ORLANDO, Fla.— Maybe it’s not your putting stroke. Maybe it’s your putter.
That’s preferable to the alternative, that it’s really probably you. For the sake of your dignity, however, let’s say the problem with your putting is your putter.
Ping’s answer to that dilemma? Don’t change your stroke. Change your putter.
This isn’t a marketing slogan meant to spur more purchasing. It’s a message to make you ponder whether your putter fits you. It’s a valid question because length matters in putting and while custom-fitting is a staple when buying irons and drivers, not many golfers check if their putter is the right length or suits their stroke style. Ping’s answer to those dilemmas? Adjustable-length putters, which conform to United States Golf Association rules and can be used in competition, and Fit For Stroke, a method to match your putting stroke style with the corresponding putter style.
Adjustable-length putters were a higher priority before the USGA banned all forms of anchored putting beginning in 2016, because belly putters were ineffective if they weren’t exactly the right length for users. Putter length is important for conventional putters, too, even though many golfers don’t consider that when selecting a putter to use.
“We’ve known for a long time that it’s important to have the right length in a putter,” said Ping putting analyst Paul Wood. “We’ve done a lot of in-house testing to quantify dispersions patterns and established that you putt 15 percent better if you get the correct length putter in your hands. With belly putters, it’s more like 25 to 30 percent.” Adjustable length, from 31 to 38 inches, is an option available in Ping’s Ketsch, Nome, Scottsdale TR and Karsten TR putters. Ping’s Nome 405 and Carefree L long putters adjust from 45.5 to 55.5 inches and the belly putter model, Anser 2B, extends from 37.5 to 46.5 inches.
The adjustability gives players versatility and options. It also frees retailers from the burden of stocking inventory of different-length putters when adjustability means one size fits all. Ping’s Fit For Stroke program is all about matching style with equipment. Ping classifies strokes into three categories—strong arc, slight arc and straight stroke. It then lists all its putters by the styles they fit. Straight strokes work more consistently with face-balanced models , strong arcs fit better with heel-shafted (toe-down) models and slight arcs go best with heel-and-toe-weighted (mid-hang) putters.
“Five years ago, you had to take somebody’s word for it,” Wood said. “Having the means to measure strokes makes a difference. Putting was more of an art then and fitting was more on judgment than data. Now we’ve got better data.”