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When Is it Time to Purchase a New Putter?


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I've just started to take lessons, and I'm definitely starting to feel more confident striking the ball around the course - but lately my scores haven't reflected any improvement because my putting has been shocking.

First step for me is definitely to spend more time on the putting green. But am still interested to know from some more experienced players when they decided/ the right time would be to purchase a new putter? Seems an intriguing one to me as once you've practiced enough with one putter, surely changing becomes an adjustment.

For context, I'm currently a 21 HCP and the putter I'm using is the Odyssey Tri-Ball SRT Putter. It's a bit of a beast!

https://thesandtrap.com/b/clubs/odyssey_white_steel_tri-ball_srt_putter_review

Thanks in advance!

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Hello and welcome to TST. It’s a good thing you’ve been focusing on ball striking as that is most likely where the majority of your strokes are saved. However if you have a documented weakness with putting, such as missing from 3-4’ multiple times in a round or three putting from 15’ repeatedly then putting improvement can quickly help your score.

Were you fit for your irons? Are you aware that you can be fit for a putter? If you don’t have the budget for a putter fitting I’d recommend you start practicing with what you have before trying to buy a better putting game.😉

Unless you just hate this putter and want something lighter, smaller, etc. Cheers!

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15 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Hello and welcome to TST. It’s a good thing you’ve been focusing on ball striking as that is most likely where the majority of your strokes are saved. However if you have a documented weakness with putting, such as missing from 3-4’ multiple times in a round or three putting from 15’ repeatedly then putting improvement can quickly help your score.

Were you fit for your irons? Are you aware that you can be fit for a putter? If you don’t have the budget for a putter fitting I’d recommend you start practicing with what you have before trying to buy a better putting game.😉

Unless you just hate this putter and want something lighter, smaller, etc. Cheers!

Thanks very much @Vinsk!

It has certainly felt like I've missed far too many putts from within 5-6 feet over my last few rounds, hurts when you get to the end of the round and see what your score could've been without stacking up so many missed putts.

I haven't been fit for my clubs, just bought them second hand - I have recently regripped my putter (personally I've found the SuperStroke grip feels much nicer in the hand) but haven't had a really consistent day with the putter just yet). Will give it a bit more of a crack first!

Appreciate the help mate 👍 

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7 hours ago, thegolfhackr said:

It has certainly felt like I've missed far too many putts from within 5-6 feet over my last few rounds,

@Vinsk gave you some great advice.   One thing to consider though, 5-6' putts aren't an easy putt.    A golfer that averages around 90 is only making about 50% at 5' and at 6' only about 39%.  

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The only time you "need" to buy a new putter is if the face or face insert becomes damaged or worn enough to cause issues when putting with a reasonably repeatable putting stroke. No matter how old a putter is, they don't wear out in the same way the face of a driver or the grooves on irons/wedges might and the only issues are usually caused by intentional/unintentional damage to the face (most often from bag chatter if you don't use a headcover) or softer inserts wearing down over time (which has been noted to happen in both PING and Odyssey insert putters, but over the course of 100,000+ putts rolled with the same putter consistently from the same spot on the clubface).

Buying a new putter that properly fits your eye for easy alignment and properly matches your putting stroke in terms of toe hang can be an immediate boon however, if you current putter is a poor fit in either of those categories. 

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1 hour ago, dennyjones said:

@Vinsk gave you some great advice.   One thing to consider though, 5-6' putts aren't an easy putt.    A golfer that averages around 90 is only making about 50% at 5' and at 6' only about 39%.  

Thanks @dennyjones, good shout - I’ve been careful not to seperate expectations from reality - but last couple rounds have been almost 100% three putts! In desperate need of some work

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If 3-putts are your concern, the best thing you can do is practice distance control with your current putter or your new putter if you decided to get one.

Distance control will make a much bigger difference in reducing 3-putts than if you make 10-20% more of your 5-6 foot putts, simply because you'll have more 2-3 foot putts and across all ranges of player ability you are nearly 2x more likely to make those putts than a 5-6 footer. It's also much easier to improve you distance control from +/- 6 feet to +/- 3 feet than it would be to double your make percentage of 5-6 footers, because even PGA Tour pros only make 70% of putts from 6 feet. 

If your first putt has the correct speed, even a large error in your read will leave you with a relatively short putt.

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One thing you might do is calculate your Strokes Gained Putting to see if that really is your weakness.  Below is the calculator I use.  


Use this tool to calculate the strokes gained metric for any round of golf. Track your putting...

If you want to focus on putting I agree with the comments above to get a fitting.  I would also add find an AimPoint instructor and take a putting lesson from them.  It gave me a lot of improvements & confidence in my putting.

Edit:

Oh, and welcome to TST.  One thing to know about your username, if a few years when you are a better golfer we will still call you @thegolfhackr.

 

Edited by StuM

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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Personally I would get a new putter when I have exhausted trying to get the current one to work.  For example, after a lot of trial and error I found out that I do well with heavier putter weights, so that prompted a change from my 50 year old lightweight putter to a modern putter with adjustable weights.

Confidence is definitely part of it as well.   If you lose confidence because you think something better is out there, then I would say go for changing it or investigating different putters.

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1 hour ago, imsys0042 said:

Personally I would get a new putter when I have exhausted trying to get the current one to work…

Confidence is definitely part of it as well.   If you lose confidence because you think something better is out there, then I would say go for changing it or investigating different putters.

Agreed. Obviously working on the actual putting components (read, speed, bead), I recently switched putters out of confidence and desperation and I’m loving it.  For better or worse, I just had to do something different 

Driver: :callaway: Rogue  /  Woods: :tmade: M2 3&5W’s / Hybrid: :tarmour: 25* / Irons: :ping: i500’s /  Wedges: :edel: 54*, 58*

Putter: :scotty_cameron: Futura 5W  Ball: :titleist: AVX optic yellow 

 -Jonny

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Being fit for a putter, most of the time people play putters that are too long, is HUGE…. It allows you to get into a correct natural stance and posture.

Take  a lesson as well.  Make sure your stroke is on point before you buy a new putter, if notnn be your just buying blind.

So being fit for stroke type, putter length and a lesson to make sure your stroke is good is what you need to buy the correct type of putter.

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I was fitted for a new putter at the end of last year. I was on my fourth putter in just a few years at the time, a many decades old Ping Anser (before the Anser I used an old school Odyssey white hot blade, Taylormade spider, and Odyssey Jailbird). Switching equipment didn't really result in any profound change in my putting ability. I even tried various grips; claw, left hand low, etc. with no sustained improvement.

Before I got fitted my instructor insisted I should have a putting lesson first. During the putting lesson she helped me learn to aim correctly (mirror/laser thing), gave some suggestions on how to address the ball with regards to where my eyes were positioned relative to the ball, and we worked on some minor mechanical improvements in the stroke.

I went into the fitting with an agnostic approach (I had something in mind that I wanted, but overall my intent was to go with what worked best for me). I ended up with a LAB directed force 2.1 putter which is a center shafted mallet, and honestly not my first choice. But I aimed it best out of all the putters, and I liked the heavier weight of it compared to my Ping Anser. With all the blade putters I tried, I would get very handsy, twisting the face open and closed unnecessarily (even the center shafted LAB blade putter), resulting in poor results. Similar results with non-center shafted mallets, although not as bad as the blade style ones. Ultimately, I found a putter that works well for me.

So I guess my point is, don't get a new putter unless you know it is going to result in improvement over your current putter. Unless you just want a new golf thing, which is a perfectly valid reason too.

-Peter

  • Driver: :cobra: King F9
  • 3W: :ping: G410
  • 3H: :titleist: 818 H1
  • Irons: :srixon: ZX5 4-AW
  • Wedges: :cleveland:  RTX Zipcore 54 & 58
  • Putter: L.A.B. Golf Directed Force 2.1
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13 hours ago, Pretzel said:

If 3-putts are your concern, the best thing you can do is practice distance control with your current putter or your new putter if you decided to get one.

Distance control will make a much bigger difference in reducing 3-putts than if you make 10-20% more of your 5-6 foot putts, simply because you'll have more 2-3 foot putts and across all ranges of player ability you are nearly 2x more likely to make those putts than a 5-6 footer. It's also much easier to improve you distance control from +/- 6 feet to +/- 3 feet than it would be to double your make percentage of 5-6 footers, because even PGA Tour pros only make 70% of putts from 6 feet. 

If your first putt has the correct speed, even a large error in your read will leave you with a relatively short putt.

Thanks @Pretzel – at this stage I think I equally need improvements and distance control and my accuracy within 5-6 feet. Both have been appauling last few rounds - so need to balance my putting practice for both. Am aware not to get too carried away with expectations around my make % within 5-6 feet but at the minute I have zero confidence in draining those putts - so am not in a good place. In the process now of finding some good drills for both! Would be very appreciative if you can make any suggestions 👍 

13 hours ago, StuM said:

One thing you might do is calculate your Strokes Gained Putting to see if that really is your weakness.  Below is the calculator I use.  


Use this tool to calculate the strokes gained metric for any round of golf. Track your putting...

If you want to focus on putting I agree with the comments above to get a fitting.  I would also add find an AimPoint instructor and take a putting lesson from them.  It gave me a lot of improvements & confidence in my putting.

Edit:

Oh, and welcome to TST.  One thing to know about your username, if a few years when you are a better golfer we will still call you @thegolfhackr.

 

Thanks so much for sending this through @StuM – I'll definitely start to track my progress! I'm not sure how soon it's realistic to look at a fitting but I'll check it out.

And thanks for the warm welcome 👍  am aware that my username is permanent.. haha it's actually the name I came up with for the YT channel I've decided to document my journey through. Any and all feedback would be very appreciated and most welcome!!

13 hours ago, imsys0042 said:

Personally I would get a new putter when I have exhausted trying to get the current one to work.  For example, after a lot of trial and error I found out that I do well with heavier putter weights, so that prompted a change from my 50 year old lightweight putter to a modern putter with adjustable weights.

Confidence is definitely part of it as well.   If you lose confidence because you think something better is out there, then I would say go for changing it or investigating different putters.

Nice one @imsys0042 – I'm feeling the same way. I've changed to a SuperStroke grip, and already feeling a little more confident - just need to do some practice now as well. Will definitely give it a good crack before looking at purchasing a new one etc. -- confidence is so key right! 

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15 hours ago, thegolfhackr said:

Thanks @dennyjones, good shout - I’ve been careful not to seperate expectations from reality - but last couple rounds have been almost 100% three putts! In desperate need of some work

Getting fit to your putter helps as well. When I got fit years back, the fitter added 1/2” to the shaft and flattened the lie so my aim was dead center of the hole. You can do a fitting with your existing putter. Many fitters will apply the fitting fee towards a new putter if you buy it from them. They also may adjust the overall weight of the putter.

Also, check out the thread below.

 

Scott

Titleist, Edel, Scotty Cameron Putter, Snell - AimPoint - Evolvr - MirrorVision -MEVO+

My Swing Thread

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45 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Getting fit to your putter helps as well. When I got fit years back, the fitter added 1/2” to the shaft and flattened the lie so my aim was dead center of the hole. You can do a fitting with your existing putter. Many fitters will apply the fitting fee towards a new putter if you buy it from them. They also may adjust the overall weight of the putter.

Also, check out the thread below.

 

That's all really useful stuff to know @boogielicious– and thanks for dropping that link in. Bead, read and speed is very similar to the "line, read and speed" mantra that my coach has helped start me off with. I think speed is probably my biggest work on currently - do you have any suggested drills for that? Thanks again for the help!

12 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

I was fitted for a new putter at the end of last year. I was on my fourth putter in just a few years at the time, a many decades old Ping Anser (before the Anser I used an old school Odyssey white hot blade, Taylormade spider, and Odyssey Jailbird). Switching equipment didn't really result in any profound change in my putting ability. I even tried various grips; claw, left hand low, etc. with no sustained improvement.

Before I got fitted my instructor insisted I should have a putting lesson first. During the putting lesson she helped me learn to aim correctly (mirror/laser thing), gave some suggestions on how to address the ball with regards to where my eyes were positioned relative to the ball, and we worked on some minor mechanical improvements in the stroke.

I went into the fitting with an agnostic approach (I had something in mind that I wanted, but overall my intent was to go with what worked best for me). I ended up with a LAB directed force 2.1 putter which is a center shafted mallet, and honestly not my first choice. But I aimed it best out of all the putters, and I liked the heavier weight of it compared to my Ping Anser. With all the blade putters I tried, I would get very handsy, twisting the face open and closed unnecessarily (even the center shafted LAB blade putter), resulting in poor results. Similar results with non-center shafted mallets, although not as bad as the blade style ones. Ultimately, I found a putter that works well for me.

So I guess my point is, don't get a new putter unless you know it is going to result in improvement over your current putter. Unless you just want a new golf thing, which is a perfectly valid reason too.

Thanks for sharing @Darkfrog, am definitely keen to continue using this putter for some practice for a little while first- I haven't done nearly enough practice yet to expect any decent improvements to will definitely give it some time before I go down that avenue. Seem to be hearing a lot of good things about the Taylormade Spider recently though!

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35 minutes ago, thegolfhackr said:

 

Nice one @imsys0042 – I'm feeling the same way. I've changed to a SuperStroke grip, and already feeling a little more confident - just need to do some practice now as well. Will definitely give it a good crack before looking at purchasing a new one etc. -- confidence is so key right! 

That's a good point too.  I've actually only had 5 putters in 32 years of playing golf, and one of them got a new lease on life with a new grip.   The one it came with was more worn than I thought.    And getting something a little thicker has helped.

—Adam

 

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12 hours ago, Typhoon92 said:

Being fit for a putter, most of the time people play putters that are too long, is HUGE…. It allows you to get into a correct natural stance and posture.

Take  a lesson as well.  Make sure your stroke is on point before you buy a new putter, if notnn be your just buying blind.

So being fit for stroke type, putter length and a lesson to make sure your stroke is good is what you need to buy the correct type of putter.

Makes sense @Typhoon92– will make sure I get some good feedback prior to going down the putter-fit route. You must be some golfer at +3! At what stage did you get fit yourself?

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4 hours ago, thegolfhackr said:

Makes sense @Typhoon92– will make sure I get some good feedback prior to going down the putter-fit route. You must be some golfer at +3! At what stage did you get fit yourself?

Thanks!  Probably around 10 years ago I got fit for a putter.  Watching Phil putt with what looked like a short putter piqued my interest.  I’m not tall and being fit for length helped tremendously.  As for the rest of my bag, I was fit for my driver back in 2016.  Irons… hate to say it but never.  Only reason is I’m at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to income.  I used Ping eye2 irons up until 2014.  Can’t really afford anything.  I’ve just made do with a good swing and short game.

Someday I’d I hit the lottery!

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