Current Handicap: 12
Lowest handicap: 12
Plays: Once or twice a month
Practices: Once a month
Ailment: I have a friend who was a terrible putter and he recently added one of those big grips to his putter. Now he can’t miss. He says the putter feels better in his hands. Can a putter grip really make a difference? I’m not a bad putter, but I’ll try anything if it means I can shave off a few strokes.
Prescription: There are several reasons why your friend’s larger grip feels better in his hands and why he is making more putts. One is that he has likely added 50 to 70 grams of weight to the grip end of the putter. That alone will balance the feel between the putter handle and the head.
Another thing that could be helping him is the size of the grip and the extra weight that have combined to stabilize his hands and assist him with a more pendulum-type putting stroke. There-fore, by taking the player’s hands out of the stroke, he’s able to keep the putter face more square, hit the ball solid and keep the putter on a better path.
Current Handicap: 9
Lowest handicap: 9
Plays: About once a month
Practices: Maybe once a month
Ailment: I hit my 5-iron about 170 yards, but recently started hitting my 6-iron the same distance. It’s the same thing with my sand wedge and pitching wedge — both go about 115 yards. This is leaving some big gaps in my bag. Could the lofts of my clubs be changing?
Prescription: Your issue sounds like you may have made a swing change. If the gaps in distance between your 5- and 6-iron were acceptable, and now you’re hitting both clubs the same distance, you might have an issue with your swing. See a local teaching pro or have someone check to see if your clubs are the proper head type. A high-spinning type will sometimes produce similar shots between irons.
Also, most manufacturer’s tolerances are plus or minus 2 degrees between irons and usually there’s a 4-degree gap between each iron. It’s possible to have the same loft on two irons in your set and the only difference is in the length of the club shaft. SG
Don Gatch is a PGA professional for Max Out Golf at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.