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What really happens during a putter fitting?

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With all due respect to the flastick, it’s probably safe to say when most golfers envision a club fitting, the last “club” they are thinking about is the putter.

Dial in a driver, optimize your bag setup and gapping, find the right irons and shaft combination — even wedge fittings probably garner more attention.

Should they? Shouldn’t we be paying more attention to making sure the club we use on every hole — with which the margins are the slimmest — is optimal? Shouldn’t the process of putter calibration be more sophisticated than grabbing one off the rack that feels good and you holed a couple of putts with on the equivalent of outdoor carpet?

The team at Club Champion, the nation’s No. 1 club fitter, certainly think so, and they were kind enough to answer a few questions on the subject of putter fitting.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention golfers get their fitting fee waived all September long at Club Champion — a $100 value — this month when they purchase a new putter.

GolfWRX: Why is putter fitting important, first of all?

Club Champion: So many reasons, but the easiest to understand is that the putter is the only club you use on every hole. It’s not a full-swing club so it’s not as sexy as a driver when people think of fitting — you aren’t gaining distance or obvious bragging rights. Instead, you’re dialing in your control on the greens, which is where the most strokes can be saved. For most average players, putts account for 40% of their strokes…there’s a ton of room for error there if your putter isn’t the proper head style, weight, length, and so on.

GolfWRX: What should a golfer bring to a putter fitting?

CC: Their current gamer and an open mind. We find that putters, more often than many other clubs, tend to be an emotional purchase versus a performance-based one. Putters are so stylized and can be so beautiful, so we see a lot of people coming in with preconceived notions about which brands or models they’re dying to have in the bag, but that isn’t always the right option for their stroke. Having an open mind and trusting the SAM PuttLab data is just as important as trusting the numbers in front of you when TrackMan is telling you which driver is the best performer.

GolfWRX: Is a putter fitting done as part of a full-bag fitting, or what is the process?

CC: The putter is included in our full bag fittings and we offer putter fittings as a separate fitting type as well. The best value is to do the whole bag at once but there are plenty of people who want to experience a putter fitting on its own.

GolfWRX: How do the goals of a putter fitting differ from (or are similar to) the full-bag fitting?

CC: At the end of the day, all fittings share the same goal of lowering your scores. A putter fitting is a slightly different approach, in that we use SAM PuttLab technology instead of TrackMan, but we have a similar process — set a baseline with your gamer, use that data to dial in the club specs you need, test your options, recommend the best performer. We’re looking for more control, better feel, consistency and more.

GolfWRX: What is the process for putter fitting?

CC: As stated above, we’re starting with your gamer. We use the SAM PuttLab system to collect dozens of metrics about your stroke with your current putter; everything from your face at impact to your spin to your lie at impact and so on. We then take the data generated by SAM PuttLab to dial in the ideal head style (mallet, blade, etc.) and then we go from there. We’re looking at everything — weight, toe hang, even sightlines and shaft options — to make sure that you’re aiming properly and staying on-line each time.

GolfWRX: In terms of results, what do most golfers see?

CC: There’s no one-size-fits-all result in any fitting, but we usually see a measurable difference in speed control. When your putter looks and feels right, you’re able to better judge distances and the force needed to get the putter to the hole. We also tend to see a correction for common problems — consistent left or right misses and so on.

GolfWRX: If a player likes to switch between putters for different green speeds or has a few putters in rotation, what do you suggest s/he does?

CC: We don’t see this often, but we always try to dial in the basics like length and grip size so there’s consistency across all options. Then, we take a look at their specific uses for each putter and work on tweaking the other elements to best suit those uses.

GolfWRX: How often should a player be fit for a putter? Is it best to do it before, during, or after the season?

CC: There’s never a bad time to be fitted but before the season makes the most sense. Frequency is really dependent on the player and what they’re looking to get out of their game but a rule of thumb is to check in on your gamer annually to be sure lofts/lies are still dialed in, to replace grips, etc.

GolfWRX: Do you ever recommend non-traditional putter styles?

CC: Yes! We have a couple armlock options, including the SIK putter that Bryson plays. We worked on an exclusive Bettinardi collaboration that yielded a great long-neck option. We even have a couple putters that stand up on their own so you can read the green with the putter lined up. We have a little bit of everything.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Frank

    Sep 14, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Totally agree with Bill above. Overall, I’d rate this article a “flop” at best. Didn’t learn a thing.

  2. MCoz

    Sep 14, 2021 at 3:34 am

    People have to be open to what works best for each individual. And most often the best putter head and fit is nothing like what they think they should putt with. I have worked on fitting putters as a side favor for putter manufacturers and the players for several years across the country. Most of the time someone can become a better putter but they have to start with a “clean sheet” and an open mind. Often their “favorite” model doesn’t fit the player at all. Overlooked is the players vision and their dominent eye can play a part also. It can be much different than other club fittings and no less important, maybe more so!

  3. William Dutton

    Sep 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    this should be marked as an advert for club champion I didn’t learn anything at all about putter fitting.

    “we use SAM put lab and sell you a putter’

  4. Mike

    Sep 13, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    This was a useless article it’s stating the obvious who doesn’t know to get fit.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (09/14/21): Toulon Small Batch Happy Gilmore Hockey Stick putter

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Toulon Small Batch Happy Gilmore Hockey Stick putter (1/25)

From the seller (@jtarble): ” 1/25.  Brand New, barely been out of the box.  Even comes with his caddie’s sock! Haven’t seen many of these for sale, feel free to send an offer.  Setting the price at $3000 – If you want it, throw out a price, definitely willing to work with you.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Toulon Small Batch Happy Gilmore Hockey Stick putter (1/25)

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Equipment

Forgiving irons for a sweeper/picker of the ball – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing iron options for sweepers. WRXer ‘Chrisp’ is currently playing Nike’s VR Pro blades but is looking for the “playability of a blade but with a little more forgiveness”, and our members have been sharing their suggestions in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • xmanhockey7: “Don’t overlook the Apex Pros. They’re especially good if your miss tends to be a bit thin.”
  • randytrevor: “I would give New Level PF-2 a look unless you want to stick to big OEMs. So far these have been as good as anything out and provide just enough forgiveness. You won’t get a tiny profile, but they will look good at address. These have literally been my most favorite set of irons to date.”
  • Hougz79: “I’m a sweeper as well, and I love the turf interaction the P7MC gives me. I think they are reasonably forgiving if you are mostly on center for misses. They are very clean thru the turf IMO.”

Entire Thread: “Forgiving irons for a sweeper/picker of the ball”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: KiwiNick

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to kick things off with one of our early submissions:

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: KiwiNick

KiwiNick WITB

Driver: Callaway Mavrik, (10.5* head set at 9.5*)
Shaft: Tensei Blue 65 X

3-wood:  Callaway Epic Flash (14*)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 X

Irons: Mizuno H5 3i (21 degrees), Mizuno MP18 SC 4-9i
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S300

Wedges: Callaway MD5 (48,52,60) Callaway PM19 (56)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S200

Putter: Odyssey ProType 6
Grip: Lamkin

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Midsize

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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