One of the most needed golf equipment during a game is the putter.
The most famous putter of all to date is the one used by Bobby Jones, who won 13 major golf tournaments in his career. A lawyer by profession, Jones never turned professional and always played as an amateur. His putter nicknamed “Calamity Jane”was as famous as the owner himself. During those days the shaft of the Jones’ putter was made from hickory wood, which comes from a tree that has a relation to the walnut family. The putter is now on display at a museum somewhere in New Jersey and commands a seven figure price.
Putters were used as early as the 16th century and the material used evolved over the years. They also now come in different shapes and sizes.
2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley was the first PGA player to win a major tournament using a long putter, which eliminates a player from bending forward to address a ball on the green. The golfer known as “The Big Easy” and 4 time major tournament winner Ernie Els uses a belly putter, whose shaft reaches up to the stomach of the player. The normal putter is only 34 inches long and allows the arms more freedom.
If wedges have different lofts, putters have different types of balance.
The face balanced putter is for the straight line hitter and stays on the same line throughout the stroke. The toe weighted putters are for golfers who use a slightly curved stroke when trying to sink a ball in the hole. Then there is the heel and toed weighted putters, which are less forgiving if a golfer misses hitting the ball at the center of the putter.
Blade putters are for players who usually hit the ball using the heel of the putter. The mallet putter depends on its shaft for balance. The once famous Bullseye putterswhich has a brass finish is not recommended for beginners of the game since it is a little harder to control. Tom Kite’s golf equipment included this type of putter in his bag and led him to win the 1992 U.S Open.
Just like other golf equipment in the bag, it takes time to get the feel of the putter before a player gets the hang of it. Many players believe they are missing both short and long putts because they have the wrong putter for their stroke.
Trial and error will definitely help a player decide which one he would use. They should try out the putter first on the practice green before heading out to the fairways. Some putters have shafts that are too cold to handle, which makes players lose their feel of touch once they reach the fairways. That is the reason when players reach out for their putters after an approach shot, they either hold it on the grip or tuck it between their arms while walking towards the green.
Putting aids could also train players on the correct way of getting that ball in the hole. There are mats, analyzers, cups and a lot more devices that could assist in shaving off a few strokes from that scorecard.
The greens on a golf course looks flat from a distance, but as the ball lands on its surface, the ball rolls as if it has a mind of its known, turning right or left, faster than the player could ever imagine.
A golfer must be able to read the greens well and with the use of the trusty putter, make the ball disappear in the hole.
If a player is a hard hitter, a light weighted putter would be needed, if it is the other way around, a heavy putter could be used in play.
The putter is always the final golf equipment in line in terms of usage in each fairway and is the deciding factor on the player’s score for that hole which is the reason it is considered to be the most essential club inside a golf bag.