Different Strokes for Different Folks

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Different Strokes for Different Folks
Mallet or blade, which one works for you?

We all know there are two different models and categories of putters out there: blades and mallets. Besides looking and feeling different there is actually a method to their madness and why one or the other would suit you better when it comes to your game.  It’s not as easy as personal preference…or is it? At Golf HQ the only thing we love more than golf equipment is helping a player find the best of that equipment for them.

The Scotty Cameron Newport is one of the most popular blade models with heel-toe weight and a single thin alignment line.

Blades A blade style putter is traditional in look and usually appeals to the golf “purists” out there. They feature heel-toe weighting and usually a single line or dot for alignment. The sweet spot in a blade is normally located between the heel and the center because that’s generally where the shaft enters the head thus creating the face’s heaviest point. It’s also because it favors a player who putts on an arc. An arc stroke is when a player allows the face to rotate, or open on the back-stoke and close on the follow-through relative to the target.

The Odyssey #7 has Triple Track technology which aids in alignment.

Mallets Much larger in size, mallets provide an aid in alignment and are much heavier. Most of the weight is stretched away from the face and positioned around the perimeter for the reason of increasing stability, or less twisting, both throughout the stroke and at impact. These reasons are why a mallet suits a player with a more straight back and through stroke. The extra weight also helps a player who struggles with speed and typically leaves their putts short of the hole. Confidence is also increased because due to the increased mass, there is more room for a large or thick alignment line or aided shape.

This image from a putter fitting shows the player’s stroke path, face angle and loft at impact, whether they hit up or down on the ball, and the strike point on the face.

Getting fit Just like a set of irons or a driver, you can get fit for a putter. As mentioned above, we want to find the right model for your stroke path, but there are other variables we look at as well. On our GC Quad fitting simulator we can see your path, loft at impact, strike point on the face, and the amount of skid you may or may not put on the ball. Skid refers to the ball actually leaving the ground before it completes a full rotation and begins to roll towards the hole. The less the better obviously. The more skid means the more chance your putt has of losing speed and falling off line. The standard loft of a putter is usually 3° or 4° and the standard length is around 35”. But we will find the exact loft, length, and model for you based on the data we collect.

This image shows how far the ball traveled until it took its first full rotation, or roll. In this case it was 24.2 inches. This is called skid. You can also see how far the player pulled or pushed the ball offline.

At the end of the day it still does come down to what the particular player is comfortable looking at and which model gives them not only the most confidence, but the best results. So it’s always wise to try a few different ones and even set up a fitting session with a pro or certified tech.  I wish I could putt with a blade as good as I do with a mallet. But I came to the realization a few years ago that it’s just not the case. I love the look and feel of a classy, sleek, and soft as butter blade but I am way more consistent with a mallet; and a center-shafted mallet at that. This setup is the most face-balance you can have, and it suits me greatly. I simply make more 5-6 footers with the mallet and have much more confidence. It’s not even close.

Fantasy Golf The fall portion of the 2020-2021 wrap around season is over and we will pick back up in January in Hawaii. Yours’ truly had a pretty good season making picks so if you paid attention hopefully you cashed in on Draft Kings or any other fantasy golf you may play. For 2020 I successfully picked the winner 6 times and had 39 top-10’s. That my friends is a hall of fame season. But there is still great golf to watch this weekend as the ladies tee it up at Champions GC in Houston for the U.S. Women’s Open. How to Watch: Thursday Dec 10, 12:30 – 6:00 Golf Channel. Friday Dec 11, 3:00 – 6:00 Golf Channel.  Saturday Dec 12, 11:00 – 1:00 Golf Channel/2:30 – 6:00 NBC. Sunday Dec 13, 11:00 – 2:00 Golf Channel/2:00 – 5:00 NBC.

Enjoy the game and each other,

Written & Published by Seth Zipay – Head Golf Professional

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