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Does “putter-tech” matter anymore???

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A couple years back, after the success of Evnroll and Ping in the Most Wanted Putter results, it was said that having face-tech in one’s putter was crucial, and folks that played putters without it were giving-up strokes. MGS made a huge deal out of the technology!

 

Now we see the TM Juno, and the Tommy Armour win Most Wanted, and although they have some face “grooves” or milling, they don’t have the tech that Evnroll and Ping have for distance control. So...... Does “putter-tech” REALLY matter anymore?

 

 

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A couple years back, after the success of Evnroll and Ping in the Most Wanted Putter results, it was said that having face-tech in one’s putter was crucial, and folks that played putters without it were giving-up strokes. MGS made a huge deal out of the technology!
 
Now we see the TM Juno, and the Tommy Armour win Most Wanted, and although they have some face “grooves” or milling, they don’t have the tech that Evnroll and Ping have for distance control. So...... Does “putter-tech” REALLY matter anymore?
 
 
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Really interesting thought. Look at how many players on Tour are using Cameron’s; putters which are essentially zero-tech, in the hands of some of the best ever.

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11 minutes ago, bens197 said:

 


Really interesting thought. Look at how many players on Tour are using Cameron’s; putters which are essentially zero-tech, in the hands of some of the best ever.
 

 

I almost think of it like gave improvement irons vs blades. The pros who are ridiculously consistent with their face control and hit the sweet spot every time don't really feel the benefits of tech as much as a knucklehead like me who's all over the face.

I would be interested to know what topical pros actual dispersion is across the face tho, to see if their standard deviation would actually warrant some significant help from using a tech-heavy putter.

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I will say it depends.  As we see above,  people will point to pros and what pros use; what we don't see is a comparison of a pro using and not using face tech in putters.   The purpose for face tech; in my opinion, is to help the golfer get consistent speed even if the putt is not hit in the center.    Mishits occur more frequently as the stroke length increases so face tech will theoretically help you get the ball closer to the hole on mishits.   IMO,  this is the missing piece from the MGS test.  It counts total putts for each putter without regard for how far the second putt is.   Lets say from 20 feet you make 5 out of 10 putts.   The 5 putts that missed with putter 1 ranged from 3 feet short to 3 feet long and the 5 putts from putter 2 ranged from 1 foot short to 1 foot long.  This doesn't even address the left and right aspect.  Which putter would you say is best?  

Another point about pros is that that have practiced for years and rely on specific feels and speeds coming off the face.   Groove technology reduces ball speed on center face impact so a pro would have to change their stroke to adapt.  

Players that struggle with distance control will probably see more benefit from groove technology.  Maybe not every round but in the long run.  While it can be important,  i'd focus on fit for impact first. 

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1 hour ago, ncwoz said:

The pros who are ridiculously consistent with their face control and hit the sweet spot every time don't really feel the benefits of tech as much as a knuckleheame who's all overd like the face.

I would be interested to know what topical pros actual dispersion is across the face tho, to see if their standard deviation would actually warrant some significant help from using a tech-heavy putter.

Putting is the one area that amateurs can equal or exceed the performance of a pro.   You can always search for SAM puttlab reports for pros; there are a few available.

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I will say it depends.  As we see above,  people will point to pros and what pros use; what we don't see is a comparison of a pro using and not using face tech in putters.   The purpose for face tech; in my opinion, is to help the golfer get consistent speed even if the putt is not hit in the center.    Mishits occur more frequently as the stroke length increases so face tech will theoretically help you get the ball closer to the hole on mishits.   IMO,  this is the missing piece from the MGS test.  It counts total putts for each putter without regard for how far the second putt is.   Lets say from 20 feet you make 5 out of 10 putts.   The 5 putts that missed with putter 1 ranged from 3 feet short to 3 feet long and the 5 putts from putter 2 ranged from 1 foot short to 1 foot long.  This doesn't even address the left and right aspect.  Which putter would you say is best?  
Another point about pros is that that have practiced for years and rely on specific feels and speeds coming off the face.   Groove technology reduces ball speed on center face impact so a pro would have to change their stroke to adapt.  
Players that struggle with distance control will probably see more benefit from groove technology.  Maybe not every round but in the long run.  While it can be important,  i'd focus on fit for impact first. 

Shot area, average distance from the cup need to be added. Sheesh. Yeah, the better putter is the one that gets you the closest in the end.



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Like anything in golf play 1) what you like and makes you want to go out and play 2) play what works for your game and if it makes 1 easier then even better

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What do you suppose will be next?

 

We’ve seen:

MOI

Shaft weight distribution

Also, shaft deflection technology

Super stroke and P2 grip sizes and textures among others

PING adjustable length

Recycled face groove technology

Odyssey 2Ball

 

Another consideration is a lot of putter hype is in response to Tour winnings and usage.

 

Nicklaus with the MacGregor ZT Response

Payne Stewart at the US Open with a SeeMore

Rich Beem in 2002 with the STX rubber

 

I am sure I’m forgetting some but we certainly cannot be at the end of the road with putter technology.

 

 

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Some of the tech makes a difference, an Acushnet Bullseye is certainly different from a Ping Anser which is different from a TM Spider. But beyond head geometry, the differences are more subtle, personal preferences.

Like it or not, what's in your head probably counts for much of your performance putting, even for pros to some extent - though they are more likely to benefit from subtle differences than 99% of us. That can be based on factual information, or information that you (mistakenly) believe is factual - enter the latest clever marketing, latest pro to win, your brother-in-laws recommendation, new shiny objects, etc.

Ever fallen out of love with your putter? Did the putter change? Did your results with the new putter actually get better in the long run, after the predictable honeymoon - or did you basically revert to mean (or even validate objectively)?

When I am not playing well, the odds it's the club, any of them, is remote IMO. Sure I have favorites, and I read all the info before buying golf club or equipment. But I know my results are at least 90% a simple function of my (in)ability.

Edited by Middler
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Some of the tech makes a difference, an Acushnet Bullseye is certainly different from a Ping Anser which is different from a TM Spider. But beyond head geometry, the differences are more subtle.
Like it or not, what's in your head probably counts for much of your performance putting, even for pros to some extent - though they are more likely to benefit from subtle differences than 99% of us. That can be based on factual information, or information that you (mistakenly) believe is factual - enter the latest clever marketing, latest pro to win, your brother-in-laws recommendation, new shiny objects, etc.
Ever fallen out of love with your putter? Did the putter change? Did your results with the new putter actually get better in the long run, after the predictable honeymoon?
When I am not playing well, the odds it's the club, any of them, is remote IMO.


Just like any other club in the bag, you can make a putter work for you. Basically this is the adjust my stroke to fit the putter mentality. It can work, but probably leads to more streaky putting and failure under pressure where you fall back to natural tendencies. Generally requires lots of practice to ingrained new movements.

The other is find a putter that fits your tendencies. Probably less streaky and generally won’t breakdown when in pressure situations.

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When it comes to putter tech, I'm definitely on the side of it depends on the player's ability to control distance and find the center of the club face. I'm not perfect, but I can get pretty dang close to center contact on every putt and have no issue with distance control most days. I could easily continue to get by using a putter that I simply like based on looks, sound, and feel.

However, does that mean that I couldn't benefit at all from some tech like EVNROLL's groove technology? I don't know. I'd theorize that I might see a couple more putts go in, but not a considerable amount - not enough that I'd be able to tell in just a handful of rounds. Over a season? Yeah, probably.

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Really interesting thought. Look at how many players on Tour are using Cameron’s; putters which are essentially zero-tech, in the hands of some of the best ever.

But,,,, quite a few of the top guys are now gaming the TM Spider. But I really believe at the Pro level you could give them a hockey stick and they would still score well.

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Like has been said before, by wiser people than myself..... you can't go by what the pros do/use. They spend countless hours practicing... and they have abilities we don't/will never have.  I agree us mortals could be as good with the putter as they are, but none of us put the time in practicing like they do.

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6 hours ago, Popeye64 said:

But,,,, quite a few of the top guys are now gaming the TM Spider. But I really believe at the Pro level you could give them a hockey stick and they would still score well.

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It worked for Happy Gilmore... 🤷‍♂️ 

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7 hours ago, Popeye64 said:

But,,,, quite a few of the top guys are now gaming the TM Spider. But I really believe at the Pro level you could give them a hockey stick and they would still score well.

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And some of that is based on the success that another pro had with it and not necessarily the tech. When Day was putting great and winning it was the hottest putter around and even boosted sales.

 

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On 9/25/2019 at 3:15 AM, Popeye64 said:

But,,,, quite a few of the top guys are now gaming the TM Spider. But I really believe at the Pro level you could give them a hockey stick and they would still score well.

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Of course endorsement $ and promoting a profitable product have a significant role in what putter most players “choose.”

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Of course endorsement $ and promoting a profitable product have a significant role in what putter most players “choose.”
I remeber Justin Rose speaking of his Honma deal. He was saying one of the perks was playing anybputter he wanted.
My buddy who is a TaylorMade Pro has to play an all TM bag or he doesnt get a dime.

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3 hours ago, Popeye64 said:

I remeber Justin Rose speaking of his Honma deal. He was saying one of the perks was playing anybputter he wanted.
My buddy who is a TaylorMade Pro has to play an all TM bag or he doesnt get a dime.

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Of course there are exceptions, especially marquee names like J Rose, who can be very well paid for 13, 12 or less club endorsement deals. Again, my only point was you can’t simply count putter makes/models on tour and conclude those makes/models are what pros would choose without $ endorsements and contracts. And pros can have equipment modified and fitted unlike most of us.

Edited by Middler
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Having played for 47 yrs, I tried a ton of putters with a lot of different tech. I had one of those huge McGregor's like Nicklaus used. Was the first high MOI putter I ever tried. Definitely helped with distance consistency (notice I didn't say distance CONTROL). Face tech though seems to be all about feel and the best roll you can produce. The first insert putters had firm rubber and the felt nice and soft. It helped some, but not me. I always felt I wasn't hitting the ball hard enough and continuously ran putts by. Soft metal inserts felt a bit better and I had more success with them. Face milling helped with the feel too, and then we got to the aggressive face milling. Literally a nobby face. Couldn't trust it. I kept thinking the nobs are catching different parts of the balls dimples and affecting my directional control. I settled on a smooth milled face mallet design that had considerable MOI and stayed with that for years. In late '17 I was reading about the Odyssey O-Works face tech of the bent spines that were able to give an almost total non-skid roll. I got the Red Mallet and it's been going head to head with my old mallets for over a year now. It seems to be dang near non-skid on everything but longer putts. Seems to have helped me inside 10' at least.

Where I'm going with this overly long post is, the head is only part of the solution. Shaft type, shaft length, grip weight, grip size, grip taper, grip alignment, total weight, balance, etc. It all needs to be right for you. Unless you find the perfect fit, you'll never reach your full potential.

BT

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