I’ve been trying to add up how many years I’ve been using my old trusty STX Sync Tour putters. I lost count. Love it or hate it (yes, i know where you stand Mr Guthrie!) the STX is one of the most recognisable and different looking putters in a market place full to the brim with weird spaceship look-alike flat sticks. It’s been referred to as a branding iron, a water tap, that ugly thing and much worse but I’ve always liked the simplicity of the lines and the crazy soft feel from the rubber, yes, you read that correctly, rubber face!
I reckon somewhere between 12-15 years I’ve looked down at that familiar shape and over the years I don’t think I’ve been a bad putter. In that period I have used at least 6 different versions of the same model. Each time replacing it once the rubber face had become too worn out. They’ve been different lengths, weights, colours and very different grips from time to time but always the same shape.
So, what’s prompted this change after such a long period?
I just started to feel like I wasn’t making as many putts as I used to. I didn’t just suddenly start putting badly overnight, more I wasn’t making the ones I felt I should have from time to time. I confess I’ve been pretty stubborn when prompted to change the putter reasoning that it worked fine in the past, it was just me. Then we had a SAM Putt Lab session at the Impact Elite Golf Academy at The Mines Resort a few weeks ago (I posted the results back in December.)
The results basically told me that I was struggling to align my putter face to where I wanted the ball to start, my putter face was approx 3 degrees open at address and impact. Now, this is not a good situation to be in as even if you read the putt perfectly, the inability to start the ball rolling on the intended line pretty much means you’re going to miss the putt, unless you misread it, or make a compensation in the stroke and pull it back onto the intended start line.
I had been aware of my putter face being ‘off’ whenever I’d used my putting arc or chalk line in practice. It’s a weird sensation looking down and the lines on the floor don’t add up to how the putter feels in your hands. I’d figured I could just realign myself with enough practice using these alignment aids but my recent patchy putting form has forced my hand instead.
So, after many years of sticking with the same old trusty weapon I decided to make the switch. Leonard @ TaylorMade Malaysia came up with just the club. I definitely wanted something easier to align, maybe with some kind of straight line to help get the putter face square to the intended line.
As soon as I picked this putter up it felt easier to align. Now, that’s not to say I’m guaranteed to suddenly hole everything I look at but it certainly makes sense to have something in my hands that is easy to aim at my intended target. I’ve been doing a fair bit of putting practice this week combined with a putting lesson which I’ll go into in more detail in another blog post. Im off to practice my putting again! 🙂