Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Golf Spy and the Putter Grip Test

An interesting study conducted by and the difference that putter grips make on golfers' putting strokes. 

 Here's the final results:

There are a lot of interesting findings involved with the study. Most notably that they are basing the putting performance on Putts Made and consistency. But, it is *not* based on actual performance.

For example, we see that the Superstroke Slim putter made 86% of its putts with an average face angle of 0.6 degrees left and a path of 2.24 degrees left. Meanwhile, the round putter grip had the 2nd worst make percentage (68%) and had the worst consistency rating. But, it pulled in the best averages as the face angle was at 0.1 degrees left with a path of 0.42 left.

 What this shows me is the same thing I've seen out of so many SAM Puttlab reports over the years....the consistency of the stroke pattern matters more than getting the face angle and path closer to square on average. If a player is off a bit with their stroke, that is actually okay as long as they repeat that stroke over and over. It appears that players with 'crooked', but very repeatable strokes tend to figure out how to adjust their stroke to make more putts. This is prevalent in the Loren Roberts SAM Puttlab report where it shows Roberts aiming fairly well left of the target at address and then using a 'cut-across' putting stroke. Despite a stroke pattern many would considered very flawed, Roberts was great at repeating the stroke and thus is named the 'Boss of the Moss.'

 What's also interesting is how the round grip promoted a lower dynamic loft on the putter which seems to make sense given that I used to use a round grip and it did feel like the round grip would lower the loft as the roll wasn't quite what one would like.

I think in the end the study gives an *indication* that perhaps the regular putter grip is too small. I used to use a round grip made for Edel grips. They were bigger than the grip that was used in this study, but I think the roundness of the grip shows that it is likely to lead to more inconsistency in face and path conditions along with lowering the loft. Now I'm using the PURE putter grip which is close to the Pingman grip.

I find that it is hard to be consistent, but I do putt better with that grip than the old round grip. I think the Fatso grip is likely too big for some. And other big grips may present an issue with weighing too much (the SuperStroke grips are actually fairly light at about 60-65 grams). So I can see why the Superstroke Slim and Ultraslim may be the best of both worlds as they are big, but not too big and they are not too heavy along with being a paddle grip.


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