Why Not Carry Two 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 email@example.com.
OK, now that I have your attention, what's so funny about that proposition? The USGA says we can carry 14 clubs, but many of us push that to 15, 16 or more. So we have at least 13 clubs to navigate from tee to green through all 18 holes, and then only one club to navigate that last little patch of real estate. And with which we'll play 30-40% of our total shots. Does that really make sense?
Well, you could argue, those other 13 clubs are designed for all kinds of shots, from the ball perched on a wooden peg with a driver, to specific yardages as we play the aerial game that golf has become in our modern world. So, I'm OK with that, but is a 4 to 10 foot putt really that similar to one from 60 feet? Sure, they both require you to roll the ball across a manicured green, but I think a good argument could be made that they are really very different shots to be played.
Every week, I get dozens of emails about the short game, and many of them are about putting, actually, even though I go by "The Wedge Guy". Most of you don't know that I started my golf club design experience in the putter category and have designed over 40 models of all shapes and sizes. I've designed putter shafts as well, both in steel and graphite, and several putter grips. And all this started because of my frustration with putting going back to my teen years.
I was (and still am), you see, a Ben Hogan devotee, and believed the game could be won from tee to green. At that time, I hung on certain comments from Hogan as my “excuse”. He had said that he didn’t think a two foot putt should count the same as a well struck drive or iron, as the degree of difficulty was not commensurate. He also noted that the game on the green and the one before that were totally different. On that we’d all have to pretty much agree. So I used that to denigrate putting as important, being the stupid know-it-all teen that I was.
But, back to my premise about carrying two putters. I think a strong case could be made that a short putt that you really believe you should make is quite a different shot from a longer, lag putt that you’d like to make, but really just want to end up close to the hole. The latter requires touch and feel and the ability to roll the ball along the intended line at just the right pace. If you buy that, then this putter should be balanced and weighted more like a wedge or short iron, with the shaft more to the heel so that a swinging motion can be executed freely. It is a mini-golf shot.
On the other hand, once you are in “make it” range, whether that’s 4, 8 or 12 feet, the shot is more about line than speed, and a heavier implement, balanced around its center, would . . . based on the laws of physics and physiology . . . be easier to take straight back and through without the face opening or closing to the line. On paper, at least, this makes lots of sense.
So, if you’re a good putter, totally disregard this entire concept.
But if that is the part of the game that is giving you fits, why not try something radical? I see more golfers frustrated with their inconsistency on short putts than anything. You navigate a 400+ yard hole in 2 or 3 or 4 shots, to get the ball within 10’ or less, then miss that putt. The shorter the putt, the more aggravating the experience. If this describes your game, why not try my radical idea to see what happens? Get a face-balanced putter, weight it up by wrapping lead tape around the shaft just below the grip (that preserves the balance you want) and see if it doesn’t make you pretty darn deadly from inside 10’ (or at least better than you currently are).
And imagine the look on your golf buddies’ faces when you come up to the green carrying two putters, use one to lag your approach putt to 3-4’ and then switch to drain the short one (when they are all secretly betting that you’ll miss it). Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
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Funny I have never heard this idea before. I like it, and it makes sense. Plus it gives me one more thing to play around with. Thanks!
If you are not a good putter and have 60 footers I doubt you will get it into 4 foot range anyway. Sounds silly to me. One thing I do if I have a super long putt that I know I will have trouble getting it there is I choke up on my hybrid 3 and bump it up there. With the flat sole it won't catch the green.
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