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Examining the Edel custom putter fitting process
11 Apr 2014
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A few years ago I found myself at the putting green at Pebble Beach when a guy caught my eye. He had an array of putters and a few other items set out on the edge of the green and we started rapping. He was there for David Edel Custom putters and he started explaining the process of what goes into custom fitting a putter. Although I was not specifically looking for a putter, I was intrigued about the process and took his card.

As will happen occasionally, I had a few bad rounds with the flat stick and I decided to call and set up an appointment. I figured at a minimum, it would be interesting to go thru the process and learn something. I headed back down to Pebble not really sure if I was going wind up with a new putter or not.

I met Troy Bumgardner and we just talked for a bit. We discussed my golf game, putting, and the Edel fitting process. Apart from being very knowledgeable on the subject of putting and putters, Troy instilled a certain confidence that compelled me to follow on.

IT ALL STARTS WITH ALIGNMENT

As we began the process, Troy started by explaining how each of our brains process information a bit differently and how the shape of the putter head can influence how you aim the putter. While this sounded like a bit of mumbo-jumbo, he was able to show me how I was consistently aiming to the left of the hole. He placed a small mirror on the face of my putter and focused a laser pen laying along the ground at the mirror from about five feet. After placing a board behind the laser, he had me set up as if I was putting to the laser pen. Much to my chagrin, the laser was reflected about 6 inches to the left of the laser. This helped established what shape of putter might be right for me.

DETERMINING PROPER WEIGHTING & FIT

Next in the process was to establish the right weighting for my putter. The idea is to match the weighting of your putter with the amount of arc you have in your stroke. A face-weighted putter is best for a straight back and through stroke.

A toe weighted putter is best for those who have a strong arc in their putting stroke. A semi-toe putter is best for those with a slight arc in their stroke.

Using the laser pen again attached to my putter shaft facing downward, it was clear that my stroke was a semi-arc and that a semi-toe putter was right for me.

Finally, Troy took a number of physical measurements. He measured my height, length from the ground to my wrist, and the angles of my putting set up to establish how to size the putter to fit me exactly.

We took all this information and pieced together a putter from an array of heads and shafts that he had on his fitting cart. After a bit of tweaking, he asked me to putt three balls to a hole 20 feet away. Of course, I holed two putts and lipped out the third. Oops. Those were an expensive few putts.

So I was sold and said just do it. I ordered a putter and two weeks later the UPS man arrived with my bundle of joy. With great anticipation, I opened the box straight away and found a beautiful putter with my name on it. Now that was cool.

I headed down to the putting green and putted great. I understand that a lot of putting is confidence and emotion and my new custom putter gave me both. I really enjoyed the process and definitely learned a few things, and have been satisfied with my purchase. As time has gone on, I have continued to improve my putting.

Never a great putter, I now consider myself a solid putter. I have kept my golf statistics on a spreadsheet for over 20 years now and can say that my putting average is down 0.4 strokes per round since I got my Edel putter. Is that worth the cost and the pressure of putting with a putter with your name on it? It is for me.
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