I've been mostly playing with starter clubs for the past few days in preparation for Tough-It-Out III. One of the most frustrating things about it is the damn starter putter. I don't like the 30-foot minimum scale, and I also was beginning to think it was costing me a lot of putts just due to general crappiness. How awful is it?
Thanks to the new mulligan feature, we are now able to repeat the exact same putt as many times as we can tolerate. I tested three putters in my inventory - the starter, my usual L77 Nike, and the L55 Daytona.
For each putter, I found a mostly straight, slightly uphill putt using Tournament greens on Bethpage #10 of around 20 feet. This allowed me to use 18 feet of power for all three - 60% of the 30 foot scale for the starter and Daytona and 90% of the 20 foot Nike scale. I placed the tip of the aimer at the intersection of grid lines 2 feet to the right of the hole in reverse view.
I mulliganed and mulliganed until I had 20 dings from the exact same spot. I took a screen capture of each dinged result. I then pasted each screencap into my trusty Paint Shop Pro as a new layer. The screencaps lined up exactly (none was off by even a pixel). I then used the eraser tool to uncover the ball locations from previous putts on the background layer, and merged the layers. The result is one image of all 20 putts. If a result was within half a ball width of a previous putt, I marked the location with a red X.
There is probably some error in the meter strength input. I tried my best, but was probably off by a tiny amount every now and then. I think +/- 3 or 4 inches of distance is about right. Now for the results!
The starter really is really bad. Given perfect reads, you'll make less than half of your 20-footers with it. The Daytona and Nike are both a little worse than I thought they'd be. It looks as though around 25% of the time, a perfect read will still result in a miss from this distance. The Nike looks a little better than the Daytona, but I don't think the sample size is large enough to state that as a fact.