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Golfingdad

Face Balanced Putter vs. ???? (The Other Kind)

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Forgive my lack of golf vocabulary (sometimes I feel like Tom Cruise's character at the beginning of Days Of Thunder ... "I don't know anything about cars, but I can drive") because I don't know what type of putter I currently have.  I just know that it looks like this when you balance it on your fingers:

It's a pretty old Ping Pal 2, and it's also really light.  I like it and don't need to replace it, but I got a new putter recently that I want to try out (and review - Thanks Mike!) and it is face balanced:

This one is also quite a bit heavier than my old one.

My question is whether or not there are distinct differences in how these two putters will play.  Based on the photos, my putter has more weight concentrated towards the toe, I presume?  Does that mean that if I putt exactly like I have been with that putter that I will start pulling everything with the new putter?  Or do I have it backwards, and I'll start missing right?  Or am I overthinking it, and there is no difference at all?

Thanks, everybody!

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face-balanced - better for straight back/straight through putting stroke (Dave Pelz method)

toe-hang - better for putting on an arc (Stan Utley method)

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Seriously, i am like the first guy, you give me a putter, i will find a way to putt with it. I've actually broke my putter once, tapping it against my foot because i got sand on it. Well i putted the rest of the round by blading the ball with a wedge, after a few holes i was two putting easily.

Never really messed around with face or none face balanced putters, i just go to the golf store, and find a putter that looks good to me, and i then just practice with it till i am good.

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[URL=http://youtu.be/6i7ZMQ69Ic8]http://youtu.be/6i7ZMQ69Ic8[/URL] Good video on face balancing.

Thanks for the video, pretty informative. Although not sure I buy what he's selling. :) Nobody putts gripping the club so loosely that it will fall open like that so I'm just not sure how important that 70 degree balance would be.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

face-balanced - better for straight back/straight through putting stroke (Dave Pelz method)

toe-hang - better for putting on an arc (Stan Utley method)

That's the old form of advice but it fails modern scrutiny for a few reasons. First, virtually nobody putts like Dave Pelz asks, and second: the heel-toe weighting is both much more of a factor and much less of a factor than we give it credit for. Consider the fact that we swing our irons at, oh, 85 MPH faster than we swing a putter, and they're PURE toe hang, and yet we expect to square those up to our intended clubface angle at impact, we can do it with any putter at all. Where it does matter a little is simply how a player feels the weight, and this varies by player. I'll assume (since it's virtually true) that everyone swings on an arc with some toe opening and closing. Tiger Woods likes a toe hang putter because he likes to feel the weight of the toe as he applies a little twisting (more than his address position - he's 3-4° open at setup). But in terms of pure physics, a toe hang putter will tend to want to stay open more, so someone who pulls putts might do well with a more severe toe hang putter.

Or, more likely, people simply need to learn to putt with the putter they've got. I could putt with everything. Give me the most severe face balanced putter and the most severe toe hang (an 8802 or something) and five minutes, and I'll beat you in a putting match with either if it's the proper weight.

In reality, I don't think this stuff matters at all until you get to Tiger's level, and even then it would take him very little time to adjust (Tiger also puts his grips on 1-2° closed so his body wants to  face more - again, he's a freak in that way, or he's kidding himself if he thinks he can tell the difference. You decide.).

Order of importance for putter fitting:

1. Get a putter you can aim (this includes length, hosel type, and anything else visual or that dictates a setup position that moves your eyes or body.).

2. Get a putter that's the right weight (to control distances most effectively).

...

...

83. Get a putter that has the exact toe hang you like.

Somewhere between 2 and 83 is "realize that nothing below this point really matters." :) B ecause the putter isn't actually twisting in our hands, so either style of putter will produce the same exact alignments throughout the stroke unless the actual stroke is different.

Typed a bunch but didn't have the cursor in the text box, so this is greatly abbreviated...

Consider a toe-hang (TH) and a face-balanced (FB) putter.
The FB putter will rotate MORE in the backstroke and MORE in the downstroke.
The TH putter will rotate LESS in the backstroke and LESS in the downstroke.
Why? Because a heavy "toe" will "drag". A FB putter requires very very little effort to twist - it's balanced after all. A toe-heavy putter will always want to drag the heavy part behind itself.
In reality, because the putter isn't actually twisting in our hands, either putter works and will produce the same exact alignments throughout the stroke unless the actual stroke is different.
That's the opposite of what a lot of people think, but it's basic physics.

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Originally Posted by iacas

That's the old form of advice but it fails modern scrutiny for a few reasons. First, virtually nobody putts like Dave Pelz asks, and second: the heel-toe weighting is both much more of a factor and much less of a factor than we give it credit for. Consider the fact that we swing our irons at, oh, 85 MPH faster than we swing a putter, and they're PURE toe hang, and yet we expect to square those up to our intended clubface angle at impact, we can do it with any putter at all. Where it does matter a little is simply how a player feels the weight, and this varies by player. I'll assume (since it's virtually true) that everyone swings on an arc with some toe opening and closing. Tiger Woods likes a toe hang putter because he likes to feel the weight of the toe as he applies a little twisting (more than his address position - he's 3-4° open at setup). But in terms of pure physics, a toe hang putter will tend to want to stay open more, so someone who pulls putts might do well with a more severe toe hang putter.

Or, more likely, people simply need to learn to putt with the putter they've got. I could putt with everything. Give me the most severe face balanced putter and the most severe toe hang (an 8802 or something) and five minutes, and I'll beat you in a putting match with either if it's the proper weight.

In reality, I don't think this stuff matters at all until you get to Tiger's level, and even then it would take him very little time to adjust (Tiger also puts his grips on 1-2° closed so his body wants to  face more - again, he's a freak in that way, or he's kidding himself if he thinks he can tell the difference. You decide.).

Order of importance for putter fitting:

1. Get a putter you can aim (this includes length, hosel type, and anything else visual or that dictates a setup position that moves your eyes or body.).

2. Get a putter that's the right weight (to control distances most effectively).

...

...

83. Get a putter that has the exact toe hang you like.

Somewhere between 2 and 83 is "realize that nothing below this point really matters." :) Because the putter isn't actually twisting in our hands, so either style of putter will produce the same exact alignments throughout the stroke unless the actual stroke is different.

Typed a bunch but didn't have the cursor in the text box, so this is greatly abbreviated...

Consider a toe-hang (TH) and a face-balanced (FB) putter.

The FB putter will rotate MORE in the backstroke and MORE in the downstroke.

The TH putter will rotate LESS in the backstroke and LESS in the downstroke.

Why? Because a heavy "toe" will "drag". A FB putter requires very very little effort to twist - it's balanced after all. A toe-heavy putter will always want to drag the heavy part behind itself.

In reality, because the putter isn't actually twisting in our hands, either putter works and will produce the same exact alignments throughout the stroke unless the actual stroke is different.

That's the opposite of what a lot of people think, but it's basic physics.

Thanks Erik.  Informative as always!  (So I guess the reverse - of the bolded part - could also be true ... someone who putts well with a severe toe hang putter might start pulling putts if they switch to a face balanced putter?  I guess my first hunch was right :))

Although, I suspect a little practice and it will be easy enough to putt with.  The weight is the bigger difference. :)

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I was hoping for some equations in the Physics section Erik.

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Quote:

Consider the fact that we swing our irons at, oh, 85 MPH faster than we swing a putter, and they're PURE toe hang, and yet we expect to square those up to our intended clubface angle at impact, we can do it with any putter at all. Where it does matter a little is simply how a player feels the weight, and this varies by player.

Agree with this. I mean, the putter swing is what, 4mph? I think I could control the face of a block of wood glued to a broomstick at that speed. And yes, for me the weight is the important factor as it affects the natural frequency of the putter and hence the putt tempo.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Thanks Erik.  Informative as always!  (So I guess the reverse - of the bolded part - could also be true ... someone who putts well with a severe toe hang putter might start pulling putts if they switch to a face balanced putter?  I guess my first hunch was right :))

Although, I suspect a little practice and it will be easy enough to putt with.  The weight is the bigger difference. :)

The bolded part would be true if you arrived at the same backswing position. As I said, a toe hang putter tends to go back more closed, too. :) In reality, people putt almost exactly the same regardless of their putter weighting. Within a pretty wide range you can heel weight and toe weight putters and get the same impact alignments.

The biggest effect changing weight ends up having is on the location of the sweet spot. Putting a ton of weight in the toe or heel can move that quite a bit.

Weight (head weight, not the location within the head so much) matters for distance control as well.

Originally Posted by boogielicious

I was hoping for some equations in the Physics section Erik.

No need. Not hard to figure out though - find the center of mass from the center of the shaft to determines MOI about the shaft axis, and go from there.

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