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2020 Official Member Review: Ping Heppler putter


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On 9/25/2020 at 10:26 AM, Shapotomous said:

The Review 10/1/20 – 10/28/20

Ping Heppler Fetch – Official MGS Forum Review by Shapotomous

I was really happy to be chosen as a Heppler putter reviewer by MGS.  I have a collection of putters, mostly vintage Ping or Bullseye or TPM, but also a few newer Odyssey’s and the most recent gamer was a SeeMore FGP.  I was never fit for a putter but just rotate through whatever model fits my eye, feels good and is ‘hot’ in practice.  They all seem to work about the same, some with a stronger trend toward my usual push miss than others.  I also have a 12 x 24 putting green in the backyard that is great stress relief and gets a lot of play.  For me it was a better use of “splurge money” than a Harley or boat would have been.

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I started playing back in the early ‘70’s.  I was very lucky to work at a country club & for about 6 years I got to hit a ton of range balls, spend hours on the practice green, play evenings and get lots of instruction from the asst pros…..all for free!!  Best job there was for a golf nut!! 

 My handicap has always ranged from a 5 – 7.  When I was a young punk putting saved my scores as I took chances that were fun but generally were low percentage.  The handicap has stayed roughly the same through the years but the gradual shift in my game currently has putting as my weak point.   

First Impressions of the Ping Heppler Fetch!!

My right out of the box impression of the Fetch is the look is not ‘busy’ and being more used to playing blades, the head size is not too big.  I like the copper / black color scheme and the black shaft also looks good.  

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It sits square to my eye and also to the grid pattern on the kitchen floor.  It feels heavier than most putters I use.  Some comparison data on that later. 

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I am a gadget guy and tinkerer, so the adjustable length with an included small tool that fits in the end of the grip is really cool to me.  Simply turning the tool easily adjusts the length shorter or longer.  There are marks on the back side of the shaft to give you a reference on how far you are moving it.  There is also a vertical straight line reference mark on the shaft I suppose is there to help align a grip if you change it.

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The sight lines on the back of the Fetch look good to me.  One of my putting issues is alignment so I hoped these would help me get the ball rolling on the correct path.  The hole in the back to lift the ball is not distracting to me, my eye goes to the lines not the hole.  The hole works as intended “Fetch”ing the ball up easily either from the putting surface or in the hole since the Fetch is sized to fit in the hole. 

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Grading Section
Looks (9 out of 10 points)

       I have always been a blade style player but recently began trying a few mallets.  I like this mallet size, shape and the sight lines on the back.  It is not too big to my eye, some of the mallets are so large as to look like garden tools rather than putters!  The color scheme you see when addressing the ball is not distracting and does not reflect the sun in an annoying way.  The black shaft adds to the color scheme nicely.  The putter sets up square and my hands feel like they are at a good spot.  The shaft bend at the hosel is graceful and not too angular.

       I don’t think it comes across as too flashy like some mallets.  The shape and color scheme are simpler to me when compared to a Teron or a Spider.  The face is solid & smooth, there are no milling marks.

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Sound & Feel (8 out of 10 points)

       The Fetch has a nice firm feel to it as the ball comes off the face.  It definitely meets my preference for a firmer hit over an insert style.  It has a heavier feel to it as you make the stroke.  I have added lead tape to other putters to get a similar feel this putter has out of the box.  For comparison I measured the overall weight and swingweight on a scale to other putters (vintage Anser, Spider, Teron, Seemore FGP).  The only one with a heavier swingweight was the Teron which has a good bit of lead tape on it.  The 20oz overall weight of the Fetch was the heaviest by at least 2 oz. over the lead taped Teron and by 4oz over the others.

       The sound off the face is a solid click on good hits, the videos posted below picked up some of the sound.  It has a noticeable higher pitch difference on toe / heel hits.  You get immediate sound feedback on a mishit in addition to a slightly different feel in your hands.

       The grip (PP59) is a pistol style that feels softer & slightly larger than other classic pistol grips I have used, though it is not as big as other midsize grips.  With the softer grip I was using a lighter grip pressure which I think helps me with distance control.

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Basic Characteristics (16 out of 20 points)

To prepare for the Heppler Fetch review, I marked out the straight putt spot for 5, 10, 15 & 20 footers on the backyard green.  I think these straight line putts can be used to see how repeatedly I align the putter and how consistent I am on distance control.  I have used it a lot doing putting drills in the backyard from the different distances as well as regular use on the course. 

 15 footers….

 

 

       The ball comes off the face with consistent speed.  The solid face works well for me.  I have issues getting that consistency with an insert putter since I probably mishit the ball just a little.  If you’ve seen pics of Tiger’s putter and the dime sized wear mark….well if I gamed the same putter long enough my wear marks apparently would NOT be dime sized! 

       I tried some heel and toe hits to see the effect and for my stroke, I had to get real far toward the toe or heel to see an obvious impact.  I suppose that is due to the weight of the Fetch.  There was more impact to distance than to the line on these mishits and the heel hit was more forgiving than the toe hit.  I did not see a difference on slight mishits toward the heel or toe.

       The putter is heavy enough that I feel I am able to get the back stroke started and let it swing itself through the ball.  With that type stroke I am less ‘handsy’ with it & don’t ‘pop’ it at impact to get distance on longer putts.  My stroke feels very stable and ‘on line’ going back compared to the lighter putters.  The out of the box heavier weight feeling good to me is consistent with my experimentation in the past and how I end up lead taping other putters.  I get the weight I need and I don’t have to ugly up the putter!!! 

       However, the weight was a negative for a few other players that also tried the putter.  Their preference is for a lighter putter (mostly blade users) and they immediately noticed the weight and didn’t like that feel. 

       Because of the stability of the stroke, I was very consistent with the direction of the putts. The line of the 5’ers were within the cup.  My tendency is to miss right and in early usage you could see it showing up on the longer putts, like about 2” on the 15’ers.  Because of this stroke consistency I was able to work on getting my head in the correct position for my vision to get the putt on line.  Once I moved so my eyes weren’t directly over the ball the line of the putts moved left toward the cup.  I had worked on this before but I think was too handsy & inconsistent with my stroke to get consistent results from any eye position changes.

 5 footers…

 

 

       The backyard green is very flat with only a few subtle breaks that have developed over the years.  They are not visible to ‘read’ you just have to know it’s there and play for the break from that angle of approach.  So I will reserve how it plays for me on breaking putts until the on course performance. 

       The adjustable length is really, really nice.  It came at 34” as requested (as well as 2* flat). 

 After experimenting with the length, extending it and shortening it, I settled on 33-3/4”.  Being able to do this immediately with a simple turn of the wrench is fantastic.  Hit some putts, adjust the length, hit more putts and decide on the feel and results of the putts- all within 30 seconds. 

 10’ers……

 

 

On-Course Performance (27 out of 30 points)

       Overall my consistency putting the intended line has improved with the Fetch due to the alignment lines as well as the heavier weight and me using a less ‘handsy’ stroke.  This lets me know if I missed a putt it was either a read or speed problem which I can then adjust as the round continues.  A recent round I was missing on the high side for the first few holes but had enough confidence in my line and stroke to know I wasn’t pushing or pulling putts.  I could adjust to play less break than I was reading and the ball started finding the hole. 

       One issue came up a couple times while putting from the back edge of the fringe or just off the fringe in the heavier grass.  If the grass was clumpy it sometimes seemed to catch the back edge of the hole when I tried it for those type shots.  Unlike a hybrid with the wider smooth sole, the hole design has an edge where the grass could catch the club on the way through the grass.  It didn’t happen all the time but I will probably continue to use the hybrid for those kind of shots.

       As I mentioned, the simple adjustable length is terrific.  For someone like myself that needs a shorter putter it’s really nice to not have to go through the grip removal / tube cutter  process.  Once I would do that to a putter if I’d ever want to sell it I’d have to add an extension to get it back to standard length for someone to be interested in buying it. 

       For the next generation it would be really nice to have a lie angle adjustment capability.  Some kind of a cam design on a hosel adapter like some drivers have to give 2 – 3 degrees of upright to flat adjustability. 

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

The headcover looks sharp and I like the magnetic clip rather than a velcro style. 

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I thought the Fetch arrived very quickly after I was chosen to be a tester, arriving within 2 days of the first tester getting theirs. Since I had requested a 2* flat putter I thought it might be a longer delivery time for that adjustment.  They sent along a nice spec sheet with it.

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I got more than a few comments from other players that liked the color scheme.  I could not see any blemishes in the finish upon a very close inspection of the head.

 

Play it or Trade it? (20 out of 20 points)

The Fetch is staying in the bag as the gamer.  It has helped me on longer lag putts, I am getting the ball within 3’ consistently.  I am better getting putts on the intended line so it has also helped with shorter putts too.  I have a lot more confidence I will get the ball within tap in distance on 30+ footers.  I also have more confidence in my stroke on the shorter putts.

Conclusion

This putter test was a great exercise for me.  It made me take time to pay attention to different aspects of putting that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.  Putter weight and lie angle, stroke and impact consistency are some of the things I needed to check more closely to keep my putting consistent at this point.  Taking video also helped me notice some things about my stroke I was able to work on like impact point consistency and stroke smoothness. 

Which putter works for different players is a very individual thing because feel plays such an important role for that club.  The set up and feel of the Fetch fit my eye right out of the box and the adjustable length got it dialed in for me.  If you prefer a heavier putter due to slower greens or your stroke style then this will fit your style of play.  The only negative I could come up with for the Fetch is, if you like a lighter putter this probably isn’t the feel for you.  I liked the solid face, which I prefer over insert style putters.  The mallet style is a recent change for me (I had been using a Seemore FGP recently) and I noticed the help the longer sight lines gave me getting the ball rolling along the intended line. 

Whichever putter you choose it should be noted that taking the time to do drills and practicing with it to get it dialed in with your stroke is a big help to improving your putting skill.  I saw an improvement in my putting which I feel began with the putter design fitting my eye & stroke and continued with doing more drills than normal for the testing & reporting aspect of this review.  I really appreciate the chance to test the Fetch and especially liked the improvement I saw in my putting!

Final Score: (90 out of 100 points)

 

Great job!  I am strongly considering 2021 Fetch putter.   It's interesting about the hole catching grass on the off green putts.  A large majority of the seniors at my club are putting off the green when possible.  

  • Hmmm 1

Cleveland Launcher XL 10.5 Driver
Cleveland Launcher Xl Halo Hy-wood 18 Degree
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo 7- wood
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Irons 4 - PW 
Cleveland CBX 2 50 & 54 Degree Wedge
Cleveland CBX Full-Face Wedge 58 degree
Evnroll
ER5v Midlock Hatchback Mallet 

Square Strike Wedge aka pocket picker

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

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After my last post on the 26th April I decided to go back and update my putting stats as recorded via my Skycaddie and found them quite revealing.

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I seemed to be having the worst results using the Floki while the Rossa Daytona on its one outing had done quite well so I switched again with rather good results, 3 rounds at 30 and under, rolling in some good putts from 12 to 15 feet, confidence on the rise, scoring dropping.  A scratch (circa) 72 in my matchplay, 79 in the medal with a horror quad at the 14th (bunker trouble), handicap cut down to 4.9. 

As I said on my last post I changed my setup slightly to get a more centred strike and it has helped that the greens are running better but for now the Floki is on the naughty step.

WIMB

Driver Callaway Epic 10.5' Fujikura Stiff

3W Callaway Epic 15' Fujikura Stiff

3-AW Srixon Z565 Nippon Stiff

52', 56' Cleveland RTX 585 Wedges

Putter Taylormade Rosa Daytona

Bags 2017 Callaway Org14 Cart bag or 2018 Srixon Z start Carry bag 

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  • 1 month later...

It is just over a year since I was given the opportunity to review the Ping Heppler Floki putter so I thought I would give an update. 

You would have thought at 60 I would know better and to realise that course conditions play a big part in putting.  Winter we play on soft slow greens that have very little break and we get gimmes from 3 feet and in. We start the season in April when the greens have had no growth for 4 months and expect them to roll smooth and predictable and we haven't had to hole a 3 footer for 6 months. This year up until  mid May the temperature didn't get above the mid 50s so very little growth, greens were bumpy and unpredictable. For me I blame myself and I chopped and changed my putters as we came in to the summer season, when I putt badly I'm always analysing my stroke, where I'm missing,  as I alluded to on the May 5th post I had switch back to a TM Rossa Daytona but it wasn't long until I fell out with it and switched back to the Floki. 

Now in July we have had a long dry spell of temps in mid 60-70s and the greens are excellent.  I've now settled back in with Floki and putting well with good pace control and averaging in the low 30s per round. My confidence is on the rise with holing out inside 3 feet being solid, 3-12 feet average 30-40% and holing 1 a round 15 to 20. 3 putts are a rarity.  Last weekend 27 putts is a season best.

The club pro said to me don't chop and change things, once you get the  confidence in the correct setup and you hit a bad putt ask yourself what did I not do rather than trying theoretical fixes that may makes things worse. 

I feel I have a pretty stable setup, i have missed a couple in the last few rounds with a slight push. I tend to use my right index finger as the guide for the putter and if I grip incorrectly this can cause me to push, just need to work on routine on this. 

It is still my Gamer at least for this week. 

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WIMB

Driver Callaway Epic 10.5' Fujikura Stiff

3W Callaway Epic 15' Fujikura Stiff

3-AW Srixon Z565 Nippon Stiff

52', 56' Cleveland RTX 585 Wedges

Putter Taylormade Rosa Daytona

Bags 2017 Callaway Org14 Cart bag or 2018 Srixon Z start Carry bag 

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