Golfshake Members Report on Odyssey Putter Fitting Experience
Last year, three keen Golfshake Members had the enviable opportunity to visit the St Andrews Links Golf Academy and experience a putter custom fitting with the renowned team at Odyssey Golf. This was an illuminating venture for each golfer, as the guys received detailed information and analysis on the mechanics of the putting stroke, learned a great deal about their own technique, with the process ultimately identifying the correct putter that was tailored for them.
For many golfers - even those who have been custom-fitted for drivers, irons and wedges - the suggestion of a similar endeavour for a putter remains a little beguiling, but that perception is changing. "I'd previously experienced a very detailed fitting for the rest of the clubs in my bag but despite being very impressed with that I'd never attached much importance to putter fitting," said Pete Wells. "I've previously thought that getting a good putter was mostly down to just personal preference of look and feel."
When it came to knowledge of what to expect, fellow Golfshake Member Peter Hewitt had a greater understanding than most, having previously sampled a putter fitting with Odyssey. "I’ve had a putter fitting using the SAM Putt Lab before so knew what to expect - a thorough analysis of my putting stroke and the knowledge that the fitting is providing you with the best detail possible about your putting stroke," he reflected. "I would say a putter fitting is as important as an iron fitting and more important than a driver fitting as it’s the most used club in the bag."
The technology of featured within the SAM Putt Lab was a revelation to Colin Crooke, who hadn't previously considered being fitting for a putter. "Wow! It was so advanced but easy to understand. I didn't realise that there were so many things that they could measure about my stroke."
It was a sentiment expressed across the trio. Peter added, "I think the fact that the SAM Putt Lab was created over ten years ago and is still being used shows it’s genuinely the best technology out there for helping golfers improve their putting. It gives you everything you need to feel confident that the gear you have is correct for your swing path. This along with seeing where you strike the ball on the face shows you can where you are going right or wrong!"
For Pete, there was equally much to take away. "I was very impressed that our fitters were able to take that amazing level of data and then translate that into something easy and relevant to understand. The tips for improvement were simple to grasp and apply. I also liked that they weren't looking for perfection - I returned the club slightly off centre and was hitting the ball just a little bit towards the toe of the putter face. The graphic displaying this shocked me, but I was reassured this margin for error was fine and that I was hitting the putts well so I could totally ignore it."
However, when it comes to assessing the true value of a putter fitting, the answer is found on whether it has contributed to an improvement within scores of statistics on the greens, two areas that the guys regularly note on the Golfshake Score Tracker. Gratefully, seven months later, Colin, Peter and Pete have reported positive results with their putters.
Colin's handicap has dropped by more than a shot since, but Pete went further detail on how he follows his own stats. "I really like the Golfshake Dashboard Stats, and especially those attributing a handicap figure to the different aspects of the game. Off an overall handicap of eight my putting handicap is three!"
Peter's earlier experience of fitting has only been validated by the lessons taken from this time, reaffirming that the putter he originally received was correct for him, leading to an assurance and confidence on the greens. He uses the Odyssey O-Works. It's something that he would recommend to any golfer seeking that key area of improvement.
"Most golfers struggle to lower their handicap because of poor putting so having the confidence of the right putter, and understanding the mechanisms of your swing will really make a difference when stood over the ball."
It further enhanced belief within the Odyssey brand, specifically its strengths as a manufacturer and innovator. "I think the Odyssey putter range is superb. They tend to pioneer for others to follow - the two ball putter being a great example. Their range of putter styles mean they have putters to suit anybody and customisation options mean you can have your own unique putter. The big thing for me is just how soft the face is. I’m yet to find a manufacturer with a softer face."
Pete echoed those comments on the fitting. "I may have previously chosen putters for feel and look, but now I have the right putter. From going through so many makes and models I now have one that is staying in the bag. Its weight, lie angle, MOI and shape all help my stroke and that is a terrific confidence boost. Frankly, I used to find putting a bit of a chore. I'm enjoying it again now!"
During their time with Odyssey, the guys received a putting masterclass from St Andrews Links Head Professional Steve North, who oversaw the fitting, and the lessons from that day have been adopted into their game during subsequent months.
"The tuition was superb. These guys know their stuff and were able to apply it differently to each player where necessary to nudge us in the right directions."
Putter Fitting may not have been something you had considered, but it was clear from the feedback of Colin, Peter and Pete, that it's a worthwhile and educational process that could make a valuable difference to your game. Now it's just a case of applying that into making more putts on the golf course!
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