or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Pro Shop › Clubs, Grips, Shafts, Fitting › What's more important? Fitted putter or driver?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What's more important? Fitted putter or driver?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have just played my first round with my new fitted R11 irons. Through a combination of the better equipment and practice, I managed a 91 when my previous best was 98. I have been playing about 10 months and constantly improving but now wondering, if fitted irons can make so much difference, how much different having all fitted clubs would make.

 

I am currently using counterfeit (as in branded Taylormade but actually rather poor copies) R5 woods (1, 3, 5) and a fake taylormade putter (inherited from grandfather) with my genuine R11 irons. 

 

Having these clubs together in the same bag seems blasphemous, and I plan on gradually replacing the fake clubs with real ones. 

 

My question, on which I would like some opinions, is whether a fitted putter or second hand fitted driver would be the best thing to upgrade next. Both are around the same price range.

 

As far as my game, I am starting to come to terms with the driver, hitting it far straighter before but still struggling to be very consistent. However I can confidently say that without requiring a miracle, I can hit straight, longish shots with my driver. It's more a matter of whether I do the things I know I am meant to do each time I get to the tee box. Additionally, I consider myself an OK putter when my head is in the game, but I do struggle with the ergonomics of my putter which I think is too long for me, and I have to concentrate hard on gripping it properly and choking down on it.

 

I know there are different schools of thought on whether drivers or putters are more important. I am hoping some people here have experience with moving to a fitted putter or driver and seeing good results. 

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 21

You use your putter on every hole (Unless you hole it out). If you are going to get fitted, do it for the putter.
 

post #3 of 21

The question becomes:  How many strokes would you save with a fitted putter vs a fitted driver?

 

For example, someone who averages 36 putts per round (not a very good putter) will not miraculously start making everything in sight.  I would guess an improvement of 2-3 strokes per round at most.  However, a poorly fit driver could cost you strokes every time you swing it, if you consistently miss fairways or, worse, hit into the trees or OB.

 

Go with a fitted driver.

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post

The question becomes:  How many strokes would you save with a fitted putter vs a fitted driver?

 

For example, someone who averages 36 putts per round (not a very good putter) will not miraculously start making everything in sight.  I would guess an improvement of 2-3 strokes per round at most.  However, a poorly fit driver could cost you strokes every time you swing it, if you consistently miss fairways or, worse, hit into the trees or OB.

 

Go with a fitted driver.

Totally agree.  To putt well you have to 1) pick the proper line, 2) hit it along that line, and 3) hit it the proper speed.  A fitted putter is only going to help with #2, so I think Harmonious is being generous ... you may only save 1-2 shots per round at best.

 

With the driver, 1 bad shot can cost you 2 or 3 by itself.  2 or 3 wayward drives will kill an entire round.  Totally go for the driver.

 

I am in the same boat as you, but just a few steps ahead, as over the course of the last year I replaced my 15 year old clubs with new fitted, driver, then hybrid, then 3 wood, then irons and wedges.  All that is left is a putter.

 

When the time comes - maybe my birthday, maybe christmas, whenever I can convince the wife I need it - I am going to get fitted for an Edel* putter.  Look around on this site and you will read a lot of really good testimonials for those guys with their putters and wedges.

 

*Just learned recently that it is pronounced Adele like the singer, for anybody that cares.  (I assumed it was Ed-ull)

post #5 of 21

Im going to say driver.  Being properly fitted for a driver can make a huge difference in your driving game and could result in signifigant gains in both distance and accuracy off the tee.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg15 View Post

I have just played my first round with my new fitted R11 irons. Through a combination of the better equipment and practice, I managed a 91 when my previous best was 98. I have been playing about 10 months and constantly improving but now wondering, if fitted irons can make so much difference, how much different having all fitted clubs would make.

 

I am currently using counterfeit (as in branded Taylormade but actually rather poor copies) R5 woods (1, 3, 5) and a fake taylormade putter (inherited from grandfather) with my genuine R11 irons. 

 

Having these clubs together in the same bag seems blasphemous, and I plan on gradually replacing the fake clubs with real ones. 

 

My question, on which I would like some opinions, is whether a fitted putter or second hand fitted driver would be the best thing to upgrade next. Both are around the same price range.

 

As far as my game, I am starting to come to terms with the driver, hitting it far straighter before but still struggling to be very consistent. However I can confidently say that without requiring a miracle, I can hit straight, longish shots with my driver. It's more a matter of whether I do the things I know I am meant to do each time I get to the tee box. Additionally, I consider myself an OK putter when my head is in the game, but I do struggle with the ergonomics of my putter which I think is too long for me, and I have to concentrate hard on gripping it properly and choking down on it.

 

I know there are different schools of thought on whether drivers or putters are more important. I am hoping some people here have experience with moving to a fitted putter or driver and seeing good results. 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

At this point in the game, getting "fitted" might be a waste of money.

post #7 of 21

So better equipment and practice took you from a 98 to a 91.  What do you think needs to improve to drop that 91 to say an 85, or 87, or 89?  Where do you think you can best make up those strokes, or in other words, what part of your game is suffering and/or leaving you frustrated?  Are you losing strokes by driving into the woods, blading chips, leaving putts short, etc? 

post #8 of 21

Definitely driver. If you're in the fairway, and you hit your irons well. You're looking at birdie or par putts all day. If you're not in the fairway, then you're looking at bogeys, doubles, and more all day.... no matter how well you putt.

post #9 of 21

I'm gonna take a different approach: I'd say it depends on your length. If you hit it under about 220 on solid hits (to pick an arbitrary number), the putter is a bigger weapon than the driver. Fitting your putter will give you a better make % on 12 footers or so as well as all other putts, but longer putts will likely be necessary to score well. There's some distance and accuracy to be gained from a fitted driver at this length, but you really need to putt your best with such low power.

 

If you hit it 260+, you need to have an athletic swing. This being the case, fitting will result in your best potential, especially in terms of consistency. You also bring a big miss into play at 100+ swing speed, which can hurt your score worse than running a putt by. Fitting will hopefully reduce this possibility. The added distance is a nice perk, but more important is your ability to use your athleticism and position yourself with your longest club.

 

If you're in the middle, I'd say go with the driver because you can't make penalties with the putter, and it's easier to change your stroke and setup to fit your putter than an ill fitting driver. Not necessarily the best way to putt, but if you're a decent putter you won't lose too many strokes. When you get down to single digits and need every stroke, maybe putter fitting makes more sense, but you ain't single digits.

 

You can improve your putting just from incorporating good fundamentals, but you can't change your athleticism (and potential distance) by much. If you're a hopeless driver it might be due to physical limitations, but if you're a hopeless putter you're either lazy, have every bad habit in the book, or have the yips. The driver will help you hit fairways and greens in regulation, which is the most important part of scoring. The putter will help you drop a couple more long putts and improve your consistency in lag putting and short putts. This means you'll be able to make long par saves and convert birdies more often, but most players need to improve their long game since it holds them back. Making that clutch putt for a 6 isn't really helpful, but hitting a green gives you a chance to make good scores no matter what.

post #10 of 21

Go with a fitted driver.  I know so many people that play with very old putters and drain the putts almost every time.  Putters are probably the most personal club in the bag.  The old Billy Baru! I'd say find your niche, hit a bunch and narrow down to what feels right for you.  You might be surprised what you end up with. Good luck. 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the very helpful replies.

 

I posted this because I wanted opinions but was slightly leaning towards the putter option. However, after reading all your replies and reasons I'm convinced that driver is probably the better option for the following reasons (in case anyone cares)

 

- I think it would be more valuable to have a driver I am comfortable with and can pick up and swing without too much thinking than a putter because the consequences of a bad drive are, as many of you pointed out, far greater than the consequences of a bad putt. 

- Even though the putter is the one club used on every hole there are so many things that can prevent a putt from being accurate, such as misreading the green, a slight variation in the grass. 

 

In other words the cost of bad drives if far higher than that of bad putts. In the long run I think I'll replace both but I think I'll start with the driver.

 

 

 

Quote:
At this point in the game, getting "fitted" might be a waste of money.

I see where you're coming from but I thought that if buying new equipment I might as well buy something appropriate for my swing speed etc. Fitting for my irons was free and I would sooner have one less thing to blame for the average shots!

post #12 of 21

I just don't know about getting fit, I've never been fit, but to each their own.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post

I just don't know about getting fit, I've never been fit, but to each their own.


So then how do you not know whether its worth it or not?  You dont think its important that your clubs fit you properly?

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have read a bit about the merits of getting fit, and for a sport so dependent on good body mechanics I think it seems bizarre not to want your clubs to work every bit with your body rather than against it. I don't know what your definition of getting fit is necessarily but when I bought my irons it involved trying out several sets, measuring the launch, spin, roll, smash factor etc. Also fitting the right shaft weight, lie angles etc. At least as far as these things go (especially as it was free at my local shop) I don't see why you wouldn't get it done.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg15 View Post

I have read a bit about the merits of getting fit, and for a sport so dependent on good body mechanics I think it seems bizarre not to want your clubs to work every bit with your body rather than against it. I don't know what your definition of getting fit is necessarily but when I bought my irons it involved trying out several sets, measuring the launch, spin, roll, smash factor etc. Also fitting the right shaft weight, lie angles etc. At least as far as these things go (especially as it was free at my local shop) I don't see why you wouldn't get it done.

Sounds like you have you answer.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Totally agree.  To putt well you have to 1) pick the proper line, 2) hit it along that line, and 3) hit it the proper speed.  A fitted putter is only going to help with #2, so I think Harmonious is being generous ... you may only save 1-2 shots per round at best.

 

With the driver, 1 bad shot can cost you 2 or 3 by itself.  2 or 3 wayward drives will kill an entire round.  Totally go for the driver.

 

I am in the same boat as you, but just a few steps ahead, as over the course of the last year I replaced my 15 year old clubs with new fitted, driver, then hybrid, then 3 wood, then irons and wedges.  All that is left is a putter.

 

When the time comes - maybe my birthday, maybe christmas, whenever I can convince the wife I need it - I am going to get fitted for an Edel* putter.  Look around on this site and you will read a lot of really good testimonials for those guys with their putters and wedges.

 

*Just learned recently that it is pronounced Adele like the singer, for anybody that cares.  (I assumed it was Ed-ull)

If you don't mind, I'll have to respectfully disagree with 1 and 3

 

1. Pick the proper line starts with green reading, speed judgment and picking the initial line - I will go with you that far. But the eyes, the shape of the putter head, offset and sightlines also affect whether you stay with that line or alter it. Remember, very small changes in lining up that putter head will throw you off. From the time you are behind the ball lining up the putt to walking around it, slight changes are made whether you like it or not - we're humans. And doubts go in the head about that line when you are over the ball, and more adjustment is made (Is that the line? I might be off a bit?) Even without pre-doubt putt creep, most people will unconsciously adjust the putter head and sight lines even with their eyes over the ball. (I move back to eyes slightly inside the ball when making the actual stroke). The human body is working with your putter and constantly making changes. A fitted putter will minimize the compensations that your body and mind will inevitably make. That is my take.

 

2. Proper Speed - a fitted putter will have the weight fit to you, a proper shaft, and counterbalanced so you can stroke the putt at the proper speed on a consistent basis.

 

We are discussing a precise instrument with the putter.

 

A driver is important, no doubt. It is more fun - it is the Big Dog! But our poster says he drives the ball straight already - it looks as if he wants to optimize his driver to squeeze the most out of it. We're talking about a 45-46 inch club that most swing too fast. We're not talking precise. I can have a good round with a partner's driver if the shaft flex (R to firm)  and loft are in my general range - 10-12 and keep the ball in the fairway.

 

Golf is a game of confidence - so I'd throw it all out the window and ask what piece of equipment will give you more confidence between the two in improving your game?

 

I think it's easier to find a used driver that comes close and goes straight than to find a confidence building putter that requires precision. When I went to the putter - I threw everything in the trash, and started over with simple fundamentals based on staying neutral - espoused by Dave Stockton and Pat O'Brien (no forward press), and then fitted the putter. I did the same thing with the driver. I started over with a new swing, and then was fitted. The problem with driver fitting is that our swing changes with age and knowledge - so we require many drivers and driver fittings.

 

I got the putter, and then the driver. But the choice is about what gives you confidence.

post #17 of 21

It still comes down to strokes gained by having your tools fit your swing.   Mr. Desmond makes a strong case for spending a lot of money to be fit for, and buying, a custom-made putter. But will that putter allow you to make more 20 footers than before? Probably not. He said that he could use someone else's driver and still play OK.  I would counter that by saying I could use someone else's putter and still play OK. Not perfectly, to be sure, but not appreciably worse. However, sticking a mismatched driver in my hands could result in some really bad results off the tee, which could result in many lost strokes.

 

Having a putter that fits you in every conceivable way will not result in very many strokes gained per round. There are many variables involved with rolling a golf ball along an irregular surface that even a perfect read, with perfect speed and a perfect stroke, will still result in "failure" most of the time.

 

To maximize your dollars, getting a driver that more or less matches your swing will result in lower scores.

post #18 of 21

My personal opinion is if you can putt, you can putt with about anything. But if you are in the rough all day you're going to be putting for higher scores.

 

But as with most stupid posts.....why does it have to be either/or? Do both. Close this thread :)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Clubs, Grips, Shafts, Fitting
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Pro Shop › Clubs, Grips, Shafts, Fitting › What's more important? Fitted putter or driver?