There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
WHAT WE TRIED
Edel Golf’s EAS (Edel Alignment System) Putter Fitting– The comprehensive fitting system associated with Edel Golf’s new EAS putter line.
YOUR TEST SUBJECT
Dave Wolfe – MyGolfSpy writer and putter fanatic. I’ve tested hundreds (maybe thousands) of flatsticks.
NOT ALL PUTTERS ARE THE SAME
Unfortunately, some of you still think all putters are the same. Some of you believe changing the putter will not influence your putting. Essentially, you believe a golfer will score the same regardless of the putter you play.
Honestly, how can you think this? Is there any sport where changes in equipment don’t produce changes in performance? Would someone’s three-pointer make percentage change if a basketball was a pound heavier? Does an archer score equal numbers of bullseyes with a standard versus a compound bow? Would an amateur golfer shoot the same score if they switched from super-game improvement irons to blades?
However, we still frequently see comments like, “it’s the wizard, not the wand.” If that’s true, why was is such a big deal that Voldemort got the Elder Wand? He was already a powerful wizard, right? You know the answer. With the right wand, he became an even more powerful wizard.
That’s why finding the right putter is so critical. You may already be a great putter but with a putter that fits you, you can putt even better.
THE EDEL GOLF FITTING PROCESS
Edel golf is all about fitting the putter to the player. They have promoted the power of putter fitting for years. One of the first articles I wrote for MyGolfSpy detailed the previous Edel fitting process. Tim Tucker (yes, Bryson’s caddie) took me through the myriad of design options, finally identifying my ideal putter build. To this day, that fitting is the most complete and complicated putter fitting I have ever experienced.
Our putter fitting is one of a kind. We give each customer the same attention we do to Tour players. You will be getting a putter that is customized to each individual’s visional perspective and intuition. Instead of picking what color your putter will be, the club will functionally be fit to each individual so each individual knows the putter is aiming where they think they are aiming, able to judge distance more efficiently and fix path. Every Edel putter that is fitted is one of a kind. No two Edel fitted putters are identical.
With the new EAS putter line, Edel is once again promoting the power of proper putter fitting. Obviously, a new Edel fitting process would catch my attention. Especially so since the new EAS putter line features so many customizable options. Curiosity demanded that I see how the new fitting program compared to its predecessor.
With this goal in mind, I traveled to Contra Costa CC to meet up with Kevin Arabejo, one of Edel Golf’s Certified Fitting Specialists.
THE EDEL EAS FITTING PROCESS: BIOMECHANICS
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this putter fitting was that it didn’t start with a putter. With other fittings, the fitter has watched me putt a few, asked me questions about my current putter or even went straight to SAM Lab data collection. Kevin started the fitting by measuring my arms.
Biomechanics plays a large role in the Edel Golf fitting process. The idea is to build a putter that fits your body. Edel’s research has shown that the relationship between your upper and lower arm length influences your putting stroke. Arm length influences where the grip of the putter should be pointing at your body and also how you should grip the putter.
As it turned out, my upper and lower arms are the same length. Never knew that. This means I should have the end of the grip pointing at my torso and my hands should be neutral on the grip. If your arm sections are not the same length, the recipe changes. Differing lengths could indicate that you need a putter that points more toward your shoulders or lower than your torso. Unequal arms could also best be served by a weak or strong grip on the putter. This was all new information to me.
The theory makes sense. If you have a putter that fits your arms, it will be move in sync with your arms when you putt. If not, you will manipulate the swing to compensate for the putter fighting against your body. I’m likely over-simplifying this but that was my takeaway.
Ultimately, this made me wonder which putters I’ve been fighting through the years.
THE EDEL EAS FITTING PROCESS: AIM
I remember “fitting for aim” playing a large role in my previous Edel fitting. As such, it was no surprise that fitting for aim was the next step. The goal was to find a putter head that I could aim at the hole. Silly me. I assumed I already did this. Turns out, it’s not that easy.
The science behind the aiming process is that the shape of the head and the alignment lines influence the aim. Some configurations will push the aim to the left and others to the right. We all have an aiming bias and a correctly fitted putter should complement or correct that bias.
To figure out my optical prescription, we started with a ball, a blank putter, a mirror and a laser.
My task was simple. I was to aim the putter with a mirror on the face at the “hole” in front of the green backdrop. The “hole” had a laser that beamed back at the ball. Once I told Kevin I was aimed at the hole, he removed the ball. This allowed the laser to hit the mirror, reflecting the beam back at the screen. Once we checked where the laser was hitting the screen, we knew where I was actually aimed.
That would be high and to the right. Not close to the hole at all.
From there, Kevin added lines to the top and flange of the putter and we repeated the process. On the next one, since I knew I was aiming right, I consciously tried to aim a little left. When the ball was removed, I was still aiming right. Giving in to the process, I set up again and again to the hole, testing how the lines changed my aim. Once we had two lines on top and two on the flange, I was aiming at the hole. Same putter head, just with different lines.
To show that this wasn’t just because I was now trained to aim at the hole, Kevin changed the head from the 4.0 to the 1.0. Even with the two-and-two line scheme that worked with the previous head, I was once again not aiming at the hole with the new head. Obviously, the improved aim wasn’t a learned skill and the overall alignment scheme is a combination of head shape and alignment lines.
THE EDEL EAS FITTING PROCESS: STROKE
Once we knew that I could aim at the hole, we moved on to rolling balls. I set up about six feet from a hole and rolled balls. All the putts ended up in a tight group, a cup right of the hole. Since I now knew I was aimed correctly, something was going on with the stroke.
The first thing Kevin pointed out was that the torque-balanced nature of the EAS putter causes it to move differently compared to a traditional putter. Essentially, the putter is not going to twist as much during the stroke. Since I was used to lots of twisting/gating, I was fighting the natural flow of the putter. Like with alignment, I needed to let the putter do its thing. So I became one with the flow of the putter-verse.
The right misses persisted though.
From there, Kevin added and adjusted weights in the grip. Not only did he add weights to the butt of the grip but also further down the shaft as well to match with the position of my right hand. Once I had a 50-gram weight down the shaft at my right-hand position, and a 40-gram one at the butt, my right misses went away. It was a bit crazy. Whatever I was doing to leave the putts right went away with the addition of the weights.
From there we moved on to some longer putts. Nearly all of them were on line but many of them were coming up a bit short. Short is my traditional miss. Kevin was not concerned about this, telling me this would improve once I learned to trust the putter. As I chatted with him and rolled a bunch of putts at various targets, I came to believe that he was probably right. Putts were still short but the shortness was diminishing.
Edel is also a proponent of using a round putter grip. This way, you align the putter based more upon the head rather than grooves in the grip. Once again, they have data to support their claims. I had used a round grip through the whole fitting process so I went that way with the final build.
All in all, it took Kevin about an hour to ferret out the correct putter build for me.
GAMING MY EDEL EAS 4.0
Could the fitting really have produced a putter that would work that much better for me? Man, was I was excited to get this putter out on the course to see if we had in fact bottled lightning.
The short story is that the putter did not disappoint.
Now that I have played a handful of rounds on my home course, I am truly impressed with how I aim this putter. Maybe I didn’t really trust the fitting process and I still arrogantly assumed I aim everything correctly. The bottom line is that when I aim this one, I aim at the hole.
It’s funny. When I was researching the EAS putters, I had planned on picking up the kit with the interchangeable alignment inserts. Now that I have gone through the process and used the putter, I question why that kit exists. Why would I change the alignment that works? For someone prone to tinkering, this was a real change in my personal putter paradigm.
My miss is still short but nearly all are on target. Like I saw at the fitting, the miss distance is decreasing with practice. I kid you not: I had five putts last week that combined were a foot from the hole. Dismiss that as braggadocio if you must but it’s the truth. If those balls roll a little more, I just dropped five strokes for the round.
Maybe the best descriptor of the Edel EAS 4.0 in my bag is “trustworthy.” I trust I have aimed this putter correctly. I trust the ball will go where I have aimed. And I’m building trust in knowing how far the ball is going.
Getting fitted for a putter is important. The more I roll this putter, the more I think getting fitted the right way is even more important. Of the dozen or so putter fittings I have done through the years, this fitting is the one I believe really did produce a putter custom fitted for me. That revelation is surprisingly bittersweet.
You see, cycling putters through my bag is one of my favorite things. No marriage, just dating. I have the feeling this putter wants a serious relationship. Obviously, I’m likely still going to be tomcatting the putter slot in my bag but maybe not for long. If I miss putts with a stray putter, now I’m going to be thinking I would have made it with the Edel. Yes, I know I have putter issues. I may be the only person on the planet to be irritated by finding a putter that is ideally custom fitted to me.
If you would like to settle down with a custom putter, go through the Edel EAS fitting process. My fitter Kevin works primarily in Southern California. If that is not close, you can jump on the Edel website and find certified fitters. In addition, many Club Champion shops have the Edel EAS fitting kit and certified fitters as well. Hopefully, that means you have a fitter nearby. If not, make the drive. It will be worth it. Be warned, it may ruin you for the rest of your putter collection.
Learn more about the Edel EAS putters and find a fitter near you at EdelGolf.com