Shorter Length Putters

By Frank ThomasJune 25, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from GOLF CHANNEL's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
 

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Shorter Length Putters
 
Dear Frank,
 
Love your weekly emails!
 
I recently had a putting lesson. The PGA instructor had me shorten my 35' putter to 32.5'. The benefit is a better shoulder motion.
 
During our discussion, he stated that the average length putter on the PGA Tour is 32.5'. If true, why haven't I seen a 32' putter offered by manufacturers? The shortest I've seen is 33' and rarely do I see them displayed or in stock at golf retailers.
 
Also, how much weight must I add to my newly shortened putter to compensate for the change?
 
Thank you.
--Mark

 
Mark,
The average length putter on Tour is closer to 34 inches. This is shorter than it was 20 years ago and is inclined to straighten out the arms increasing consistency of impact positioning on the face and reduces tension associated with bent arms, which adds to the source of errors. Shorter putters - not too short -- also help a little in shoulder rotation.
 
32- inches seems to be short but this depends on your setup and stature, which I am sure your PGA professional took into account when fitting you. An average height male - about 5' 9' -- should be able to use a 34 and maybe 33 inch putter very successfully.
 
You don't have to change the swing weight of your putter when you shorten it unless you will be taking a full swing with it.
 
If you have the opportunity when in Orlando - or decide to make the opportunity - call for an appointment at our Frankly Frog Putting Studio, which is the most advanced in the country. Click here to learn more.
Have fun
 
Frank
 
Persimmon Back In the Bag!
 
Frank,
 
I went to the range today for lunch and put an old Powerbilt Citation 5 wood in my bag that I found in my garage to take to the range for fun. I havent hit a persimmon wood for at least 15 years and was AMAZED at how high and soft it landed on the green 220 yards away. I then took out my Callaway hybrid and hit it just as far and pretty straight but nowhere near as high. Also, I noticed when I hit the persimmon closer to the toe it would draw in and hit a couple on the heel and faded. I felt like I couldnt miss the target!!! It landed so softly I was stunned.
 
Am I the only one who is now thinking I should put my persimmon 5 wood in my bag as opposed to these high tech hybrids?
 
Best regards,
 
--Michael

 
Michael,
It should not be surprising that your wooden 5-wood will perform very well and certainly after such a period of purgatory in the closet. It has now learned its lesson and obviously doesnt like a dark place away from the course. There are other reasons for good performance and this has something to do with your fresh swing and obvious affection for this well crafted old friend and warm instrument.
 
Let's examine the wooden 5-wood from a technical point of view -- which may not be half as important as your attitude and good swing motion. The COR (Coefficient of Restitution) is probably very close to that of your hybrid so the ball will come off the club at about the same speed. Because the c.g. (center of gravity) of your 5-wood is most likely farther back from the face than the hybrid the face will present more dynamic loft to the ball at impact. This will send the ball on a higher trajectory, assuming a similar shaft flex. A more flexible, longer shaft will further increase this dynamic loft.
 
The longer shaft -- which I suspect is the case but you need to check this out ' will allow you to generate a little more head velocity giving you increased ball speed even though the COR is the same.
 
The down side -- for the 5- wood -- is that the Hybrid, which probably has a higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) about its vertical axis and thus will be more forgiving i.e. not twist as much on off centered impacts. It is for this reason that the Gear Effect using your wooden 5-wood, is more pronounced when the impact point is on the toe or heel as you describe.
 
Have fun with your old friend and dont let it or any other good friend spend long periods of time in a place it doesnt enjoy. Some will sulk and never perform properly again.
 
I hope this has helped give you a better insight into the social and technical behavior of your old friend.
 
Please sign up as a Frankly Friend on www.franklygolf.com to get all sorts of free information to improve your game and weekly alerts whenever we answer questions from our visitors.
 
Frank
 
Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
 
Frank Thomas

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By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”