Vertical And Horizontal Ball Impact Range By Handicap
This drawing represents ball impact testing with various golfers and abilities. In a perfect world, every golfer in each handicap range would impact the ball inside the ovals as shown. This is not what happens in all because golfers of similar abilities have vast differences in their ball striking abilities.
These drawings represent statistical averages and should be considered as a general guide only. The use of impact decals is the best way to catergorize a golfer as to their ball striking range.
How The The Pros Do It
Touring professions are a unique breed because of their ability to do everything better than even the best amateurs. Many tour players’ putters come through me and/or the GolfWorks giving me the change to evaluate them.
Also, I have a number of tour players who have come through the Golf Club Design studio to have their putters checked and altered to fit them better. Their ability to hit the ball in almost the same spot every time on the putter head is uncanny and is obviously the result of countless hours practicing to achieve this ball striking consistency.
Why Putter Length Matters
The length of the putt is a major factor in determining the impact range. The longer the putt, the greater the balls impact range. This is important to understand because off-center hits lose energy (distance) and the putter head twists (poorer directional control).
This is where the putter MPF (Maltby Playability Factor) carries into importance. Generally speaking, poorer players or those that hit the putt all over the face need high moment of inertia putter designs that are far more forgiving to ball impacts in the toe and heel area.
High moment of inertia putters have much better heel and toe weight distribution and therefore impact more energy to the ball on off-center hits and also improve directional control through reduced twisting.
Each putter design has its own unique center of gravity location. It is not always located where the manufacturer puts the line up line or some other sort of mark. As a very general rule of thumb: steel putters with a steel hasel will have a line up line that is not at the horizontal center of gravity.
Most all putters without a hasel will have the line up on the horizontal center of gravity. Almost everyone that putts will usually find the area that feels the most solid. Touring professionals and better playing amateurs will always find the exact location of the putter heads center of gravity.
This is why many touring professionals do not want any mark on the putter to help them line up the ball. Some touring professionals want a mark on the actual center of gravity after it is determined by actually balancing the club head on the C.G. gauge.
Keep in mind that because the C.G. is not always in line with the line up line that it is important to place the putter impact decal in the correct place. This is easy if you custom build putters because you know where the C.G. is, but is more difficult with previously assembled putters.