Properly Fitting Your Putter
“The toe of my putter is up at address. Should I have it bent flat?”
One of the most common mistakes made during the clubfitting process is adjusting the lie angle first. Oftentimes, this occurs because an incorrect lie angle is blatantly obvious to the player. Our fitting methodology is to begin by placing the player in a fundamentally correct set-up. As a result, some players might have the misconception that the lie angle is not important to me. To clarify, it is important; I simply don’t put it first in our fitting process. When in the incorrect set-up, it is most common for a player to notice the toe of the putter up in the air. When the toe of the putter is off the ground at address, it is likely for a right-handed player to line up to the left of the intended start line. Although it is rare for the heel to be up, if this does occur, it is likely the player will line up to the right. In the spirit of fitting for correction rather than compensation, it is important to understand the three influencing factors that affect the lie angle of the putter:
1. The first factor is length. When a golfer is in a correct set-up (eyes over the ball, arms hang from the shoulders, hips over the heels) but the putter is too long, the putter’s toe will be up in the air. If the putter is too short, the heel will be in the air.
2. The second factor is hand position. When a player is in the correct set-up position, the hands will be directly below the shoulders. If the player’s hands are too low, the toe of the putter will be excessively in the air. If the player’s hands are too high, the heel will sit up in the air.
3. The third factor is evident when a player crowds the ball with his/her feet and then pushes the hips back to create room for the arms and putter to swing. This forces the player to lower his/her hands, which lifts the toe of the putter into an incorrect lie angle. In my opinion, only a competent clubfitter with an understanding of the proper fundamentals of the golf swing can determine the correct club length, playing posture and hand position. After a player is in the proper set-up position with a putter that is the correct length, if the lie angle is still incorrect, then an adjustment should be made. This is why the lie angle should be assessed at the end of the fitting and not the beginning. Performing an average
of three hundred putter fittings per year, I have only had to alter a small percentage of lie angles after spending some quality time getting the player in the correct set-up position. Remember, 42% of your score happens on the green. Get fit properly through instruction and lower your score!
• While it is important to increase the intensity of your workouts, you should do this in a steady, incremental manner, focusing on the large muscle groups, such as legs, arms and most importantly, the lower back.