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Putter precision tests - Now with irons!

Wed, Feb 21 2018 7:23 AM by pdb1. 201 replies.
  • SweetiePie United States
    4,925 Posts
    Sat, Jan 24 2015 12:28 PM

    borntobesting:

    SweetiePie:

    mgbirish:

    I am far, far from the better putters, but the level 70 Versa has been kind to me.

     

    Yep, the L70 is the 2nd best putter here, the L96 being "Top Banana"..a simple fact

    Actually both the Level 92 Ghost Spider and the Level 94 Nike Method are better than the Level 70 Versa. 

    Perhaps on paper this looks true, however by using either and getting accustomed to their cockamamy increments will insure nothing but nightmares as one steps up to the king...the L96 :-}

  • bigbluedonkey United Kingdom
    59 Posts
    Sun, Mar 15 2015 12:59 PM

    My starter putter now resides at the bottom of the WGT pension pond to the right of the Kiawah par 3 17th... & there it shall stay!

    Cheers, BBD

  • xlviii United States
    502 Posts
    Mon, Apr 13 2015 7:15 PM

    There has been a lot of testing of high-end putters, but I decided to test some putters around my level. I'm currently using the L35 Ghost Spider and rented the L70 Versa on the free rental weekend. I layered the images but used white dots to represent the balls. You may see a red dot or black dot here and there which signifies more than one ball at that location.

    Both tests are with 20 dinged putts using 15 feet of power and using starter balls. I used 100% of each putter's 15-foot meter so there shouldn't be any error introduced that way. While doing the Ghost Spider, my computer crashed, and I had to start over. For some reason, I couldn't quite duplicate the view. I believe the putts are in almost exactly the same location, but the grids don't match up exactly.

    One other note is the wind is different for each test. The Versa had a wind of 8-10 mph coming out of the relative northeast. For the Ghost Spider test, there was a wind of 4-6 mph from the same direction. To the images.

    The level 70 Versa comes out in a very nice grouping. It looks to be about a foot short or long, but the left to right is pretty tight.

    The L35 Ghost Spider does okay, but we see a lot more spread from left to right. Other than 2 putts, the distribution looks almost like the Versa's only turned 90 degrees.

    While distance definitely matters, especially on putts that break sharply, it's obvious that you'll theoretically miss a lot more putts with the Ghost Spider than with the Versa. The Versa's distribution looks to be maybe up to 2 holes wide (or possibly slightly less) while the Ghost Spider's distribution appears to be more than 3 holes wide.

    Anecdotally, the Ghost Spider also seemed to miss much more than the Versa when the putt wasn't dinged. I don't know how to measure that, but it appeared that the aim and the distance were both affected considerably more than with the Versa.

    None of these results are a surprise given the stats listed for each, but I rented the Versa to see if it was worth it to spend my hard-earned credits on a new putter. Not having lots of free videos or surveys to watch or complete means I'm a little stingy on my equipment. From my test, however, it appears it would probably be a good investment for my game to buy the Versa.

  • xlviii United States
    502 Posts
    Mon, Apr 13 2015 7:15 PM

    Another item of possible interest. Being cheap and trying not to waste credits led me to complete the above test with starter balls. I probably wasted a lot more time than I saved in credits because of difficulty hitting the ding.

    During the early parts of the testing, I had a number of things running in the background. I didn't have meter stutter, but it still seemed to affect my ability to ding. I found that closing those programs helped me ding much more easily. It's possible that this was all in my head, but it seems that the game's response to my mouse click was better with less CPU usage even though the higher CPU usage didn't affect the smoothness of the putting meter like it occasionally does.

    I think the only use for the new slower meter in practice mode would be to test equipment. I also debated using the ball speed boost I got from the last CC clash. The test was mind-numbing. If nothing else, I have a much greater appreciation for the work of bhoese and others who have tested equipment. Thanks for all of your hard work and for demonstrating a good way to test putters.

  • Jimbog1964 Guernsey
    8,350 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 4:20 AM

    xlviii:
    During the early parts of the testing, I had a number of things running in the background. I didn't have meter stutter, but it still seemed to affect my ability to ding. I found that closing those programs helped me ding much more easily. It's possible that this was all in my head, but it seems that the game's response to my mouse click was better with less CPU usage even though the higher CPU usage didn't affect the smoothness of the putting meter like it occasionally does.

    First off thanks for the test.  Interesting generally and one to add to the CCs FAQs as well.  Very good thread in general too of course.  As for the bold it's something I have not thought about,  but also an interesting point in itself I thought.

    Does seem both putters do what they say on the tin.   Both little gems, but on only the most true 15' scale that's enough of an edge to consider the that Versa as you say.   

    Table top flat there, but certainly with deeper scales you would expect the longitudinal spread to increase even at that distance (difference in balance ratings).  When any breaks come in to play that must obviously translates to a wider latitude too.  Stating the obvious I know, but added in case a noob reads it who is confused about "balance".

    Thanks for the work.

     

  • SweetiePie United States
    4,925 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 7:45 AM

    Really fine, interesting work by xlv-eyes ;-}  It shows what one would expect.

    Jimbog1964:
    (difference in balance ratings).  

    I never focused much past accuracy and meter speed ratings but now consider balance and accuracy to be of paramount importance...can't have too much of either. ~ SP ~

  • phred952 United States
    2,702 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 8:42 AM

    Great job.  I used that Ghost Spider until I got my lvl 70 Versa.  I saw an immediate improvement at that time.  I rented the Nike Method lvl 77 on the free weekend, and it felt very similar to my Versa.  I liked the 10 foot scale, but felt that the ball moved much slower than the 15 foot for the Versa.  It took a little time to adjust to watching it...I thought I was leaving all my shots short.  End the end it comes down to what YOU feel comfortable with.

     

    Phred952

  • xlviii United States
    502 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 9:35 AM

    Thanks for the kind words. I went back to examine the results more carefully and attempt to draw conclusions more than the eye test. Yes, at longer distances the results will be even more pronounced, but I think that around 20 feet is probably the sweet spot for testing.

    I simply copied earlier tests, but after thinking about it, I like the distance used. First off, getting any longer is difficult because the camera angle has to stay the same. In my first tests, I was a foot closer and had to start over because the of this issue on a couple of putts.

    Also, 20 feet is about the maximum for a putt I would "expect" to make. That is, I don't expect to make all of my 20 footers, but it's about the longest distance I feel I can make with a solid read and putting stroke. Any longer than that and I have to guess a bit on line. At 60 feet, the Ghost Spider is probably still within a few feet of the hole for the second putt. That said, with the increased speed and break on champ greens, it could create results a bit more extreme. This is where the added forgiveness of the Versa would be beneficial as well.

    The speed of the ball and whether you miss high or low of center can affect the makeability of a putt which is slightly off-line, but I would say that the outside edge of the ball being no wider than the outside edge of the hole is a reasonable approximation for a putt that will fall.

    I counted pixels and the like to calculate distances and calculate the left-to-right spread. As I mentioned, distance can matter on putts that break considerably, but let's ignore that issue. At 23 feet (the approximate length of these putts), the Ghost Spider had a spread of about 12.4 inches while the Versa had a spread of about 6.9 inches...a big difference. This would mean that the spread of the Ghost Spider should be within the 4.25 inches of the hole at about 7.9 feet. Anything longer than that and a perfectly read and struck putt could occasionally miss. This distance increases to 14.1 with the Versa...nearly twice as much.

    These are the extremes and don't suggest that longer than this and a perfectly read and struck putt will miss. It simply says that every once in a while you could have a putt miss at these distances. These 20-putt tests don't show the entire range of possibilities, but I think it's good enough for government work.

    Sorry for the lengthy explanation. I'm left with two thoughts. First, I agree with Phred that feel is a big issue. When putting with the Versa, the ball just feels like it rolls more smoothly. I doubt it's actually happening, but it appeared that way to me multiple times.

    Secondly, Jim's comments gave me some ideas for other possible tests. For my calculations, I assumed that the putts spread out linearly...that is at half the distance you'd have half the spread and at twice the distance, you'd have twice the spread. What about using 50% of a 30-foot meter instead of 100% of a 15-foot meter? Would that create a greater (or possibly smaller) spread? Also, what about longer putts or putts with breaks? Would the spread actually be linear by distance? Would a 20-foot putt with break mean a much larger spread? Maybe I'll get to these questions...someday :)

  • Jimbog1964 Guernsey
    8,350 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 9:59 AM

    20' is probably about right for testing I agree.  My real point was just bringing out that "balance" will play a big part especially when the meter is set deep.  

    If, for a different test, both were set to 100' scale length and dinged at say 15% out I would expect the Versa to show an even more marked closer grouping than the L35 Ghost.  That's on the flat, and if any break is involved that, by definition, creates greater differences as one is able to be hit at a more consistent effective power with one (the Versa).  

    In the end depends on your style as putting is so personal.  What counts most of all though (sure you agree) is sticking with 1 putter for a long time, and really learning every nuance of every scale length.  Basically learn one putter inside out.

    Sorry if you covered that exact point off - v likely I missed it.

  • xlviii United States
    502 Posts
    Tue, Apr 14 2015 2:07 PM

    I didn't cover that point specifically. Feel and confidence are a huge factor in putting so sticking with one putter is certainly important. That was an interesting question you brought up about using a different meter at a smaller percentage. I'm not sure how balance works, but it would be interesting to see the two putters tested against each other as well as each putter against itself. I know there are some who like to use a longer meter and a smaller percentage...would be interesting to see if that makes putts less accurate.

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