SMASH Your Putts!

Understand What Can Influence Putting Smash Factor

Putter Smash Factor

Come on Tony – what are you smoking?  I mean, sure, smash factor is important for driver and iron performance, but for putters?  Well, let me take you on a little journey courtesy of some learning I recently had from the David Orr Flatstick Academy subscription web site – and a little personal testing.

In some of the articles David has posted on his site, he talks about these two items…

  • First of all, he mentions that he has seen – based on some measurements  – measured putter smash factors  of 1.6 to 1.9.  Remember that Smash Factor is defined as Ball Speed divided by Swing Speed.  More about this later.
  • He also does some great video lessons with some of his students on his site.  I have seen him suggest to students that – when they use putters with offset – they actually should, because of putter design, have their hands just a bit forward of the face at address because of the offset.

Ok then – what to make of this and what can you make of this information….

  • I wanted to see what a calculated Putter Smash Factor would be.  So I remembered the formula for this from Dave Tutleman's web site.  I used some assumptions – 370 gram putter head, COR of 0.83, 2 degree loft, center contact – and a calculated Smash Factor of about 1.62!  
  • The last time I played, I remembered what David Orr said about having my hands just a bit forward since I use an offset putter.  And I had a sensation that the ball just jumped off the face of the putter!  Now, I do not say I really understand why this is right now – a little less loft, maybe more center contact, who knows.  But the face contact was Just Different and I have to say very pleasing.

So some final takeaways from all of this…

  • Of course center contact will make a difference in how your putts come off of your putter face.  In addition though, a golf club (yes putter) Smash Factor includes a big dependence on Clubface COR.  So it is easy to forget that different types of face materials will influence how your putts release from the putter face – but they do.
  • And maybe – this is I admit a work in progress – how you set up at address can influence how solidly you hit your putts.  And in the end – speed control is a huge factor in putting performance.
  • And Finally – Always Something New To Learn!

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