Putting specialist and PGA Professional Andy Gorman reveals the benefits of having the right putter for you.


What does a putter fitting look like?

I will always get a SAM PuttLab report done with each player so that we have data on every single element of your putting stroke. Here we can look in depth at your aim, direction, path, rotation, launch and dynamics so we will have a very clear idea of what is happening. Then we can determine whether the problem is with the stroke or the club. Invariably the player wants to change the club, which is fine, but if there is a problem with poor posture or poor method then we need to think about that.

So you can either fit a putter to what you see, which won’t fix the problem, or you fix the problem and fit a putter to that. The ideal is to fix the stroke before custom fitting a putter. That might mean a player is recommended a few sessions to improve the stroke. Then it's length, lie and loft and then we go into the looks of the putter.

How important are looks to the process?

The looks and style of the head will affect aim much more than it will affect delivery. Generally we find blades will influence the aim differently to mallets. If a player wants to make a switch to a mallet then we want to make sure that it’s not going to affect their ability to aim and how they return the clubface back to the ball.

The shape of the club should very much fit a player’s eye, you have to like the look of it. On a good day they’re going to use it 30 times and, on a bad day, 40 times so the looks are really important and they need to like the look of the putter and the putter needs to suit the stroke.

Personally I’m not a fan of the fact that toe hang or being face-balanced influences the stroke any more than the player’s ability to affect the stroke. 

Do customers generally get what they like the look of?

Generally, because a putter doesn’t overly influence the stroke they will generally go out with the putter that they wanted. The most important thing is to discover what influences their aim. Let’s say someone is aiming left and he’s using a blade and they want a mallet – the report might tell us that they're aiming further left with the mallet so we won’t let them leave with a putter that they will need to open up.

How important is loft in a fitting?

If the player is very good at delivering the club consistently, so a more advanced player, then you can look at loft a little bit more critically and get that dialled in. Unless there is a major consistency in there then there’s no point making major adjustments to the loft. 

Is it important to be able to hit different putts? 

My studio now has a 40-foot putt so we will measure that. A lot of shops will only have an 8 to 12-foot putt so we are kind of restricted. Essentially what we have available allows us to determine what that putter fitting will be. I do get players who will hit the long putts as, when the player starts to swing that few extra inches of stroke, it can affect the grounding out.

So, if you are lengthening the club because of poor posture, then the player needs to get the feel for that as well. When lengthening the club and improving the posture you will often see a player hitting a putt fat. I will also 

put them on the ZEN green stage and get them hitting some breaking putts to give them a feel for length and how the stroke is influenced by different breaks.

How long will a putter fitting last?

I’m trying to get an overview of everything so a full fitting is a minimum of an hour. I don’t want to rush anything and I might be building a putter to their specifications. You want the player to leave with a putter that they like the look of and it’s dialled in to the right specifications. Afterwards they will always get a video analysis of what needs to be worked on with the stroke and detailed analysis on what type of putter will work best for them.

About Andy Gorman

Andy is one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 coaches and is a putting and short-game specialist. He has worked with a number of tour pros and is based in the Midlands

Instagram - @andygormangolf
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Website - andygormangolf.com