Yesterday I went through a putter fitting at the Jess Hansen Academy in Kansas City. This was the first time I've gone through a putter fitting and it was certainly eye-opening. Figured I'd share some of my experience with you guys.
For a bit of background on me, I've always considered putting one of the better parts of my game. Since I began tracking my stats (about 2 years now) I've averaged 33 putts per round and from one round to the next that number is pretty consistent. Lately, though, I've had some issues with putts of 4 to 5 feet. Just seems like my aim isn't where I want it to be to make 100% of those putts. Like a lot of people I've rotated the putter more times than I can count but I finally landed on a putter that I feel pretty comfortable with - Ping Ketsch Mid. Still it just didn't seem to get the job done enough for me...at least not to the level where I feel like I should be.
After reading a lot of reviews about Edel putters and their fitting process I decided to roll a couple different models while at the PGA Superstore in Dallas. I really liked the look and feel but couldn't really figure out which one was right for me. They aren't cheap so I wasn't about to take a leap without getting fit. So, I decided that I'd go in for a fitting with an Edel certified fitter.
Anyhow, fast forward to today. When I got to the academy Jess put me on the SAM machine to establish a baseline with my current gamer. I started by rolling 10 putts from around 8-10 feet and then we reviewed the data. Without boring you with all the stats here's the jist - my tempo is good but I was taking the putter too far back, the path was very much an in-to-out path and at impact the face was shut almost a full degree. Effectively I was hitting a smoother little baby draw with the putter! The issue with this, according to Jess, is that the miss on this club path can be pretty severe if the face doesn't close - in other words a big push to the right.
Jess also videoed me rolling those putts and discussed my set up to the ball with my gamer. First, my eye line was well behind the ball but a few inches and my weight was back on my heels too much. Second, Jess did a quick test to determine my dominant eye, which we discovered was the left eye. That being said Jess said that my ball position - center of my stance - was totally wrong. He said that I needed to set up with the ball aligned to the in-step of my left foot in order to put a bit more loft on the ball to get it rolling better.
So, the next step was to put me back on the SAM with a better set up, roll a few putts and see what the SAM suggested as optimal loft, lie angle, and toe hang. Basically it suggested that I needed 7 degrees of toe hang, 70 degrees lie angle and 1 degree of loft in a 34 inch length shaft.
Once we had the specs established Jess set me up with the E-3 head and we started working on alignment. To check alignment he put this green 2 ft by 2 ft green screen up with a special puck in front of it that is the size of a standard hole on a green. The puck, however, has this green laser that shoots out of it. Next he put a small mirror on the face of the putter, set down a ball and had me set up to the ball like I was rolling it toward the puck. He then moved the ball and the laser reflected where I was aiming at set up (it was left, by the way). He then put the ball back and had me step back and set up 2 more times. Both times I was dead in the middle of the cup so Jess said there was no need to try and alignment lines or different head shapes.
The really unique thing with Edel's fitting process is that head shape and alignment lines have major influences on how we aim the putter at address. I guess for me no alignment aid was optimal, which made things pretty easy.
The final step in the fitting was weighting out the putter, as this also has a significant impact on how the putter is delivered through impact. Jess had me set up and roll a few 10 foot putts and then tweaked the putter with a few different counterweights that slid down into the shaft. In the end I came away with a weight 6 inches down the grip and a back weight at the very butt end of the grip.
He handed me the final product, had me set up to a 10 foot putt and I was rolling in putts like it was nothing. The final product is the E-3 head in black with a black shaft and a round grip and the previously mentioned weight set up, which I should have in 7-10 days.
Why the rounded grip? Honestly, at first I was not excited about it and thought I'd be rolling the head too much. Turns out that's not at all the case. Additionally, Jess said that flat top grips run the risk of being installed incorrectly and possibly slipping over time, which both impact consistency. I know when I've installed Superstroke grips on my putters before I've always been nervous about does the grip really line up simply from me eye-balling it. Rounded grips don't cause those issues and it really only took me 1 or 2 putts to discover that I liked how it felt. It's a new change but I'm looking forward to it.
Sorry for the super long read but I found the process to be really cool. I'm excited to get the putter and will update this thread with in-hand pics when it arrives. I'll also drop some feedback in here once I get out and put it to work on the course.
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