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Just wondering if any of the Ketsch owners out there have done a comparison of the two. Is the original better than the midsize? What differences did you notice etc etc. I have the original that was withdrawn because of the groove issue and haven't had the opportunity to try the new mid.
Today I played with a guy that's one of the regulars in our Saturday morning game. I've noticed lately that the uses a Ping Ketsch. I've always liked the look of the putter. Several times today I ask to take a look at his. Along the way he mentioned that a small shop in town had one left for sale at a good price. So after my round I headed straight there. Sure enough they had it. And... it was the 2014 model that was taken off the market by Ping due to a deep grooves issue. The shop also had all equipment marked down due to going out of business. (That's another story but sad to see. I like the guy that owns it.) Needless to say I snapped it up. The model I purchased has a small sticker on the shaft noting that this particular was setup if you have a "slight Arc" with your stroke. I do. I wasn't really in the market for a putter but what the heck. This one is supposed top be a good one. I also read the reviews on MGS blog and it is a winner of the most wanted mallet in 2014. I'm excited to give it a try tomorrow in a practice session.
I purchased a 35" slight arc 355 gram Ping Ketsch putter based largely on the stellar reviews found on MGS. While I question some of the metrics used in the Most Wanted Mallet Testing, (For example, I don't think that the distance of a "miss" for a 4 or 5 foot putt has any statistical meaning or validity. It should be ignored, because while a 12" miss may be 100% greater than a 6" miss, neither putt is in the cup and no one will miss the next stroke) what I saw in the MGS survey convinced me that the Ketsch and Ping's TR technology were worth a look. So I set out to buy one. This proved difficult. No local shop or club had a Ketsch on site to look at. Few of the sales reps I spoke to had even heard of the club. Finally I had to order one sight unseen from Golfsmith for about $195. Fortunately, I knew my specs from my previous Odyssey Two Ball. In short order the club arrived and I swapped in a SuperStroke 2.0 mid slim grip and began my testing. I started with 240 putts from 3 distances (4 ft, 7 ft, and 15 ft) in a "round the clock" pattern around gently sloping holes, putting from 8 stations radiating in spokes around the hole. I putted 8 putts per round with the Ping, then 8 with Odyssey, alternating the order and the starting position for each of 10 rounds, or 80 putts from each distance with each putter. I won't bore you with the statistics and the measurements of my misses. I did not count the miss distances from 4 ft, only the make percentages, but I did compute the miss distances and make percentages from 7 and 15 ft. I found that the Ping was slightly better at make percentages from all distances, but only slightly better. From 4 ft, the Ketsch's advantage was so slight that I felt it was within the margin of error. If I repeated the test, the Odyssey could just as easily come out on top the next time. However, the Ping was significantly better on all its miss distances and this was readily apparent to the naked eye even before any stats were computed. It was extremely easy to cosy a ball close to a hole for a perfunctory tap in. I also never rolled a putt so far by the hole that I had a knee knocker coming back. The most common miss with the Ping was short. And if not outright short, it was a foot to one side or another, indicating that I had misjudged speed on a breaking putt that died below the hole. After this test, I'd seen enough. I sold the Odyssey and kept the Ping. (Got $91 for it on ebay.) I took the Ping out on the course and put it through its normal paces. Instantly, I saw that it was very good at long lag putts. I rarely left myself in three putt danger. It was also superb at downhill sliders. I was able to feel my way to ginger lags that didn't run out of control. But I did not see any improvement on short putt makes or on makeable birdies. And I found myself constantly coming up short. Over time, perhaps with over 500 putts hit, I noticed some common denominators. In noticed that the TR grooves (which are quite sharp) really grab a ball. So much so that they seem to smush into a cover, often with very little sound and super soft feel. This seems to cause the ball to roll in tighter contact with the grass and make putts more susceptible to grain, break, surface imperfections, and blade height. Short putts curve more, especially as they lose speed. They also skid or slip less. I was able to put the Ketsch on line fairly easily thanks to its alignment aids and I was able to make solid strokes only to find myself curling up short or to one side with little improvement in my score. Armed with this info, I began to really focus on imaginary target holes behind the real hole. This is a common trick to maintain putter pace, but I never did it with my Odyssey because too often I'd ram a putt 6 ft by if I did. But with the Ketsch it worked like a charm. My imaginary target spot now moves from 1 to 5 ft behind the hole depending on the length of the putt, and with slippery downhill sliders I simply "turn off" the imaginary target an focus on the hole. The results were shocking. With more pace, my putts held their lines, and it turned out that they were on good lines all along, thanks to the ease of aiming the Ketsch. My 4 and 5 ft make percentage soared. My make percentage on 10 to 20 footers also soared. Long lags remained very good. Now the Ketsch is putter that the MGS survey touted Now I understand what the fuss is about. Bottom line with the Ketsch: Feel is excellent, ease of aiming and ease of making a good stroke is excellent. Pace is a problem and you'll have to force yourself to hit putts harder than you are used to, but once you dial it in, it's very easy to control pace. Be prepared for putts to break more and skid less. While I quibble over the MGS survey's stats, I have no complaint about their conclusion. The Ketsch is a phenomenal putter.