Q: What is the most important factor in choosing the right putter?
SC: After you determine what you like aesthetically, and you've matched a design to your desired stroke style, getting the correct length is key. Because length affects your setup, which sets eye position, as well as another important specification: weight. These decisions all translate back to your stroke path, which will be directly related to your success rate in getting the ball in the cup. Get that length right for your game, and you’re going to increase your odds for success.
Q: Tell us more about how the length and weight should affect putter choice?
SC: Length is very important because it affects your entire setup, from eye position to posture to the putter's weight to the stroke path. If the putter shaft is too long, you stand back and the toe of the putter goes up in the air a bit. When that happens, your effective loft is aimed left and you’re almost always going to pull putts. Too short, and you’re crouched over. The eyes are outside of the target line and who knows where your putt is going? It’s difficult to correct poor setup. Getting the length right for you so that the eyes remain about an inch inside the target line is what we’ve found to be the optimal setup.
Regarding weight, we match the putter's length with a headweight that achieves a balanced swing weight. With our interchangeable sole weights, we can dial in the headweight to ensure that the putter doesn’t feel either whippy or lethargic, but just right.
Q: Are there any factors that most people don't think about that you'd suggest they explore when making a choice in putter?
SC: One of the new ones I would suggest would be to examine your grip choice. What we have found on Tour and in the Putter Studio, is that these bigger grips on certain putters do work better for certain players. For example, the larger grips help to take a lot of the hands and feel out of the stroke. The larger grips help the player to make a stroke that's more of a shoulder turn, robotic and square-to-square. But, these larger grips on more flowing putters (heel and toe-weighted blades) don't seem to be the best match. They're fighting one another. So, we do put larger diameter Matador grips on Futura X and GOLO putters, but keep our smaller Pistolini and Pistolero options on the Select line. Grip choice has always been a factor in your putter setup. But, I think these days it's becoming a larger topic in the overall conversation about choosing the right putter.
Q: What are you currently gaming, Scotty?
SC: I have two putters in the bag. I have an M3 GSS with a black crocodile grip and a milled stainless steel shaft ring. It's 34-inches, D-5 swing weight, at 3.5° loft and 70° lie. And, when I feel like my setup is getting hunched, and I'm grinding to make putts, I go to my Futura X5 Dual Balance at 38-inches with our Dual Balance grip. I go to this when I'm trying to get my posture better. When I get into a real handsy stroke, I go to a Dual Balance to get more robotic and mechanical. Carrying two putters is ok, too!