But eventually I noticed a problem. For starters, if it's a bit windy it won't stand up. The other problem is it is H-E-A-V-Y. Of course, it has to be heavy in order for the flatstick to stand straight up on its own. Thus it is difficult to use on fast greens and I was likely to ram it right through the break.
One of the cool things for me in my "comeback" is that I feel I am armed with much more knowledge about the game in general. I didn't really intend to buy a putter, but from what I've learned over the past few months, I was better equipped to know what to look for in a flatstick. Mainly:
1. Lines on a putter have proven to be bad for a golfer's alignment.
2. Accuracy of alignment can be dictated by numerous things like the line on a putter, offset, hosel type, loft, etc.
3. Ideally you want to find a putter that looks square to the target to you and is square to the target.
Of course, I got this information from Edel putters (http://www.foundersclubgolf.com/images/products/large/4913_5.jpg & http://www.edelgolf.com/) and David Orr (http://www.orrgolf.com/).
Since I was at the Superstore which has more putters than any store I've ever seen, I wanted to take this knowledge and see what I came up with. Now, it was hardly scientific, but I probably cannot afford an Edel putter, much less go and get fitted for one (no fitters in Georgia). So basically I was looking for different type of hosels, club shapes and line patterns. Note that I don't align myself using a line, but according to some students the presence of a line alone hurt their alignment.
I have a slight right aim bias. In order for me to square up the putter, I often have to feel like I am aiming at the left edge of the hole instead of right at the middle of the hole. So with this mass collection of different putters, I wanted to feel like I was aiming at the middle of the hole and then get an idea of my alignment.
I found that the plumber's neck type of hosel (pic below) usually yielded the worst results, usually far right of the target
As far as lines go, almost every single putter these days has some sort of line on it. The only putter that really didn't have it was the Ping Piper series putter (pic below):
And perhaps I was a bit biased with this knowledge, but my aim seemed better with a putter that didn't have any alignment lines.
For the most part, I had some sort of right aim bias with each putter. But I found that the putters I best align myself with either have the short slant hosel (like my Cleveland Classic #3) and the face balanced hosel (like the Ping Piper) and the heel based hosel (like the pic below).
What was odd was I actually was aligning left with the Taylor Made Spider putter. The putter I aligned best with? The Odyssey Black Series I #7 putter (pic below):
THEN, I tried the Cleveland VP2 milled putter, which is basically the same putter as my Cleveland Class #3, but with a different type of mill. It was a little softer and I seemed to align a tad better, and I started to wonder if the difference in the *color* of the alignment line may have made a difference. According to one Edel putter owner, he saw a difference in alignment when getting fitted for his Edel putter when they switched from a black line to a white line. And because I aligned myself so well with the Odyssey Black Series i #7 putter (a steep $270), which also has a black line, I could be onto something. Either way, I could always just paintfill the line black.
The big problem I faced was that the prices of putters are pretty outrageous these days. So much for the poor economy driving prices down. It's not happening in the golf world. Like I mentioned, the Odyssey ran for $270. That was about the same price for the Ping Redwood putters and the cheapest non-Cleveland putter I saw was a Ping Karsten Series going for $89.
I was quite happy with my alignment on the Ping Zing 2 style of putters so I tried to see how I would align with different putter head styles that still had the short slant hosel. The Anser style of heads produced horrible results. The other style of clubheads were a mixed bag.
So I stuck with the Cleveland. Personally the Ping putters that had the same style felt like you were hitting rocks unless it was the Redwood series Zing 2 which is really soft. But again, you go and pay $270 for a slightly softer feel.
I wound up taking the Cleveland Classic #3, paying $65 for it and putting a Pingman grip on it and calling it a day. But I believe I have a better idea of what to look for in a putter from now on. And if it doesn't work out, I still have the LPAS aid to help out (http://3jack.blogspot.com/2008/11/lpas-training-aid.html)