When you go to the golf shop, there is someone there who is available to fit you for the irons or woods you are looking for. When you go to the putting green you roll a couple and when you make a few in a row, on a putting green with holes sunk in, you pick up the putter and head towards the cash register.
Up until last weekend, I was the same way. I would look for a putter that I would make the most putts with and it would go into the bag. That was, until I went to the SIK Putting Lab and was fit for a new SIK Jo Putter.
SIK is a relatively new company to the market with putters (a few years old). SIK stands for Study in Kinematics, or the motion of objects without reference to the forces that cause the motion. They are based out of Orlando, FL with their headquarters at Orange County National and they have all of the tools to get the right putter into your hands.
When you arrive, you will notice their lab has everything you need to get fit. First, they will look at your putter that is in your bag and have you roll a few with it. This will give them a great baseline to judge off of.
There is a Quintic camera that will take pictures of your putter while you are hitting putts that will give you all of the putter data necessary to show you what you are doing wrong. It will show you how the ball reacts with skid, side and back spin, your address and impact position and the angle at which the putter is attacking the ball. All it takes are a couple stickers attached to the shaft and the toe of the putter and all of the data it needs can be collected. This is huge when you are looking at the difference in making or not making putts.
After looking at my putter we found out that I like to putt toe up and that my impact wasn’t consistent because of this. Putting toe up wasn’t a surprise to me as it is something that I have been doing since I was in high school. The best part about the data was the differences in the skid and spin rates on the putts. This contributes to the number of putts I am missing based on the toe of the putter being up.
Getting fit for a putter is a very detailed process, probably more than being fit for the right driver. With the Quintic System used at the SIK lab everything you can think of is analyzed to make sure you are set up correctly with the right putter. They look at top spin, back spin, side spin, club head being open or shut, face angle, face rotation, twist at impact, impact ball speed, impact club speed, launch angle, shaft angle, attack angle, lie angle, and low point.
All of this information is great for the elite player who knows how to repeat their putting stroke time after time and how to fix it if they are off in their stroke. For the average golfer, if you are getting fit with all of this data, you are better off to let the professionals look at the data and then have them help you make the decision as to what needs to be done. The data will just confuse you and you won’t understand it.
Greg at SIK then built me a putter after another series of test. The tests included a putter that you could lengthen and shorten to the correct length as well as the correct lie for the putter. This was beneficial as it showed how much I needed a flatter putter to get the club in the correct position and exactly how long I needed to have the putter be to fit correctly with my set up.
After these tests they put me in the Jo model putter with it being 2º flat. I prefer a blade style putter and this putter put my hands in the perfect position at address and impact. This had me “rolling the rock” so much better.
The Jo model is a blade putter and I had them make it with a double bend neck. I prefer this design and with the way they assemble the putters at SIK they can make any combination with any putter head.
SIK has come up with a way to have an “adapter” for each type of shaft to put into the hozel of the putter so you can take any design and make it to the specifications that you like. If you are looking for an “Answer” style putter with the offset, they have an adapter that fits on the shaft and connects to the club. Double bend neck, don’t worry that is easy. Slant neck they can do that too. It can all be done with any style of their putter heads they have.
Doing this allows them to make more models from one block of steel. This causes less waste and allows for a better return on materials, a huge bonus when designing putters. If you are looking for additional weight they can add it into the putter head before the epoxy the adapter into the putter head!
Part of the great SIK technology is what they call DLT or Decending Loft Technology. This has a graduated loft on the face starting at 1º and topping out at 4º of loft at the top of the face. This allows the putter to launch the ball with a consistent loft! This helps with speed consistency and will give you the ability to make more putts.
After getting the Jo Putter built we rolled a few and looked at the data. The numbers looked better, so we decided to head out to the putting green and roll some with some breaks to them. I rolled a few from 15 to 18 feet, a distance that the guys on the PGA Tour make about 20% of the time. I made 5 in a row at one point and had incredible speed on the ball. It was easier to get the toe of the blade flat on the ground. The ball rolled amazing and there was perfect speed on every putt.
Dads Say So, first and foremost I would like to thank the guys at SIK Putters. The fitting experience was second to none and the putters are awesome. We all love to go to the shop and get fit for our irons and woods, but we always overlook the putter. The putter is used the most by any club in the bag, so we really should spend the most time making sure we have the right one in the bag. If you are in the Central Florida area and have a chance to make it out to the SIK Putting Lab and get fit for a really amazing putter you NEED to do it. Having a putter that is right for you will cause you to hit more putts solid and give you more chances to make putts. To find out more about SIK Putters go to SIKGOLF.com.