Archive for the "Putters" Category
If you have played any golf at all over the last 10 or 15 years, you have certainly seen at least one Odyssey 2-Ball putter. This mallet putter has been incredibly popular, and has been used by many professionals along with countless amateur players. The 2-Ball design on the top of the clubhead is intended to aid alignment, and many golfers love the weighting and feel of the club as they swing it through the ball.
A Classic Model with a New Look
Over the years there have been several different variations of the basic 2-Ball design brought to the market. This latest version is known as the Odyssey Works 2-Ball Fang Tank SuperStroke. That is a long name for a putter, but for good reason – there is a lot to say about this club. First, it has the classic 2-Ball design that so many golfers have come to know and love. If you have owned a 2-Ball previously, you will quickly feel at home with this one. Also, this is designed to be a counterbalanced putter that comes in longer sizes than normal – 35’’ and 38’’. This give the golfer the option of letting the grip of the club run beyond his or her hands to provide a better feel for the stroke. To make this work, the head and shaft are heavier than they would be on a ‘traditional’ putter.
The innovation doesn’t stop there, however. One of the most interesting features of this putter is the thin stainless steel mesh that covers the putter face – in front of the Fusion RX Insert. While this might sound unusual – because it is – it is also worth a closer look to see what it can do for the roll of your putts. Getting the ball rolling along the ground as quickly as possible, rather than having it skid across the top of the grass, is one of the key elements to good putting.
Get a Grip
Also, as the name would indicate, the putter comes with a SuperStroke grip installed. These grips have become very popular in recent years, as they are oversized with the intention of taking your hands out of the putting stroke – always a good thing. Between the counterbalanced design, the 2-Ball alignment aid, and the SuperStroke grip, this putter has about as many helpful features as you could pack into one club. Even if you aren’t usually a golf who likes to use a mallet putter, this one is worth taking a look at to see if it just might improve the way you roll the ball.
If you are looking for a traditional, blade-style putter that doesn’t stand out from the crowd, the TaylorMade Ghost Spider Si is not the right choice for you. However, if you want to try out the latest in putter technology and see what it can do for the way you roll the ball, this putter is worth a closer look. A unique head shape, along with a ‘PureRoll’ Surlyn insert make for a putter that certainly will get attention from your playing partners.
Modern Mallet Design
A far departure from the mallets of days gone by, the Spider Si has something of a high-tech look when you stand over the ball at address. This will appeal to some golfers, and not to others. If you get the opportunity, try one out in your local pro shop and decide how you feel about the look for yourself. If it inspires confidence and helps you line up your putts accurately time after time, then you might be a good candidate for this putter. Also, notice how the head behaves through impact – specifically on putts that aren’t quite hit on the sweet spot. You will likely notice that the blade remains stable through the ball even if you miss the center of the putter face. This difference will be even more noticeable if you are currently putting with a traditional ‘blade’ style putter.
One of the most-popular trends in putters is adding weight to the grip to achieve a counterbalanced effect that can help the player to have more feel and control of the putter head through impact. The Spider Si is included in that trend, with a 15’’, 130 gram grip attached to the shaft of the putter. Again, just as with the head design, this is a feature that will appeal to some players and not to others. If you do decide to make the Spider Si your next putter, make sure to spend plenty of time on the practice green getting used to the feel that this club offers.
The Si is available for both right and left-handed golfers, and is offered in 35’’ and 38’’ lengths. While 38’’ might seem long for a putter, it would be a good idea to try both lengths before you choose one to add to your bag. With the counterbalanced grip, you might find that you can stand more upright at address and make a comfortable stroke without bending over as much as you would with a shorter putter.
For the golfer looking for a new putter to help the ball find the bottom of the cup more often, the TaylorMade Ghost Spider Si putter is a club that is worth giving some strong consideration. As long as you appreciate the modern styling of the club, you could stand to benefit from all of the technology this putter brings to the table.
Sometimes, something as simple as the grip on your putter can make all the difference in the world. If you struggle with your putting, as so many golfers do, you have probably tried everything to get yourself on track and make more of those short-to-medium putts from round to round. It is no secret that making more putts is the fastest way to lower scores, and you will never reach your full potential on the golf course until you sharpen your skills with the putter. For golfers who have tried everything and still can’t find the range with the flat stick, the SuperStroke Slim 3.0 putter grip is an excellent option.
What makes this grip unique?
SuperStroke has gained notoriety in the golf business for producing ‘fatter’ putter grips that are usually found on most putters. These grips conform to the rules of golf, but can help you to get a better feel for your stroke and actually can improve your technique. In fact, if you watch golf on TV on a regular basis, you have probably already seen the SuperStroke grips in action, because they are used by some of the best players in the world. That in itself should serve as some measure of proof to how well they can work.
As the name indicates, the ‘slim’ model of the SuperStroke putter grips is smaller than some of their other models, making it a good transition from a traditional putter grip that you likely use currently. If you were to switch for your normal grip to the largest grip in the SuperStroke line, the change might be too severe and you could find yourself giving up on it quickly. Instead, try this slim model and see what it is able to do for your game.
Why does a fatter grip help putting technique?
Active hands are the enemy of a good putting stroke. If you want to hit quality putts hole after hole, you should be engaging your big muscles (shoulders, back) and not your hands during the putting motion. With a small grip, it is easy to make your hands to active and start to have small twitches during the stroke – especially right at impact. This is what is commonly known as the ‘yips’.
With a larger putter grip in your hands, you will not be able to have these yips as easily. You will naturally want to move the putter more with your big muscles since your hands won’t have as easy a time manipulating the putter head during the stroke. You will need to practice on the putting green with this larger grip to get comfortable, but it will be worth your time and effort.
The SuperStroke Slim 3.0 putter grip is not just for players who have no options left when it comes to putting – it is a piece of equipment that is worthy of the consideration of any player. If you want to putt better, and who doesn’t, try this grip out for yourself and see what it can do for your stroke.
Naturally, to win the U.S. Open in commanding fashion as Martin Kaymer did at Pinehurst, all of the club in the bag need to be working nicely. There is no way to win the national championship easily over the best players in the world without getting contributions from the driver through the putter. However, it was that putter specifically that helped Kaymer stay on track all week long and put his second major title in the books.
Huge Par Saves Kept Him on Track
The lack of bogies that appeared on Kaymer’s card during the four rounds he played at Pinehurst were nothing short of amazing. In a field where only three players managed to break par for the whole week, Kaymer kept his cards mostly clean by holing out beautiful par putts whenever he did get in trouble. His success should highlight the importance of putting for the average amateur golfer. Even if you hit a couple poor shots on a given hole, all can be forgiven with one great roll on the green.
The Club That He Trusted
In steamrolling his way to the U.S. Open title, Kaymer used the PING Karsten 1959 ANSER 2 putter. It is a classic looking putter that stands in contrast to many of the other flat sticks that could be seen in use around Pinehurst #2. The 1959 ANSER 2 is a traditional design with heel and toe weighting to help golfers achieve a true roll and a great feel putt after putt. There are no tricks or gimmicks involved in this club – it is simply a well-designed, solidly built putter that allows the player to let his or her true ability shine through.
One of the great attributes of this style of putter is the wonderful visual that it gives the golfer at address. It is easy to align this putter properly behind the ball thanks to a thin top line and bright white alignment line. It is hard to imagine that any golfer would object to the appearance of this putter as it sits behind the ball.
Where Does Kaymer Go From Here?
With two majors under his belt, not to mention a huge putt in the Ryder Cup, Martin Kaymer is certainly full of confidence and has the game to back it up. With two more majors to be played this season, and another Ryder Cup, it won’t be a surprise if we see him back at the top of the board sometime very soon. He also secured the Player’s Championship this season, so the big stage is clearly not something that causes him to shy away.
Likely, the success the Kaymer experiences will be closely tied to how well he continues to roll the ball on the greens. His swing is impressive and seems to hold up under the most intense pressure. As long as he continues to hit great putts with the PING Karsten 1959 ANSER 2 putter, there is no reason to believe Kaymer won’t continue to contend for major championships for many years to come.
The original TaylorMade Spider putters have been a popular model with pros and amateurs alike for several years. The mallet-head design feels stable through impact with the putt, and the face makes for an easy time to get the ball rolling quickly. In short, there is a lot to like about the original spider putters.
However, they are mallets, and some players just aren’t comfortable using a mallet putter. Whether it is the look or the feel of the putter that they just can’t get past, many golfers will never come to a point where they put a mallet into their bag. For that reason, TaylorMade has designed the Spider Blade, meant to give many of the same performance aspects of the original Spider to players who want to use a blade-style head.
A Variety of Materials
By using numerous different materials in the construction of the putter head, TaylorMade was able to remove weight from the center of the putter head and place it further out toward the toe and heel. The result is a feel that is more-reminiscent of a mallet putter despite still looking like a blade. This putter is steady through impact and allows for slight mishits without the ‘punishment’ that a normal blade putter might dole out. If you aren’t able to strike your putts perfectly in the center of the face each time, the Spider Blade is going to offer you some forgiveness that many other putters would not.
Not the Only Difference
Besides moving the weight around within the head of the Spider Blade, TaylorMade has also made a change to the length of the putter – they have made them longer. No, they are not long putters or belly putters (which are being banned soon enough) – rather, they are just longer shafts that are meant to be used just as a traditional putter would be. Offered in 35′ and 38′ lengths, these putters are designed with choking-down the shaft in mind. So, for example, if you normally prefer to use a 35′ putter, you would purchase the 38′ and hold the club a couple inches down the grip. This is meant to give you some amount of counter-balance during the stroke and make it easier to achieve the steady, rocking motion that so many golfers are striving for.
Whether or not you will enjoy that style of putting is for you to try out and decide for yourself. There are already a few players on the professional tours using this approach, so it is not like it is without merit. Rather, it is an individual feeling that you will have to try out and see what you think. If you find that you enjoy this style of putting and it gives you added confidence to roll good putts hole after hole, the TaylorMade Spider Blade putters might just be the right addition to your bag.
One of the newest additions to the PING lineup, the Ketsch series of putters are designed to be more well-suited to your own personal putting stroke, while still delivering the quality feel that players expect from PING products. The Ketsch is a mallet-style putter with a low profile grooved face. Thanks to some unique design elements, this is a mallet putter that should be considered even by players who have traditionally only used blade-style models. Of course, PING is one of the original names in the putter-making business, so they have a long history of success at even the highest levels of golf.
Three ‘Arc’ Models Available
As more and more golf club manufacturers try to tailor their products to the specific needs of individual golfers, the Ketsch follows along in that pattern. There are three models available in this putter, each with a different amount of ‘arc’ built in. The arc refers to how much you arc the putter during your stroke, from straight back to a more-rounded motion. The options when ordering the Ketsch are ‘Straight’, ‘Slight Arc’, and ‘Strong Arc’.
This is an exciting development for some golfers because mallet putters have usually been designed with the ‘Straight’ putting stroke in mind. Most golfers who arc their putting stroke have had a difficult time using mallet putters in the past, so they have been stuck with only using blade putters. If you are a golfer with an arc in your putting stroke and have always wanted to try a mallet, this one would be a good place to start.
Traditional Options As Well
In addition to having the ‘arc’ choices when you select your Ketsch putter, there are also the standard options that you would expect to find with any putter purchase. The Ketsch is offered in both right and left-handed models, as well as an assortment of lengths ranging from 33 inches on up to 36 inches. By selecting the right arc and length for your game, you should have a putter that feels fairly natural right out of the box and takes very little time to adjust to.
Variable Depth Grooves
Another interesting feature on the Ketsch putter in the variable depth grooves that are seen across the face. The idea behind these grooves is that by varying the depth, the putter is able to deliver a more-consistent speed to the roll of the ball, regardless of where along the face the ball is struck. A common problem among amateur golfers is hitting putts either on the heel or the toe of the club, causing the putt to lack speed and come up short. While it is still ideal to hit the center of the putter face, the grooves on the Ketsch can help to minimize the effect of your miss-hit.
Putters are a very personal choice, so trying one out is always a great idea. There are a lot of good elements to the Ketsch series, so it is worth your time to take a closer look and decide if one would be a good addition to your bag.
Alignment is the most significant part of good putter that all too many players overlook. Most golfers get obsessed with their putting stroke mechanics and forget to make sure they are properly aligned with their target. On a flat putt, lining up the putter face with the center of the hole is the goal – on a breaking putt, the goal is to make sure your aim matches up with the line that you have chosen. The problem with working on alignment is that it can be difficult to judge how you are doing, so it is often easier to revert to working on mechanics and technique. Through the years, many putters have attempted to make it easier to properly align for your putts – and the Cleveland Smart Square Putter is another in that category.
Square Instead of Circle
One of the most successful putters of all time – the Odyssey Two-Ball – is a mallet putter that built its popularity on the idea of helping golfers line up their putts more accurately. It features two circles on the top of the putter head that are intended to be lined up with the ball as it rests on the green. In the same vein, the Cleveland Smart Square Putter gives the player two squares that are meant to line up with the ball. Is it easier to line up your putt with squares as opposed to circles? That is for you to decide. Both methods can certainly work – it is up to the individual golfer to decide which look and style they best.
Benefits of a Mallet Putter Head
Along with the alignment aid that this putter provides, it also offers the qualities that have made mallet putters so popular. Most mallet putters have heavier heads than their blade counterparts, giving the golfer a better feel for the swing as it goes back and through the ball. Mallet putters also resist rotation during the stroke, promoting a straighter path – one that some golfers feel is more repeatable and more reliable under pressure. Not all golfers like the feel and look of a mallet putter – but those who do are likely to appreciate what this Cleveland model brings to the table.
Heel Shafted and Center Shafted Models Available
Whether the shaft of the putter goes into the center or heel of the putter actually makes a significant difference in how the club plays. Center shafted putters are mainly geared toward players who want to make a ‘straight line’ putting stroke – such as those who putt cross-handed. A heel shafted mallet putter kind of walks the line between the two styles. It allows a player to swing the putter on more of an arc, but still gain the stability that a large mallet headed putter offers.
Is the two-square alignment method right for you? That is something you will have to decide for yourself. If you feel like you are struggling with your alignment on the putting green, consider giving this square design style a try.