There are a lot of ways to improve your game and shoot lower scores. From improving your practice routines, getting lessons, avoiding “YouTube University” and upgrading your course management skills to name a few.
Not to mention, updating your equipment to make sure your golf clubs match your skill level and swing. But there is one piece of the equipment puzzle that so many golfers skip entirely and their game suffers as a result.
What is it?
A professional putter fitting.
When you get fit for the right putter it can have an overnight effect on your game. In a sport where swing changes take weeks or months to transfer to lower scores, a new putter can produce immediate results.
Keep reading to learn more about a professional putter fitting, the benefits, what to expect, costs, and everything else you need to know.
Putter Fitting = Confidence on the Greens
Golf is hard and playing the wrong equipment makes it even more difficult. While getting fit for clubs is pretty common for intermediate to advanced golfers, too many players skip the putter fitting. But in my experience, a putter and driver are the clubs that should be fit for your game more than anything else.
Because a driver is used 10–14 times per round to set yourself up on most par 4s and par 5s. If your driver clubhead and shaft match your swing speed, it can help you hit it longer and straighter more consistently.
While your putter is used on every hole during every round; a good day putting can salvage a round and make a good ball striking day even better. While a cold putter can make you contemplate every time you play the game again. This is why it’s crucial to get a putter fitting and ensure your flat stick is helping, not hurting your game.
Here are three reasons why you should get a putter fitting sooner rather than later.
1. Test Out Different Putter Heads and Shafts
The first benefit for doing a professional fitting is to test out different styles.
In the past, this wasn’t much of an issue but as golf continues to grow there are more types of putters than ever before. Some are traditional blade styles, others are mallets, and others look more like a spaceship than a golf club. Needless to say, there are tons of putters out there for every type of golfer.
During a putter fitting you can test out different clubs to see which ones work best for your stroke using the data and makes you a better putter. Aside from the putter head, test out different hang styles including full toe hang (this toe hang originated with the iconic Ping Anser design), 3/4 toe hang, 1/2 toe hang, 1/4 toe hang, and face balanced.
After testing you might like heel shafted blades, heavier head weights, counterbalanced putters, center shafted options, single or double bend putter shafts, different alignment putter points, and more. Make sure to test out different putters with short and small hosels, different loft angles, and more with a master fitter.
Finding the right putter head and shaft will help get the ball started on the intended line and roll it better. It can also help with speed control issues too.
While following the data from high speed cameras is important, don’t forget that you need to love looking down at your putter too. Make sure it gives you tons of confidence first and foremost. Click here to learn how to choose a putter.
2. Find the Right Length
The second benefit to a putter fitting is to find the right putter length for your stroke. A lot of golfers fall into the trap of thinking, “I’m X height so I need an X length putter.” While height is a factor, it’s not everything when it comes to getting the correct length.
For male golfers, putters range from 33-36 inches. Aside from height, other factors include posture and arm length as they all contribute to getting the right length. A putter fitting will make it easy for a certified professional to evaluate your current length and see if it needs to get adjusted.
Studies have shown that most golfers use a putter that is too long for them and their game suffers as a result.
3. Adjust Your Putter Loft and Lie Angle
The third reason you should get a putter fitting is to learn more about putter loft. A putter has the least amount of loft in the bag and ranges from 2-4 degrees. Depending on your putting stroke and hosel design, you might add/decrease loft once you reach impact position.
Knowing your putter loft is key to getting a smooth roll and getting a proper start to your putt. If your loft is off (too high or too low), it can cause the ball to jump or skip early on in the putt. This leads to putts that get offline quickly and tend to end up short of the hole.
Plus, you can learn more about lie angle which will also impact your putting stroke just like it does with irons/wedges.
Putter Fitting Basics
You might wonder, what does a club fitter evaluate during your fitting? Some of the most common things include loft, lie, length, grip. But they’ll also discuss toe hang, alignment, putting mechanics, and even more data.
For example, I recently did a putter fitting with PXG and they used a Trackman launch monitor to provide an overwhelming amount of information. Some of the data included launch, launch direction, dynamic lie, skid distance, ball speed, head weight, counterweight, club speed, tempo, roll percentage, and more.
Trying to understand this type of information on your own is quite daunting and most launch monitors don’t have the capability either. This is why it’s a good idea to leave it to the trained professionals so you can ensure the putter is right for your stroke.
Even if you don’t buy a new flat stick during your fitting, they can adjust lie, loft, and length to upgrade your current putter. But of course, you might also find a new putter that suits your game too.
How to Find the Best Putter Fittings
If you’re ready to find a putter that is suited for your stroke, start by Googling “putter fitting near me.” This will help find the closest options available which tend to happen at local golf stores, Club Champion, or bigger chain stores like Golf Galaxy or PGA Superstore.
If you have multiple fitters near you and aren’t sure where to go, ask them the following questions:
- What type of technology do you use?
- What putter brands/styles you have to test out?
- Do you roll putts inside on a putting green or outside on a practice green?
- What is the cost of a putter fitting (also ask if they waive some or all of the fee if you buy a new putter)?
Then, schedule your putter fitting and show up early to hit some putts and get warmed up. It’s a lot easier than a full bag fitting and only takes 30-60 minutes (at most).
Plus, it’s not uncommon for them to adjust your current putter while you wait for a new one to arrive. This way you have multiple putter options with the right loft and lie.
FAQs About a Proper Putter Fitting
Do you have more questions about getting fit for a putter? If so, keep reading to learn more now so you can take your game to the next level.
Is it worth getting a putter fitting?
Yes, it’s one of the best investments you can make in your golf game. Most golfers get fit for a driver and sometimes their irons (especially more advanced players) but skip the putter.
This is a big mistake because you use your putter on every hole (unless you have a chip in). You don’t even use your driver on every hole which goes to show how important the flat stick is to your score.
Having a putter that is fit for your height and stroke is crucial in playing your best golf. Otherwise, it might be too short/long or not have the right lie angle and crush your confidence on the greens. Don’t make golf even more difficult by playing a putter that might not work with your stroke.
How do I fit myself for a putter?
When it comes to doing your own putter fitting there are a few things to think about: type of putter (blade putter vs. mallet), putter length, head weight, and grip. Each one of these factors play a big role in helping you develop a ton of confidence in your stroke.
It’s a good idea to get a professional putter fitting if possible to take advantage of new technology that makes it easier to analyze your stroke. Otherwise, it’s more of a guessing game to figure out the loft and lie angle which you’ll typically need to have done by a professional club fitter.
How long should my putter be for my height?
Your height does play a factor when it comes to your putter length but it’s not everything. You also need to consider your arm length and how much you like to bend over the ball. Some players have longer/shorter arms while others like a more rounded posture.
How do I know if my putter is right for me?
Putting is very subjective compared to the rest of the clubs in your bag.
For example, when you do a driver fitting it’s easy to look at launch monitor numbers to see if it’s right for your swing. You can easily identify and compare clubs/shafts based on spin rates, distance, and accuracy.
But putting is a little different. While you can look at data using Trackman or another launch monitor, a lot more of it comes down to confidence. What putter can you look at down at it and feel good about?
This is why a lot of golfers have 2-3 putters in their garage and don’t get rid of them when they buy a new one. Sometimes it’s nice to have the option to switch putters in case one gets cold and you need to look at a different design.
Ultimately, it’s whatever putter gives you the most confidence at address position.
How much does a putter fitting cost?
A putter fitting costs between $50-$125 depending on where you’re located and which golf store does the fitting. Not to mention a lot of stores will waive the fee if you buy a new one with them directly (or credit the money back once your putter is purchased).
A putter fitting is much cheaper than getting fit for a driver/woods or irons too. Not to mention can have an immediate impact on your score.
What are the 3 types of putters?
The three main types of putters are blades, mallets, and high MOI putters.
Blade putters are the oldest type of putter and the most conventional design. These are used by a lot more PGA Tour professionals than amateur golfers. They’re ideal for an in to out stroke and have plenty of toe hang to square the putter at impact but aren’t very forgiving.
Mallet putters are a more “old-school” type putter as well and have been around a few decades. These putters are better suited for golfers who have a straight back, straight through putting style. They also make it easier to align the golf ball since the head is much bigger than a blade putter.
The third type of putter is a high MOI putter which is relatively new in the golf industry. These type of putters (like the TaylorMade Spider) are much larger than a blade or mallet. They tend to have unconventional designs but are more forgiving and offer even better alignment.
Test out all different types of putters in your fitting to see which works best for your stroke. Once you find a style, it’s best to stick with it as changing from blade to high MOI or vice versa is a big switch for most golfers.
Should your eyes follow the putter?
No, you want your eyes (and head) to stay centered until the golf ball is rolling toward the cup. If your eyes follow the golf ball it’s easy to miss putts left and waste shots on the green.
A great example of someone who maintains a perfect head position is Tiger Woods. His head remains extremely still during putts and doesn’t look up until the ball is well off the face.
Keep your head and eyes down to hit it more in the sweet spot and produce a better roll. You’re much more likely to hit it square and get the ball on the proper start line too.
If you need a putting drill to feel this, try to “hear” 3-5 five footers drop vs. seeing them in. Doing this in practice will help you not look up too early and make more putts on the golf course.
A putter fitting is one of the cheapest and best investments in your golf game. It’s also one of the areas that most everyday amateur golfers skip out on and their scores suffer as a result.
A proper fitting will make it easy to find the right putter head, test out different toe hang styles, putter face styles, and help improve distance control. It can help you become a good putter overnight and start making putts like never before.