Counterbalanced Putters

Frank,

My question is I see a lot of counterbalanced putters on the market now.  What exactly is that and is there any benefit to it?

Rick, MI

Rick,

Counter balancing a putter is normally done by adding  weight to both ends of the putter and in many cases is done in conjunction with an increase in the length of the putter by several inches, even though it is not intended for the golfer to grip the putter at the extended section.

The putting stroke is similar to the motion of a pendulum made up of the shoulders arms and the putter, swinging in, approximately, a 10-degree inclined plane. The putter head rotates about the spine axis, with the pivot point between your shoulder blades, and all other parts of the system fixed.

The putter, hands, arms, and shoulders are all a single rigid system. This is not truly the case because there is a little movement but the object is minimizing the movement at the joints of the system i.e. the wrists, elbows, and shoulder joints.

Increasing the weight of the system at any point away from the axis will increase the Moment of Inertia (MOI) of the system making it a little more difficult to get the system (pendulum) into motion from the start of the stroke, and the change from the back stroke to the forward motion requires a little more energy

The reason why you see a number of manufacturers jumping on this band wagon I believe, is because they don’t want to miss out on anything that is considered the “New” thing which initially sells reasonably well until the next “New” thing arrives on the scene.

I will keep my eye on this new development and if there is any data available to show the benefit to golfers I will report it to our readers.

Rick, I hope this answers your question and gives you something to think about for the rest of the winter in Michigan, which hopefully will not last too much longer.  Spending some time reading The Fundamentals of Putting may do you more good than a counter-balanced putter and cost a lot less.

Frank 

4 thoughts on “Counterbalanced Putters

  1. I tried counter-weighted clubs in the late 1980’s and still use counter-weighted woods and irons today. However. counter-weighting my touch clubs (putter, chipper, and sand wedge) hurt my distance feel. My line on 20′ foot putts seemed a little better, but I had a lot more 3-putts and chip and two putts. After about a year I took the counter-weights off my touch clubs and have no intention of putting them back on.

  2. This days there are so many bulky and large head putters, and I wonder what exactly
    the benefits are? Putting is an art of free horizontal pendulum. It is very personal
    choice what kind of head and shaft length is required, but flat blade not wider than
    3.5-4 inches with shaft at the heel bent to reflect eye on the center of the ball at address should be used. This way no more mimicking for other types of putters.
    Practice this very often and try to more accurate in rolling ball to the hole. This is my opinion only. Every golf playing community has there own feeling and comfort to
    put the golf ball into hole. Putting is not as easy as it sounds, proper training and art of putting is required and practice.

  3. I have read that the counterbalanced putter is being specifically promoted as an alternative to the anchored putter that will become illegal in 2016. While I agree that the MOI difference from a regular putter is a change that will need to be assimilated, the MOI difference relative to the longer anchored putters with the butt end fixed higher up from the hands (chest or stomach) would probably be essentially unchanged or even lighter.
    Given that difficulty with initial movement of the putter at the right angle and pace without hands manipulation is a major reason why players can’t overcome the Yips and so choose the anchored putters to build a sound stroke using a different method, surely this choice in putter design could be a very good option for them, rather than just another manufacturer gimmick to sell another club?
    The counter-balance could actually be added to an existing putter in a weighted shaft extension without adding weight to the existing putter head, effectively creating a lighter feel below the hands, though as you say actually adding to MOI in ‘the unit’ (to quote a very good book I read recently). Or am I missing something there? Of course that added length will need to be taken into account with a longer grip to leave the hands in correct position.

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