QUESTION OF THE WEEK
How many putters — or best guesstimate — have you used through the years and which was your favorite?
Email us and we will publish reader responses in the March 8 issue. Please include your first and last name, along with city and state of residence.
LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: What training aid has improved your game the most?
— Paul Stetz | Salamanca, N.Y.
The Orange Whip, at 68 years of age, has helped me improve transition mechanics due to the weight of the ball and shaft flexibility. To swing the whip properly you have to include a pause at the top of the backswing, which eliminates what [Jack] Nicklaus called "flash speed" when transitioning from the top to the downswing. Many golfers suffer from hurried transitions and remain unaware why they have trouble staying on plane as well as why they don't make solid contact. Some get over the top and others bring the club down too far inside, causing a handsy, wrist flipping motion trying to catch-up.
As the whip nears the top, the ball is still lagging behind a bowed shaft. The weight of the head and shaft flex provides more than adequate feedback that you haven't quite finished your backswing. This sends the signal to "wait" until the head reaches parallel or just short of parallel depending on your swing type. That instant of feel gives you "time" to start down on plane and in balance, which further helps with footwork and weight transfer, then the ball and shaft flex kick-in again at the bottom pulling you through to a well paced full finish and I believe that is the case in every swing speed.
Finally, again at my age, the whip is also good for stretching, adding power, improving overall balance and timing if you swing it several times daily. It can become an excellent work-out tool. It helped me drop my handicap from 5.8 to 2.9 last year. Mine is the full length club. Proof is in the pudding.
— Jim Higginbottom | Fenton, Mo.
Living in Chicagoland, the winters are long and working on the golf game usually goes into hibernation. Once Spring arrives, it takes a while to resume the touch and feel of the putting stroke. For the past three years, I have used a Dead-Zero Putting Disk throughout the winter (and in season to) to hone my putting stroke. Has virtually eliminated three putts as well as a much higher percentage of getting up and down from off the green. The instant feedback gives me the confidence to drain putts within 10 feet. Once the weather thaws, that is.
— Doug Throneburg | St. Charles, Ill.
The Equipment Insider invites reader comment. Write to editor Stuart Hall at email@example.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, The Equipment Insider will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.