This is the first in a series of articles explaining how to buy a putter. It’s especially useful if you don’t know anything about golf and want to find out how to play without spending lots of money.
This article assumes you’ve got at least a nodding acquaintance with the rules of golf and the basic principles of putting (the most important being that you’re supposed to try to keep the ball on the putting surface). It also assumes you have at least a basic understanding of how putters work; otherwise, there’s not much point in this article.
We’ll start by looking at some different types of putters, which will give us an idea of what lies behind those terms like “fairway woods,” “hybrids” and “putters.”
I have been a golf club maker and repairer for over sixty years, including thirty as a senior repairer at the TaylorMade Golf Factory in the UK. I had a very good reputation and, in my opinion, my services were only required when clubs “went wrong”.
I was aware that Clubmakers were now being asked to do repairs to course tees, markers, signs and fittings. The course of play had changed.
When I first started making golf club putters in 1994 I didn’t know how to make them. I went to a course golf shop and asked if they could help me make one. They couldn’t because they didn’t know how either and it would take them all day to learn how from an expert.
I took requests for custom putters from customers who wanted something special or different. One such customer was Tom Watson, the American golfer, who spent about an hour with me explaining what he wanted the putter to do so that I could design it correctly. He also explained that he had broken his hand and could not use his normal putter which is why he wanted me to make him a custom putter. When we finished designing the putter Tom tried it out on the range and said he liked it but
The golf industry is a big, complicated thing. These days there are more golf clubs in the world than there are people. The best-known ones—the ones with the most famous courses and the best players—are enormous businesses. They advertise heavily, they have sales staffs in every country where they have a course, they run their own caddies’ schools and clinics, and so on.
The smaller clubs are often even bigger businesses. The chief executive officer of one chain of them earned around $1 million a year.
Golf clubs buy putters from an enormous number of manufacturers. There are hundreds of different types. If you want to understand how the industry works, you need to know how to choose a putter from among them all.
To choose a putter you need to know:
The business model your club uses for its putters (and for everything else). What’s in it for you? What’s in it for the manufacturer? How does your club get hold of those putters? Why would anyone want one? What’s the competition like? What’s your relationship with the retailer(s) who sell those putters? What do they want from you? Is there anything you can do to make that relationship better?
The main purpose of this article is to give you a basic understanding of some of the rules and regulations that govern the golf putter market.
It also provides an overview of what sets a good putter apart from a bad one.
I have been having a little fun at the expense of some putters I have been unable to sell this year.
Most golfers are unaware that the “head size” of their putter has an impact on their success at the course.
In golf, putting is a notoriously difficult skill to master. A good putter takes years of practice, and even then some top players find it frustratingly hard to repeat their best scores. Until recently, no one had ever tried to explain why.
But then came the introduction of the PING G17. It was a bit long-headed for my taste; I prefer something that looks more like a hockey puck than a petal of a flower, but otherwise it was perfect.
The PING G17 is made from graphite, which I believe is the second most abundant material on earth after carbon. The name “graphite” comes from the Greek word for “writing,” because it was the substance used for writing in ancient Egypt. In fact, Egyptians are known to have used graphite in mummification procedures well before they were first used in pencils by the Western world in the 18th century.
The graphite used in modern golfing putters comes from a particular type of rock found near Kabwe in Zambia: Lunda Graphite Mine Ltd., which has been owned by Lunda International Inc., headquartered in Ottawa since 1996, announced this week that it had been purchased by Lunda Mining and Energy Corp.
The time-honored practice of putting is to hold the putter with the left hand parallel to the shaft, and with the right hand loosely grasping the shaft. The shaft should be held perpendicular to the ground. A uniform wrist position looks good and is more comfortable than an inconsistent one.
The intent of leaving your hands loose is to make a firmer grip on the putterhead, which counteracts gravity and makes it easier to control. If you are right-handed, the grip will be on your right side, but if you are left-handed it will be on your left side.
A loose grip on a golf putter will also help you get into a better position by keeping your hands lower and letting you get closer to your target. In this regard, being right-handed is more important than being left-handed.
For many golfers, putting is the last important skill to learn. They putt with a four-iron until they can get the ball into the hole with a three-wood. Then they putt with a three-wood until it’s easier to knock the ball off the green with a two-iron.
But many golfers don’t realize that putting is not an end in itself. It is more like a gateway drug that enables you to go deeper into the game and achieve what it really takes to be great at golf.
The most important thing about putting is that it can expose weaknesses in your game — which clubs do you use to hit your drives and fairways, and why? Do you have any trouble controlling your distance? Can you control your impact? Are you dependable around the greens? Putting will show you where these things are wrong, and how to fix them.
My name is Robert Rock. I’m a professional golfer. In this blog, I’ll cover my experience of becoming the best golfer I could be by learning how to putt well.