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Putter Technology: Real or Ridiculous?

Some folks say that too much is made of putter technology. After all, the force of a putt is so slight compared to other golf shots. How much difference could technology and materials make on a shot that travels 14 feet? You’re just wasting time and money if you buy into this notion of putter technology.

Well, the skeptics may want to look at the latest issue of Golf Magazine, in which test results show significant variations in ball travel with different putters.

The independent test was conducted by Hot Stix Golf. Each putter was anchored to a mechanical putting device using the same ball and the same consistent backswing on the same surface. Six putters were tested.

The results were quite telling. On on-center hits, the TaylorMade Spider sent the ball traveling 17.5 feet. Yet when the Cleveland VP #5 putter was struck on center, the ball traveled only 13 feet—an astonishing 4.5 feet shorter than the Spider.

The Nike IC 2020 registered at 16.9 feet, while the PING Karsten Craz-E clocked in at 14.4 feet.

There is no right or wrong distance. If you prefer a shorter stroke to carry a longer distance, you might go with the Spider or the Nike IC 2020. If you prefer a longer stroke to carry that same distance, you might try the Cleveland VP or PING Karsten Craz-E.

Regardless, this test is yet another confirmation of how different putter materials and technologies, such as face inserts, can have a huge impact on how, and how far, the ball travels.

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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