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?
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.