At this year’s Travelers Championship, one of the world’s great players, Rory McIlroy showed up on Saturday morning with a handful of putters trying to figure out which one he was going to use. Certainly not what you would expect from a player that has access to state of the art diagnostics and unlimited putter styles, lengths etc. I am told that a Major winner turned television commentator was called in and told Rory that the putter he had been using was all wrong for him. He seemed to find magic on the last day so let’s hope that lasts.
Why are you using the putter in your bag? If you are like Rory and always searching for the next great magic wand, it is time to get a fitting. In a putter fitting the “fitter” can get you into a putter that is the right length and lie angle. These two factors will allow you to get into consistently good posture. Good posture which includes ball position, stance width, forward bend and your distance from the ball all fit in to the consistency of your putting stroke. This of course should never be neglected. The proper loft on the putter will help produce good rolls. The weight of the putter, both the weight of the head and the “swingweight” should also be considered as this will help you better control the speed of your putts. The style of the head is also important. Complicated style putters with a lot of alignment lines would seem to help everyone aim better and therefore roll the ball on the intended line more often. This however is not true. I have fit hundreds of people into putters and find that roughly half the golfers I see do best with a simple looking head-style. One that might draw the eyes more to the face of the putter will help some people aim better. For others, all the lines, circles etc on the back of the putter will help them aim better but you would be wise not to assume that.
Unlike drivers, the technology of putters is not an ever-changing dynamic. By finding the right putter for you know you can have the consistency of starting the ball on the intended line and delivering the right speed on a day to day basis. There are two ways to find the right putter; stumble around trying a bunch of different putters is an option. Of course the downside is that you will be using the wrong putter(s) until that magical day that you happen to find the right one. The other, more logical option would be to get a custom fitting and then a putter built to the specifications you require.
Get fit, buy “your” putter and be done with it!