Over the last couple of years in golf we have seen a couple of big trends pop up. One of them has been the introduction of adjustable clubs. Companies such as TaylorMade, Titleist and more recently Callaway have produced drivers, fairway woods, and the occasional hybrid that can be adjusted easily by the user. The other hot trend that we have seen is more and more players, both professional and amateur, making the switch to belly putters. With the introduction of the Nome 405 putter, PING has combined these two trends to bring about the first USGA approved adjustable belly putter.
The guys over at P2G2 also have released new putters with the same aim of fitting players better. While it is not adjustable like the Nome, it promises to correct deficiencies found in nearly every putter model on the market.
When it comes to custom fit clubs, many individuals look no further than PING and for a good reason. Properly fit clubs have always held importance to the company; so much so that they created the color code dot system with which so many of us are familiar. The introduction of the Nome 405 putter is simply an evolution of this strong belief in personal fitting. With belly putters becoming more popular, more players want to at least try them out and see how they fit their game. However, how does the player know what length belly putter is right for them? According to PING chairman and CEO John A. Solheim:
Adjustability is key because the standard 42-inch belly putter fits a narrow range of people. When the shaft is too long or too short, it alters your distance form the ball, your eye position, and the path of your stoke. Adjustability lets you experiment until your posture is comfortable and your eyes are over the ball, which helps you make a consistent stroke and solid impact.John A. Solheim, PING CEO/Chairman
So… how does this all work? Well, on the shaft, just under the bottom of the grip is a locking ring. Using the tool provided by PING, the player simply loosens the ring and the shaft slides in and out telescopically, allowing the player to choose his or her desired length. At it's shortest, the Nome 405 is 37.5 inches and can be extended an entire 9 inches for a maximum length of 46.5 inches.
The shaft on the Nome 405 is multi material. The part of the shaft that you can see is steel; however the portion of the shaft underneath the grip is graphite. The locking ring is 17-4 stainless steel. The head of the putter is milled from a high-grade aluminum and then finished with a nickel coating. The head has a black alignment bar and contrasting white sight lines. The standard grip on the putter is the Winn AVS 21-inch belly putter grip.
Some may have noticed as well that new PING putters have a label on the shaft to help players identify if that particular model fits their stroke, whether that be straight, a slight arc, or strong arc. The Nome putter is no different in this regard and comes in three different shaft bends depending on the desired stroke type.
Players who like the look of the Nome 405 but not the belly putter length will appreciate the Nome 355, which is standard length. It was this putter that helped Hunter Mahan into the winners circle a few weeks back in Arizona.
The Nome 405 should hit stores on May 1, 2012 and will retail for $320.
For the last 20 years, Norm Alberigo has been adjusting off-the-rack putters for his students; and now he, along with Providence Precision Golf Group (P2G2), are introducing the TopStrike putter. One of the biggest faults that P2G2 sees with nearly every other putter is that the center of gravity is near the bottom of the club. The TopStrike is different as the center of gravity is high and forward on the face; this change in the center of gravity helps transfer the energy of the stroke from the putter to the equator of the ball. Doing this gives the ball a truer roll according to the company and eliminates hopping, backspin and sidespin.
Through his experience fitting putters for students of all sizes and shapes, Alberigo says that it became evident that the offsets and lie angles of the vast majority of putters were way off and that the basics of putter weighting hadn't changed since the introduction of the Anser putter by PING in the 1960s. That, along with finding that the majority of shafts were too long and heads too light, led tot eh development of the TopStrike putter.
The P2G2 putters come in three different models depending on the desired head shape of the player. The Model 2025 is a standard blade putter. The 2225 is similar with an identical body and face but with a rectangular "strike plate" with arrows protruding from the back to help with alignment. The mallet (2425) simply adds on to that with a circular bar connecting to the back of the strike plate and on either side of the blade. The putters all have a proprietary herringbone patterned face and have a stainless steel body with a titanium hosel and aluminum sole plate.
Unfortunately for those wanting to run out and try this new putter, the P2G2 is not available in stores and is only available from Providence Precision Golf. Using their online fitting system called "Custom Club Configurator" players will select the style of putter they want, input a few measurements, and decide if they want a standard, belly or long putter. With this information, P2G2 will be able to create a putter with the right length and lie angle that they say will give a smooth pendulum stroke.
While only having online availability will bother some, they try to ease that worry with a 90 day, no questions asked, money back guarantee. Speaking of money, the 2025 sells for $250 with the 2225 going for $275 and the 2425 for $295.