Putter Loft is important when it comes
to managing the distance of your putt.
You should try in your setup and subsequent stroke to approximate the dynamic loft of your putter to the loft preset at the time of manufacture.
Putter Loft is one of the five variables in putter fitting according to Ralph Maltby of Golfworks, the others being length, lie angle, moment of inertia, and head or swingweight. The suggested standard for loft is somewhere between two and four degrees, but this is not everyone's opinion.
How do you know what the loft is on your putter? I would venture to suggest that the average golfer would have little idea.
To an untrained eye it is impossible to judge accurately the loft by simply looking at the putter.
To add to this I have never seen the loft stamped on the putter head. To be fair this information can usually be found on the manufacturer's web site. However, if you want to check the static loft of your putter, you could use a gauge such as the Maltby Design Putter Head Loft Gauge.
Tour pros are constantly having the lie angle and loft of their clubs checked. Amateurs don't. When it comes to your putter it is less likely to change from the manufacturer's specification for loft than the other clubs in your bag. That is unless you abuse it by throwing it around, banging it into the ground, or wrapping it around a tree.
Putter Loft is all about achieving better distance control. It is keeping a consistent skid to roll percentage on your putts so they run out in the same way every time. Nevertheless there is ongoing debate and marketing claims over how a ball reacts on impact.
Frank Thomas, the former Technical Director of the USGA, explains what happens with a loft of three degrees on a 10-foot putt:
The real question is 'Should you be looking for a static loft outside of the recommended two to four percentage favoured by most manufacturers?' The answer is 'Probably Not'. So don't go bending your putter if it falls within the recommended limits.
Besides you should not be looking at the static loft of your putter, but rather the dynamic loft you create at impact.
A forward press, or hands forward at address, changes the static loft by delofting your putterface. In the same way your ball position will add loft when it is forward in your stance.
Again I would venture to suggest that the average golfer would have little idea of the dynamic loft created by his or her stroke.
So what should you do and should you really care? It is my opinion that you should try to equate the static loft and the dynamic loft of your putter as best you can so that they are the same at address and impact.
This means having your hands level with the putter head at setup. If you use a forward press to trigger your stroke, keep it to a minimum.
Putter Loft is an important part of consistent putting. However, unlike the other variables, my advice is not to tinker with the static loft of your putter. Instead establish a setup and way of stroking the ball that keeps the loft within the suggested standard of two and four degrees.
To view a video clip of Ralph Maltby explaining the importance of Putter Loft CLICK HERE
1 + 2 = www.golfworks.com