Best New Blade Putters
Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo discuss how companies are innovating these flat sticks.
Released on 2/1/2017
My blade putters all look the same, but are they really?
You know, they really do look the same.
I mean, when we're doing our hot list testing,
you kind of look at this endless array of Ping answer
lookalikes, and you're kind of like, how are we ever
going to figure this out?
But the fact is they are different.
They may look the same, but manufacturers are doing a lot
of things primarily in the area of the face.
You're seeing a lot of groove design or milling designs
that are helping people with roll.
Unknown to many is that the ball sits in a little bit
of a depression on the green, so you need to get it out
of that depression, then it's gonna skid a little bit,
and then settle into a forward roll.
You want that forward roll to happen as soon
as humanly possible, and you want the roll to be consistent.
So what a number of companies have done is focus on
a face milling or a groove pattern that maybe provides
a little more pop on the off-center
hits than it does on the center.
So that kind of makes it all roll out consistently.
Oh interesting, it's kind of counter-intuitive,
but it makes a lot of sense.
It is, you know, you would think you'd want more pop
on the center hit, right?
But you're, you're already getting that because
you're hitting it pure.
So you want to help the miss-hit a little bit.
Then the other area that makes it different is feel, right?
That's the great tangible intangible in putting.
Everyone has a different definition of what good feel is.
And so, what they've done in the faces again is,
some will go with a very deep mill, take a lot of material
out of the face, that presents a little softer feel.
Others will either do absolutely nothing, the face won't
have any grooves or mill at all,
or just a very light milling on it.
That's gonna produce more of a crisper, you know,
clickier feel that, personally I enjoy,
that kind of feel myself.
So, everyone's a little bit different.
You've just gotta kinda go to the putter corral,
take a few out, and figure out which one,
you know, resonates with you.
And when I read a lot of your what's in my bags,
or your roundups of what the players use to win on Sunday,
I see loft, putter lofts.
But I don't see a lot of that
when I go buy a putter in a store.
Should we consider that?
Well, you certainly should depending on your stroke.
If you have a very pronounced forward press in your stroke,
you definitely need to get fit for your putter,
and get fit for your loft.
Phil Mickelson, back when he had a really big,
pronounced forward press, he was
using seven degrees of loft.
[Ashley] That's crazy.
Standard on a putter's between three and four degrees,
so think about that.
That's a huge difference.
That's almost twice as much.
So if you're, have a stroke like that, and you're not
paying attention, that's a problem.
[Ashley] Anything else that we need to pay attention to?
That we might be overlooking in putters?
Yes, absolutely, fitting.
Fitting, fitting, fitting.
You use your putter more than any other club in your bag.
You're gonna use it 30 to 35 times a round.
Why you think you can just grab
something and go with it, makes no sense.
And it doesn't have to be extensive.
There are certain ways you can almost self-fit.
You know, you want your eyes kinda right over the ball,
or just inside it a little bit.
A lot of times that's just the length of the putter you use.
And the other thing I would say is, when experimenting with
putters, don't be afraid to try shorter.
A lot of people just say oh, I want 35, 36 inches.
Try a 34, try a 33 inch.
You may find that you're more comfortable with that.
Great, so blade putters, they might all look the same,
but there are so many varieties.
There's so many options for you to consider.
[Mike] Without question.