IS A TOE HANG MAL­LET FOR YOU?

This could solve your putting woes. By Mike Stachura

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

Mal­lets, known for be­ing sta­ble and for­giv­ing, have long been the put­ter of choice for golfers in need of help, while sleek blade putters have de ned the best play­ers. Then Ja­son Day won the 2015 PGA Cham­pi­onship and rose to No. 1 us­ing a Tay­lor-Made Spi­der Tour pro­to­type. Sud­denly, mal­lets were cool. Play­ers us­ing mal­lets have won four of the past nine men’s ma­jors. Be­sides for­give­ness, many now have blade-like heel weight­ing (known as toe-hang, far right). The buzz got us won­der­ing: Is the toe-hang mal­let the put­ter we’ve all been wait­ing for? Turn the page for an anal­y­sis.

More than half of the top-50 play­ers in the world use mal­lets, many of which fea­ture heel-shafted, toe-hang weight­ing. Toe-hang mal­lets en­cour­age an arc­ing stroke, the kind of mo­tion that usu­ally matches only with blade putters.

“One of my the­o­ries is that putters have been get­ting heav­ier and heav­ier, and peo­ple have lost the feel,” said Austie Rollinson, chief de­signer at Odyssey, the top-sell­ing put­ter brand in the world. More than 70 per­cent of Odyssey’s sales are mal­lets.“A heel shaft gets you to feel where that face is a lit­tle more.”

What makes the cur­rent at­mos­phere di er­ent is that more of these mal­lets that swing like blades also o er the o cen­tre-hit for­give­ness usu­ally re­served for over­size, face-bal­anced shapes de­signed for a pen­du­lum stroke (far right).

Of course, with mal­lets and blades seem­ingly in­ter­change­able these days – par­tic­u­larly some of the new wide-sole blade mod­els – what’s the av­er­age golfer to do? Well, don’t just buy the rst put­ter in the golf shop af­ter you make a few 10-foot­ers, or worse, the one you just saw on TV.

“It’s a fact that cer­tain put­ter shapes and toe-hang mod­els marry with cer­tain strokes to roll the ball the best,” says mas­ter tter Nick Sher­burne. “Toe-hang mal­lets lled a gap that wasn’t avail­able for that kind of stroke type be­fore. But it’s not nec­es­sar­ily the best of both worlds.”

Get­ting t for a put­ter is no less im­por­tant than be­ing t for a driver, es­pe­cially with putting launch mon­i­tors more widely avail­able.And in terms of sav­ing strokes, a put­ter- tting might just be twice as valu­able. Toe-hang mal­lets can help “be­cause most golfers ro­tate along their path, and mal­lets are more for­giv­ing on mis-hits,” says club tter Ken Johns. “If you aren’t mak­ing any putts, you’re in the wrong put­ter.” —MIKE STACHURA

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