I admit it, I was ignorant and arrogant last year when I penned a column ranting and bemoaning the overwhelming number of putter options available for sale and the supposed self-serving overkill of actually going through the process of getting fitted for a putter.
The whole concept of getting fitted for a putter seemed absurd. Golf marketing has grown long on pomposity, some really cool sounding technical data, and promises that can’t all possibly be true.
So the idea, in my head, of having some computer tech film me putting with some diagnostic video device that would help me optimize this and be more efficient with that put me off before I even had time to think it through. I may not always know why I hooked, sliced, or shanked a particular shot, but, by God, even I could figure out why a putt didn’t go in.
Or so I thought.
As my teaching pro and I have transitioned from my full swing to the short game, it has become abundantly clear that my putter, my beloved original model Odyssey White Hot No. 2, doesn’t fit me or my putting stroke very well.
It’s too long for me. It’s hosel is slightly bent. It’s designed for a different stroke (arc) than I use. It allows me to stand too far away from the ball. Basically, I need a putter that fits.
Oh, the cruel irony. All my wit and curmudgeonly rage wasted and misplaced.
Of course, I realize that a putter is a scoring club. It is the club that can save me more strokes than a powerful driver, intense focus, or deep-grooved wedges. I have been a streaky putter, at best, and randomly lucky more than I deserved. That it might be possible to develop fundamental techniques to become a consistent putter is an exciting, if remote, possibility.
Actually, it doesn’t come as any surprise that I may need to change my putter. Almost everything else in my golf game has changed as a result of the professional instruction I’ve received over the last year, as evidenced by the brief exchange that took place during my most recent winter lesson.
Pro: “Is there anything that’s the same now, that you’ve kept since last year when we started this process.”
Me: “Uh….my flop shot. I think I’ve still got my same flop shot.”
Pro: “We haven’t gotten to that yet, have we? I’ll take a look at it.”
Me: “You catch on fast.”