A New Crop of Putters To Help Your Putting Statistics
Golf is definitely more fun when you are the best putter that you can be, whatever the technique employed and the putter used.
It’s all about confidence in your putting game and it is built from understanding the correct techniques and how these lead to improved putting. Of course, as Gary Player is fond of saying, “the harder one practices, the luckier one gets”.
While there are many types of putters, golfers should not overlook many additional options to improve their putting by trying different types and grip configurations, such as the belly putter, the tall putter, putting left-handed, switch putting, or any of many types of grip options – cross-handed style, the claw, ten-fingered grip, reverse overlap, or split-handed. And new oversized grips such as the Super Stroke are also now commonplace, even on Tour.
What is most amazing to this writer is the fact that as with all the other clubs in your bag that can be custom fitted, putters too can be custom fit, very inexpensively. Yet golfers either do not know this, or are too lazy and simply follow the herd mentality of buying off the rack.
This point cannot be over emphasized – getting custom fit by a competent club fitter will solve 90% of all your putting problems.
Recently we reviewed these putters that can improve both one’s putting and enjoyment in a remarkably short time:
TaylorMade’s Ghost Spider
Since 2008, when TaylorMade launched the Monza Spider, I have been one of its proponents and continue to use the Spider even though I test many great putters through my reviewing process. There is something about the consistent feel, distance control and confidence that I have yet to experience with any other putter.
On Tour, Jason Day has achieved great success with this putter by garnishing runner up finishes in both this year’s Masters and US Open Championships. Retief Goosen, Paul Goydos and Scott McCarron also favor the Spider.
Now with the introduction of the “White Out” throughout the TaylorMade line of equipment, the Spider is even better as the alignment feature is now exacerbated and the white head contrasts sharply with the turf to make it dramatically easier to determine where the face is aimed.
Like the Monza Spider, the Ghost Spider incorporates the same innovative, steel wire-frame construction that concentrates most of the weight in the perimeter, which creates the high MOI that makes the putter head so highly resistant to twisting on off-center hits.
The Ghost Spider also shares the Monza Spider’s Movable Weight Technology™ (MWT®), which allows the user to customize the feel by changing the weights to make the head heavier or lighter.
The other major change from the original Monza Spider is the new insert, PURE ROLL Surlyn Insert, which promotes forward spin to help reduce skidding to encourage a smooth, accurate roll and precise speed control. The PURE ROLL Insert’s soft Surlyn construction delivers a satisfyingly soft sound and a great feel at impact.
The Crème de la Crème of these latest putters is the SeeMore m 5x Mallet Black Satin 303 stainless mSeries Private Reserve. Once again this Franklin, Tennessee based company has introduced a truly useful putter that simply makes sense and definitely lowers your putts per round. Our testing group always eagerly await the latest putters from SeeMore.
In my humble opinion, if you cannot afford to be custom fit for a putter or simply do not have the time for whatever reason, the SeeMore line of putters, are without a doubt, going to increase your putting prowess.
This mallet putter was designed for the player who is most comfortable with the look of a larger center shaft mallet. The m5x features a unique sole design and weight design which optimizes the benefits of SeeMore’s patented and proven RifleScope Technology alignment system, by allowing the putter to swing on the golfer’s natural plane, whether that be closer to a natural arc or straight back and straight through stroke.
The m5x also includes a bi-metal design with a milled aluminum face insert for optimal feel and performance. The m5x has a single top line and two sightlines on the back flange and is available in 3 material and finish options.
m5x Private Reserve. Black satin 303 Stainless mSeries Private Reserve, $395 retail
m5x Platinum. Platinum 303 Stainless mSeries, $325 retail
m5x CS. Black gunmetal carbon steel, $325 retail
Nike Method Core
Following the very successful introduction of the Method putter series, Nike has enhanced their new model, the Method Core putter, with a new insert. What our testers really liked about the Method putters, was the ability to feel a grasp of the ball off the face, translating into a better feel. Now with the new Polymetal Groove Technology (PGT) insert, an even better feel is evident.
The major distinction between the earlier version is that the Core putter features a unique polymer-aluminum insert face with a polymer back that goes all the way through the small milled grooves. Also, there is a difference from the original Method putters which currently sell for $250.00.
The difference of the $120 price tag is that the Method Core heads are made from cast steel while the original Method putters are precision-milled from stainless steel. Also, on the original Method putters, the polymer grooves are ported through the sole and extruded through the face; on the Method Core putters, however, the grooves are simply encased in a red aluminum insert
The polymer-aluminum insert lessens impact vibrations, provides a pure sound, and grabs the ball at impact, resulting in a smooth, more controlled forward roll at impact. This helps eliminate backspin which causes skidding and mis-direction.
The putter sets up really well, was aesthetically very pleasing to our testing group, and they were impressed by the putter’s performance.
Nike Method Core putters are available in five models, 3 of which are blades, 1 mid-mallet and 1 mallet.
Blades: MC-1i, MC-2i, MC-3i
Mallets: MC-4i (mid-mallet), MC-5i
ODYSSEY WHITE ICE D.A.R.T. BLACK PUTTER
Odyssey makes the hottest putters on Tour currently and are, in fact, the most popular putters worldwide. Their exemplary line of putters are not only proven Tour winners, but their technology and styling is second to none! Their most current model line is the D.A.R.T. line of putters.
We tested the WHITE ICE D.A.R.T. BLACK PUTTER – amazing as to its accuracy, feel and ease of alignment.
Odyssey’s Direction and Realignment Technology (D.A.R.T.) utilizes a dart-like pattern on the top of the putter head to easily align the center of the putter face with the target when addressing the ball. The D.A.R.T. standard model is a mallet with a double-bend shaft and full shaft offset, while the D.A.R.T Blade features a crank-neck hosel and full-shaft offset. The stark contrast of white against black on the head maximizes the visibility of the D.A.R.T. alignment feature.
Rather than bore you, the reader, with all the technical specifications, the D.A.R.T design is based on the brain’s ability to complete images that the eye doesn’t at first see. In this case, the mind completes the apex of the dart device in the center of the ball, ensuring the most accurate alignment possible. Just a one-degree misalignment on a 12-foot putt is the difference between a make and a miss. If you are interested, Odyssey’s web site offers the whole story on D.A.R.T. technology.
Also featured in the D.A.R.T. line of putters is Odyssey’s newest multi-layer insert, White Ice, which has been fine-tuned to enhance sound, resiliency and consistency. The inner core of the insert is 19.65 percent firmer to enhance feel and 92 percent stiffer for better resiliency, which leads to consistent distance control. The face surface of the White Ice insert has been roughened to enhance sound at impact with today’s softer golf balls and to increase friction to promote forward roll. Adjustable weighting allows golfers to optimize their putters with three interchangeable options to dial in the perfect feel.
Long putters, whether belly or chest putters, have found their way on to all the professional tours. How one perceives their use, whether positive or negative, they are extremely popular.
First and foremost, golfers need to take a putting lesson from a PGTAA or PGA professional, then let the pro do a custom fitting. The pro can determine whether a belly or chest putter is appropriate.
One company, Face On Putting and PR Dionne, Inc., has introduced their GP Putter that is both a long putter model and is designed for side-putting, aka side saddle putting.
Putting has to do with accuracy, the more accurate the putt, the better your score and the more you enjoy the game.
The Face On Putting ( side saddle) system has introduced the idea of anchoring the grip to eliminate excess movement in the stroke, thus producing a pendulum stroke.
The pendulum stroke gives you more control of the club and ball speed. It is more precise and improves accuracy.
The GP Putter from Face On Putting conforms with the USGA rules and is available in right or left handed models. The GP Putter features high quality workmanship and materials and comes with a thirty-day money back guarantee. The GP Putter is available at pro shops, green grass retailers, off-course golf specialty and sporting goods retailers, and golf catalogs.
STX SS2 Putter
Tom Lehman loved STX and used it for many years. Over the years STX Sync Putters have garnered a reputation for their artistic flare, innovative designs, and state-of-the art technology.
STX putters have been used to capture twelve PGA Tour events and one major from 1995 to 2005. Its success can be directly attributed to the company’s Soft Insert Technology called “F.E.E.L.” – Friction Enhancing Elastomer Layer. This patented STX technology dramatically increases the coefficient of friction to put a greater amount of topspin on the ball and keep your putts on line. The Soft Face Insert keeps the ball in contact with the putter longer to also provide superior directional control, decreased ball skid and reduced ball deformation.
The putters in the STX series are the SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4 and SS5. The last three look more like traditional blade putters, while the first two have more unique designs.
The new STX SS2 Putter resembles its predecessor, the Sync Tour Mallet. It is a contemporary mallet that features the signature STX bullet back design which distributes optimum weight directly behind the sweet spot. This crucial element is why the Sync Tour Mallet was a favorite on the PGA Tour. It is proven to keep any stroke on line with extraordinary balance and unforgettable feel.
What differentiates the new STX SS2 from the original is its uniquely designed heel-toe element that increases the M.O.I. The modern mallet head size is considerably smaller, but weighs in heavier at 355 grams. A standard feature in the Sync Series is the step-less center shaft. On the STX SS2 Putter, it is positioned directly in the center for precision putting shots.
The black insert is the softest insert in the STX line. It delivers the highest friction and resiliency rate with increased dwell time. Those characteristics are chemically formulated to get the ball rolling sooner and keep your putts on line. For a medium resiliency rate, the red insert offers an intermediate amount of dwell time for true control. For golfers who prefer a firmer feel, the green insert provides a harder feel with less resilience.
Our testing group found that the responsiveness and style of the SS2 putter was as good, if not better, than competing insert putter models.
Elmer Golf’s M1 Putter
This highly adjustable, well-designed and great feeling putter is milled from a single solid aluminum billet to ensure perfect consistency. The M1 Putter has been designed with a number of revolutionary features that will change your game forever. How cool is it to be able to adjust your lie angle at will? Now you can tinker and get the best lie set up for your stroke.
70% of our 25 person testing group was really enamored with the M1, and the PGTAA and PGA pros thought it was an ideal tool to imbue confidence for their students relative to putting.
Now come the additional benefits that just make this moving work of art truly different: there is the Sliding Body System for distance control, insert and non-insert milled faces, as are Aluminum and brass weighted rails included to ensure correct tracking.
The Elmer M1 is available in lengths of 32″, 33″, 34″, 35″, 36″ in the standard putter, 37″ – 44″ in the belly model and 45″ – 54″ in the broomstick model.
The M1 Putter is supplied standard with the polymer insert face and 13g aluminum rails fitted. You also get an accessory pack containing a milled aluminum face, two brass rails (38g ea.) and a Neoprene wallet with adjustment tool and instructions.
David Whitlam Big Dog Putter
Cut from the same cloth as David Edel, Scotty Cameron, Bobby Bettinardi and Kia Ma, David Whitlam is another master craftsman and putter designer/maker extraordininaire!
Whitlam putters are a blend of yesterday’s most popular models and today’s technology. All putters are CNC milled in America from a solid billet of 303 stainless steel and mild carbon steel. After milling, each putter goes through a 15 step finishing process that gives them their exquisite quality and beautiful finishes.
The BIG DOG putter comes with a big head weight of 365 grams, and features Whitlam’s new W Milled face insert. Standard lie is 71 degrees and standard loft is 3.5 degrees.
Our testing group saw this putter not only as a work of art and aesthetically pleasing, but were impressed by the feel of the putter and the confidence it imbued to the user. Their reaction to the price was rather interesting. Rolls Royce versus Chevy Camaro!
The Right Mind for Golf
Though this is a putter article, I am including three products that will assist with not just your putting game, but your mind set, positive reinforcement techniques and confidence.
My new book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, endorsed by Tour players such as Retief Goosen, Bruce Fleisher, Shaun Micheel, Brenden Pappas and many others and their caddies, will help and take your mental game to the next level.
Using the “Keep it Superbly Simple” theory, this 94 page book is a fast and enjoyable read that cuts through the anecdotes and aphorisms so often found in books on the mental game. It even comes with a tear out laminateable positive reinforcement guide that is the same as the pros carry in their bags. It is succinct, to the point, ideal for use on the course and also fits in your golf bag.
$21.95 www.pgtaa.com or www.amazon.com
MARATHON OF MIRACLES All Natural Food and Energy Bars
Keeping your mind sharp, your body healthy makes playing any sport, not just golf, essential. With an average round of golf consuming over 4 hours, keeping one’s energy and focus levels consistent requires continuous monitoring. “Energy bars” play an important role and our testing group found this particular group of products from SCNS SPORT FOODS to have the best products available on the market.
There are some great tasting, some not so bad tasting, and some awful tasting food energy bars available in this highly competitive market. There is, however, none better than the new MARATHON OF MIRACLES All Natural Food Bars and Nuts.
Brought to market by SCNS Sports Foods, distributor of golf’s number one selling energy bars – the 1st and 10th Tee, MOM all natural bars come in two varieties: Fruit & Nut and Dark Chocolate & Nuts. The Fruit & Nut variety, which is 190 calories, contains four antioxidant-rich fruits (blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates and gogi berries), as well as five nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds). The Dark Chocolate & Nuts, which is 200 calories, contains the same five nuts and seeds as the Fruit & Nut bars, plus semi-sweet chocolate chips. Both bars contain oats, soy, and flaxseed.
MOM Nuts come in two varieties: Baked Almonds with Added Calcium, and Baked Cashews with Added Fiber. All MOM Nuts are baked to provide lower fat and a more natural taste. The Baked Almonds with Added Calcium provide 15% of the DV (Daily Value) for Calcium versus regular Almonds at 6-8% DV. The MOM Baked Cashews with Added Fiber have 3g of Fiber versus only 1g for regular cashews.
MOM Food Products’ net profits after taxes are donated to Marathon of Miracles, a non-profit organization that provides cancer wellness programs www.marathonofmiracles.org.
For more information about Marathon of Miracles and 1st & 10th Tee products, visit www.scnssportsfoods.com.
Lastly, one of the most important aspects to putting, relative to feel and confidence, is the ball. Feed back is essential for confidence. The correct feel and responsiveness of the ball are just as important as distance and direction in putting.
Our testing group literally went nuts over the new Nike 20XI (think 20 +XI=2011) balls! Nike has a winner on their hands and Tour pros such as Stephen Ames, Stewart Cink, Richard Finch, Lucas Glover, Matt Haines, Anthony Kim, Kevin Kisner, Justin Leonard, Jamie Lovemark, Pablo Martin, Francesco Molinari, James Morrison and Carl Pettersson have already switched to the 20XI.
The balls two main USPs (Unique Selling proposition) are its high MOI resulting in less twisting ball flight and its new core making the 20XI ball 2-3 times faster compared to Nike’s previous ball offerings.
The 20XI is a 4-piece ball and comes in two models – the 20XI-X model for less spin and a slightly higher compression and slightly harder cover – designed to promote distance – and 20XI-S model for more spin with slightly less compression and cover hardness – engineered for increased spin and control.
The 20XI series is a premium ball that is positioned for Tour level players and skilled amateurs. As such, it will compete against the TaylorMade Penta TP, the Srixon Z Star/Z-Z Star XV, the Bridgestone Tour B330/B330-S and Callaway’s Tour i(s)/Tour i(z).
$45.99 per dozen www.nikegolf.com
There are many great putters that can be found to match your taste, your putting style and your wallet. You can use putters that the Pros use, but unless you are custom fitted, chances are that you will never achieve the results you envision. Whichever putter you decide on, keep your head still and focus on speed and direction. This alone will improve your putting.
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America . He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America , the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, has just been released this month.