Custom Putters are inherently referring to the ability to make changes to a standard design. Virtually all manufacturers offer some sort of custom options. For some, it begins and ends with shaft length and grip options. For others, head weighting and hosels are options which have recently been offered.
Some manufacturers make an attempt to gather data during some semblance of a fitting. Other manufactures offer a plethora of options but no real methodology as to why you should pick one variable over another. To date, we have only found one that has combined a proper fitting with a complementing equipment solution. Before that, let’s answer the question: Are custom putters simply customisable or are they custom fit?
Custom Putters – Customisable or Custom Fit?
What is actually meant by ‘custom’ is up for debate and subject to interpretation. Much like the lofts on modern-day irons, they vary by manufacturer. So what do many of the industry leaders offer in the way of customisation?
Using a cradle, your phone is attached to a putter. You make three 10 ft putts after which you have been ‘Fit For Stroke’. The ‘Advanced Fit’ happens after just five 10 ft putts. The app uses the data collected to recommend a putter.
The Advanced Fit option includes a fitter measuring your wrist to floor measurement, posture, grip, miss tendencies and green speed. The PING ‘custom fit’ definition appears to include 3 weights and 4 grips.
With PING, there appears to be some correlation between static fitting, dynamic fitting and putter configuration. It is a start, better than most but what should be the minimum baseline for putter fittings.
PXG offers numerous customisable variables. There are 3 hosels to choose from. Loft can range between 1-5*. Lie can be altered from 3* flat to 3* upright. Putter length is available from 33” to 38” in 1/2” increments. SuperStroke grips are available with a £20 upcharge.
It appears PXG Putters are more customisable than other brands but still don’t quite fit our definition of being custom fit. Whilst options are available, there is no fitting methodology given to provide direction on making the right choice.
Odyssey Toulon Putters
The Toulon Design Collection is the crème de la crème of the Odyssey putter line-up. Of note, the website does not claim to offer custom-fit but rather a design service. The length, grip, grip wrap, lie and shaft can be altered to my preferences. A 4-minute video advises which putter is best for you.
The next level is the Garage service. It allows for more options but without the benefit of a fitting. Odyssey Toulon offers a beautiful putter that can be designed to look exactly how you like it… Is this a customised putter or is it custom fit?
Stock models are the name of the game, with only MySpider & MySpiderX offering customisation. 3 hosels are offered, a choice of colours are a prominent feature, sightlines can be altered, along with shaft length and grip options. Again, you’re buying a customised putter without any real understanding as to why – except on the basis of pure aesthetics. Is this a customised putter or is it custom fit?
Titleist Scotty Cameron Putters
Lie, loft and length can be chosen as standard options. The custom shop offers a plethora of options, but this seems to be based on your preferences rather than on what you actually need as derived from a proper fitting. Again, is this a customised putter or is it custom fit?
Custom Fit Putters
Custom-fit putters can only be, by definition, made to measure or bespoke. Although, I guess it could be argued it depends on what the putter is fit for – your eye or your putting stroke…
Bespoke putters are impressive. A one-off design, tailor-made for your eye and to suit your preferred aesthetic. The vast majority of craft putter makers offer bespoke custom putters but the fitting process is non-existent or done virtually. Works of art in the extreme but potentially unfit for purpose… your putting stroke. Unless you can be fit first, then have a craftsman built you what you need how you want it, something has to give…
Made to Measure Putters
The sweet spot is made to measure. Found through the combination of numerous variables, constituent components are interchanged for function rather than purely form. The skill of the fitter to choose the right combination of all these variables leaves you with a made to measure putter. Immediate, quantifiable feedback on each variable inspires confidence. It’s amazing how good a putter looks and feels when you know every component has been chosen because it is the right one for you.
Custom Fit Made to Measure Putters
The only truly custom fit putter on the market today is Edel. Each component of the putter can be individually adjusted and evaluated to ensure it is perfect before moving on. When the process is complete, you have your distinct putter. Yours is just one of 88,000,000 possible combinations that will help you aim accurately and develop touch by matching your intention with the desired result.
The MyGolfSpy 2021 Most Wanted Blade Test
The Edel EAS 1.0 was voted the best-looking blade putter out of all that were tested. The flat chrome finish and alignment aid made it stand out from the pack. Even off the rack, the Edel EAS 1.0 gained strokes on the field in the 5ft and 20ft metrics.
Should I get fit?
When asked: Should I get fit for a putter? Note MyGolfSpy’s response: ‘Without a doubt. Don’t just go to the putting corral at your local golf store and choose the putter that feels the best or the one you happen to make a couple of putts with. Do your research, know the facts and take your knowledge to your golf course or store with the intention of being fitted for the right putter for your stroke. Your best chance of finding your best putter comes from getting fit.’
Don’t Choose A Putter Because It Looks Good
What stands out for me is the use of the word fit – rather than simply buying a custom putter. MyGolfSpy continues: ‘95% of amateurs and most PGA professionals haven’t been fit for a putter. Don’t choose a putter because it looks or feels good, get fit for a putter that performs best for your stroke and start making more putts.’