Putters, putters, putters. Your putter is easily the most important club in your bag. The putter lends itself to individuality with so many different shapes and sizes to suit the eye. Been to the putter section of your local golf superstore lately? The options are staggering. Blade type putters, mallets, even putter heads that resemble spacecraft with some funky shapes all aimed to help you get the ball down. It’s easy to lose an hour in the putter section just trying them all out. My stance on putters has shifted slightly from my steadfast belief that you find one and stick with it through thick and thin. Not as adamant as I once was quite simply through accidental education. I thought I knew what I knew about putters, but you can always learn more. Enter GoinGolf and their marvelous collection of custom putters.
Before I delve into this objective review, I must qualify the fact that I’ve gotten to know the owner of GoinGolf products fairly well. He helped me out by chance on a local putting green as I was working away and offered a tip that immediately improved my putting. We became fast friends as we both have a tremendous love for the game of golf. He also crafted me a stellar set of custom leather headcovers that rounded out my bag nicely. With all that out in the open…on to the review.
GoinGolf has a healthy stable of putter types from which to choose. These aren’t your mass produced widgets lining the putter barn racks. Each putter is crafted to spec on an individual basis. They offer two distinctly different series the M and B. The M series consists of classic designs like the Anser style so popular on the world tours. They are constructed of 100% machined 1018 Carbon Steel dressed in a silky triple black oxide finish. I was able to test the M3 and the formidable M9 extensively. I’ve been a Scotty Cameron fan since I bought my first putter in 1995. Granted, I’ve only owned 2 of his putters, but then I’ve only owned 3 putters since 1995. Yes, I don’t change easily. While I am still a devote fan, I have embraced the dark side to some extent. The feedback or “feel” I get with the M series is blissful and dare I say somewhat infectious. When I line up a putt, the club is an extension of my arms, but the putter head is an extension of my fingers. It’s weird and a little bit hard to explain. When you get used to that different feel it translates handsomely on the greens. If you get the putt on line, it will hold that line, the roll is that tight.
GoinGolf putters are distinctly different and that distinction is discernible within the first couple of putts. First, the face on these putters is taller actually a little taller than the ball itself. Have you ever mishit a putt because you hit it a little high or a little low on the putter face? That would be a feat with these jewels. The other wow factor is the machined loft of these putters. Well, actually the loft is a bit of a misnomer as these putters have zero loft. Wait….come on now, putters need loft, that’s what I’ve been hearing. Count me in as a proponent of that camp, supposed to play with 3 to 4 degrees. Heck, Bobby Jone’s putter had almost 8 degrees of loft. GoinGolf politely eschews that methodology when it comes to their putters. With better maintained greens that are faster than ever, less is more when it comes to getting a good roll on the ball. The key is getting that ball to roll as quickly as possible. If you are playing greens that are running 5 or 6 on the Stimpmeter, my condolences. You need to putt with a hybrid and these putters are not for you. I found little issue putting on slower greens, but I found putting on faster greens was a delight.
As far as the two models I putted with extensively, the M3 was my favorite. It’s demur at address aiding my ability to adequately view the line. The M9 while it felt awesome, I just didn’t make as many putts with it. My guess is, the style of putter didn’t suit my eye. I also had the pleasure of experimenting with the B series. The B series might be the most unique putter I’ve ever demoed. The putters are a machined clamshell head made of cell cast black acrylic. Stay with me….I know, say what? To get these putters up to playing weight they encapsulate 4 weights that can be customized to your specific preferences. Now that you know what’s behind the curtain, let me go ahead and tell you….you’ve never putted with a better feeling putter. The only thing that would stop you from putting a good roll on the ball is a straight Judo style drop kick. I putted well with these offerings as well, yet I still gravitated to the classic style and carbon feel I’ve grown accustomed to over the years.
If you are in the market for a new friend on the putting greens, take a look at GoinGolf. Getting custom fit is a cinch even if you aren’t in the Atlanta area. These putters roll it well and roll it true. Not that my Scotty is a slouch in that department, but as of late there is nothing better for me than the M3. Recently took it out and only needed 13 putts over 9 holes…granted, I only hit 5 greens in regulation, but still 13 is pretty efficient when you card a 36. I’ve also had 2 full rounds with sub 30 putt performances…if only I could keep the ball in the fairway we’d be cooking.
Cheers and happy putting.
|Those of you who follow the blog a bit, already probably figured out that I might be a junkie when it comes to golf. My wife has even given up moving my arbitrarily stashed clubs that are placed in various rooms around the house. She might have noticed I often use them as a crutch when carrying on a conversation. More often it’s to take a couple of shadow swings or chip a ball across the catwalk. Given all of that, it should come as no great surprise that I read a lot of golf related material as a supplement to my actual playing of golf. Could be a historical piece about a particular player or maybe some new information about a game changing technology. Probably read everything Dr. Bob Rotella has written….though I still struggle with the space between my ears. Every once and awhile I’ll come across a golf novel that buoys the soul. The Green by Troon McAllister was a recommendation from a playing partner in a tournament a few weeks back. I made a big putt for a birdie in this team event and he called me “a regular Eddie Caminetti”….to which I replied….”um, who is that”? For those of you who would play this off out of hand, you miss out by faking knowledge that you don’t possess. Secondly, had to be sure it wasn’t some kind of backhanded compliment delivered surreptitiously. Sure I got ribbed, something to the effect “don’t you guys read”, but I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t enjoyed this marvelous book.
Eddie Caminetti is possibly the greatest fictional golfer of all time. The Green by Troon McAllister is a fantastic novel that I had a hard time putting down. The protagonist , Eddie, is a walking dichotomy that at times can drive the reader a bit bonkers. He’s a brash, bold, unorthodox, an enigmatic fault riddled hero of the morally just. Nevertheless, he’s the guy every golfer wishes he or she could be. Confidence backed by performance able to squash the subconscious pitfalls that fail us all. Caminetti is a hustler who never makes a wager he can’t cover. A player with an edge, ready to up the ante when the opportunity arises. He’s an old school character whose game is an examination of the ruthlessly mundane. I came away enjoying the character Eddie Caminetti for all his quirks. We all may not know a true Caminetti, but if you play golf long enough, you will run into someone whose cut from the same cloth. A guy 250 straight down the fairway who can cuss on Sunday and still seem reverent in mixed company.
The Green is a book driven by rich character development quickly immersing the reader into the art of the game at the highest levels of golf. A cast of characters drawing inspiration from some of the real life heroes on the PGA Tour. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who’s who if you have even casually followed the tour the past 20 years. Troon McAllister weaves a well paced narrative that is inventive and loads of entertainment. I will warn you though, if you have an addiction to golf this isn’t going to help you with your issues. If anything, it will stir the caldron and you’ll be itching to play when the opportunity arises. I get nervous putting for the $2 carryover, couldn’t imagine playing for 20 large.
If you get the chance, pick up a copy of this great little book. I’ve yet to find someone disappointed after reading it. Many, many Amazon reviews are very supportive of the work. Click the link below to check it out.
Happy hitting my friends. If you don’t hit them straight, keep trying, the wind is bound to blow your way at some point. Please comment below if you have something to add to conversation. Love to hear from fellow golfers.
|The quest for 66 is stalling faster than the Rubio run for the presidency. Where to begin…or maybe the question is how to end the pain. All in jest, commitment is there, but the results are falling incredibly short. Have yet to break out of the slumber this last month or so, though did manage to win a tournament, so it all hasn’t been a total loss. Nothing in the low 70’s as far as my scoring and somehow managing to shoot some spectacular rounds in the mid 80’s. Sometimes with change, comes pain and you have to be willing to endure a little pain in order to grow. Working on a plan to shake the malaise and generally positive that we will be turning the corner in short order. Let’s examine some of the highs and lows and exactly what I have incorporated in my process.
Win, Lose, how about a Baby Draw?
I took some expert advice concerning my real swing versus my imagined swing. For years, my ball flight of choice, “power fade”, has been as consistent as the United States deficit. Under closer examination it was far less a thing of beauty and more a measured implement of masochism. My swing was badly flawed, robbing me of distance on tee shots as well as my long approaches. Incapable of easily working the ball from right to left, playing the game with one leg essentially. Upping the ante, my decision was to change for the better and deal with some possible ugliness in the process. Oh, if only the United States Congress could follow my lead.
Altering my swing path wasn’t as difficult a change as anticipated. Bringing the club into the ball more from the inside feels natural and the results are addictive. Pounding the golf ball with little real effort is nice and I don’t care if I have a problem. I’ll go down with the ship, mark my words, you can keep your 12 steps to sanity. If you ever played baseball, you know the feeling. Like dropping the bat head into the zone and letting nature take it’s course. Blissfully unaware of anything but the ball leaving the club head. In practice, my ball flight has significantly improved and for a growing number of shots on the course the same is true.
Not Quite Palmolive – Soft Hands
The more difficult adjustment has been softening of the hands on the grip. While it seems simple enough, I’ve found it problematic at times. Grooving my swing on the range the feeling is perfect as I have an established rhythm. Also known as the Ranger Rick syndrome, perfect practice sessions don’t always yield great results when the strokes count. Probably hit 400 balls on the range, going through the bag several times. Did the 9s drill working on my shot shapes, everything felt so solid. The tee ball with driver had some gumption, able to work it both ways pretty well. Easily one of the better range sessions I’ve had in years, every shot had a purpose.
Well we had another tournament this past weekend and I had a new partner for this member/member event. Warmup on the range was stellar, same feelings, the ball was coming off so clean even though the ground was soft from an overnight rain. If only, I would have stayed there this story would have a happy ending. I can’t say I hit the ball all together poorly, that simply wouldn’t be the truth. Hit a ton of great shots which is where I draw my inspiration for staying the course. What was terrifying were the horrific misses. Not your average push or hook, these shots had more character. The only way I could wipe a ball more right of the fairway would be to tee off sideways. I’m talking 50 yards right of my target. That ain’t good. The hooks were a little less hair raising. More of the Cheese Whiz variety kind of squirting left. Alas, the dreaded two way miss. The only good news…it mostly happened with the driver. I did have a couple of pulls with my pitching wedge, but that was more of a flip action from being too free with my grip. Easy fix, it’s a feel thing. With the driver, it was almost as if I couldn’t feel where the head of the club was on the way down and I would subconsciously panic and throw my hands. Dummy.
So here’s were it got beyond weird. If you hit it all over the yard, it’s still possible to score if you are a good putter. I consider myself to be a pretty decent putter most days except for this particular day. My hands on the green felt like giant toasters, not the silky petals of a 50’s Palmolive house wife. Probably had 5 birdie opportunities inside 10 feet. One of which was inside 4 feet. Even when I attempted to touch the ball, it would shoot off the putter face like I hit it with a 20oz framing hammer. Who 3 putts from 8 feet? How about 6 feet? Still not entirely sure why this was happening, but I finally got a handle on it on the back 9. The problem there, this was a 27 hole event….had already destroyed any chance of contending with the first 18 holes we played. Soft hands is the answer to many of golf’s great mysteries.
The plan is to work out the kinks to this new era of my swing. It’s weird, even with all the setbacks, still feeling keen on my goal for the year. I saw a quote today that gave me some inspiration. “Don’t limit your Challenges – challenge your limits”– well said, wish I could find the source of such a poignant philosophy. Incorporating the hands is so important. Great players always seem to have soft, yet strong hands. That magical grip pressure that allows for maximum power in tandem with absolute control. Will take some work, but the fruit will be worth the effort.
Thanks for reading and I wish you good luck on your next round. If you have any comments or advice, please share below.