Why You Might Need Two Put­ters


“Our putting soft­ware sug­gests a put­ter’s per­for­mance can change with the speed and qual­ity of the greens,” says Track­man’s Michael Malone, who was on hand for the test. “It might be you’d be bet­ter with a put­ter for fast greens, and one for slow ones.”

Ev­ery put­ter needs some loft to help the ball out of the small de­pres­sion it sits in. Track­man ev­i­dence is al­ready paint­ing a clear pic­ture that low loft achieves a higher roll per­cent­age on fast greens, while more loft gets the ball rolling sooner on slower sur­faces.

Com­par­ing loft is tricky as put­ter mak­ers mea­sure it dif­fer­ently – some back from the shaft, oth­ers from the sole. But we mea­sured each put­ter from the sole to the cen­tre of its face. It showed the Spi­der Tour at 6°, the O-works at 4° and the ER6 at 2.5°. That the Spi­der’s roll stats were a lit­tle be­hind the oth­ers on Killeen’s slick greens val­i­dates the less loft for fast greens the­ory. grooved put­ter faces 20 years ago. Grooves, he rea­soned, re­duce con­tact with the ball, lim­it­ing fric­tion and the cre­ation of back­spin. Evn­roll’s grooved face con­tin­ues the tra­di­tion, and adds roll con­sis­tency across the face into the equa­tion through vari­able thick­ness grooves and pre­ci­sion milling.

Tay­lor­made have pro­duced anti-skid faces since 2005’s AGSI al­loy in­sert. This mor­phed into Pure Roll in 2011, avail­able for the first time in surlyn in the Spi­der Tour’s an­ces­tor, the Ghost Spi­der. This lat­est in­sert em­ploys the 45º an­gle to the grooves first seen in last year’s TP col­lec­tion. Tay­lor­made say it adds 25-50rpm in top­spin.

Track­ing the full length of the putt, Track­man’s putting tech­nol­ogy can de­ter­mine at what point the ball stops skid­ding and starts rolling, al­low­ing a roll per­cent­age stat. The higher the fig­ure, the sooner the ball is achiev­ing true roll. Our testers hit putts at 10ft and 20ft.

Our key find­ing here was that all three put­ters per­formed very well. The low­est roll per­cent­age on any sin­gle putt was a rea­son­able 82 per cent, with the high­est at 88 per cent. As test­ing pro­gressed, how­ever, Odyssey’s O-works and Evn­roll’s ER6 be­gan to el­e­vate them­selves slightly above the Spi­der Tour. ER6 reg­is­tered the high­est in­di­vid­ual roll per­cent­age – 88 per cent at 20ft for one tester; while O-works was ei­ther best or equal best roller for all three testers from 10ft.

An­other use­ful find­ing was roll qual­ity from off-cen­tre strikes. This showed a vic­tory for Evn­roll, the ER6 de­liv­er­ing an 87 per cent roll per­cent­age com­pared to 85 per cent for the other two. None of th­ese put­ters are go­ing to let you down for roll. But our find­ings sug­gested that while O-works shaded it on shorter putts, Evn­roll was very marginally su­pe­rior across the board.

Mishit per­for­mance

All three put­ters are de­signed to de­liver con­sis­tent per­for­mance across the face – in short, for­give­ness.

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