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