure. But how much of that could be the putter? More than any other club in the bag, putters are very personal and very “feel” related. When I pick up a putter for the first time the first thing I do is see if it likes to be square to the target when I take my address position. I’ll hold the putter just off the ground at address lightly and then let go and see if it wants to remain square. Some putters stay square and some fall open or closed. If the putter wants to fall a few degrees open, then if you get lazy or lose concentration on your putt you may push it.

So here’s a video showing the unscientific way I like to test putters to see if they “want” to stay on the proper line:

9 responses to “Does your putter “want” to stay on line?”

  1. gonzogolf says:

    I’m glad this works for you and gives you confidence. I’m also glad you said its unscientific because from a science standpoint, its hogwash 🙂 Testing a putters resistance to twisting while its resting on its sole is like finding how well a car corners while lying on its side, they arent meant to function that way. The putters you say stay on line both have flat bottoms. The Grace putter has a cambered (v-shaped) sole so when you let it hit the ground and hold its own weight its going to fall offline, because the sole is cambered back as well as to the sides. The irony is that putter is one of the most resistant to twisting when it’s being swung.

  2. Glad you have a different opinion and it’s cool that you can post it here without being “moderated”… I’m not really resting the putter on the ground though. I’m lifting it off the ground. But yes I see your point about the bottom. The point I’m getting at is not when the putter is on the ground per se’ but where it wants to align on it’s own (without your grip or the ground keeping it online).

  3. I wonder if I can find a putter with a flat bottom which does what I’m talking about. HMMM. Resistance to twisting is measured at impact or during the swing?

  4. gonzogolf says:

    I probably misspoke when I said that the grace putter is the most stable when being swung. Total weight is more important in keeping something stable while being swung than where that weight is distributed. The primary thing that would cause a putter to move offline in the swing is the golfer, the influence they place on the movement of the putter is far greater than any minor perimeter weighting issue. Total weight is a factor in that it makes it harder for the golfer to manipulate the arc of the swing due to its higher inertia. To feel this, try to get handsy with one of the new “heavy putters”. Guru you were correct that MOI (resistance to twisting) is measured at impact and thats where the perimeter weighting is important.

    An oft heard rule of thumb on weighting and face balancing is that golfers who use a straight line swing are better to get a face balanced putter (one that stays face up when you rest the shaft on a finger) and golfers who fan the putter in an arc around them during the stroke should use a toe-heavy putter to help close the toe as you swing back to impact.

    I think the important part for golfers is get something that gives you the feel and look that makes you feel confident in the club. while I gently disagree with your method, you have a criteria that improves your confidence and thats more important than anything else.

  5. Golfchick says:

    What a lot of technospeak. Does it feel good or doesn’t it? Do you make putts with it or don’t you?

    I just tried this little test on my putter and had varied results. First, my new grip is a little sticky so it doesn’t drop out of my hands the same way every time. Second, it depends on whether both of your hands let go at the exact same moment. I had it falling open sometimes, falling square sometimes and falling closed sometimes. Yes, very unscientific indeed. Interesting idea, though! 🙂

  6. Just to be clear I’m trying to gather wether the putter wants to stay online DURING the swing, and not necessarily at impact…

  7. DocCrunch says:

    Hi, my putter has really been staying on line lately 😉

  8. Doc: That would be a good thing. My putter was always on line, until someone ripped it off.

  9. DocCrunch says:

    I have had my clubs stolen, in fact was just reminded of it today when i saw a beurillium (sp?) zing2 on ebay. I had gotten a new great big bertha the week before DOH! Had the entire bag stolen with my beloved 3-lw eye2’s, this was about 1997. Might not be the last thing stole from me. Check out my invention at youtube (search for DocCrunch)

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