My Quest For The Perfect Putter

Over the course of many years of golfing, I have had an obsession with putters.  I believe I inherited this trait from my father.  The number in my current collection is over a dozen putters.  I know this isn’t too bad as I know of people that have many more than that.  The funny thing about my situation is that I am actually a good putter!  I don’t mean to boast, but I consider it a strength in my game.  Most of the people that I know that have more than one putter, or are constantly changing theirs, struggle with the flat stick.  I have always had an arsenal of several putters throughout my years.  I have owned and used everything from a classic Wilson 8802 to an experimental prototype Scotty Cameron.  They may evolve and get swapped for other options, but I always have serveral on hand at any given time.  After some recent self-reflection, I have decided that my obsession has been fueled by my quest for the perfect putter.

 

The putter that has stayed consistently in my bag over the last few years is a Rife Aussie Blade.  It’s a heel-toe weighted (Anser style) putter with a rolled groove face.  My grip of choice is the Ping black-out putter grip and it’s length is 34.5 inches.  I really like this putter, but it’s not my favorite.  My favorite putter to date is a Scotty that I had many years ago.

I turned professional about 12 years ago, but not on my first attempt.  The first time I tried, my nerves got the best of me and I crumbled under the pressure.  Part of the reason why I wasn’t able to shoot the qualifying scores was because I missed many short putts.  So shortly after my first attempt, I acquired a Scotty Cameron Newport Oil Can putter.  I spent a year grinding away and developed a trust and bond with this putter.  It was so strong that I actually held my putter in the bed of my hotel room as I slept the night before my qualifying round!  Funny, I know, but it was worth it in the end as I passed my second attempt at turning pro.  But the story doesn’t end well…  I lent the putter to my mom who wanted to try it one day.  Her car got broken into that day and her clubs were stolen, including my putter.  I know that I can go onto ebay right now and buy the same model putter, but oddly it wouldn’t be the same to me.  Besides, my criteria for the perfect putter has evolved.

I realize that part of having the perfect putter is developing a relationship/history/trust with it, but what are the traits of the right one?  I’m a firm believer that the look of the putter is the most crucial part of finding the one.  It has to appeal to your eye, because this will help instill confidence, and you can’t putt well without confidence.  The second most critical criteria for me is the feel of the putter,  and this is where I have a problem.  I can’t seem to find a putter that I really love the feel of.  I work part-time in a golf “superstore” which stocks hundreds of putters, but NONE appeal to me!

My quest is for a putter that I love the appearance of but also one that has a dead solid feel to it.  I find that all of the new models widely available by the big name brands lack this feel.  They are very “clicky” and hollow feeling.  Or they have inserts in them which deaden the feel to me.  I want a putter to feel very dense and soft if that makes any sense.  It seems like the closest I’ve come to feeling this is with the Scotty Cameron Del Mar.  Most heel shafted putters have a slightly denser feel (when hit on the sweet spot).  I haven’t pulled the trigger on buying one of these in the hopes that I will soon find the perfect putter.

If anyone can relate to what I am talking about and has any recommendations for me, please reply!

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Birthday Golfing!

This April, I invited some of my closest friends out to play a round of golf at Sandpiper Golf Resort in Harrison Mills to celebrate my birthday.  I had never played the course, but had heard only good things about it from friends and fellow golfers.  The drive from Vancouver is about an hour and forty minutes.  We decided to carpool to save gas, so I piled everyone into the car and the day began.  As we are all busy with work and our own personal lives, it’s not always easy to meet up for even a meal.  This is why golfing together is so great!  It gives us a chance to spend a good 4-5 hours together on a pleasant walk in nature to catch up.

The weather forecast was for cloud and showers, but we knew heading out that we were playing no matter what.  Miraculously, when we reached the parking lot at Sandpiper, there was a break in the clouds and the sun started to pop out here and there.  Unfortunately, there was also a cold chill in the air and the temperature was only a couple of degrees above freezing.  We checked in at the proshop, paid our greenfees (using a coupon book which saved us money) and decided to take powercarts because of the poor weather conditions.  As we stepped onto the putting green to hit a few putts before teeing off, I was stunned by the beauty of our surroundings.  If you haven’t played this course already and you live in the lower mainland, I highly suggest you go.

Sandpiper Golf Resort is a par 72 playing 6,500 yards from the tips.  It has holes that are tree-lined as well as open links-style holes that run along the river.  The slope/rating is 121/70.9.  Course knowledge is not crucial if you have never played it before as the layout is fairly straight forward.  What you see is what you get.  If you register for their online especials to receive emails, you are eligible to play golf for free on your birthday!

Our group was comprised of a former Canadian Tour Pro, a current CPGA Pro, a former CPGA Pro and a low handicap amateur.  More importantly, we are all close friends and we had a great team match game and lots of fun!

Yes, that is HAIL in the last picture!  It hailed on us our final 3 holes and the 17th and 18th greens were covered in a layer of it (a little challenging to putt on!).  My partner and I lost the match on the 18th hole and bought our competitors dinner that night.

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