A Dissection of Putters
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy
Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of you know me as "The Wedge Guy," but what you don't know is that my earlier work in golf club design was focused on putters. My first design, called "Destiny" was done in the mid-80s, and achieved pretty cool success on the PGA Tour in the hands of a number of players, including Robert Wrenn, Ian Baker Finch, Ray Floyd, Bernhard Langer and some other top names. It was one of the first to use the long hosel to achieve face balancing.
And a putter design concept I took to Hogan started my tenure there. The “Sure-In®” line never got the attention I would have liked, but it had some innovative weighting and some nice head models. I did three designs with Ben Crenshaw while I was President of Reid Lockhart. We did three models including one that was a perfect copy of Ben’s favorite 8802. And then I did all the design work for Ray Cook while I was president there. So I have more than just a little experience in putter design.
The reason I tell you this, is because today I'm responding to the question from Aaron, of Austin, TX, who wrote in:
"While I know you're the Wedge Guy, I've been wondering about putter technology. I know about some of the styles (blade, mallet, etc.) but I was more wondering about the different face technologies (insert, etc.) as well as the loft on the putter, the shaft material, and the purpose of the different necks (plumbers neck, etc.)"Well, Aaron, let’s take these several parts of the putter and let me share with you my observations about the form and function of each.
1. Face Technology. Today that falls into two categories – inserts and texture. Though Odyssey garnered most of the press about inserts, they’ve actually been around for many years. The old Otey Crisman putters were aluminum with a brass insert, and had a hickory shaft. You talk about feel -- they were awesome. In modern putter design, a small company called STX actually pioneered the synthetic insert long before Odyssey. The idea behind this concept is to match the hardness of the insert with the ball you play to achieve optimum “adhesion” of ball to face, so that a superior roll can be achieved. I never much cared for them, personally, and the new urethane covered balls have negated much of the need, in my opinion. You still find all kinds of putters with inserts and various face milling textures, but the only rule is this: If it feels great and puts a good roll on the ball, you should seriously consider it.Today’s post got a little long, but the topic is heavy. Lets’ see what you guys have to say and maybe we’ll keep this dialog open for a while. If there are follow-up putter questions you have . . . just ask away.
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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Golfing granny says:
Very informative! Thanks
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