Author Topic: Advice for Buying a New Putter  (Read 6170 times)

bargolf

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Advice for Buying a New Putter
« on: January 25, 2015, 11:39:45 AM »
1. Think of your putting stroke in terms of rotation and not path shape. Before I am done I am going to convince everyone this is the correct point of reference for putting strokes. OEM's won't touch it because of the perception that rotation is a bad thing. Please repeat after me. "Every stroke has a rotational requirement and every putter has a rotational value". If they match, how much rotation you have doesn't matter.


2. Use moi as a tool to complement rotation as well as impact. Webster defines moi as resistance to twisting IN MOTION. Toe hang is the defining parameter of moi in motion. Weight distribution and location of cog are the defining parameters of moi at impact. Too many golfers have high rotation strokes, fighting low rotation putters. Some of you, although not as many, have the opposite. A low rotation requirement, using a putter with a high rotational value. A putter that fits rotation is the best way to control distance. Ultra High MOI, used with the wrong rotational requirement, kills feel because it masks feedback.


3. Putting at a high level is not easy. It takes knowledge of your stroke, a system to read greens, and maybe most important the ability to roll a ball a precise distance. With understanding and a decision to do things the same way every time, the implementation of the stroke is very easy and simple.


4. When you consider a putting change, think about what the putter is built to do. I hear everyday that someone loves the looks, but can't use a certain style of putter. Unless you make the changes necessary to fit the putter you try, you will never know. Ex. A player uses a face balanced 33" putter at 72 degree lie angle. He wants to try a full toe hang-heel shaft. So he gets it with the same specs Full Hang@33&72 and can't putt with it. Never knowing that at 34 and 69 it may have been the best thing he ever did for his putting.


5. THERE IS NO BEST WAY. I have a very comprehensive fitting system that I think allows a player to make the decisions that build the best stroke for the individual. Even with all that work I have had just as much success reverse engineering the process by making suggestions to help players that tell me they have to use a certain style putter.


Knowledge and consistent implementation. Who would have ever thought?



High MOI at Impact and Low MOI in Motion.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 10:57:56 AM by bargolf »
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reflog74

Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 01:07:02 PM »
"Sticky-worthy" Bruce.   :)
Thanks.

John

nvgolfdude

Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2015, 01:21:59 PM »
Amen Bruce!
nvgolfdude@live.com


The Genius of Bargolf:  1.  Great putters play to their tendencies and work with them  2.  It isn't the method, it is the application of the method. Memorize the sequence of motion with clubs that fit the method.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2015, 09:52:01 PM »


So a putting lab is the best way to determine rotational value?

Related to the change I'm trying in the other thread. The QB6 is 1" longer and supposedly 3* more upright than my Studio Stock6 (8802 style). I address it centered on the sightline and choke it 1" with the same arm hang and all my misses are consistently a bit to the toe. I typically address my SS6 about 1/2 heelside from center and was making putts.

The adjustment that is making me have a better roll on yhe QB6 is holding full length and elbows out a bit more. It feels more sbst and the miss seems to be a result of aim a bit to the left more than anything.

I guess I can easily switch between both stules if I remember all the changes.

Thank you for the input.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 11:58:03 AM »
Distance from the ball determines how much rotation is required to stay square to the path.

We build a mechanical model of the stroke to use for comparative purposes, not as a definition of what is best.

PuttLab shows rotation but does not define the amount for the stroke.

Most players use less than the arc defines. A little shut to open. Loren Roberts is an example.

Some use much more. Tiger Woods has more rotation than defined by his arc.

Posture and Distance from the ball defines rotational requirement.

Putter design and shaft placement define rotational value.
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 04:15:05 PM »
I am sorry I rushed that answer a little.

Think of it this way. Every stroke has some level of manipulation. The more your rotation differs from that required by the arc/path of your stroke, the more manipulated the stroke. I have seen great strokes at all levels.

What is important, is to determine what works for you. I think it is safe to say that the more manipulation of the putter required to make your stroke, the more there is an opportunity for error.
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BrentHutto

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 04:20:44 PM »
Bruce,

Would you care to offer a few more examples of common/popular putters and their general "MOI in motion" category?

For instance in this thread you showed one design that is "Low MOI in motion". I assume that applies to a certain extent to that whole family of heel-shafted, wide-flanged, perimeter-weighted models like the so-called "#9" shaft and so forth.

How about "Anser" types with the plumbers neck a bit in from the heel? How about "8802" heel-shafted or one of the popular face-balanced mallets with double-bend shafts? That sort of thing.

I'm just trying to get an idea of what shapes and shaft attachments tend to be more or less "MOI in motion". Thanks!

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 05:03:03 PM »
Basically what I need to do is visit you Bruce so you can first hand see what I do and what I am using.  I putt alright but know I could be much better.  One day during my travels I just might give you a call!
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bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 06:12:50 PM »
Bruce,

Would you care to offer a few more examples of common/popular putters and their general "MOI in motion" category?

For instance in this thread you showed one design that is "Low MOI in motion". I assume that applies to a certain extent to that whole family of heel-shafted, wide-flanged, perimeter-weighted models like the so-called "#9" shaft and so forth.

How about "Anser" types with the plumbers neck a bit in from the heel? How about "8802" heel-shafted or one of the popular face-balanced mallets with double-bend shafts? That sort of thing.

I'm just trying to get an idea of what shapes and shaft attachments tend to be more or less "MOI in motion". Thanks!

The CI is high moi at impact. But low moi in motion.

The more the toe hang the lower the moi while in motion.

Anser would be moderate moi at impact and moderate moi in motion depending on length of hosel and toe hang.


8802 low and low.

FB TM Spider Mallet high and high.

High MOI means a greater resistance to twisting. This can be while in motion - defined by toe hang. Or MOI at impact defined by weight distribution.

A FB Long Pipe Bombora Blade would be High Moi in Motion Low MOI at impact.

I know it is hard to believe, but all I need is a down the line picture and the length of the putter in your current set up. I can tell you what putter fits that posture. I just don't know if that is best for you, or how much offset you require, or how much it should weigh without some more information. That takes a video.

PS For those of you who want to plan a trip. I no longer fit putters with Puttlab. Haven't for awhile. I do use it to verify results after the fit.
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bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 06:19:57 PM »


So a putting lab is the best way to determine rotational value?

Related to the change I'm trying in the other thread. The QB6 is 1" longer and supposedly 3* more upright than my Studio Stock6 (8802 style). I address it centered on the sightline and choke it 1" with the same arm hang and all my misses are consistently a bit to the toe. I typically address my SS6 about 1/2 heelside from center and was making putts.

The adjustment that is making me have a better roll on yhe QB6 is holding full length and elbows out a bit more. It feels more sbst and the miss seems to be a result of aim a bit to the left more than anything.

I guess I can easily switch between both stules if I remember all the changes.

Thank you for the input.

Where you strike the ball on the face is NOT always an indicator of the wrong length. Especially when you get the same miss with different length putters. More likely you are changing your source of motion during the stroke. Most common for toe hits is to take the putter back with your arms and then you turn your shoulders open in transition. Arms back shoulders through. THE PART OF THE BODY THAT STARTS THE PUTTER BACK SHOULD BE THE PART OF THE BODY THAT STARTS THE PUTTER FORWARD. (I get $175.00 to give that one piece of advice. It almost always fixes the problem)Try arms back and arms through and see if that fixes it.
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BrentHutto

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 09:33:31 PM »
Thanks for the example, Bruce.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 09:43:26 PM »
Thank you for the advice. I think that is why I putt with heel shafts better, I get "armsy" but consistently "armsy". With plumber's necks and double bends I try to sbst more and the transition probably goes from a forced shoulder backstroke to an armsy transition.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2015, 07:16:54 AM »
My smart a** response concerning the money was only to try to make a point. Glad to share with Puttertalk readers. I owe this site alot. Probably a big digital banner saying HEY GUYS THIS WORKS! would have been better.

The size of the arc and the direction it travels is never the problem. How the putter moves along the arc is how you get in trouble.

Use xxio as an example. When he goes to a higher motion moi putter his reaction is to reduce his rotation along the arc. His arc doesn't change unless the he changes his distance from the ball. So instead of the putter face traveling with a consistent relationship to the putter path, it twists shut on the backswing forcing an adjustment in the forward swing.

A heel shaft putter (low motion moi) moves more freely with the "armsy" motion he prefers.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 07:50:44 AM by bargolf »
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dans4fun

Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2015, 11:22:11 AM »
My smart a** response concerning the money was only to try to make a point. Glad to share with Puttertalk readers. I owe this site alot. Probably a big digital banner saying HEY GUYS THIS WORKS! would have been better.


     I didn't see a Paypal address with that post so I figured it must be your sense of humor.

     Just stumbled on this subject.  As usual, great amount of useful information.  Kind of ties a lot of things together, with seemingly such a simple concept.

     Hope as is well.  Thanks again.

                                       Dan

bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2015, 08:28:14 AM »
The following is an example of High MOI or high resistance to twisting in motion, but low moi at impact. The current trend in marketing putters is to say that high moi at impact is better. As usual I would disagree strongly!


High MOI at impact = reduced feedback. Feedback is what keeps your stroke on track. No putting instructor would argue with the value of a consistent strike point on the putter as a key indicator of a consistent stroke. So how do you maintain that consistent point of impact if the ball feels the same regardless of where you hit the ball on the face?


(The increased moi in motion for this putter is due in large part to the advantages of the long pipe design over a double bend shaft.)



« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 08:35:48 AM by bargolf »
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2015, 04:26:08 PM »
^ exCtly why I like muscle back type iron designs with no plastic parts and steel shafts. Make me feel my punishment!
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2016, 10:56:36 AM »
In this age of counterweights and ultra heavy putters I thought I would bump this thread.
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2016, 11:06:10 AM »
What do you mean by a system for reading greens?
I have a routine for looking for the apex and if I walk all the way around the line I get a much better idea. By system do you mean AIM Point type things?
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2016, 11:36:11 AM »
4. When you consider a putting change, think about what the putter is built to do. I hear everyday that someone loves the looks, but can't use a certain style of putter. Unless you make the changes necessary to fit the putter you try, you will never know. Ex. A player uses a face balanced 33" putter at 72 degree lie angle. He wants to try a full toe hang-heel shaft. So he gets it with the same specs Full Hang@33&72 and can't putt with it. Never knowing that at 34 and 69 it may have been the best thing he ever did for his putting.

In the year or so since I last visited this thread, I have "discovered" (Ha!) something in my game pretty much as Bruce describes in item #4 of his original missive. Go figure ;-)

Over the years I've gradually migrated to shorter and shorter face-balanced putters. Then on to bigger grips. My feel for distance and ability to see the line eventually became very dodgy. I wasn't down in Michelle Wie position by any means (fat middle-aged couch potato couldn't do that if I tried) but head out over the ball and quite bent over.

I was frustrated that I seemed to be losing my ability to roll in the occasional 20-footer while at the same time I did not seem to be gaining any consistency in lining up and executing those crucial 3-4 foot cleanup putts reliably.

So I went to a much longer ultra-high MOI-at-impact counterbalanced monster and tried standing more upright like I did for the first few years I played golf back in the 90's. At that point, putting became a serious issue. Instead of the one part of the game I found easy, it was at times a real struggle not to 3-putt multiple times a round.

I'll skip to the end of the story...

By sheer random "give it a try" luck I picked up a cheap, used, bog-standard Anser style plumber's neck putter. Full length (35"), skinny grip, not even close to face-balanced, the kind of putter that I could not putt with to save my life back when I was bending way over and trying to hang my arms completely vertically down from my shouders.

And for the last few months I'm back to putting like I did 10+ years ago. Not a great putter but I certainly make more than I see other 17-handicappers making. I can see the line, I can step up and hit while I'm relaxed instead of bending down and, here's the surprising thing, the putter does not feel like it's trying to twist in my hands.

When I was playing 32" putters with big grips anything with some toe hang felt like I was having to steer it (or tighten my grip) to keep it on line with my path. Now that I'm standing taller and closer to the ball I feel like with big grips and high MOI-at-impact putters I have to steer or hang on tight.

Funny how that works out.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2016, 11:45:04 AM »
What do you mean by a system for reading greens?
I have a routine for looking for the apex and if I walk all the way around the line I get a much better idea. By system do you mean AIM Point type things?

No - Ryan, your routine would be the system. I think that green reading should be part of your routine with the same method or approach for every putt. How you evaluate the putt is personal and has to be based on your plan for the putt. Example A system like Aimpoint does not allow for an aggressive approach (Arnold Palmer "take the break out" type).

Also - most strokes have a launch window. One tour pro I worked with has a very high probability of launching just left of his target line. So ratherr than fight the consistency, we adjust the read. Stockton used to do this. He wrote an article when i was young for golf digest saying on a straight short putt he worked from the right edge with a closed face tot hat path.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 11:46:54 AM by bargolf »
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2016, 11:46:24 AM »
4. When you consider a putting change, think about what the putter is built to do. I hear everyday that someone loves the looks, but can't use a certain style of putter. Unless you make the changes necessary to fit the putter you try, you will never know. Ex. A player uses a face balanced 33" putter at 72 degree lie angle. He wants to try a full toe hang-heel shaft. So he gets it with the same specs Full Hang@33&72 and can't putt with it. Never knowing that at 34 and 69 it may have been the best thing he ever did for his putting.

In the year or so since I last visited this thread, I have "discovered" (Ha!) something in my game pretty much as Bruce describes in item #4 of his original missive. Go figure ;-)

Over the years I've gradually migrated to shorter and shorter face-balanced putters. Then on to bigger grips. My feel for distance and ability to see the line eventually became very dodgy. I wasn't down in Michelle Wie position by any means (fat middle-aged couch potato couldn't do that if I tried) but head out over the ball and quite bent over.

I was frustrated that I seemed to be losing my ability to roll in the occasional 20-footer while at the same time I did not seem to be gaining any consistency in lining up and executing those crucial 3-4 foot cleanup putts reliably.

So I went to a much longer ultra-high MOI-at-impact counterbalanced monster and tried standing more upright like I did for the first few years I played golf back in the 90's. At that point, putting became a serious issue. Instead of the one part of the game I found easy, it was at times a real struggle not to 3-putt multiple times a round.

I'll skip to the end of the story...

By sheer random "give it a try" luck I picked up a cheap, used, bog-standard Anser style plumber's neck putter. Full length (35"), skinny grip, not even close to face-balanced, the kind of putter that I could not putt with to save my life back when I was bending way over and trying to hang my arms completely vertically down from my shouders.

And for the last few months I'm back to putting like I did 10+ years ago. Not a great putter but I certainly make more than I see other 17-handicappers making. I can see the line, I can step up and hit while I'm relaxed instead of bending down and, here's the surprising thing, the putter does not feel like it's trying to twist in my hands.

When I was playing 32" putters with big grips anything with some toe hang felt like I was having to steer it (or tighten my grip) to keep it on line with my path. Now that I'm standing taller and closer to the ball I feel like with big grips and high MOI-at-impact putters I have to steer or hang on tight.

Funny how that works out.

Made my day!!
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2016, 11:55:01 AM »
BrentHutto - This is the stroke we recommend with a full offset Anser style.


Think hook.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 11:58:51 AM by bargolf »
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2016, 12:38:31 PM »
Seeing that Profile 4 path and thinking hook made me laugh.

When I was using that counterbalanced/face balanced mallet one of my buddies told me on short putts I was "fanning it back way inside then just blocking it wide open all the way through". When I looked at your PDF I realized my face-balanced putting stroke was exactly the same thing I do with my driver swing...take it back behind me, swing in to out and then hang on on block it!

The cure for the driver has been lots of swing drills to get my hands releasing. Lucky for me with putting I can "hook it" by just using the single most successful style of putter in the last 40 years.

Maybe I need an Anser style driver with a plumber neck.

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2016, 01:42:20 PM »
Brent - The mallet made it hard to close or release the toe. It wants to swing in the direction it starts. You are moving twice as fast in the forward swing than the back swing. Easier to control the backswing.
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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2016, 02:03:59 PM »
Brent - The mallet made it hard to close or release the toe. It wants to swing in the direction it starts. You are moving twice as fast in the forward swing than the back swing. Easier to control the backswing.

On days I was really struggling, by the 17th and 18th holes my forward stroke was probably 15x faster than my backswing. Especially on 4-footers.

I've never had what you'd actually call the yips. No involuntary twitches or spastic off-line jerks. But if I had kept on the way I was going there for a few months it's easy to imagine it getting to that point.

To be honest, I had forgotten our earlier discussion here. Or half-remembered it maybe. My trying a basic Anser style plumber-neck putter at full length was based on realizing I could putt better 3 months after the first time I ever touched a golf club in 1994 than I was putting in the fall of 2015. So I started over from scratch with a normal putter, normal posture. Just step up, take one good look at where I want to roll the ball and then roll it.

Sounds so simple when I say it that way!


BrentHutto

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2016, 02:10:22 PM »
What do you mean by a system for reading greens?
I have a routine for looking for the apex and if I walk all the way around the line I get a much better idea. By system do you mean AIM Point type things?

While I'm babbling today, I'll babble on about my "system" for putting such as it is. Hardly complicated enough to be a "system".

I personally don't see the Aimpoint as useful. Not that I particularly understand it but all I need to know is it's an attempt to match up some cognitive labeling of the "break" (which I assume means slope and not slope+grain) with a cognitive plan for where to aim. No matter how well thought out the details of the system might be, I do not want to be putting numbers or labels on what I see and then trying to match that up with an aim or a stroke.

My preference is the opposite. Do about 90% of my reading of the green before I even arrive at my ball and then try to notice if there's any grain or change in slope right near the hole that might make my overall read need to be tweaked a bit. My belief is if I have a correct sense of the overall slope and big contours (sometimes as simple as being certain where is uphill and downhill relative to the area where my putt will be rolling) then my eyes and brain will take care of the finer details without me going through a lot of conscious or cognitive effort.

Of course 100 of my 110-120 rounds a year are on the same 18 greens at my home course. So it's probably easier for me to just trust my autopilot than it would be if I played 40 different courses each year.

My actual "planning" routine right before hitting the putt always involves running my eyes backwards from the hole to the putter face and ball. I've picked where I want the ball to enter the hole, tried to visualize it dropping in at a certain pace (depending on the situation) and then I track my eyes backwards along the line I think the ball will take. It sounds nuts to describe but when I'm really having a good focus day it's like a play the putt on rewind, then the instant I get my eyes back to the putter and ball [1] I start my stroke. the nutso part is I want to feel like I've already made the putt and have just rewound so I can watch it go in again.

Wow, I'm embarrassed to write it out like that in public. Makes me sounds like more of a head case than I actually am!

[1] I actually focus on a spot in the air above where the ball meets the putter face...my version of Quiet Eye.

bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2016, 02:26:30 PM »
I would say that is a great system.
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bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2016, 02:39:49 PM »
Since we are sharing. Here is mine. Not intended to be of any help to anyone else.

1. Decide how long a stroke I need for the putt. (It is amazing to me how much better a green reader i am since I started thinking about this first rather than over the ball.)
2. Pick the line I believe the ball needs to start. based on the speed I have determined by the length of my stroke.
3. Place the putter with the face positioned based on the line I chose.
4. Build my stance and hand position based on the putter. Feet are always last.
5. Swing the putter with my left arm and shoulder to the length of backswing I chose.
6. Release my hands through the ball.
Ask someone to pick the ball out of the hole as my back has been bothering me. :)
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Staff Professional Burnt Edges Consulting
SLDR TP 9.5 TP
SLDR 3 14 degree TP
SLDR TP Hybrids 17 and 21
Nike VR Pro Blades 4-9 KBS Tour S
Clay Long Desig TM 50 and 56

BrentHutto

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2016, 02:49:01 PM »
So as a pretty good approximation we could say your routine and my routine are different in every way.

What's the world coming to. Before you know it there will someone out there putting left-hand-low and winning a major or two. :o

bargolf

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2016, 03:08:06 PM »
So as a pretty good approximation we could say your routine and my routine are different in every way.

What's the world coming to. Before you know it there will someone out there putting left-hand-low and winning a major or two. :o

Correct and it should be!!!!!
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cnosil

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Re: Advice for Buying a New Putter
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2016, 07:53:55 PM »
1. Decide how long a stroke I need for the putt. (It is amazing to me how much better a green reader i am since I started thinking about this first rather than over the ball.)
2. Pick the line I believe the ball needs to start. based on the speed I have determined by the length of my stroke.
3. Place the putter with the face positioned based on the line I chose.
4. Build my stance and hand position based on the putter. Feet are always last.
5. Swing the putter with my left arm and shoulder to the length of backswing I chose.
6. Release my hands through the ball.
Ask someone to pick the ball out of the hole as my back has been bothering me. :)

Pretty close to what I do.  I don't do number 1.   I think length of stroke after I am over the ball...maybe that isn't a good idea.  And I need to remember to do 6,  because my tendency is to get lazy; switching to left hand low has helped me do better on this.