I'm a pretty decent golfer, at least until I get on the greens. Lately I've never seen a short putt I couldn't jerk sideways, and now my buddies won't concede anything outside of six inches. I've got more putters in my garage than cobwebs, so I'm running out of options. Help!
Al Quinlan, Macon, Ga.
Putting is what separates men from gibbering wrecks, and lousy putting is what separates guys like you from thousands of dollars in search of the right flat stick. You can find out how to build a smooth putting stroke here but if you want a putter to do the work for you, then Steve Boccieri could be your savior.
Boccieri is the brain behind the Heavy Putter, which is designed to take the twitches out of your stroke. The Heavy Putter line consists of 12 models with heads that weigh anywhere from 450 to 550 grams. Compare that to most conventional putters, which clock in between 330 and 350 grams. "Creating a heavier-mass putter head eliminates the smaller wrist muscles from the stroke and allows larger muscles to make the proper pendulum stroke," says Boccieri.
It's those small muscles that are probably causing a wrist breakdown in your putting stroke, and if you struggle long enough you lose confidence (check!) and turn to a quick stroke with a lot of wrist action (check!). From there it's just a quick flinch to full-blown yips.
To counterbalance the putter head, Boccieri has added a 250-gram weight management system (WMS) insert in the grip, shifting the putter's balance point 75-precent higher up the shaft than in conventional putters (hold your putter horizontally in your fingers; the balance point is where the head of the putter and the butt end are evenly balanced). Boccieri says this brings the putter mass closer to your body. Huh?
"Hold a bag of groceries in front of your body with arms extended," he says. "Your big muscles take control, but you don't have near the control as if you held it close to your body. Bringing the weight of the putter closer to your body gives you more control, which, in turn, promotes a more consistent stroke."
Heavy Putter challenges doubters to a "taste test" at showcase events in retail stores around the country, using a Science and Motion (SAM) device that illustrates just how difficult it is to keep a conventional putter on the proper path. Gear Guy took the test, making five strokes with a standard flat stick before switching to a Heavy Putter. I found that the weighting system kept the putter head square and on the right path more consistently. The Original Series is stainless steel and costs $229. The Matte Series is $199. If this doesn't work, at least you can use it as an effective club to beat your buddies with.
For more putters, check out our Equipment Finder.
Got a question for Gear Guy? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org