(by Dave Wolfe)
Remember in this competition, accuracy is everything. Here are the testing parameters:
- Location of Testing: Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
- Ball Used: 2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour
- Number of Testers: 10
- HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
- Putters Tested: 24
- Total Balls Rolled Per Putter: 150
- Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 360 over two sessions
- Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 4.5 hours
Yesterday in Day 1 of the "Golf's Most Wanted!" - Mallet Test, we met the 24 competitors and once again reemphasized that accuracy is the ultimate factor that matters when we have our putter on the course. To assess accuracy, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet, recording the distance that each putt ended up from the edge of the cup. That means measurements were taken for 15 putts per putter with each tester, totaling 150 putts per putter!
Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putts, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter. Accuracy was assessed for the group of testers, not the individual testers.
"Golf's Most Wanted!" Mallet Putter, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.
Based upon our years of testing & data, we selected a total miss distance of 127.5 inches from the cup as the ideal accuracy value that a putter could achieve for a given tester. This number represents the total adjusted miss score for all fifteen putts for a given tester and equates to an average miss of 8.5 inches per putt. Individual putters were then scored against this ideal accuracy value, with the final score representing a percentage of that ideal. All numbers were rounded off to the nearest whole number. Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:
EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation
:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/12)= 140.5 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 91%
Why Looks No Longer Matter
Some of you bristle every time that we say that looks of a putter need not be considered when assessing the value of the putter. Our data shoes that a golfer can putt well with a putter that they really don't like the looks of. You will tell me that liking the looks of a putter, improves your mindset, making you more confident, and thus effective when you putt. You have a strong feeling that this is the truth. We have hundreds of putts worth of data and tester putter aesthetic scores that say it is not.
A putter's looks may motivate you to buy it in the shop, but liking how a putter looks, or being loyal to the company that made it, will not make you putt better. It will just add another unused putter to your cache in your garage.
Even the "ugliest" of putters should start to look better and better to you as you hit the cup more and more often. I bet you will find that increased accuracy will actually end up positively influencing your aesthetic opinions.
"Golf's Most Wanted!" - The Results
More To Come
The margin of the Ping Ketsch's victory, as well as the four-in-the-top-10 presence of the Ping TR insert definitely warrants further investigation. How could the Ketsch be so dominant? Is it a perfect pairing of body architecture and the TR insert technology?
Don't worry, we will be looking into this amazing win in much more depth.
We will also be looking at the other putters as well in Golf's Most Wanted Mallet - Beyond the Numbers.
What was it that decreased accuracy for the other putters? Did they perform well up close, only to miss more significantly from distance? Was there an alignment scheme that really worked, or one that didn't live up to expectations? We will get into the nitty gritty of mallet data.
For today though, congratulations go out to the top 5, and especially the winning Ping Ketsch. The Ping Ketsch's accuracy was amazing, and definitely earns the title of 2014's Golf's Most Wanted Mallet!
More Most Wanted Mallet Coverage
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