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I seem to have a pattern of behavior that may well be common out there - I test out new putters and find a “magic wand” that holes everything at a demo day, or on the practice green. It goes in the bag, and seems to work really well for a while, but it doesn’t take long for me to second-guess performance (and things like Arccos aren’t great with putting stats, only measuring the length of the 1st putt, but suggest any uptick in overall performance is negligible). I invariably start trying out old putters and replace the magic wand with one of the others and have a revolving spot in the bag. One might be great for lags and long range, others for those ticklish Sloan-up putts, but I’ve never had a putter that has earned a long-term spot (and I’ve had fittings and tons of tips from very good players/teaching pros). I’m a good but not great putter, and am so jealous of playing partners who make a ton more 8-12 footers that I always seem to fail to convert.

Does this sound familiar? If you have found that putter that has stayed in the bag long-term, how did you identify that it was “the one”?

Edited by doctorgriffo
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Data, it is the only way. I switched putters in July and have received multiple comments on how my putting has improved. Which I believed because I too thought it was an improvement. But my scores were slightly higher than what I was expecting so after 20 or so rounds I went and look at my SG #'s. I was 3 putting less however my make rate was way down. I was actually averaging 1.5 strokes higher putting than with the previous putter. Without the data I would have never thought that was happening. 

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As you are learning every putter is slightly different with feels and ball speed control.   If I were fitting a putter I would look for the putter that you were able to control speed and line.    Anything beyond that is out of your control.     How may 8-12 footers do you expect to be holing? keep in mind that 8 feet is the 50% mark for the PGA tour level players

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I’ve been playing for 35 years now - now I have a few more resources than when I was a kid I can be sucked into impulse purchases compared to when I had to make do with whatever I could get my hands on, which makes the frequent switching more possible. I’ve never found something that does it all - I used a Rossa Monza spider for a good while (probably the longest in recent times) and it was awesome for 5-6 footers, but had to be because I really struggled with long putts with it and this often left a lot of cleaning up to be done. The one in the bag right now (odyssey double wide) is great at lagging/speed control but shakier from closer range. I picked up a cheap, used Ping sigma Tess a few years back because it reminded me of my favorite putter as a kid (an 80s knock-off) and I holed everything for about a month then started missing from close in, so into the garage it went....

The thing about those 8-10 footers is probably emotional - they are usually for birdie or a sand save, so you remember missing them. And my regular playing partner sprays it all over the place then pours in putts and it drives me nuts. The strokes gained analysis on Arccos says my weakest putting distance is 10-25ft. The dream scenario is to find something that, as you say, is good with speed and distance on longer puts and feels super-solid inside 10ft. I haven’t found anything that sustainably ticks both boxes.

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I've used the same putter for almost 20 years, and can't seem to decide if it's time for a switch, I think it is, but not sure. I have been more inconsistent lately with my putting than I have ever been, and feel like my speed control has been the big issue. Could be that it's all in my head at this point. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember reading in one book (maybe Hank Haney's book about Tiger Woods, can't exactly remember) he talked about having putter yips, and that any change was beneficial to your game. He believed that any change to your grip was beneficial and that's why players often switch it up. I tend to agree. Seems like when you try a new putter, grip, etc. you drain everything. It frees up your mind.

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4 minutes ago, gman8966 said:

I remember reading in one book (maybe Hank Haney's book about Tiger Woods, can't exactly remember) he talked about having putter yips, and that any change was beneficial to your game. He believed that any change to your grip was beneficial and that's why players often switch it up. I tend to agree. Seems like when you try a new putter, grip, etc. you drain everything. It frees up your mind.

The mind is a powerful thing. If you can stop concentrating on swing or ball alignment marks or .... and let your brain do what comes naturally you'll be amazed at the results. I always tried to think about hitting the right pace on a putt,  I now look at the line pick my spot have a look at the lay of the land wrt to the spot  take a few feely swings align the putter and swing. My brain works out the pace 95% of the time pretty good, if I get distracted in my final prep with "get it to the hole" or "this is fast be careful" I inevitably misjudge the pace.

 

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This is a great topic.

I have 10 putters by my desk at home.  I have been changing way to much.  This is evidence of the psychology of having to many options.  There is a sweet spot for where having some options is good, but having to much actually creates doubt, even with all the data from Arccos, or a fitting.  There is always the doubt. 

I am currently trying to give myself only 2 or 3 options.  I of course will keep all the others.... I can't let them go....  BUT, I am going to setup 2 or 3 that each have some distinct qualitys.  One center shafted, one anser style, and one heel blade. 

Of course, what I should do, is make my wife pick one, and have her hide the rest.  That way, I will be forced to work through the challenges, and PRACTICE.

On another topic, I just bought an old Seemore on E-Bay.... 

Like you, I watched I guy I played with yesterday make EVERYTHING with one.  Oh well.... here we go again.

Here is a question that might tell you where you mind and most confidence is:  If you were invited to go to Augusta or Pebble Beach tomorrow, and had 10 minutes to pack, which putter is going in your bag for the trip?

 

 

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On 10/25/2020 at 8:17 PM, Stopher said:

This is a great topic.

I have 10 putters by my desk at home.  I have been changing way to much.  This is evidence of the psychology of having to many options.  There is a sweet spot for where having some options is good, but having to much actually creates doubt, even with all the data from Arccos, or a fitting.  There is always the doubt. 

I am currently trying to give myself only 2 or 3 options.  I of course will keep all the others.... I can't let them go....  BUT, I am going to setup 2 or 3 that each have some distinct qualitys.  One center shafted, one anser style, and one heel blade. 

Of course, what I should do, is make my wife pick one, and have her hide the rest.  That way, I will be forced to work through the challenges, and PRACTICE.

On another topic, I just bought an old Seemore on E-Bay.... 

Like you, I watched I guy I played with yesterday make EVERYTHING with one.  Oh well.... here we go again.

Here is a question that might tell you where you mind and most confidence is:  If you were invited to go to Augusta or Pebble Beach tomorrow, and had 10 minutes to pack, which putter is going in your bag for the trip?

 

 

I live 2 minutes from Pebble Beach Links and have been fortunate enough to play it a handful of times, and have never used the same putter twice...

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People switch putters because they want a new feel and in the short run you will see a honeymoon period unless the putter works with your stroke. It has been shown that people will initially perform better with a new putter especially face balanced. As the natural tendencies emerge the putter stops working. Find a putter that fits you visual and setup requirements.

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I have had 6 putters in my 28 years playing golf.  Three of those I used for my first 15 years, and I was a horrible putter with all of them.  My pro said I had "hands of stone".  It didn't matter what putter I used, they all felt like I was holding a snake.  I found a Heavy Putter in a used putter bin at Golfsmith and it smoothed out my stroke. I used it for 5 years with pretty good success.  So then I only looked at putters with heavier heads.  I was a MGS tester for a Nike Method putter that was OK.  Used it for a year, but I gave it up to my wife who loves it.  In 2017 I was fitted at Ping HQ.  Using the Ping App and their putter, I rolled 5 balls in a row into the cup from 7 feet.  Ordered it.  This will be my last putter.  I don't even stop at the putter section of a golf store to look anymore.  What for?

 

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17 hours ago, doctorgriffo said:

I live 2 minutes from Pebble Beach Links and have been fortunate enough to play it a handful of times, and have never used the same putter twice...

That’s awesome. I’ve played it twice. 11 years apart, so definitely not the same putter. It’s a great experience. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 5:03 PM, Alf. S said:

The mind is a powerful thing. If you can stop concentrating on swing or ball alignment marks or .... and let your brain do what comes naturally you'll be amazed at the results. I always tried to think about hitting the right pace on a putt,  I now look at the line pick my spot have a look at the lay of the land wrt to the spot  take a few feely swings align the putter and swing. My brain works out the pace 95% of the time pretty good, if I get distracted in my final prep with "get it to the hole" or "this is fast be careful" I inevitably misjudge the pace.

 

This was one of the big thing in one of Bob Rotella's books on the mental side of golf. He says just grab a ball and toss it to the whole, no real thinking in it and you generally in the right ballpark. Thus most people have more feel than they give themselves credit for. He advocates trying to see and react to the putt without thinking like you mention. I find it does hold up when I pick the link, couple swings for feel, and then just hit it those are the best results. The longer the routine the worse the putt generally.

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Been playing the same putter for over 15 years, essentially my whole 'adult' golf career, but been getting the itch to get fit again and take the plunge. For those that rotate, worth the journey or should someone talk me off the ledge?

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Swing away!

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This was one of the big thing in one of Bob Rotella's books on the mental side of golf. He says just grab a ball and toss it to the whole, no real thinking in it and you generally in the right ballpark. Thus most people have more feel than they give themselves credit for. He advocates trying to see and react to the putt without thinking like you mention. I find it does hold up when I pick the link, couple swings for feel, and then just hit it those are the best results. The longer the routine the worse the putt generally.


The one quote I remember from Rosella is “your brain does know the word don’t” I.e if you think “don’t put it in the water” your brain translates you want to put it in the water. When I reflect back this seems to be so true.


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52 minutes ago, Alf. S said:

 


The one quote I remember from Rosella is “your brain does know the word don’t” I.e if you think “don’t put it in the water” your brain translates you want to put it in the water. When I reflect back this seems to be so true.


Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

 

So true, the mind has a habit of producing what you think, good or bad.

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6 hours ago, Alf. S said:

 


The one quote I remember from Rosella is “your brain does know the word don’t” I.e if you think “don’t put it in the water” your brain translates you want to put it in the water. When I reflect back this seems to be so true.


Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

 

I just listened to the "How's My Hand Path" podcast episode 43 with Dr. Bhrett McCabe who has an interesting and opposite view to this.

In summary: How is "don't" the only word in our vocabulary the mind doesn't understand? There are other mental aspects at play... Otherwise just tell yourself don't make this putt or don't hit this drive down the fairway and see how it works. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 3:03 PM, Alf. S said:

The mind is a powerful thing. If you can stop concentrating on swing or ball alignment marks or .... and let your brain do what comes naturally you'll be amazed at the results. I always tried to think about hitting the right pace on a putt,  I now look at the line pick my spot have a look at the lay of the land wrt to the spot  take a few feely swings align the putter and swing. My brain works out the pace 95% of the time pretty good, if I get distracted in my final prep with "get it to the hole" or "this is fast be careful" I inevitably misjudge the pace.

 

This! So when several pros were asked about what they think about during their swing or when having the yips, they almost all responded "never mechanics, just having a good tempo." So I tried that out with my putter.

I bought an aluminium yardstick and practiced just creating a smooth swing that went from one end of the yardstick to the other without falling off the sides. That gave me confidence that I'll hit my putts straight. And so now on the course all i think about is having a smooth tempo and my mind takes the wheel for me and tells my body what to do. 

 

New putters are great, but they're really just an enhancement tool for fundamentals. It's far more important to get the fundamentals and the mental aspects right so that your stroke is consistent and most importantly CONFIDENT. 

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  • 1 month later...

Just started a new relationship - back in the honeymoon phase...

98D9945C-87B5-46DC-8CBA-26A18986CD35.jpeg

E99BBC37-C064-4E4E-9DEF-063500D189FD.jpeg

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8 hours ago, doctorgriffo said:

Just started a new relationship - back in the honeymoon phase...

98D9945C-87B5-46DC-8CBA-26A18986CD35.jpeg

E99BBC37-C064-4E4E-9DEF-063500D189FD.jpeg

Awesome putter. I agree that honeymoon phases are nice with clubs. I’m sticking with my latest since I customized my initials in it on the face haha. I am going to put more emphasis on practicing since I finally have the right putter for my natural stroke. 

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