I went over to be fit for a putter at the PING Vault Tour Facility in Phoenix. I have a contact over there – Brad – who fits all of the mini tour players. It is always a treat heading over to the facility because it is definitely world-class.
I’ve been there a few times for other equipment fittings, but never for a putter fitting. I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping that it would give me some feedback on position of my hands or ball position of the putter. But I got a whole lot more of out the experience.
You check in and get a PING Sticker with the TOUR logo on it, which is pretty sweet. Then, Brad came to meet me up front and we headed back to the PING putter vault location. They’ll typically ask you what you’re currently playing with. I showed Brad my STX SYNC tour putter, which is a style I’ve been using since high school, and he looked at me and goes, “How do you still putt with this thing?” (Now that I’ve been fitted, I’m really not quite sure… )
Rolling Those First Putts
They had me start by rolling some 10-foot putts on the indoor synthetic putting green carpet. After about five rolls, he measured my putter and asked which PING Vault putter I had been eyeing. I picked out the Oslo, a face-balanced putter similar to my STX. He got my length right on the putter, and I started rolling a few.
iPING Putter App
He then hooked the putter up with the iPING putter app – this thing was cool. It gave you a score on your tempo, arc, etc. I was a +1.2 in some and a 0 in others. It rated it based on a putter handicap, which was really interesting. After rolling some with the Oslo, we noticed on the video that I was adding loft at impact because my hand position was so far back from the ball. So we messed with me moving ball position back toward my right foot; it felt weird at first, but the ball was rolling better.
Quintic Ball Roll
Then we turned on the Quintic Ball Roll machine, which uses expert golf putting analysis software. This machine tested the roll of the ball off of the face, gave loft readings and more. Here is Rory McIlroy having his putting analyzed.
When my putting stroke was analyzed, the Quintic found that I was around 6 degrees of loft, which is really high. We then moved the ball position around, and I was at a 2-degree loft at impact, which is much better. So we needed to actually move my toe down 2 degrees, and only have 2 degrees of loft on the putter, which is best for my putting stroke.
I’ve ordered my Oslo and expect to get it in the next few weeks.* In addition to a new putter that fits my individual style, I now have a new understanding regarding my stroke that will ultimately help me sink more putts. Moving forward, I will be moving my ball position more back in my stance.
PING Vault Tour Facility – Check It Out
I would recommend going and getting a putter fitting because it is also a free mini lesson in many ways. (Something I personally have never had.) If you do not have any contacts at the Tour department, you can schedule a free fitting at the PING Redwood location, which is offered to the public five days a week.
Here are some more photos of the PING Vault Tour Facility from GolfWRX.
*Update: I’ve received my Oslo putter. Review coming soon.
Disclaimer: I was not paid or given free merchandise for this review.