A lot of focus the next few days will be on the slick, fast greens of Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters has traditionally been won with the short game, with a particular emphasis on putting.
So with that in mind, let’s talk custom putters and custom putter design. PGA Teaching Professional Norm Alberigo and the Providence Precision Golf Group (P2G2) are introducing the P2G2 TopStrike Putter, a club that corrects deficiencies common to nearly all other models.
“Current putters are replicas of outdated putters,” Alberigo, head pro at Agawam Hunt in Rumford, R.I., and a former advisor to Bridgestone Golf.
Basically, the P2G2 club head’s center of gravity is high and forward on its face, instead of near the bottom. Energy from a P2G2 stroke is transferred directly to the equator of the golf ball, eliminating hops, backspin and unwanted sidespin even on miss-hits, while producing a clean, pure and true roll.
Alberigo knows about roll.
“After more than 1,500 fittings with people of all body types, it was clear that a lot of the offsets and lie angles were not remotely correct for the individual,” he said. “And no matter the shape of the heads, the basics of putter weighting haven’t changed since Karsten Solheim created the Anser Putter in the 1960s.”
In his fittings, Alberigo discovered that the shafts of putters were too long for most players (no surprise), and that heads were too light (again no surprise). The combination can lead to instability in a stroke, the poor results of which are magnified on today’s fast greens.
Testing existing putters against his design theories, Alberigo made use of Quintic Sports’ high speed video analysis equipment. The putting launch monitor software showed that clubs with a low center of gravity and four-to-six degrees of loft often rolled putts with undesirable spin variables. With only 2.5 degrees of loft, about 400 grams of weight and a high center of gravity, the P2G2 prototypes rolled putts consistently straight and true.
So the next time you lip out a putt with your putter, Alberigo says you can legitimately blame it on the putter.
“We can honestly tell players of all levels, ‘this is not your fault,”’ Alberigo said. “Many of the top players’ misses have a direct relationship to their chosen putter designs. I know that there are misses where they have executed perfectly but the design encourages spin characteristics associated with the miss. Inside of ten feet—on tour speed greens—requires the putter head’s stability to be at its highest state. This is what separates our design. We believe that putts missed would have been holed with our design.”
Manufactured of 300 series stainless steel, titanium and aircraft-grade aluminum, the P2G2 TopStrike comes in three different models, each with a herringbone patterned, face. Each model comes standard with a stainless steel body, aluminum sole plate and titanium hosel. The Model 2025 is a standard blade putter; the Model 2225 has a body and face identical to the blade, but its rear is a rectangular strike plate with arrows to provide extra visual alignment for a stroke path; Model 2425 is identical to the 2225, only with an additional semi-circle balance ring in the back that gives it a complete mallet look.
The blade sells for $250; Model 2225 costs $275; and the Model 2425 mallet goes for $295.
Since the clubs are available only from Providence Precision Golf, the company recommends that buyers use their web-based “Custom Club Configurator.” First, select the desired model, right or left-handed. Second, with your current putter take a stance and a normal grip, and with a standard yardstick measure the distance from your bottom finger to the ground. Do it three times to find an average, which will likely be between 20 and 30 inches. Also enter your height, and decide if you want a standard, belly or long putter. These measurements enable P2G2 to create a putter with a shaft length and corresponding lie angle that facilitates a smooth pendulum stroke.