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#### How can i chose the best putter?

Fri, Mar 31 2023 5:09 PM (23 replies)
•  Yiannis1970 3,036 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 4:47 AM

Hello to you all. As you know, the most crucial part of this game (not to mention the most important) is putting. So, it's quite obvious that the importance of a good putter is immense to level up our game.

But what constitutes a good putter in comparison to a less good one? WGT gives us 3 properties which i will try to define in order to give better understanding of what we are talking about here.

We have:

1. Precision

2. Balance

3. Forgiveness

These 3 terms, eventhough are different to each other, interact with each other to give us the final result.

Putter and pool cue sticks are quite alike when it comes to properties and physics, So, let's start with some definitions.

1. Precision

If you google it: precision is the quality, condition, or fact of being exact and accurate.

which in practical terms means....absolutely nothing!!! Let's give a meaning to this definition in golf or pool terms.

Which is the element that makes a putter precise?

Deflection.

In Physics, deflection means: a change in a moving object's velocity, hence its trajectory, as a consequence of contact (collision) with a surface or the influence of a non-contact force field.

From the above, everyone can understand that the perfect putter or cue stick are the ones with 0 deflection, but since is impossible to beat laws of physics, certain amount of deflection will always be there when we hit our ball. How we can make smaller that margin? Well...it depends of the length of our putter, the materials used to be made, the thickness of our stick, the balance...in one word the stiffness. The more stiff our putter is, the less deflection is gonna have and consequently the best precision.

Our goal is to reduce as possible the oscillation on the stroke which creates more deflection. So, the more stiff our putter is, the less oscillation it will have, so, less deflection and finally better accuracy.

WGT gives us some arbitrary numbers 5.1, 4.5, 4.9 which means absolutely nothing regarding accuracy because the accuracy of a putter involves all the above factors that i have mentioned.

2. Balance

What is the balance? As a general definition, we get this:

an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

How the above translates to our game (no1 question) and what kind of correlation has balance with accuracy (no2 question). Again WGT gives us some meaninglessness numbers. How the balance of a putter or a cue stick is found?

So....the next question is quite obvious. How the point of equilibrium is correlated to the stiffness and eventually accuracy of our putters?

The closer to the bottom we have our balance point, the less oscillation we gonna have hence the less deflection which translates to better accuracy. I guess WGT with its numbers tries to simulate somehow the balance point of every putter. The higher the number, the lower is gonna have its balance point....however it's only a guess from my part.

3. Forgiveness.

Another general term which by it's own does not mean absolutely...nada. Forgiveness in golf terms means how much deviation we gonna have if we miss the ding. Yes...ding is our reference point, the sweet spot in real life golf terms. In other words, combining No1 and No2 factors (precision and balance) how much will be able to hold our line, or better, how much deviation we gonna have on our stroke. If the forgiveness is big, then couple of degrees won't make any difference to the final outcome (always combined with the PROPER speed though). If our forgiveness is low, the minimum misding will be translated in losing accuracy, precision, trajectory, speed on our stroke.

And if we, despite all these, we still sink the putt, that means we were lucky because our aiming point was whatever!!! LOL

PS

The word is ''choose'', sorry about my misspelling. If a moderator could correct that, i would appreciate.

•  ct690911 7,029 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 5:41 AM

Good morning Yiannis;

Gr8 post and very informative. I want to piggy back briefly as I was/am an average putter, regardless of the putter I used. I learned (eventually) that no putter is a magic wand. It is therefore crucial that a player be able to effectively read the greens. I could never read the break and speed, so the best I could ever do (outside of luck) was to get the ball close on a putt.

Just a thought.

ct

•  Yiannis1970 3,036 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 5:47 AM

Thank you Colin and i agree with what you are saying about reading the greens. Aiming is (as we say here) the Alpha and the Omega of everything.

•  MarchieB 1,506 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 5:57 AM

I've always described Putter Precision, Forgiveness and Balance as

Precision is how close your putt will be to the intended line of your putt (Aim and Distance) The higher a putter's Precision, the closer it will be to the selected putt parameters.

Forgiveness is how much off dings will affect your putt's intended line (Aim and Distance) Higher forgiveness will lower the amount off dings affect your putt's selected parameters.

As for Putter BALANCE, this is from a very old post I screen shot.

The way I understand it is a putters balance is how well it preforms (Precision and Forgiveness) the longer the putts become.
- A low balance putter will accurate on the shorter distances but begin to lose it the longer the putts become.
- A high balance putter will be accurate at the short distances and still have good accuracy when you get to the longer putts.

•  Yiannis1970 3,036 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 6:31 AM

Actually, there's a little bit of confusion about the terms ''precision'' and ''accuracy''.

Somehow they sound to most of us as the same thing while in reality they are not.

Accuracy is a term that has no value (like precision has) on club's properies. It's not even mentioned. But if we read VEM's pattent, we get these:

In my opinion, there's a difference describing these 2 terms.

•  PureGro1 1,598 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 8:57 AM

Yiannis1970:

Actually, there's a little bit of confusion about the terms ''precision'' and ''accuracy''.

Somehow they sound to most of us as the same thing while in reality they are not.

Agree, and to add to the confusion..

Something I was told by a sports coach many years ago and seems to align with what's in that screenshot of text.

"Accuracy can be acheived by using the right equipment (IE: A straight arrow as opposed to bent, a strait as opposed to warped pool cue....including cheaper vs better equipment...etc)

Whereas precision is dictated by user input in regards to doing the same thing over and over (IE: Hitting "sweet spot") you can be precise with every shot but not be accurate due to equipment limitations and you can achieve max accuracy while never being precise."

•  Yiannis1970 3,036 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 9:07 AM

Exactly.

•  SimonTheBeetle 3,311 Posts Fri, Mar 31 2023 9:22 AM

Very interesting and informative.

And thanks for (re)finding the essence of the forums, Yiannis and gents.

I've been longing for this kind of content. Well done!