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GolfSpy MPR and BIG STU's Putter Shootout

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Wait... if you traded me for my Stroke Lab, does that mean I have a new putter to put through some paces this winter... 😉

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LOL you started off with the comment about your "long post"  That is a by product of your regular profession. Now remember this is old Stu just kidding. But you did inspire me to come up with a sorta counter culture idea. Since your putters are new school why don't I do one with some of my vintage putters?. Since we have good weather most of the year and my place is not large enough to do an indoor putting green I will do mine outside. Plus the way I have been putting lately I need all the practice I can get

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2 hours ago, BIG STU said:

LOL you started off with the comment about your "long post"  That is a by product of your regular profession. Now remember this is old Stu just kidding. But you did inspire me to come up with a sorta counter culture idea. Since your putters are new school why don't I do one with some of my vintage putters?. Since we have good weather most of the year and my place is not large enough to do an indoor putting green I will do mine outside. Plus the way I have been putting lately I need all the practice I can get

I love this idea! I'd definitely be interested in the background of each of the putters in your test, both their own history and their time with you.

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Can we place bets? 😜 I’d like to bet on the Stroke Lab...🤣

Kidding aside, I love reading this thread of your’s every year. Your commitment to doing this every year is admirable! I’m really looking forward to seeing the results. 

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6 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I love this idea! I'd definitely be interested in the background of each of the putters in your test, both their own history and their time with you.

Seriously a couple of mine do have an interesting background but most of them are scrap pile finds. Since you are good with the computer you could research the MGS archives and look at a thread I did when I first came on here it is called either "An Old Putter Story" or an "Old Ping Putter Story" I can not remember exactly how I titled it now. Wish I could putt with that thing like I could back in the day

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I had my first surprising result last night. I've just finished the first round of testing with 4 of my 6 putters. The current standings:

image.png

So last night I put my EXO Indy (with its DIY shaft and Gravity Grip) through round 1. It scored pretty solidly in every category; the 18 Putt drill score could easily have been higher, as I burned a bunch of edges.

The most impressive and surprising result was in the Straight Putt drill with the PuttOut gate. Not only did I make 8 of 10, but I had one miss left and one right. But contrast, the three putters before the Indy combined for 12 misses out of 30, with every single one being a pull.

A fluke? A pattern? We'll have to see!

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I’m a bit surprised at the MLA scoring the lowest so far. I’ve had success with that putter.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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1 hour ago, Rickp said:

I’m a bit surprised at the MLA scoring the lowest so far. I’ve had success with that putter.


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For whatever reason, it and I have never gotten on all that well. That said, this is only round one, and so there's a lot of putts left to roll.

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OK I made my selections and here they are along with history

Macgregor IM-5 Ironmaster--- got it around 1972 or so--- A friend of mine named Kenny gave it to me. Kenny is the man who instilled the Love of Macgregor clubs in me. Of course the putter is named "Kenny

Ping Anser 1974 vintage. One of 2 original Ping Anser demos in my old man's shop

Ping Zing 2 around 1990 vintage or so. That is the one I did the story on and posted on here. Trust me that thing ha earned it's keep and I won a lot of money in big money Calcutta matches and on the mini Tours

Scotty Cameron Santa Fe--- Traced it down to 1987 vintage or so. Found on the scrap pile at work really really rusty. I posted it on here. And trust me it is still rough and rusty. Has a name among players in this area as "That Rusty SOB Scotty" yep it has done pretty well

Now my last one is far from new but new to me because I found it last week. Vintage unknown ( I am in the process of tracking it down) Otey Crisman Calamity Jane style with a genuine hickory shaft and leather wrap grip. 

Those are mine I picked some of them because of their past story----- I have over 100 putters and I think the most recent ones Vintage wise may be a Nike Method 003 and a Yes! Dianna

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OK I made my selections and here they are along with history
Macgregor IM-5 Ironmaster--- got it around 1972 or so--- A friend of mine named Kenny gave it to me. Kenny is the man who instilled the Love of Macgregor clubs in me. Of course the putter is named "Kenny
Ping Anser 1974 vintage. One of 2 original Ping Anser demos in my old man's shop
Ping Zing 2 around 1990 vintage or so. That is the one I did the story on and posted on here. Trust me that thing ha earned it's keep and I won a lot of money in big money Calcutta matches and on the mini Tours
Scotty Cameron Santa Fe--- Traced it down to 1987 vintage or so. Found on the scrap pile at work really really rusty. I posted it on here. And trust me it is still rough and rusty. Has a name among players in this area as "That Rusty SOB Scotty" yep it has done pretty well
Now my last one is far from new but new to me because I found it last week. Vintage unknown ( I am in the process of tracking it down) Otey Crisman Calamity Jane style with a genuine hickory shaft and leather wrap grip. 
Those are mine I picked some of them because of their past story----- I have over 100 putters and I think the most recent ones Vintage wise may be a Nike Method 003 and a Yes! Dianna

Ping Zing Putters underrated. When I did a big “putter purge” years ago I hung onto a Zing, BE CU.


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4 hours ago, BIG STU said:

OK I made my selections and here they are along with history

Macgregor IM-5 Ironmaster--- got it around 1972 or so--- A friend of mine named Kenny gave it to me. Kenny is the man who instilled the Love of Macgregor clubs in me. Of course the putter is named "Kenny

Ping Anser 1974 vintage. One of 2 original Ping Anser demos in my old man's shop

Ping Zing 2 around 1990 vintage or so. That is the one I did the story on and posted on here. Trust me that thing ha earned it's keep and I won a lot of money in big money Calcutta matches and on the mini Tours

Scotty Cameron Santa Fe--- Traced it down to 1987 vintage or so. Found on the scrap pile at work really really rusty. I posted it on here. And trust me it is still rough and rusty. Has a name among players in this area as "That Rusty SOB Scotty" yep it has done pretty well

Now my last one is far from new but new to me because I found it last week. Vintage unknown ( I am in the process of tracking it down) Otey Crisman Calamity Jane style with a genuine hickory shaft and leather wrap grip. 

Those are mine I picked some of them because of their past story----- I have over 100 putters and I think the most recent ones Vintage wise may be a Nike Method 003 and a Yes! Dianna

I'm loving the selections and the history, @BIG STU! What's your testing procedure going to be?

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Finished the first round with all six putters today! Here are the current standings:

image.png

Red is hot; green is cold.

It doesn't take much observation to see that each putter slightly outperformed the one before it. I'll invert the order for the next round, and then likely mix them up again for rounds 3 and 4.

I'm not yet sure if the better results I've gotten here from the latter putters is a function of the putter or a function of a better stroke for me. I'd noted earlier a tendency to pull putts, and that tendency was very much on display early. My first thought was to adjust my ball position (posted about that here). I thought that by moving the ball back a bit in my stance, I'd move the path slightly to the right.

Try moving your ball position an inch or two in your putting setup. Wow, that's hard!

So I tried something else instead 🙂

Starting with my EXO Indianapolis, I had two feels. The first is a feel (not real) of my right forearm parallel to the alignment line of my putter, almost piston-like pushing through the putt. The second feel, with that, is to imagine rolling the ball out of my open right hand on the back of the putter grip.

My putting grip is a version of left-hand low, and my feel is typically controlled in my left hand. By moving everything over to my right, I immediately (provable with results) began starting putts on my intended line.

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Note with the first three putters: 18/30 makes, all 12 misses to the left. After my adjustment, 23/30 makes, 4 misses left and 3 to the right.

So I'm obviously encouraged at the direction things are going, and I'm interested to see if the stroke change that I made shows improvement with the MLA. Cleveland, and Stroke Lab in round 2 and after.

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19 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

I'm loving the selections and the history, @BIG STU! What's your testing procedure going to be?

I am going to sorta copy what you do (with your blessing of course) but on a natural putting green. Now one thing I will detail on is some of the vintage blade putters Like the IM-5 and the Otey modern balls like the Pro V and the Srixon and even Snell will tend to hop off the face for me. John Smalls knows about that because when he played golf with me he actually found a balata Strata ball on the course. I was putting with a PGA Tommy Armour IM-5 reproduction that day. I showed John and this kid that played with us the difference in balls. Now if say I play the IM-5 a couple of weeks or so and get used to the hop I will compensate for it. But it takes time and right now frankly my putting feel and stroke are not the best. I did mess with the Otey this afternoon using a Pro V and then an old HT-100 balata. Had better results with the balata. Now when I play strictly vintage I will use a modern softer ball usually a lady Brigestone

Edited by BIG STU
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7 minutes ago, BIG STU said:

I am going to sorta copy what you do (with your blessing of course) but on a natural putting green

Perfectly fine with me!

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6 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Perfectly fine with me!

I added with an edit but you beat me to the punch

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Round 2 is complete, with some absolutely interesting results tonight.

The last putter to go in Round 2 was the MLA. For those following along at home, you've seen that for some reason, the MLA and I just have never clicked. It also underperformed the first time I did this putter challenge. I can't put my finger on exactly why.

So I grabbed the MLA, did my normal brief warm-up to get accustomed to the face (I do this with every putter before each test), and then proceeded to putt like total garbage. I made 9/10 four-footers on the PuttOUT, with no perfect putts. I then made a decent 10/18 in that drill, which is right at the average.

But on the PuttOUT gate drill, I hit the gate every single time. A 0/10! I'd never done that before.

I still had a little time left to putt, so I decided to start round 3, and first up for Round 3 was my Odyssey EXO Indy. This made me nervous; the Indy had been performing very well so far, and my fear was that I was just having a bad putting evening and I was about to tank my Indy's numbers.

On the four-footers: I made three perfect putts, but missed one. Even so, with the perfects, my total was 15 points, which is a new high score.

Then on the 18 putt drill, I made the first 13 in a row. I have never done that; my previous total record was 14/18. Unfortunately, the last five (longer putts that break right) is my weakest station, and I made only 1/5. Still, that's 14/18, tying my lifetime best.

The gate drill was still a bit shaky: I only made 5/10, but the misses were distributed left and right, rather than concentrated on the left side.

On the whole, I found those two rounds to be very enlightening. Whether its mental or physical, I cannot fully say. But it was strong proof to me that a putter can work with you or a putter can fight you.

Here are the current standings, with Round 3 just underway (reminder: red is good):

image.png

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Well maybe I have gotten my putting stroke straightened out some. I had been practicing for feel with one of my Bulls Eyes. I had also switched to left hand low. Have sorta gotten my feel back and my stroke was pretty good. Did some work on the Rusty Scotty last week. Pulled off the small SS grip and put on a old school type rubber Lamkin grip. Realized I had a lot of lead tape on the Scotty and now it felt like a sledgehammer in my hands. Pulled off all the lead tape and it felt good. Put it in the bag for a scramble last Saturday. Made 5 out of 6 putts from the 10 to 15 foot range and the one I missed I hung on the lip. Made 5 of 5 from 5 ft in. They were letting me putt first since I stated " I cant putt anyhow" and they knew it. Lag putts were pretty decent even though I do not believe in lagging I run at everything. But I honestly felt if I had been playing my ball I would have not had any 3 putts. The guys were talking about I was back I told them I did not know probably this week I can not hit a washtub

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So it looks like there is something to the EXO's horizontal stabilizers? 😉  Fun thread, thanks for sharing!

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3 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

So it looks like there is something to the EXO's horizontal stabilizers? 😉  Fun thread, thanks for sharing!

Yeah, it's hard to say exactly what it is. In my first post, I have them both (the EXO and the MLA) listed with essentially the same amount of toe hang, so that is fascinating: that isn't the difference. The EXO has made homemade Stroke Lab shaft and a Gravity Grip. I'm really tempted to make another couple DIY Stroke Lab shafts after I finish the test, and put them in the MLA and the Cleveland.

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