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Changing Putters for Green Speeds?

Frank,

I know you are the designer of the Frankly Frog Putter and a putting coach and I need some information about putters and green speed.

 A  friend told me that on slow greens you should use a heavy putter and on fast greens use a lighter putter. What is your opinion?

--Ron

Ron,
Yes, I have helped numerous golfers with their putting strokes and this in combination with the Frog Putter has resulted in many very happy customers who are now enjoying their time on the green, are confident and have been able to lower their handicap as a result.

There has been some speculation that one needs a heavier putter than normal for slower greens. In addition, some golfers have suggested that you make contact on the toe of the putter face or use a light putter for fast greens or down hill putts.

I disagree with both of these notions for the following reasons:
First, it is important to groove your putting stroke to be as consistent as you possible can. Consistency is of utmost importance in putting.

To be consistent you must not add an additional variable by changing the instrument for different course conditions. For a slow green, the ball must be launched a little faster than for a fast green for the same length putt. This difference should be established on the practice putting green which should be similar in speed to the greens on the course. It does not make sense to get out a Stimpmeter -- ( see The birth of the Stimpmeter at  http://www.franklygolf.com/stimpmeter.aspx ) -- on the practice green and then make a decision as to which of several putters you are going to select for that particular range of green speeds.

Second, making contact with ball on the toe of the putter-face, for fast greens, again introduces another variable leading to inconsistencies – how far toward the toe will you strike it and for what green speed or down slope?

The difference between a slow and a fast green, independent of the putter you intend to use, is that the faster green will have more break than the slower green for the same side-hill slope, and you must launch the ball faster for the slower green than a faster green for a specific length putt.

The speed of the putter head for a specific length putt is a judgment call based on your experience and pre-shot plan and routine. This will be different for every putt, so why try to complicate this further by introducing another variable by using a different putter for every green speed or missing the sweet spot intentionally for down hill putts or faster greens?

Ron, I hope this has helped.

If you really want to improve your putting I would strongly suggest that  you try a Frankly Frog putter and/or come and visit my Studio next time you are in Orlando. If you want some advice as to which Frog would suit you best please call us directly at (407) 396-4004  and a Frog Specialist will be pleased to guide you through the process.

Frank