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The New Era in Putter Tech

Ironically enough, the things that make our lives more comfortable are becoming increasingly complex. For example, the iPod is infinitely more advanced than a turntable, yet it makes listening to music more convenient and enjoyable.

The same trend toward comforting complexity can been seen in automobiles, running shoes and countless other items—including golf putters.

Indeed, the past decade has seen an explosion in putter technologies, from grooved putter faces to specialized face inserts, heightened forgiveness to radical new alignment ideas such as Odyssey’s 2-Ball concept.

We are now entering a new interactive era in putter technology, in which the golfer is physically engaged in fine tuning his or her putter. In other words, the technology is becoming less permanent and more personal.

Consider the following recent examples:

-With MacGregor Golf’s new Face-Off series putters, you can choose from two interchangeable putter faces—one titanium, the other polymer—depending on playing conditions or personal preference.

-Puku Golf, a newcomer from New Zealand, offers putters that feature an adjustable length mechanism. The full adjustable range for their regular putters is 31 to 39 inches—and you can even easily change them into belly putters (up to 48.5 inches long) with an optional belly putter grip unit.

-Heavy Putters, Never Compromise Exchange Series putters and Rife’s 2-Bar putters are among several putters that enable you to adjust the weight of your putter with provided weight sets, giving you more personal control over swingweight and overall feel.

-Rife Putters come with adjustable lie angles. Once you have established your ideal lie angle, a notch in the putter crown visually intersects a lower sightline to communicate proper alignment when you address the ball. Cleveland Golf’s new Visual Performance putters feature similarly interactive alignment features, as does the Dark Ace putter by Profound Putters.

So which interactive putter technology is right for you? All have their benefits, but the full measure of these benefits depends on your own personal preference and putting game. The choice is certainly much easier when you have a glaring weakness that can be addressed by a specific technology.

While you’re at it, be careful to avoid the law of diminishing returns. You don’t want to become overly reliant on technology to save your game, nor do you want to become obsessed with tinkering at the expense of focusing on your mechanics—otherwise you run the risk of technology actually working against you.

It’s easy to forget that Tiger Woods just won his 13th major tournament with a straightforward Scotty Cameron blade. No grooves, no inserts, nothing easily adjustable—just pure craftsmanship (both in terms of the golfer and the putter).

But not all of us are blessed with such command of our putters, nor do we enjoy the unlimited customization afforded to tour pros. Thankfully, the next best thing is now increasingly available to the rest of us.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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  1. If you are thinking about coughing up good money for a high-end putter, give Puku a hard look. I have had a couple of 2-Balls(reg. & a mid-belly), I looked at Rife & Heavy, but the absolute versatility of Puku is great. It’s an adjustable length putter, it aproved by the USGA & R&A, it’s built to last, & is a damn good putter. You want a short putter, you got it, you want a belly putter like me, you got that too. If you gain or lose wieght, adjust it.

    Look, Puku’s adjustablity makes this a viable buy(hey, I have an adjustable bed too, I like adjustable things. Less buyers remorse)I like many golfers, get restless with putters. This makes it easy to do without having 5 or 6 sitting around unused at any 1 time. I have had a JME in my bag for about a month & I like it. Give it a look before you buy your next putter, you won’t regret it.

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