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Dear Top 100 Teacher,
I am a 5'11" male and I have always used a 35-inch putter shaft. Is this appropriate for me or should I be looking for a putter 34-inch or 33-inch putter? Your help would be appreciated.
Rod M., Davenport, Fla.
At my school we have done more than 1,000 putter fittings over the past four years. Our research has found that players at 5'11 would fit somewhere between 33 1/2 to 34." The variable would be arm length. If you arms are a little long, lean toward the 33 1/2.
The correct length putter allows for a player to tilt properly forward at the hips, allowing your eyes to come to rest over the inside edge of the ball, with his weight over balls of your feet and -- this is important -- your elbows rotated slightly inward and connected to the front of your ribcage.
Don't forget that the length of your putter affects the swing weight of the putter, that is, the feel of the weight as the putter head swings back and forth. The swing weight of the putter has a great influence on a player's feel, tempo and distance control. My recommendation for the gram weight of a putter that is between 33.5 and 34 inches would be 350 grams.
If you would like more information on fitting putters, check out my web site www.coutourgolf.com
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Todd Sones is director of instruction at the Whitedeer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills, IL. You can read more about Todd Sones at www.toddsones.com