Slammed and Broken Your Putter?

If for some unknown reason – we all know the reason — you slam your putter into the ground (preferably not on the green) and change its playing characteristics or break it – SHAME ON YOU — the rules do not permit you to use it for the rest of the round.

In most cases the reason for the errant putt, causing the slam, has nothing to do with the behavior of naughty putter. Now, without a putter, what club should you use on the green for the rest of the round?

Knowing that it is almost impossible to get pure rolling spin on a putt one should understand why a putter is designed the way it is. Most putters have a loft of about four degrees or a little less, and this allows you – with a good, sound and slightly upward stroke – to launch the ball out of the depression (of variable depths) in which it will inevitably find itself.

At the same time, a good stroke will create a little back spin or top spin on the ball – but never pure rolling spin. This slight launching of the ball off the ground along with little or no spin, will cause the ball to skid for about 15% of the distance of the putt — i.e. 18-inches in a 10-foot putt.

Now that you know this, select the club with the least amount of loft thus minimizing the amount of back spin, which will not launch the ball too high off the green’s surface. I would recommend either the Driver or a Hybrid (with its shorter shaft) with the ball slightly back in the stance. This setup  will de-loft the impact, minimizing back spin and launch angle.

I suggest that — unless you have perfected it – you do not to try to use a wedge. The error associated with a slight missed impact point, up or down on the circumference of the ball with the leading edge of the wedge could be disastrous.

The best advice I can give, is obviously not to SLAM your putter into the ground or throw it. In most cases, it is not the putter’s fault that you made a bad putt.

For those of you who do have a badly behaved putter (there are a few rogue ones out there), consider trying a Frankly Frog putter which is trained to behave itself before it leaves the pond.

Putt well.

Frank

 

 

 

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