Originally Posted by David in FL
15 putters in 9 months is a definite problem! Dave's right.....you can't have any idea whether any of these are right for you or not simply because you haven't played/practiced with any of them long enough to really know. You're also so new to the game that you likely have a lot of flaws in your putting stance and stroke. It's the age old saying......it's the Indian, not the arrow. You're caught up in buying new arrows when you should be learning how to better use the bow.
Having said all that, I have to ask......what is it about your putting that you're unhappy with? Is that handicap correct or an estimate? If so, you're playing off 14 after less than a year which is very strong. I doubt that your ball striking is so good that you're hitting a lot of greens in that short time, so your short game and putting must be pretty solid for the length of time you've been playing. What's causing you to make these changes.....in other words, what specifically were you hoping to accomplish/gain with each new putter purchased? We joke about it, but it's true, there are a lot of people who genuinely believe that there's nothing wrong with their golf game that can't be cured by their checkbook. They're more caught up in the neat stuff than they are in really identifying the actual opportunities they have to improve their own performance. In looking at your entire bag, you're got a great set of tools (assuming they fit).....now's the time to learn to really use them.
I practice putting for at least an hour every day after work. I try to go to the practice green as much as possible, but during the winter most of my practice has been at my house where I have installed a synthetic bent grass putting green downstairs that stimps at 10.5. So I roll a lot of putts. When I first started golfing, I was only a mallet guy. I did not like the look of blades and thus used only mallets. About two months ago I forced myself to try a blade and found out that I actually putted better with blades than mallets. Now it comes down to just finding the right blade for my stroke and I think I have finally found the right putters (Newport 2 Notchback, Newport 2.7, Versa 1 wide). All three of these putters feature not a lot of offset and shafts that connect directly to the putter head without a plumbers neck. Because my stroke is SBST (or what is considered SBST), these putters seem to work the best.
To be honest, when I first started golfing, I really did not know much about golf or putting. I read many books and started practicing a lot last fall and into this winter. Thus up until that point I was just buying what looked cool and did not have any idea about how the design should fit my stroke. Heck, I did not even know much about my stroke. Starting last fall, I started reading a lot of putting books and I also started practicing a lot. I tweaked my technique and learned a lot about my stroke and how certain designs of putters fit my stroke. That is what has gotten me to this point that I am at now. I know a lot of you think that I am nuts or whatever, but for me I think of it like a scientist that is trying to develop a new medicine or something: it takes a lot of trial and error before you find what you are looking for.
Many people have told me to get fitted and get lessons. I have been reluctant to do either and here's why: I have only been playing golf for less than 9 months. In that time I have played around 75 rounds of golf. That's not a lot of golf overall. My swing and my putting stroke are still evolving as I continue to play and learn. I continue to improve at this point because I have not played that much or for that long. When I get to a point where I have truly learned the game and my swing/stroke, I'll then be happy to find a "partner" that can help me continue to improve.
Regarding the questions asked above.....There is nothing specifically that I am unhappy with regarding my putting, it's just a process that I continue to practice and tinker with to improve. If getting fitted for a putter was the answer, then I would do it. I know that it's not the end all answer though. The fitting would find my preferred loft, lie, length, and other numbers, but that would not necessarily be right. I believe that a fitting would only work if the putting stroke is very consistent. I'm getting there through practice, but it takes time and I have not been playing/practicing for that long. I look at a putter fitting as kind of like a matchmaker. It may work, but it also may not work either........My handicap is not an estimate. My "official" handicap through the Maryland Golf Association/USGA is "frozen" between Nov. 15 - Mar. 15 for any rounds I play in Maryland or north. It's frozen at 15. I have been keeping track of my running handicap though online using the same calculation that would be used if it were not frozen by including rounds that I have played in the winter and those numbers have my handicap at 14.2.
With each different club that I purchase, I hope to find the right club that matches my swing/stroke. Since I have not been playing for very long and since I am improving, this means that my swing/stroke is changing a bit here, a bit there. I'm sure that a year or so from now, once I have played golf for a while with a good number of rounds under my belt, I'll be at a point where things are not changing as much and I will hopefully have found the right equipment.