Why is a putter fitting important?
A putting fitting is so important because there are a number of factors that need to be considered during the process to ensure that the ball not only starts on the correct line, but also has a proper end-to-end roll after impact. Getting the ball to that point of consistent roll as quickly as possible will help it stay on target, and you can achieve that by optimizing the ball launch and spin.
"Just like a full swing, every golfer brings the putter into impact slightly differently and therefore we need to optimize the lie angle and the loft of the club to create better spin, the biggest difference in optimizing a putter compared to a driver is that the impact is at a much lower speed and the target is much smaller.
Compared to a driver, where half a degree of loft can have little effect on the final result, this small deviation in a putter can make the difference between a holed putt and a missed putt."
Different putter shapes and visual cues can help individual golfers aim better.
Poor alignment is not caused by poor reading, but by golfers not understanding how to use the putter head to aim. Some golfers use the leading edge, others use the top edge. Some golfers need a longer line on the back of the putter, and others use the overall geometry of the head to line up properly behind the ball.
The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to aim when putting, as long as you can repeat it.
"The human eye is an amazing thing, and perception is just as important as reality when putting." I've worked with players who thought they were aiming right on line, only to find out that on a 4 meter putt they were aiming 4 to 5 degrees outside the hole, and it only takes a single degree of deviation to miss the ball from that distance. When I work with a player, my goal is to help them understand their aiming tendencies and alignment preferences through the fitting process and give them a head start on the visual cues that will steer them in the right direction."
Why is putter length so important?
A key element of putting is the setup and the correct line of sight to the ball. A good posture and eye line will help you see a straight line to the hole, which not only helps with alignment, but also means you don't have to manipulate your stroke to launch the ball online.
If your putter is too long, you will naturally stand further away from the ball, which in turn will cause your eyeline to move inside the ball. Not only does this affect your ability to see directly over the ball, but it also causes you to arch more and rotate the clubface more, making it harder to consistently straighten the clubface and launch your putts online. It can also affect the lie angle of your putter as players unconsciously lift the toe off the ground, which can favour a miss to the left. On the other hand, if your putter is too short, your eyes may wander over the ball as you are standing too close to the ball. This reduces clubface rotation and can cause the lie angle to become too upright.
The final piece of the puzzle - your putter grip selection
Once you have found the right putter head for your stroke, the lie and loft for your setup and the alignment style for the right direction, the final piece of the puzzle is the grip and it is extremely important that you find the right grip for you.
While there are general rules for hand size and that larger grips can reduce hand movement at impact, it's just as important that you find a grip that feels comfortable and natural in your hands, so take the time to try out a few options. The best thing about any grip is that if a grip doesn't feel right, it can be replaced relatively inexpensively.