By: Todd Sones
"80% OF GOLFERS HAVE THE WRONG PUTTER!"
Did The Last Putter You Bought Make You A Better Golfer?
Putter manufacturers are in the business of selling putters, and manufacturers know if they actually come up with a putter that really improves a players skills, their business would be negatively impacted.
Always In Search Of A Better Putter
The best way for major manufacturers to continue business growth is to come up with a “story” that sounds good enough to sell a putter that actually doesn’t work. Because when they come out with a new story the next year, they want to sell the same player again. The result is that most players end up with over 20 putters in their garage...while still continuing the “search” for that magical one.
If It Works For Them...Then It Will Work For Me Too
How manufacturers convince the consumer that putters work is mostly through the PGA Tour. If a company can get one of their sponsored players to game one of their flatsticks and that golfer happens to win, especially a known player in a major, sales go through the roof!
Some great examples are: (The oversize putter that Jack Nicklaus used to win the ’86 masters, or the Odyssey Rossi that Faldo used to win the Masters, or while we’re at it, the Seemore putter that Zach Johnson used to win the 2007 Masters as well.) All these companies experienced huge sales increases after those victories. The average player sees a tour player win with a putter, and they assume that it will do the same for them.
One-Size (DOES NOT) Fit All
Here is the problem: Tour players who are successful in putting know exactly what specifications in length, swingweight, lie and loft work for them. Their putters are customized to fit their needs. When amateur players buy putters off the shelf, they are most likely not getting a putter that is properly set up for them. At first they have confidence in their new putter only because they haven’t had enough time to miss putts. Once some time passes and they miss a few putts, their ears are listening for the next “story” and putter that will magically fix their putting woes.
80% Of Golfers Have The Wrong Putter!
As a teacher of the game, my success is not based on volume of putter sales every year, it’s based on the number of shots I can reduce a player’s score. At my golf school in Chicago, I have found that approximately 80% of the participants that attend our shortgame school had putters that did not allow them to set up properly to their putts, forcing them into an improper set-up position causing poor results.
There are four main elements to fitting a putter.
- Length - The first and most important is length. The length of the putter affects the player’s posture and distance from the ball. When the player has the correct length putter, they can setup in the proper posture as well as the correct distance from the ball.
- SwingWeight - The next aspect of putter fitting is swingweight. Swingweight is the feel of the putter head as it swings back and forth during the stroke. Great players have an equal backstroke and follow-through while maintaining a consistent tempo. Whenever a player grips down or cuts a putter down, it alters the swingweight. For every inch you change the length of a putter, you alter the swing by six points. The bottom line is that when you make a putter shorter, the putterhead should be heavier and when you make a putter longer, the putterhead should be lighter. Another problem in the industry is that manufacturers use the same putterhead for all putters because it saves them money and increases their profit margin. For the most part, 35” is the industry standard, which means putters sold at 34” and 33” are not actually balanced in swingweight.
- Lie - The other two aspects of putter fitting are loft and lie. As far as lie angle, what we have found through our school is that when a player has the correct length putter coupled with the proper posture, the industry standard of 71° fits nearly 95% of players.
- Loft - With loft, what we have found is that when players learn to set the shaft perpendicular to the ground to just slightly forward (1 degree) 4 degrees of loft puts them best over the golf ball.
When I founded Coutour Golf, it was because I wanted a solution to the problem inherent of an industry more interested in selling more putters to players they don’t need.
The idea behind a Coutour custom putter is to have a putter that is correct in all 4 areas (length, swingweight, loft, lie) so that a player can learn to set-up to the ball in the correct posture while standing the right distance from the ball.
The other reason Coutour is primarily different from the industry is that each putter model is precision milled in three different weights of 335, 350 and 365 grams. Although we can make any putter length in whatever gram weight the player desires, we suggest the following:
- 34 ¼” and longer at 335 grams
- 33-34” long at 350 grams
- 32 ¾ and shorter at 365 gram
There are two ways to get a Coutour putter. Players can go to our website at www.coutourgolf.com and search out a certified putter fitter. Or, if there is not a certified fitter near enough, players can go through our online purchase fitting system in which they enter their height and measurement of knuckles to ground , the online system will suggest a length and weight. The player has the ability to accept or alter what is suggested and then choose their desired model as well as confirm the loft and lie angle.
FREE Video For MyGolfSpy Readers
For more help in the set-up process, MGS readers can watch a video of set-up and stroke fundamentals here.
The bottom line is that when a player finally gets a custom putter that allows them to set-up correctly to the ball, they can actually start developing a putting stance that gives them consistent repeatable results. We hope that once people are properly fit to a Coutour putter, it is the last putter they need because they start getting the results they have always been searching for.