A properly fit putter is an essential prerequisite for successful putting. If the putter doesn’t suit the player, compensation is inevitable. In many cases, the putter is simply too long. A consequence of this is increased face rotation, problems in the swing path, and irregular impact conditions.
Fitting can be divided into different areas. The static fitting deals with the general setup. Dynamic fitting takes into account the dynamic factors at the moment of impact. The extended fitting also takes into account the characteristics of the individual putting stroke and individual preferences.
Static fitting includes the factors putter length, static loft, and static lie. To adjust length and lie, a simple scheme is used. Three reference lines are considered in the side view of a player’s setup:
- Eye roughly over the ball
- Hands under the shoulders, over the tips of the feet
- Extension of the putter into the forearms
Correct Fitting Position:
To determine the correct length of the putter, the player is first brought into a reference setup. The arms should hang relaxed under the shoulders with the shoulders width apart. The upper body is comfortably bent forward at an intermediate angle. Now the player has to move forward or back until their eyes are over the ball (controlled with a mirror). The hands are then placed together as if praying. The arms must now be able to swing freely to the right and left.
A fitting putter with an adjustable length is then fitted into the hands in the middle position. The length can now be measured on the fitting putter or ruler/tape measure. The static lie can also be checked and confirmed in this position. If there is no fitting putter available, you can simply check how the putter sits in this position. Whether this position actually suits the player can be checked by closing his eyes, standing up and then addressing again. If the positions consistently differ, a compromise should be found.
Static loft must be measured with a loft meter. The standard loft on putters is three to four degrees, but there are also putters on the market with greatly reduced loft of just one to two degrees. Depending on the position of the shaft, the static loft can be changed. Many tour players deloft their putters using a “forward press” to allow for a flatter launch angle and topspin.
SAM PuttLab is a perfect measuring tool for dynamic putter fitting. Dynamic fitting includes selection of putter design, putter head balance, adjusting the dynamic loft and dynamic lie, grip configuration, and more sophisticated aspects such as weighting. The data can also be used to confirm previous selections e.g. related to the length of the putter.
SAM PuttLab offers unique fitting protocols that guide you interactively through the fitting process. The EasyFit protocol is a one-measurement process for the most important fitting aspects. The PerfectFit protocol is a two-measurement protocol also covering extended aspects such as head and shaft weighting.
The putter head should be chosen depending on the characteristics of the putting movement. If there is a lot of rotation overall or if rotation is on a straight swing path, then a toe-hang putter that supports rotation is more suitable. This can be either a blade putter or an Anser putter with a 45° toe hang. If there is little rotation overall or the face is neutral on the path, then a face-balanced putter that does not rotate on its own is more suitable. This can be a mallet putter, a center shafted putter, or an Anser putter with a 30° toe hang.
If the impact point on the putter head is inconsistent or the impact point is outside the sweet spot, a putter head with a high MOI can be chosen.
Loft & Lie
The dynamic loft is considered together with the angle of attack to the ball. Both factors can be influenced by putter specs but also by ball position. When putting on fast greens, the dynamic loft should be around two degrees and the impact angle should be three to four degrees upwards (only 1-2 degrees for crosshanded grips). Consequently, with a neutral hand position, a putter with two degrees of loft should be played. If the setup position is maintained, the dynamic lie should correspond to the set static lie.
Selection, thickness, and weight of the grip correspond to consistency of face rotation and on overall consistency of the putting. A thicker grip makes the hands more stable during the putt and should be preferred by amateurs. If face rotation is smooth and consistent, and if there are no problems with active hands a thin grip be chosen to support feel which is important for distance control. If there are problems with over-active hands a thicker or heavier grip should be chosen.
With extended fitting, individual preferences are taken more into account. The weight of the putter changes the swing behavior. If the player has irregular movement and an inconsistent rhythm, a little more weight can calm the movement. Heavier putters like the Heavy Putter distribute the extra weight on the putter head and the grip to maintain the balance of the putter. Too much weight on the head makes the putter top-heavy and the sensitivity of the movement decreases. In this scenario, the stroke becomes increasingly difficult to control, especially on fast greens and with shorter putts. Lighter weighted putters are more beneficial for players with a lot of sensitivity or feel.
Shaft weighting (pluggable weights positioned under the handle) calms the movement, but more importantly, also calms the wrists. This is a perfect solution if the player is suffering from Yips-like problems. At the same time, the putter head still feels light, which means that the important feel is retained. If the putter has been shortened, the missing weight at the top of the grip can be replaced with a weight insert (Balance Certified).
In some concepts, offset is used to correct misalignment. Theoretically, with the same ball position and more offset, the clubface should point more to the left. However, this effect is not uniform, and adjusted offset also changes the visual impression of the face at address. Shaft offset is also a matter of visual preferences.
These are just a few tips and ideas on putter fitting for more information contact us:
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Science&Motion is recognized for its cutting-edge technology in the Golf industry, in particular, but not limited to putting. SAM PuttLab is for more than 20 years the industry standard for professional putt analysis and putt training. By introducing the SAM PuttStudio, Science&Motion has extended its portfolio to full Putt studio installations including Ball Tracking, Projection, High-speed video, Balance plates, and more. Movement science and research by the Science&Motion Academy have been the foundation of developing these technologies.
Media Contact: Roman Goll, email@example.com