Whether you’ve been fit for a driver, or for irons, not only does the process allow you to have a better understanding of your swing, but the difference in your game is usually noticeable
immediately. That said, average players have around 35 putts, usually over a third of the strokes taken during a round. With these numbers it makes sense to ensure your putter performs at the highest level, which is where getting fit comes in.
At Piretti we believe in fitting a putter to your game. A player with a consistent, repeatable stroke can optimize their results with a putter that matches their stroke. To achieve the proper results we focus on length, loft, lie, weight, and head style. These variables are what allows the putter to impact the ball square to the intended target line.
The correct length generally allows the ball to lie on or within a ball outside of your eye line, which promotes a square to square path. After determining the correct length it’s important to fit a head style to your stroke. Whether you’re a player that leans more towards the straight-back straight-through approach, or you gravitate more towards a sweeping open-to-close style stroke, having the right amount of toe-hang and offset allows you to produce effective results. Length and shape of the hosel, whether it is a plumber’s neck, flow neck, center shaft, or one of the many custom variations available all impact the amount of toe-hang. Toe-hang significantly effects the angle of the face at impact so it’s critical you have a setup that matches your stroke.
Once the proper length and head style is determined the next move is to adjust both the loft and lie to insure the putter impacts the ball squarely in the sweet spot and rolls true. It’s fairly common to see players using off the rack putters that are either too upright, aiming the ball left, or too flat, aiming the ball to the right. Piretti putters can be bent +/- 4 degrees, allowing us to adjust the putters so that it soles squarely at address.
Head material and weight are important considerations in the fitting process. Not only does having a putter that fits your stroke impact the results, but asthetics and feel also play a large role in the results. Piretti offers putters in several different materials ranging from softest to firmest, including German Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel, 303 Stainless Steel, and Copper.
Sound significantly impacts feel. Everyone remembers the loud titanium drivers back in the day, and of course the louder the noise the further you thought the ball would go. When it comes to putting, the more muted the sound, the softer a putter is thought to feel, which is not always a result of softer materials. Face thickness will lower the pitch of a putter, regardless of material and make the putter feel softer. Therefore it may surprise you to see Copper listed on the firmer end of the spectrum. The weight of Copper putters generally dictates the need for a thinner face resulting in a higher pitched noise at impact. Even using a softer metal, the higher pitched noise creates the illusion of firmness due to the sound. As far as our putters go, German Stainless is the softest feel, followed by both 303 Stainless and Carbon Steel, which are very similar with the Carbon Steel having a slightly more muted noise.
Weight not only changes the feel, but also stabilizes the putter. Players that tend to decelerate on short putts or get very handsy in the stroke will see better results with increased head weight, and the resulting higher swingweight. Piretti putters are 15-25grams heavier than most in the industry. The increased weight has proven to provide better feel of the head, and has also achieved the goal of reducing hand movement, resulting in less face rotation throughout the stroke. We have found that adding weight functions similarly to increasing grip size, but offers significantly better feel and makes the stroke more consistent.
During a fitting a player will not only have a putter tailored to their stroke, but will be given additional insight into ways to practice and play that will allow them to make more putts. The variables involved in the fitting process are important, but just as with your irons and woods, the advice and instructional tips provided during the process will yield much better long term results.