Let's Get to the Testing!

(Written by Golfspy Dave) Welcome to Day 2 of the "Golf's Most Wanted!" - Blade Awards. Today we unveil the best blade putter for 2013!  Remember in this competition, like with the preceding Most Wanted Mallets, accuracy is everything. Here are the testing parameters:

  • Location of Testing:  Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
  • Ball Used:  Wilson FG Tour 2014 PROTOTYPE
  • Number of Testers: 10
  • HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
  • Putters Tested: 28
  • Total Balls Rolled Per Putter:  150
  • Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 420 over two sessions
  • Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 4.5 hours

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Accuracy Scoring

Yesterday in Day 1 of the "Golf's Most Wanted!" - Blade Test, we met the 28 competitors and also reemphasized that accuracy is the ultimate factor that matters when we have our putter on the course. Reviewing our trial conditions, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet. 15 putts per putter with each tester, gives us a total of 150 putts per putter.

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putt, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  "Golf's Most Wanted!" Blade 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%

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Why Looks No Longer Matter

Some of you might be saying, "Wait a second, where is the looks category, this only shows accuracy, the looks of a putter matter!"  But do looks really matter when testing or purchasing a putter?  Most of you would say yes and so would every other knowledgeable putter expert in the industry. Both you and the industry would be wrong. Looks do catch your eye in the shop, making you buy that putter. However, liking how a putter looks is not going to make you better on the green.

Conventional wisdom states that a golfer’s views regarding the looks of a putter can have a positive or a negative impact on putting performance (accuracy).  Just like with the Most Wanted Mallet Test, our data demonstrates that liking (or disliking) how a putter looks does not actually reflect how well one putts with that putter. Just like with the mallets, we had inaccurate putters that scored near the top for “Looks & Feel”, as well as some very accurate blades that the testers judged visually unappealing. I know that many of you still believe that liking the looks of your putter will make you feel confident and thus make more putts. You are welcome to go on believing that, but the data says otherwise.

"Golf's Most Wanted!" -  The Results

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Not All Putters Are Created Equal

As you can see from the data, not all putters are created equal.

The results do show that the putter does influence the performance of the golfer.  The construction of some putters may make it more difficult for a player to put the ball into the cup, some have a moderate impact, and a select few can help any golfer to be more accurate, regardless of his or her skill level on the green.  Those putters are definitely the best of the class, and the best of the best represents the "Golf's Most Wanted!" Blade Putter.

The "Golf's Most Wanted!" Blade is a putter that is more accurate than its peers, and although, like with the mallet putters, the numbers were close, a putter did separate itself from the pack. The Nike Method Core MC01w was the most accurate of the blades tested, the Machine M1A Adjuster finished in 2nd Place, just ahead of the Byron Morgan 006 that finished in 3rd Place.

The Winners

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The Nike Method Core MC01w putter is designed with tour weighting for optimal forgiveness, roll and accuracy. Polymetal Groove technology and a lower center of gravity team up for precision control on the green.

  • Lower and deeper center of gravity for a faster roll and more precise stroke
  • Mid-size Method Core grips for durability and enhanced control
  • Tour weighting for accuracy and more forgiveness
  • Multi-material insert and Polymetal Groove technology for a more consistent roll

Congratulations to Nike Golf!

Your Method Core MC01w is the 2013 MyGolfSpy "Golf's Most Wanted" Blade!

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The M1A MACHINE Putters begin with proven, traditional designs, and are improved with precision CNC milling, our patent pending VMG face mill pattern, and significantly broadened with new hosel, fit and finish options to suit individual performance needs and tastes. From material choice of the head, to weight adjustability, to platings, coating, custom grinds and finishes, options in modular hosels, to alignment indicator options, the M1A model line gives you the options you need to make your perfect custom MACHINE putter.

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The Byron Morgan 006 is one-piece construction, milled from billet.  Its classic lines are easy to look at and line up.  Welded in sound slot gives a cool, custom look to the pocket and changes the sound of the ball off the face. The sound slot also removes 3-4 grams of weight from the center of the putter.

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The Data Doesn't Lie, But What Does It Mean?

This test has given us a great deal of data to analyze and decode. Does a sight line make a putter more accurate? The difference in the Scotty Cameron ranking would suggest so, but then spots 2 and 3 are both line-less putters. Was it the neck? Could grip diameter be the tipping point? At this point we are still trying to decode the results. You can look at it this way. Many talented putter makers are out there putting out high quality putters, but how many of them test against others in the market like we have? My guess is very few. We have collected a bunch of data from the blade and the mallet tests this year, and we will get even more in the future years. It is likely just a matter of time until we can come up with some data supported claims regarding what characteristics will help a putter be more accurate for the majority of golfers. Stay tuned!