Let’s Get to the Testing!

(Written by Golfspy Dave) Welcome to Day 2 of the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Mallet Awards.  Today we unveil the best mallet putter for 2013!  Remember in this competition, accuracy is everything. Here are the testing parameters:

:: Location of Testing:  Outdoor Practice Green at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
Ball Used:  Wilson FG Tour
Number of Testers: 12
HCPs of Testers: 2-20+
Putters Tested: 16
Total Balls Rolled Per Putter:  180
Total Balls Rolled Per Tester: 240

:: Time for each tester to complete test: Approximately 2.25 hours

Accuracy Scoring

As we mentioned yesterday in Day 1 of the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” – Mallet Test, accuracy is the ultimate factor that matters when we have our putter on the course. To review our trial conditions, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet. 15 putts per putter with each tester, gives us a total of 180 putts per putter.

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted (more info) for the five and ten foot putt, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet, should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Based upon our years of testing & data, we selected a total miss distance of 127.5 inches from the cup as the ideal accuracy value that a putter could achieve for a given tester. This number represents the total adjusted miss score for all fifteen putts for a given tester and equates to an average miss of 8.5 inches per putt.  Individual putters were then scored against this ideal accuracy value, with the final score representing a percentage of that ideal.  All numbers were rounded off to the nearest whole number. Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation

:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/12)= 140.5 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 91%

Why Looks No Longer Matter

Some of you might be saying, “Wait a second, where is the looks category, this only shows accuracy, the looks of a putter matter!”  But do looks really matter when testing or purchasing a putter?  Most of you would say yes and so would every other knowledgable putter expert in the industry. Both you and the industry would be wrong.

This long believed assumption has been passed down from generation to generation spanning the history of the game.  Problem is, this assumption was never based on anything more than opinion.  Kind of like when we believed that the earth was flat, but once data was found to support otherwise…well…thankfully we (most of us) moved forward.  And when it comes to looks mattering with putters, we have data (lots of it) to support otherwise.

Yesterday, we told you that we have found some shocking information that will (should) forever change the way both you and the industry go about testing and buying putters.  After years of testing and collecting data we poured through the actual numbers and found that looks do not matter when it comes to putters. Meaning, they don’t actually influence a golfers performance.

Conventional wisdom states that a golfer’s views regarding the looks of a putter can have a positive or a negative impact on putting performance (accuracy).  Our data demonstrates that liking (or disliking) how a putter looks does not actually reflect how well one putts with that putter.  What it does show is “Accuracy” is everything, and that is why it is the central/only criteria for selecting the MyGolfSpy “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet Awards. Yes, the news you are hearing today flies in the face of conventional putter selecting wisdom, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not true.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” –  The Results

Not All Putters Are Created Equally

As you can see from the data, not all putters are created equal.

The results do show that the putter does influence the performance of the golfer.  The construction of some putters may make it more difficult for a player to put the ball into the cup, some have a moderate impact, and a select few can help any golfer to be more accurate, regardless of his or her skill level on the green.  Those putters are definitely the best of the class, and the best of the best represents the “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet Putter.

The “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Mallet is a putter that is more accurate than its peers, and although the numbers were close, a putter did separate itself.  Based upon our data, the Bettinardi Signature 6 was the most accurate of the mallets tested, the dark horse STX Xform 3 finished in 2nd Place and the tour-tested Odyssey Metal-X #7 just edged out it’s 2-Ball cousin for 3rd Place.

The Winners

1st Place – Bettinardi Signature 6

Bettinardi Signature Model 6 is a compact mallet with a double bend shaft. The Signature Model 6 was designed to develop a putter with extreme perimeter weighting. This is to focus the weight more on the heel and the toe of the putter rather than the center. By doing this Bettinardi has created a smaller mallet with a generous sweet spot and the ability to keep putts online even hitting the ball off center.

Congratulations to Bettinardi Golf.  Your Signature 6 is the (MyGolfSpy “Golf’s Most Wanted” Mallet!)

2nd Place – STX Xform 3

The STX Xform 3 putter is 100% machined from extremely soft 304 stainless steel. Tour inspired designs combine classic elements with modern style. Their soft satin finish and distinctive milling lines create a glare free, rich appearance.

The Xform 3 Putter has deep diamond milling that  promotes a quicker forward roll and produces the soft feel desired by the best players in the world.

3rd Place – Odyssey Metal X #7

A modified mallet with weighted alignment wings.  The new Odyssey Metal-X #7 putter represents the latest chapter in a long history of game-changing innovations from Odyssey. The Metal-X insert provides the crisp feedback of a metal striking surface, coupled with the benefits of a softer urethane inner layer for amazing feel. The face pattern is unlike any other in golf and generates the truest roll in the game.