Can the Putter Face Help You Putt Better?

 

Frank,

Do you believe that grooves or inserts with grooves really improve one’s putting or is it mostly marketing and sound effects?

Tom, FL

Tom,
The face material must be hard and rigid and not impart more or less spin to a ball than a standard steel face. Otherwise, it is in violation of Rule 5-1a in Appendix II of The Rules of Golf. Some exceptions may be made for putters. These exceptions are probably related to the phrase “hard and rigid”.

With this in mind, I believe inserts are used to soften the feel of impact and/or make the impact sound better on those putters with hard, steel faces.

The Frankly Frog putter is made of 6061 Aluminum (aircraft quality) and the effect on the ball and the sound is perfect without an insert.

Bottom line is that there is no evidence that grooves or inserts make golfers putt better. The face must, however, have a rough surface to ensure that there is no slippage during contact and this may be accomplished by three-way milling.

I have been led to believe that the USGA tests putter face treatments to confirm that the spin properties are similar to that of a standard steel face.

Tom, you can’t buy a stroke: you need to earn it through an understanding of the fundamentals and then practice these until they become subconscious moves, like walking.

“The Fundamentals of Putting” will certainly be a good start.
Frank

One thought on “Can the Putter Face Help You Putt Better?

  1. Great topic! There is a big lack of clarity with rule 5-1a.

    I have way too many putters, among which are a Frankly Frog (yes, a very good putter), a current Ping Scottsdale TR and a current Bobby Grace with his Multi-Rebound Radial Insert tech. The Ping and the BG both have faces that, while not apparently (to me) changing spin, they do smooth out off center energy imparted to the ball creating more consistent distance. Does that make you a better putter? If your first putt to a hole gets one foot closer to the hole when you hit it off center, would that make you a better putter? For those of us out here in Hackerland that don’t always hit the ball in the sweet spot of the putter, it might. My experience is that this is good tech.

    Additionally, what about STX and Fisher putters with really soft inserts?

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