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Experimented with one of my Rife Aussies...

PuttingDoc is gunna hate me..

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#1 TNSooner

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

So earlier this week I got a wild hair and took one of my stainless Aussies to the garage and hit the face with my belt sander...was thinking that taking the grooves down a little would slow the ball down coming off the face.  I went ahead and sanded it down smooth (or as smooth as I could get it without making the face uneven) and took it to the practice green today.

The greens at my club are in great shape right now...rolling around 11...and went at it for about an hour.

Big mistake...as I soon discovered, the grooves serve several purposes.

1. The feel is unmatched WITH the grooves.  I found that they actually SOFTEN the feel of the putter considerably.  By sanding down the face, I got a really significant "clicky" feel that I soon found out that I didn't care for.

2.  They get the ball rolling SOOO much better than without them.  Granted a Rife only has 2 degrees of loft, but as PuttingDoc explained to me once while I was on his SAM Lab software at Pinehurst, that path and upward movement of the putter at impact are good enough to produce a reasonable roll of the golf ball on a putting surface, but the grooves on the Rife really do make it that much easier if you don't hit the ball in the sweet spot of the putter...

Confirmed my feeling...won't be looking for another brand of putter for a long time...

Pic 1 of Aussie sanded smooth
Aussie Smooth 1.JPG

Pic 2 of Aussie sanded smooth
Aussie Smooth 2.JPG

I'm staying with this one
Aussie Grooves 2.JPG

Edited by TNSooner, 21 November 2012 - 08:48 PM.


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#2 RookieBlue7

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

Why didn't you just take a file and make 2-3 passes instead of going that deep off the get go? Just curious.

#3 Wolsey

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:10 AM

Or use a blade without the grooves? Seems an awful waste of a decent putter.

#4 PuttingDoctor

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

Sooner, you destroy them we'll make more.... You sure you're not from Missouri .... Great test of what works and what doesn't.  Thanks for sharing.

#5 wrbush31

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

You can't fault him for trying. It was an experiment and attempt at discovery...and he determined it didn't work for him.

Think it was a cool effort.

The putter looks pretty sweet sanded down, too bad it plays terrible.


#6 moocherpix

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 01:15 PM

You seem to be on a roll.  While you are testing, how about you find a local machine shop that would put some deep milling on that rascal, so you can see the difference in THAT sort of surface?
Nick

#7 Chappie

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

Not really a one to one experiment. Rife putters are made the way they are because the grooves allow them to be 1.softer without using a softer metal and 2.roll the ball quicker with less loft. If you take away those grooves you are disrupting the purpose of how the putter is built as turning it into something that it isn't.

If you wanted to know if you would like another brand you should compare it with another brand. A 4.5* plumbers neck anser style head of carbon steel won't have a clicks feel and probably will get the ball going about as well. From there it just comes down to personal preference and getting either of them fit for you.

#8 PuttingDoctor

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

Chappie, you make a good observation in the first paragraph but contradict it with the second...

A 4.5 degree lofted putter employed in the same manner as a 2 degree RIFE putter will not get the ball rolling the same with the same mechanics of stroke.  

To achieve a top spin launch profile the Rife would only need 2.7 degrees of rise angle if the loft was neutral at impact.  The alternate putter would need 5.4 degrees of rise which would be way out of the normal range.

I'm not disputing the carbon feel/sound just the idea that a high loft putter would perform similar to a lower lofted putter.

#9 502 to Right

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:06 PM

View PostPuttingDoctor, on 23 November 2012 - 09:24 PM, said:

Chappie, you make a good observation in the first paragraph but contradict it with the second...

A 4.5 degree lofted putter employed in the same manner as a 2 degree RIFE putter will not get the ball rolling the same with the same mechanics of stroke.  

To achieve a top spin launch profile the Rife would only need 2.7 degrees of rise angle if the loft was neutral at impact.  The alternate putter would need 5.4 degrees of rise which would be way out of the normal range.

I'm not disputing the carbon feel/sound just the idea that a high loft putter would perform similar to a lower lofted putter.

I'd rather make a smooth stroke with 0 degrees of rise than a jabby one with 2.7 degrees of rise.  I know we've discussed this before but I think the Swash/Rife interest in achieving a rise angle at impact can be counterproductive for the golfer who doesn't naturally produce it.

#10 PuttingDoctor

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:14 AM

View Post502 to Right, on 23 November 2012 - 10:06 PM, said:

View PostPuttingDoctor, on 23 November 2012 - 09:24 PM, said:

Chappie, you make a good observation in the first paragraph but contradict it with the second...

A 4.5 degree lofted putter employed in the same manner as a 2 degree RIFE putter will not get the ball rolling the same with the same mechanics of stroke.  

To achieve a top spin launch profile the Rife would only need 2.7 degrees of rise angle if the loft was neutral at impact.  The alternate putter would need 5.4 degrees of rise which would be way out of the normal range.

I'm not disputing the carbon feel/sound just the idea that a high loft putter would perform similar to a lower lofted putter.

I'd rather make a smooth stroke with 0 degrees of rise than a jabby one with 2.7 degrees of rise.  I know we've discussed this before but I think the Swash/Rife interest in achieving a rise angle at impact can be counterproductive for the golfer who doesn't naturally produce it.

502 I can actually get behind that. I don't want anything in the putting stroke that isn't natural and neutral.  Rise is a natural component of the putting stroke.  How much rise is related to ball position in stance as well as shoulder cant. I've seen the strokes you mention above and find the contrived rise to be problematic. This assumes the stroke is coming from the shoulder plane vs. a lateral swinging of the arms only. The zero rise stroke will work fine if the loft is, as we're discussing, kept to a minimum.  

It might be time to think about a predicted launch angle on a given stimp value with 2 degrees being optimum.  So with a zero rise and 2 - 3 degrees of loft we're looking at a back spin profile with a hopping, skidding initial ball flight.


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#11 Chappie

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

View PostPuttingDoctor, on 23 November 2012 - 09:24 PM, said:

Chappie, you make a good observation in the first paragraph but contradict it with the second...

A 4.5 degree lofted putter employed in the same manner as a 2 degree RIFE putter will not get the ball rolling the same with the same mechanics of stroke.  

To achieve a top spin launch profile the Rife would only need 2.7 degrees of rise angle if the loft was neutral at impact.  The alternate putter would need 5.4 degrees of rise which would be way out of the normal range.

I'm not disputing the carbon feel/sound just the idea that a high loft putter would perform similar to a lower lofted putter.

You're right, but I was being somewhat dramatic with how I phrased it. My overall point was more along the lines of using another anser style head that is fitted to you. In the end it will likely loft out differently (and in my experience at least, higher) then what you may be fitted for with a rife. If you are just sanding down a rife putter it won't be able to represent what another grooveless putter could feel like for you.

Edited by Chappie, 24 November 2012 - 04:06 PM.


#12 Dead Solid Perfect

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

I don't want to get totally off topic but loft of the putter or I should say optimal loft has to do with stoke and putting surface right?  Roll or topspin is only effective if the ball rides the surface of the putting green.  So the ball needs to rise and then roll.  Just imparting topspin does no good it would cause the ball to hop for the first few inches.

#13 lenrex

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:17 PM

Where is the face-palm smiley?

#14 PuttingDoctor

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:06 AM

View PostDead Solid Perfect, on 24 November 2012 - 10:07 PM, said:

I don't want to get totally off topic but loft of the putter or I should say optimal loft has to do with stoke and putting surface right?  Roll or topspin is only effective if the ball rides the surface of the putting green.  So the ball needs to rise and then roll.  Just imparting topspin does no good it would cause the ball to hop for the first few inches.

DSP, optimal launch angle for a stimp of 10 is 2 degrees so it would follow that a higher launch angle would be desired on slower surfaces. But not much more.  We demonstrate this with the Rife Dew Board very effectively.  

Optimal loft might best be expressed as Effective or Dynamic Loft at impact. Velocity has to be factored into this equation too. If the ball is launched at 2 degrees but with a 40' distance putt the ball will be airborne much longer than it would be for a six foot putt.

A ten foot putt will on a stimp of 10 only require a max club head speed of about 3-4 mph.  The difference of course is how much ball speed might be scrubbed off by back spin or skid.

#15 Dead Solid Perfect

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

View PostPuttingDoctor, on 25 November 2012 - 08:06 AM, said:

View PostDead Solid Perfect, on 24 November 2012 - 10:07 PM, said:

I don't want to get totally off topic but loft of the putter or I should say optimal loft has to do with stoke and putting surface right?  Roll or topspin is only effective if the ball rides the surface of the putting green.  So the ball needs to rise and then roll.  Just imparting topspin does no good it would cause the ball to hop for the first few inches.

DSP, optimal launch angle for a stimp of 10 is 2 degrees so it would follow that a higher launch angle would be desired on slower surfaces. But not much more.  We demonstrate this with the Rife Dew Board very effectively.  

Optimal loft might best be expressed as Effective or Dynamic Loft at impact. Velocity has to be factored into this equation too. If the ball is launched at 2 degrees but with a 40' distance putt the ball will be airborne much longer than it would be for a six foot putt.

A ten foot putt will on a stimp of 10 only require a max club head speed of about 3-4 mph.  The difference of course is how much ball speed might be scrubbed off by back spin or skid.
So really your looking for a loft of 2 degrees at impact, resting loft the putter depends on players stroke. My question how does type of putting surface effect loft, bent, Bermuda or poa?  Does a grainier surface or thicker blade of grass require a different loft?
I'm not supporting what was done to this putter I think he just destroyed his putter,  I use a rife and have used different models over the years. I do find I get a better roll with the grooved face. It seems I also get a better roll with 3 degrees of loft on the putter.

Edited by Dead Solid Perfect, 25 November 2012 - 12:38 PM.


#16 TNSooner

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

I think some casual observers are completely missing the point.  I have 4 different Aussies (through trades, gifts, etc...) and this one was by far the worst of all of them.  Completely beat to hell.  The grooves on the face had tons of dings as a result of my brother (he gave me the putter several months ago) not keeping a headcover on it for several years and completely neglecting it.  It wasn't a loss to try something that was an EXPERIMENT on a putter that had very little value and was never going to be used anyway...

I obviously didn't make that clear in the OP, but since you can't see the topline or the back of the putter, you can't see the damage done to this thing.

I spent a good amount of time with PuttingDoctor at an event that I played in at Pinehurst several years ago after a session on his SAM PuttLab software and he had some great comments about the effects/non-effects of grooves on different brands of putters.   This was intended to be an experiment in order to reinforce what he told me about my dedication to the Rife brand.  IMHO, they provide the best roll and feel...

#17 Dead Solid Perfect

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:42 PM

My intent wasn't to bash your attempt, hell i'm putting with a Barbados tropical belly cut down to 35. It's heavier than it should be and shouldn't work but it does. I'm more curious about the loft topic that has arisen.  I've destroyed plenty of clubs trying new things. I will say that I have never had a putter that sits so perfect as this Barbados, my pro has even commented about how well it sits behind the ball.  I do agree the roll achieved by Rife's putters seems to be more consistent than putters without, IMHO.

#18 bioman

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

Have you tried other grooved putters (method, tm) against the rife to compare?

#19 TNSooner

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

View Postbioman, on 25 November 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

Have you tried other grooved putters (method, tm) against the rife to compare?

I have...just didn't have the feel of the Rife.  Plus the Rife just seems to set up better.  Hard to describe but a lot of the other brands look "hook-faced" to me...like they sit on the ground closed or something.  I don't forward press to start the stroke so I don't worry about the face inadvertently opening or closing at address, but I would assume that the little bit of relief that the Aussie has on the trailing edge of the sole may have something to do with that...

#20 Dead Solid Perfect

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

View Postbioman, on 25 November 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

Have you tried other grooved putters (method, tm) against the rife to compare?
Yea Rife seems to set up better and has a softer feel. IMO let me add lie angle is crucial for set up so what ever stick you use some time should be spent getting it correct. What Rife seems to accomplish is once its set when the putter is set behind ball it doesn't waver toe to heel.


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