Thanks, Frank, for your writing and for everything you do to support our game. I read the most recent putting tip and I’m curious what factors influence the advantages of a putter with higher loft over a putter with lower loft, and vice versa. Thank you very much.
The loft of the putter must be such that, after impact, the ball will leave the surface of the green for a very short time in order to get it out of the depression – its own or otherwise — in which it will inevitability settle. The loft angle on a putter which is most commonly used to accomplish this is 4-degrees.
One needs to understand that a zero degree lofted putter will result in no back spin – if at impact the putter is traveling horizontally – however, the ball will most likely popup out of, and be deflected differently – depending on the depth of the depression — by bouncing off the edge of the depression. It will therefore skip and slide less consistently than when putting with a 4-degree lofted putter.
The difference in distance to reach pure rolling between a zero and a 4-degree lofted putter will not be significantly different, both being about 15% of the distance of the putt –i.e. about 18-inches for a 10 foot putt.
I hope this answers your question.