I am a full time club fitter based in Paris France and European master fitter for EdelGolf.
When TrackMan asked me if i would like to do a presentation at the PGA show this year on putter fitting i started doing a large number of tests and combinations using Edel torque balance putters to see their influences on the data. The advantage of the Edel torque balance system is that i have unlimited fitting options.
These were some of the results:
The affect of different components on launch direction.
As we know 1° of face angle to the left or right will miss the hole at 3m50
There are many parts of the putter that could affect launch direction the main ones being:
- Head shapes
- Lie angles
- Shaft length
- Lines or dots
- Hosel offsets
- Grip size
The first thing i do during my putter fittings after measuring the players own putter for loft, lie and length would be to check for aim.
Aim influences the stroke and the speed. To quote David Edel on aim bias:
A tendency or inclination to align the putter face in a direction other than which it is intended.
-aim bias creates path bias
-aim bias creates face rotation problem
-aim bias affects speed patterns to get to different lines
-aim bias affects green reading
-aim bias destroys the processes of visualization
-aim bias creates confusion
My first objective would be to find a combination with which the player could aim consistently.
However these tests where done with launch direction in mind. These were the results of my testing.
For this first test all the putters had the same length, lie and hosel shape.
Head shape: Head shape has an enormous affect on aim but i wanted to see its affect on launch direction.
As you can see in the photo the mallet putter was the one i aimed the most to the right and the more i moved to a blade the straighter it became.
However launch direction was on average to the left. Which i would explain by me adapting to the putter.
The putter that i aimed straight was the one that went the most left. In the Edel fitting process the first thing to correct would be aim.
Lie angle: Lie angles had quite an affect on launch direction, but their affect was more logical. The more vertical the lie angles became the further the launch direction was left.
I was using a putter with the same length and head shape with 68° 70° and 72° lie angles.
Hosel Offsets: Using 3 different offsets ( forward, no offset and backset ) i was able see a great difference in launch direction. The more the head was behind the shaft ( forward offset) the more rotation it created resulting in a launch direction to the left.
The backset hosel ( head in front of the shaft) reduces considerably the face rotation resulting in a launch direction to the right. No offset was the best one for me.
Lines or dots: Lines or dots on a putter affect aim and launch direction. No lines tend to affect aim to the right, multiple lines tend to affect aim to the left.
Lines on the top line influence less than lines on the bottom cavity. In my testing ( and this is on me ) as soon as i had backlines, whatever the offset of the putter my launch direction went left.
Basically what happens is my attention was drawn to the back of the putter increasing loft and orientating the face to the left.
In my fitting process my first proccupation would be finding a combination that aimed correctly followed by launch direction followed by speed control. Consistancy is always key.
So as you can see there are many parameters that can change launch direction.
As always everybody is different and will see and feel things differently, but knowing that there are tendencies with different options has greatly improved my understanding and my capacity to fit players correctly.
These next tests in Part 2 were done with speed control in mind – Jump to Putter Fitting with TrackMan – Part 2