Golfers love new things. We are always looking for the new driver or hybrid that can help us hit the ball farther and more accurately. While we attend demo days, beating balls until our arms ache looking to find that magical combination of shaft, loft, lie and more, we often overlook the most important club in the bag; the putter.
Many golfers will grab a putter off the rack, hit a few putts, and drop it in the bag. It's strange to think that we use our putter for far more strokes than any other club in the bag, yet it may be the one club in the bag that is the worst fit for our own stroke.
Most putters come too long. If your putter is too long you will be unable to get your eyes directly over the ball. The sole of the putter should rest flat on the ground, not with the toe or heel raised.
For some reason the same golfer who will not bat an eye at spending $300 or $400 on a driver, balks at investing that on a good putter.
A custom putter that is made to fit your stroke, please your eye, match your height, your grip size, and more, is worthy of an investment. You may spend a few hundred dollars, but what you wind up with is a magical stick that can save you strokes and win you a few skins.
There are a few artisans that make putters this way. Their putters are truly beautiful examples of a craftsmanship and passion that is becoming difficult to find in today's world.
Most of these craftsman customize the head with the colors and stampings of your choice. They offer numerous styles of heads in differing weights and finishes. They are so good, that they can fit you almost perfectly over the phone using measurements that you do yourself and provide to them.
In no particular order, here are a few. Some of these are long-time personal friends whose putters I have tried and fallen in love with. Perhaps you too will find one that you love.
Slighter Golf (360-668-8502 www.slightergolf.com) is based in Seattle. Tom Slighter's lineup features 16 different heads and 10 different finishes. My favorite look is the Kuro Kaminari, a deep, rich black finish. His Seattle Mud finish has a beautiful patina look that many wait years for their putter to become.
Byron Design (920-915-4320 www.byronputters.com) is located in Huntington Beach, Calif., Byron Morgan wants to help golfers obtain the putter of their dreams.
As a kid, he learned to use his father's machine shop to create mini-bikes and go-carts. From there he started his own custom surfboard business. Then he discovered golf and soon found his passion in designing and building putters to fit the dreams and desires of his customers.
Byron putters can take anywhere from an hour or so to nearly a week, depending on the amount of customization and finish requested. The final product will turn heads and drop putts.
Edel Golf (512-355-3415 www.edelgolf.com) is headquartered in Liberty Hill, Texas. Edel's studies have shown that a high percentage of players don't consistently aim their putters at their target. With that in mind, the company will have you go to a certified fitter before starting your process.
Everyone sees differently and head shape dramatically changes your ocular focus. Edel gives you six heads as well as five hosel designs to choose from. There are 35 different combinations of lines and their placement to optimize your aim. Lastly, they weigh and balance the putter to control your stroke and increase consistency.
Machine Putters from Dogleg Right Golf (877-835-9652 www.doglegright.com) is headquartered in Plano, Texas. These putters were conceived and developed with the goal of providing the ultimate in quality, precision, advanced state-of-the-art design and technologies, and the most creative and beneficial options for user adjustability, customization and personalization. The result is the most customizable line of putters anywhere.
Customers choose from a plethora of options with every putter in the lineup. From material choice of the head itself, to weight adjustability, to platings, coatings, custom grinds and finishes, options in modular hosels, to alignment indicator options, Machine Putters give you the options you need to make a truly customized putter.
Best of all, if you want to change things around a bit, you can change the hosel, or the alignment option, or perhaps the back of the putter adding depth to the head itself.
Isn't it time to invest in the most important club in your bag?
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.