2016 Most Wanted: Blades vs. Mallets

Post image for 2016 Most Wanted: Blades vs. Mallets

Blade or Mallet? It's one of golf's quintessential questions, and no doubt the source of plenty of debate.

While some believe there's no substitute for the forgiveness of the modern high MOI mallet, others believe the classic Anser's popularity persists for a singular reason; it works.

But is one really better than the other? Is there some universal truth to be understood? To find out we look to the data from our recent Most Wanted Putter tests.

mw-mallet-final-1 (1)

How We Tested

Testers were asked to play a series of holes with each putter. 18 holes total are played from three distances;  5, 10, and 20 feet (each) by each tester with each putter in the test. The total number of putts required to finish each hole is recorded. At the completion of the test, a Strokes Gained 18 (SG18) value is calculated for each putter.

Here are the complete parameters of this year's test:

  • Number of Testers: 20
  • Handicap Range: +3-20
  • Test Location: MyGolfSpy Testing Facility
  • Balls Used: Bridgestone B330-RX
  • Distances Assessed: Five, Ten, and Twenty Feet
  • Holes Completed at Each Distance: 6 (per tester/per putter)
  • Total Putts in Test: 18000

mwp-2016-blade--2 (1)

Scoring

To determine our rankings we combined the data from our 2016 Most Wanted Mallet and 2016 Most Wanted Blade tests.

It should be noted that each test took place independently (mallets and blades were never in the same group), however; the same testers were used and there was overlap between the two tests. Rankings and SG18 values were recalculated for the full field after the data from the two tests was aggregated.

The final rankings are based on our Strokes Gained 18 (SG18 metric) The SG18 value reflects the number of strokes (plus or minus) a given putter would be expected to contribute to your score over an 18 hole span, relative to the average for the field. For example, a putter with a SG value of .50, would be expected to save you half a stroke per 18 holes relative to the average putter in this field.

Results

With data from blade and mallet tests aggregated, recalculated, and sorted, here are the Top 5 putters of 2016.
ketsch-1st

odyssey-2nd

Toe-Up-3rd

Ketsch-4th

Dream

Observations:

Blades

  • Two of the Top 5, and 6 of the Top 10 putters in this year's test are blades.
  • Of the Top 5 Blades only the Odyssey Toe-Up #1 finished outside the top 15 from 5  feet.
  • At 10' (statistically the greatest differentiator in putting performance), blades showed their most significant advantage over mallets.
  • The average ranking of the Top 5 Blades from 5 and 10 feet was 8.9 (6 places ahead of the average mallet).
  • Conversely the average ranking of the Top 5 Blades drops to 22.4 from 20 feet.

Mallets

  • Three of the Top 5, and 4 of the Top 10 putters in this year's test were mallets
  • Of the Top 5 Mallets, all finished inside the Top 10 from 20 feet.
  • At 20' mallets showed their most significant advantage over blades.
  • At 20' the average ranking of the Top 5 Mallets is 5.2 (17 places ahead of the average blade).
  • Conversely the average ranking for the Top 5 Mallets from 5 and 10 feet is 14.8.

Consider This:

Once again, we find that the best mallets outperformed the best blades. While we think our highest ranked putters offer you the greatest chance for success on the greens, we also know that mallets won't be right for everyone.

The data suggests that although we find mallets at the top of the overall rankings, blades actually performed better at distances of 5 and 10 feet. For those seeking to specific improvement at short and moderate distances, your best option is likely found among our top performing blades.

Golfers who struggle with long/lag putting, or whose approach shots frequently leave a first putt distance of 20 feet or more, should consider one of our top mallets. Our data shows that, on average, mallets offer significantly better performance at longer distances.

Complete Rankings

Mobile Users: For best results, please rotate your phones.

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Comments

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon Palmer December 30, 2016 at 1:06 pm

I would absolutely totally agree with the results mygolfspy is showing consistently each year with the Ping Ketsch coming out on top as best putter overall, in fact last year on the back of this report I went out and purchased a ping ketsch cadence heavy having up to that stage used almost every putter on the market, Scotty Cameron’s all types, Taylormade Spiders all versions, and indeed other versions of Pings line up without much success in lowering my putting stats and ultimately that’s what it is all about. My putting went from a very average of 35-36 putts on average a round to 33 putts a round and in particular from 5 foot in the Ketsch was absolutely deadly, the true roll off the ball is incredible it sticks to the putting surface and the biggest surprise to me was how good it was on long lag putts easily as good as a blade. It has resulted in my handicap coming down and been one of the best putters in my group. I would honestly encourage anyone to take this putter out and give it a go takes a couple of round to get used to on the eye but after that its money.

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Manetti August 27, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Just for fun, toss an Otey Crisman hickory shaft mallet in to the mix. You might be seriously surprised at how it performs.
I did not change until th Ketch came out.

Whee!

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Raymond August 20, 2016 at 9:15 am

Adam ,You shouldn’ t be That ticklish when it comes to golf which is an art More than a technique .Yes ,I understand you considèr old Golfers Like me to be out OF THE picture ( How old are you?) .However THE likes OF PAUL RUNYAN ,BOBBY JONES ( His blade putter was ” CALAMITY JANE ) can’t be all wrong .And what about BOBBY LOCKE who boasted ( not true !) hé could draw his puts ( I tried ,to nô avail).They all wielded blade putters .I re tested all yesterday afternoon THE PING CADENCE TR KETSCH MID from 2 to 24 feet ,and I mai tain I can’t ” feel ” THE contact point on THE clubface with it ,so I have nô ” feel back ” OF m’y stroke.
A good putter has to know exactly how hé ” touched” THE Ball .With a mallett ,you can’t
You can’t discard SEVE BALLESTEROS with THE flick OF THE finger , i contend hé knew More about putting than you ever Will with your so called “scientific ” methods …

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txgolfjunkie August 19, 2016 at 11:13 am

Just curious on the rankings of 5, 10 and 20ft. MGS gave an actual placement instead of the true value so I’m curious as to the various Ketsch models in their actual SG from those differences. Sure the TR Ketsch finished 12th in 5 ft, 10th in 10 ft and 5th in 20 ft but how close were they to the #1 in each distance? I’m just curious if the top 10 in each distance is really splitting hairs because the actual SG difference in each distance is minuscule from one putter to another. Am I making any sense?

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Steve S August 19, 2016 at 9:54 am

So is time to consider carrying 2 putters instead of 4 wedges?(which is ridiculous for most of us). Carry a blade for 10 feet and in; a mallet for everything else? I have an older Odyssey blade and a Nike mallet; maybe I’ll try it. I switch back and forth depending on how I’m putting but never have tried both in the same round…. I’ll bet for some this would be a good strategy….

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Raymond CHASTEL August 19, 2016 at 6:27 am

Adam ,I understand you are not happy with m’y comment on your testing .Previously I bought all those clubs which came on top in your tests ,butI didn’t come to THE same conclusions as yours .I’m past 82 years OF âge ,I Play golf since over 60 years ,I’ve known sole OF THE best Golfers OF THE past .I was taught golf by THE TEAÇHER OF JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL at ROYAL CLUB SAN SABASTIAN ,in THE BASQUE PROVINCE OF SPAIN .I took putting lessons with SEVE BALLESTEROS ,who was an artist OF THE short game .I always putted ,and marvelously at That with a blade putter .I stil Play at m’y âge to a handicap OF 7 ,mostly due to m’y short game ,because I have lost quite Some distance off THE TEE due to m’y âge .From 100 yards in ,I’m deadly .So yes ,I’m nô freak and know quite a lot about golf and golf équipment .I Play 3 Times a week ,all year around ,on THE FRENCH RIVIERA where I live ,there’s nô winter and nô winter greens .As for putting ,I have several putting mats in m’y basement ( WELLING MATS ) .THE days I’m not on THE golf course ,I put each distance from 4 feet to 24 feet ,20 BALLS at each distance ,4 feet apart .So this explains Why m’y putting is so good .I CAN hole 10 puts in A row from 6 feet eyes closed .To acheive That ,I have to ” feel” THE face OF THE putter touching THE Ball ( By THE way I train only with THE ” PUTTER WHEEL ” ,More difficult than THE standard golf Ball ) .I’ m sorry to have hurt your feelings an I honestly apologize for That ,but you should accept contradiction ,nobody is omniscient ,and I don’t prétend I am .I just try to pass over to you what I have learned during a long golf Life ..
I’ll continue to peruse your site ,because I ‘ m always eager to continue to learn .with kind regards and renewed apologies .Raymond CHASTEL

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MyGolfSpy August 19, 2016 at 9:04 am

Raymond,

We are all for constructive criticism at MyGolfSpy, it makes us better everyday.

That being said what you are doing is not constructive at all, rather destructive.

You are 1 point of data, which means nothing in the grand scheme of things. So, you telling us that you putt best with a blade means once again next to nothing. We have testers and data to prove that lots of golfers also putt best with a blade. But more data to show mallets prove to be more beneficial for the mass consumer at this point in time. We prefer a breadth of data and wealth of evolutionary knowledge. Not single putts which show nothing.

By the way, telling us you trained under Seve means almost nothing to us. Technology has come a long way since his time and will continue to do so. You and others like you that won’t accept the evolutionary process of knowledge and technology do nothing but get in the way.

Adam
Owner / MyGolfspy

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David Palmer August 19, 2016 at 6:53 am

Whatever you have confidence in!

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Roberta Jane Upton August 19, 2016 at 6:21 am

You left the spider out?

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Rick Peters August 19, 2016 at 5:26 am

I prefer a blade style myself, looks better to my eyes looking down at it.

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Steven C August 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Another great test. Thanks for doing this comparison between mallets and blades.

Two thoughts on other readers’ comments. First, while tour pros have some latitude about what clubs they play, they are for the most part under contract to play specific clubs. Just because there are a lot of tour pros playing a specific club or brand of club doesn’t mean that it is the best club. It might be the best club, but the number of tour players using it isn’t the way to know–independent testing is the way to know. Also, I don’t think that tour pros go though large scale randomized testing of available clubs to decide what to put in the bag. Where they have latitude to choose, I suspect that their decisions are are based on data, yes, but also on looks, sound, and personal preference. Second, it is an interesting question why putters seem to perform better at some distances than others. I am not sure why that would be and would like to know more about that.

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John Krug August 18, 2016 at 9:21 pm

Why no Kinsler putters tested?

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Nocklaus September 16, 2016 at 12:52 am

What the h–l is a Kinsler…?

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Steve Webb August 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm

If you have a good putter and it is pleasing to your eye and you believe you can put with it don’t Trade It. I have a 14 year old Scotty Cameron Futura with the red line alignment aids. I will get it refurbished some day before I trade it.

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Michael Woods August 18, 2016 at 10:58 pm

I guess my pos Scotty needs to be sold. I never make the good list with what I have. All my clubs seem to be junk

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Robert Waters August 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm

If you know how to putt. You use a blade. Period!!!

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Learrell Cole August 18, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Disagree puttiing is about putting the ball in the hole. Jason day #1 player in the world don’t use a blade putter period.

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LAbillyboy August 18, 2016 at 10:53 pm

I have a couple spiders… I like them. I also have a couple dozen Scotty’s… I like them too. I always putt better when I switch putters frequently, doesn’t matter what style. My brain likes a lot of variety… must come from my dating habits.

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artie August 18, 2016 at 4:48 pm

The advantage of the mallet seems to me to be the much bigger alignment surface. The blades are 3/4 inch long at best so you are never quite sure if the alignment or the poor swing caused the 1/4 inch miss that drives us up the wall.

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LAbillyboy August 18, 2016 at 10:56 pm

I have a couple spiders… I find it’s the weighting, very hard to hit it off line. It’s why I don’t like them for any putt with a big break or where speed is an issue… but they do hit is straight. I’ve made more really long putts with these than all my years playing Scotty’s. But I’ve probably also missed more short putts…

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retired04 August 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Weird-I am/was just the opposite-changed to a mallet and started making EVERYTHING from 5′ and in. My thought-if you can’t aim it it ain’t going in. Been buying mostly blades-anser style from everybody-for 50+ years-over 100 putters and didn’t like mallets. Then started messing with an ugly spaceship/aircraft carrier thing-an Odyssey Versa Works Fang 2 Ball Lined Putter in a shop-and it was like I could not get lined up wrong-the best alignment help I have ever seen-far superior to the original lined/unlined 2 balls and later iterations. Took a 1/2 dz trips to the golf store and about 4+ hours of trying it before I was convinced and paid for “Mr.U-G-L-Y”. Whatever it is, blade or mallet, when they start going in, odds are you are aiming it better with that putter, so who cares what it looks like or what others say. The difference now, index from 8.4 to 3.4, is that I truly believe I can aim it-the rest is practice. (Best putting tip ever got-make sure the putter is short enough to allow your arms to HANG down naturally to eliminate arm/elbow angles and allow the shoulders/chest/sternum to control the stroke-am 5’9″ and use a 34 gripped at 33 1/2). Happy putting is fun.

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Nigel Day August 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Interesting article, why no 3rd place for 5′ and 10′ ?

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Colton Turnquist August 18, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Seems like there are so many variables in play that can affect the data, but great work. You all really make the process of buying clubs a little bit simpler for people. Keep up the good work.

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MyGolfSpy August 18, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Thanks Colton!

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Jerry August 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Wow only 5 replies and they pretty much say it all. My only comment is, at least for me, every day is different on the greens. Some days I putt well from distance and miss the little ones. A week later I make everything. The next week I can’t make anything. Just too many factors like pin position, green speeds, and variables. Those include strategy games to shoot your target score. Let’s say I want to break 80 and have an 8′ putt that is makeable but is downhill with considerable rollout. It could be a birdie, par or a three putt depending on where I am to goal. picking a putter is by far the toughest club to choose. I’m sure I could putt better with some other putter. But I bet I’m like most and just can’t go through the pain of trial and error for the millionth time. I’ve just stuck with my Scotty Cameron “Futura”. My belief is a putter needs to line up for my “eye”. If I can’t get the face square during alignment nothing else matters.

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Bob Pegram August 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

One factor not mentioned is whether a heavier putter makes a golfer hit the ball farther or shorter. I hit it farther with a heavier putter which is atypical. I use a lighter face-balanced putter and do well with it. It is counter-balanced with 80 grams and has a graphite lady’s shaft for feel. All of that is outside the norm and not available off the shelf.

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Carolina Golfer 2 August 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Well the results pretty much show what I have seen on course the past year, i went from a blade style last year to a mid mallet early this year and the past three months a full mallet size, my putting went from poor to average to outstanding. The biggest jump was in the closeness of the putts from 20 feet I made a lot more of them than I ever thought of making. And when they did miss they were often within tap in range.

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Gil Bloomer August 18, 2016 at 5:12 pm

I’ve tried numerous putters from many manufacturers. I put mallet putters in my hands and, visually, I loved the look and the feel but I couldn’t sink a putt if my life depended on it. I then tried the various blade models and putts dropped. After tinkering with several brands with and without inserts and the assorted alignment aids it became quite clear which was the right putter for me. All statistics aside as far as I’m concerned, spend some time at the golf retailer and/or pro shop and get the putter that drops the putts for you. It can look and feel like a Rolls Royce and perform like a demolition derby entrant. And on the other side of the coin, it can look like that demolition derby entrant and perform like the aforementioned Rolls Royce. Try them all out, you’ll be surprised at the results.

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Fozcycle August 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Great Review…….I have the ketsch and yes, it is terrific on very long putts, but I am currently gaming a Bellum-Winmore blade as I need the short putts to fall.

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putterhead August 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm

What? I thought $350 Camerons were the best putters ever! I guess overpriced copies aren’t that good after all!

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NEF August 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Has anyone really analyzed why a putter can be spot on from 5′ or 10′ and way down the list from 20′? I have always assumed that it is because the mallet is generally heavier or has more impetus behind the ball, therefore its easier to judge distance control. Conversely, the factors that assist in lag putting from a distance are counter-intuitive when it comes to what is essentially a “touch” putt from nearer the hole. Does the speed of the green or contours affect that? Is the assumption valid? Is it easier for a higher handicapper to lag to the hole even if its a “close” miss with a decent second putt distance, or is it another factor where skill from closer in counts more? These may be silly questions to those of you who are real golfers, but to the over-the-hill, mid-high handicapper like me, it isn’t so obvious.

My personal preference has always been for the mid-sized center shafted mallet (not so easy to find), but these articles make me question whether that design “fits” my subjective prejudices, or is purely a figment of my golfing imagination…

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Benjamin Lee August 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

To me, a lot is confidence in the putter and liking the putter. However, if you can get passed the intangibles and have an open mind, the different head designs and weighting can improve your putting if fit correctly to your stroke. But if you just flat out don’t like the putter or looks of the putter, it probably won’t perform well for you.

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MyGolf Spy August 18, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Golfers want to believe that similar to how flat earthers felt for many and many years after it was proven it was round. We have done enough testing and data collection that have proven with out a shadow of a doubt that it simply is not true. Liking a putter has no significant direct correlation to the performance of a putter. Our subjective vs objective results prove looks do NOT matter.

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Benjamin Lee August 19, 2016 at 5:02 am

Sorry, I disagree. It is not just about not liking the looks. It is not liking the feel, loft, offset, static weight, swingweight, grips, grip size, position of the weight in the putter (design) and how it swings. All those factors can definitely affect the results. You can adapt to any putter, but sometimes the mental block of not liking something about the putter just won’t allow you to perform well with it. Mind over matter.

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MyGolf Spy August 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm

Once again, proven not true. You guys are basing this all off assumptions we are basing it off real world results. These beliefs are the exact reason why we do what we do. You all can keep fighting them it’s fine with us, just be patient you will come around. We just Happen to be ahead of he curve right now, it might take golfers some time.

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Joel November 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Here is a scientific study that talks directly to the effectiveness of a golfer with a putter they have more confidence in EVEN if the putter is exactly the same.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3197590/

It stands to reason that a better putter will work better for more people, which is what your tests obviously prove of the Ketsch. There is also scientific evidence to suggest that confidence matters a great deal. (And to deny the mental aspect of putting just because you can’t directly measure it is insane) It’s possible part of the reason why the Ketsch has performed so well in so many tests is that golfers are more likely to feel confident with it.

Performance matters, specs matter, the physics matter a whole hell of a lot. But if you hand me a Scotty, and tell me it’s Tiger’s, I am statistically more likely to sink that putt because I think it’s a good putter. That too, is DATA, and it is a phenomenon that exists, at some extent, whether major or minor, in every single club test that you do, but you are not able to independently, accurately measure it because it is purely psychological. This isn’t about saying “looks” matter. But looking at a putter and feeling like it’s a good one DOES matter. If you have a putter that looks like hell, but you think it’s great, that’s not hating it.

You do yourself a disservice when you suggest that people will come around and find that preference doesn’t matter at all. The incredibly finicky mental nature of golf suggests that, likely, if performance is splitting hairs, and one club gives you the feeling that it’s going to work, that’s a way bigger difference than a 1% performance gap from anyones test data. As I’ve referenced above, the data supports that confidence, too. Keep bringing us data on every club you can, but recognizing if someone picks up the best putter in the world from a physics perspective and hands it to someone who gets the yips when they hold it, for them, it’s not a good putter.

The science is really important, but you can’t deny that psychology plays a part in golf. If we’re talking a 2% difference between two clubs, I’m taking the one that I get a good feeling from. If we’re talking a 10% to 15% difference? I get a good feeling from that data. Psychology is worth at least 5% of the score on your card.

You are right in that looks don’t really matter, and you are right in that often times a player who is stubborn, or a “flat earther” as you stated above, will often perform better with a putter that is technologically superior to the 30 year old one they’ve played forever.

Benjamin’s stated pretty clearly that being open to the data, and having an open mind to something you didn’t previously like potentially being a better fit could really help a persons game. I don’t really think it’s necessary to ride in on a high horse and say that data is the ONLY thing that matters. We are all here because we think that data matters. Data even captures some of the psychological intangibles of the club as it captures their performance. It just is unable to isolate those.

To suggest the “data doesn’t capture intangibles. I like my 40 year old blade irons just fine!” is a flat-earth perspective. To suggest that “Intangibles don’t matter because we have data” is equally incorrect. They are in the data, just not as an isolated part of it.

Looks don’t matter, Feel might not even matter. Confidence matters.

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Joel November 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Keep doing the good work that you do, and cutting through the marketing noise of “10 more yards”.

We are all here and we appreciate it. But truly, golf is one of the worst sports in the world for playing head games with yourself. That’s why some of us love it, in a weird way. That’s not really something any of us can deny.

Your data helps cut through some of those head games, and helps us reconcile with them from an equipment perspective, but they’re never going to completely go away.

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Derrick Morris Rose August 18, 2016 at 4:14 pm

So basically get whatever works for you. Stats way too close to honestly say one is better than the other.

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MyGolf Spy August 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Actually not true. This is typical of what you will find on most bell curves and standard deviations. After doing this for many years now we know there are absolutely better putters, drivers, irons etc vs field both for individuals and groups of golf swing types.

Let me give you a quick example: Would you rather putt with a putter that can drop .89 strokes off your score just by switching putters or one that ADDS 1.56 strokes to your score?

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MyGolf Spy August 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm

If you chose the latter by all means go buy a Scotty GOLO 5 instead of a Ping Ketsch. But just know you are leaving strokes on the course.

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Derrick Morris Rose August 18, 2016 at 7:50 pm

All depends on the individual. It’s a flat stick. I believe I could figure any putter out with time. Were the subjects given time to acclimate to their equipment and understand the functions?

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Derrick Morris Rose August 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm

I just think if you gave Tiger a butter knife he would eventually be dropping putts like crazy.

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MyGolf Spy August 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Derrick Morris Rose – And he would drop more with a putter with a higher SG18 score.

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Derrick Morris Rose August 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Respectfully disagree.

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MyGolf Spy August 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm

Derrick you are saying that Tiger would putt exactly the same with ALL putters? If answer is no then you are actually agreeing.

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MyGolf Spy August 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

Oh Brady, be careful to jump to conclusions before doing simple math. Go back and add up the numbers. We know what we are doing over here. You might not believe it but you will. Brandwashing and marketing have your brain a little cloudy is all.

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Derrick Morris Rose August 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm

No brainwashing here, how about you up your sample size to 1000 people, up sample size of equipment, and see what results you get? It’s a piece of steel. It’s all about the feel of the equipment. Science just flat out ruins the art of golf for me in a lot of cases and I love science. Golf is an art to me. Give me a steel blank attached to a shaft and I’d make it my putter. That’s what I love about this game. There is no one single solution. Everyone is different and that’s what makes this game beautiful.

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MyGolf Spy August 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Derrick Morris Rose – Industry Standard is 20 Golfers, and we even go beyond the standard with how we pair our testers based on Stroke Type. Their is a standard for a reason.

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MyGolf Spy August 19, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Brad Peters – Maybe because we have answered these questions and proven all these misconceptions many golfers have many years ago. Golfers are brandwashed and want to justify and rationalize their purchases which blind them from reality.

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Brad Peters August 19, 2016 at 7:29 pm

But does it really matter? Let the golfers make decisions they want. Data or no data, a golfer is going to play with what they want…not what necessarily performs better statistically from tests. Most casual golfers play what looks good to them and suits their eye whether it’s a certain shape, color, or brand.

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MyGolf Spy August 19, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Brad Peters Let’s poll golfers. Does it matter? If I can prove something works better and lowers your score would you prefer it over a product that is worse and makes you shoot higher scores?

90+% Would say YES

Maybe even closer to 100%.

But by all means Brad play whatever you want. Our job is just to help you make more informed and educated decisions. Can’t even believe this is a debate to be honest lol. All these years and this is what golfers still want to argue about…playing worse clubs because I want to defy intelligence. Remarkable.

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Gary August 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Just curious, were any of the test putters counter weighted?

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Will Par August 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

Every time I read these putter tests I keep thinking to myself that the best putter should be the putter that performs best from 5 feet. The probability of making putts from longer than 10 feet is low anyway so if I can make a high percentage from the shorter distances that’s what I really want to do. If you can convince me that any putter is significantly better than other putters from 5 or 6 feet and less, that’s one I’ll seriously consider purchasing. I’m not complaining about your methodology, I’m just stating my preferences.

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Steve August 19, 2016 at 4:49 am

Rory from 125-150 proximity is 24 feet, for us amatures a mallet would reduce the chance of a 3 putt thus saving more shots than a blade. But, if your stroke type doest fit the mallet it will make it worse. First finding out what your stroke type is will help from all distances (straight, slight arc, strong arc). Getting fit for a putter will help tremendously, more than looks and feels, if you make more putts with it you can get used to the look.

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Murphy August 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

Toulon Madison pretty impressive at #1 & #2 from 5 and 10 feet.

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ryebread August 18, 2016 at 11:30 am

Great stuff and it answers the natural question one has when they see the two independent test results. Do you think the correlation of performance for mallets on lag putting has anything to do with head weight? Is this a scenario where a heavier head proves better for lag putting?

I personally think that blades are better (for me) on 5 and 10 foot putts. For me that is important because I need to drop some of those in. Lagging to 1 foot vs lagging to 3 feet isn’t as important. A lag miss that creates a 5-10 foot putt is a bad one, but then if I do that, I need the best chance to make that 5-10 footer. I say that as a high handicap player as well. Having tried it all, I keep coming back to center shafted blades/mid-mallets.

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Dave Loersch, Michigan August 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm

I tried 2015 Ketsch after last year’s test. Liked putter but am old and need one that will scoop up ball. I can’t anchor but I can still pick up gimmes without hurting knees or back.

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