|For 30 years Ping has had its clubs colour-coded with a variety of dots behind the clubface to identify an individual’s distinctive specifications.|
Red, white, black, green – the dot identifies the lie of the club and depends on your height and how you hold the club at address.
Never having been able to adapt to the Ping style of offset clubhead because of the ‘hands-ahead’ way I grip my clubs, I could never fully appreciate their custom-fit technique.
However, the introduction of colour coding for their range of putters has made me sit up. The colours are codes for lies - upright, flat, standard - in other words the way the putter sits on the ground when you address the ball.
The new system identifies the lie angle of each of their putters, and it suddenly makes sense to have the club on which you rely so heavily to improve your scoring, tailor-made, so to speak, to your individual idiosyncracies.
I would certainly have to agree with Ping’s John Solheim when he says: "A proper fitting matches the putter to each person’s stroke and other preferences, helping build putting confidence, leading to more holed putts and more enjoyment in a round of golf."
"With putting accounting for approximately 40 percent of the average golfer’s score, the importance of being properly fitted for a Ping putter cannot be emphasised enough," he says.
Ping is offering 10 putter colour codes, each representing a different lie angle that varies by one degree. They include maroon (5 degrees Upright), silver (4 deg U), white (3 deg U), green (2 deg U), blue (one deg U), black (standard), red (one deg Flat), orange (2 deg F), brown (3 deg F) and gold (4 deg F).
Ping claims the proper lie angle helps golfers align the putter to the target line and ensures toe or heel of the putter doesn’t drag, opening or closing the face during the stroke – a common fault with amateurs who often have the toe of the putter at an alarming angle to the putting green.
Golfers who use a putter with a lie that’s too flat tend to hit most of their putts right of the target. Too upright and they’ll tend to miss left. Wouldn’t it be confidence boosting to know this could be a wrong fitting rather than a mechanical flaw?
However, it’s a little strange to discover that three of the leading Ping putter users in the world, Chris DiMarco, Mark Calcavecchia and World matchplay champion Kevin Sutherland - all use the off-beat claw grip, where the left-hand is placed on the club in orthodox fashion but the right grips it like a pencil.
I have recently started using this grip, incidentally, and it has improved my ball striking with putts 100 per-cent.
DiMarco uses a PING Anser Isoforce putter that is 4 degrees upright, Calcavecchia prefers that his mid-length Anser 2 putter is 3 degrees flat and Sutherland uses a putter with a red (one degree flat) colour code.
Lee Westwood and Angel Cabrera have their Ping putters set at two degrees flat, Rory Sabbatini prefers 1.5 degrees flat, while Bob May and Miguel Angel Jimenez use Ping putters with a standard lie.
On the Evian Ladies European Tour, Paula Marti uses a standard lie in her Darby putter.
It's always highly recommended that more care and attention should be given to the choice of a putter, which accounts for almost half your shots in a round and if you can get one to fit you like the proverbial glove all the more reason to spend a little more on it, though Ping say this latest service will not cost you any extra. For your nearest Ping Custom-fitting centre call 01427 615405.