You carry a driver and a fairway wood or two, maybe a few hybrid irons, six or so irons, a few wedges—and one putter.
Why only one putter? Well, up to the green, we need all those clubs because all the shots we need to play are different. But once we get the ball on the putting green, all the strokes are the same, aren’t they?
They are certainly not!
There are two kinds of putts. There are the long ones that you only want to get close to the hole, and there are the short ones you think you can sink.
You not only plan each kind of putt differently, if you examine your putting carefully, you will find that you hit them differently, too. That is why you need two putters.
They need to be putters with a difference. Any old two won’t do. The difference has to do with balance.
If you balance your putter shaft on your hand, you will probably see that the shaft rotates so the toe of the putter points to the ground. If so, you’re holding a toe-balanced putter (bottom in photo).
But there is another kind of putter, which if you apply the same test, ends up with the toe of the putter pointing straight to the side and the face facing the sky. This is a face-balanced putter (top in photo).
You might have read about whether your putting stroke should take the putter back on a straight line or on an arc. There are proponents of both schools.
The fact is, a toe-balanced putter naturally swings on an arc, and a face-balanced putter naturally swings straight. So you don’t have do to do anything. Just pick the right putter and use your normal putting stroke to get one result or the other.
Now, here’s the point. Approach putts hit from a distance need power supplied by an arcing stroke which allows us to move freely as our bodies are built to. That calls for a toe-balanced putter.
Short putts, where direction is paramount, are better struck with a shorter stroke that stays on line from start to finish, which gives greater assurance to the putter face being square to the starting line when the ball is hit. Enter the face-balanced putter.
So if I told you all you have do to save three shots per round is to take out one club (probably one of your longer clubs) and put in a second putter, would you do it? I did, and that’s why I’m writing this post.