Wedge and Putter Fitting

Most players understand the importance of being fit for a driver but we find that the impact that wedge and putter fitting can have on their scores is often overlooked.  Driving the ball is certainly important but the reality is that the driver is used at most about 14 times per round while the wedges and putter will be used on over half of a players total shots.  We don’t think that the importance of wedge and putter fitting can be understated.

Wedges

The average 20 handicap player hits about 20% of their greens in regulation while the average scratch player only hits about 57%.  This means that even the best players will find themselves hitting many wedge shots around the green during a typical round in addition to full swing wedges from 100-125 yards and in.  Unlike a driver or most irons, there is significant variability in the types of shots played with wedges – sand shots, flop shots, low spinners, half swings, etc.  In addition to the standard club fitting metrics like length, lie, and swingweight a proper wedge fitting will also consider the bounce of each club, loft gapping, and the way an individual player chooses to use each club (eg, if your 56° wedge is used only in the sand then a flatter lie might be appropriate or if your gap wedge is used mostly for full swing shots then it will usually require less bounce than a lob wedge).  

Our wedge fitting process is built around an in person interview and full outdoor ball flight analysis using our FlightScope launch monitor.  While it may seem counterintuitive, we believe the most important part of the fitting process is the interview.  It is through the interview that we learn where a players common miss is (left/right, thin/fat), their release pattern (hand flip/handle drag), the type of turf they play on (soft/hard), how proficient their short game is currently, their confidence in their wedge play, and how they approach the short game (lob wedge on all shots/different clubs for different shots).

We believe that given the variety in types of wedge shots, the frequency of their use, and the wide array of customization options available that a proper wedge fitting will provide a player with the confidence and peace of mind to execute on every shot.

Putters

The putter is used for about 40% of a players shots during a round of golf regardless of their skill level.  A 20 handicap player will take approximately 36 putts per round to shoot about 90 while a scratch player will take about 31.5 to shoot around 72 and unless you hole out from off the green the putter is the only club used on every hole during a round.  When a single club is used that often we think that it is paramount that a player be properly fit and fully comfortable with it.

Putters come in an astonishing variety of styles and shapes compared to other clubs.  There are different head types (eg, mallets, blades), types of balance (eg, toe balanced, face balanced), and size, length and weight of grips (eg, square, round, tapered, pistol, counterbalanced).  These variables are designed to reflect the diversity of strokes (eg, straight back and through, wide arc) and physical differences in individual players (eg, upright stance vs crouched stance, distance from the ball at address, how they grip the club).

Advanced putter fitting using motion analysis can lead to further refinements in both technique and putter specifications.  A simple example would be a player that consistently over rotates the putter face through impact.  Using one of the adjustable weight putters we can add weight to the toe to slow down the tendency to shut the face.

A putter fitting with Ted & Dave Custom Golf includes a few physical measurements (hand size, height, distance from wrist to floor), an interview, and analysis of your putting in our indoor putting facility.  Much like with our wedge fitting process, we believe that the most important aspect of a putter fitting is the interview.  In the interview we try to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your game (short putts/long putts, streaky/consistent), your miss tendency (left/right, short/long), your holing speed (die it in the hole or hit the back of the cup), and the types of greens you usually play on (fast/slow).  We also consider how your proximity to the hole with your wedge game might be affecting your putting numbers as a two putt from 50 feet is much different than a two putt from 3 feet.

Our Putter Fitting Platform

One of the challenges when fitting a player for a putter on an uneven surface is determining whether a miss was caused by the players path, face to path relationship, or the break.  We sought to solve that problem by building our Putter Fitting Platform.

The platform is built with a single slab of granite around a frame and topped with an artificial putting surface.  The platform was then leveled to ensure as smooth of a roll as possible.  There are holes at either end of the platform so it can be used for both lefties and righties.  Not pictured are the smaller platforms that are placed next to the main platform for the player to stand on while putting.

The point of all of this is to create an incredibly true putting surface to fit our customers on.  Our customers are able to see where their putts are missing without having to factor in how the surface may have impacted the roll.  Our Putter Fitting Platform makes fittings with Ted & Dave Custom Golf an even more precise experience.