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The Reality Putter

Face Balancing" a Golfing Myth?

I have been a putter designer and manufacturer for 18 years. During that time I have seen many weird and wonderful types of flat sticks, I've also managed to produce a few strange ones myself. In my search for justice on the greens I have designed and made many tools for testing the effectiveness of my putters and to measure them against those of other manufacturers.

I've always thought, "face balanced" putters were more of a conjuring trick than a genuine attempt to make a better putter. I must confess that I have made them on request from time to time but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was all just smoke and mirrors. As the demand for face-balanced putters grew I decided to investigate the phenomenon a lot more closely.

"Face balancing", as we know it occurs when you balance the shaft horizontally and the face of the putter points skyward and is parallel to the ground. This is achieved by having all or most of the head weight evenly distributed behind the shafts pivotal point.

This type of balancing would be OK if you putted with the shaft in a horizontal position. Most of us putt about 70 upright from the horizontal. If you move a "face balanced putter" from the horizontal plane just a little towards the 70 the face of the putter wants to twist open, go all the way and it will be pointing directly away from you. This twisting effect can be quite forceful with some putters.

My testing was done with some fairly sophisticated equipment but here is a simple way you can do your own testing. Push a golf tee into the hole at the butt end of the grip. Leave enough of the tee out of the hole so you can hold it loosely between thumb and forefinger. Holding the tee as described let the putter hang in a vertical position. With your other hand push the shaft away from you towards the normal swing plane angle of about 70. The pushing action is done best with a smooth surfaced object such as a pen as there is less friction than with a finger or hand. What happens next is quite amazing you will feel the tee twisting between your thumb and finger and you will see the face of the putter twist open.

Testing your putter for Reality Balance.
When held vertically the face of the putter remains stable.

Pushing the putter out into the normal swing plane the head becomes unstable and will twist open and away from the target line.

Without knowing it all of you golfers with face balanced putters have been compensating for this movement in the head of the putter, mostly with the hands. Problem? You bet there is. Any relaxing of the normal grip pressure however slight will result in the face of the putter twisting open ever so slightly resulting the infamous pushed putt. Over compensation with the grip pressure will result in you pulling the putt. Maintaining exactly the same grip pressure during the stroke therefore becomes a critical factor in your success on the greens.

What makes it even more critical is most of us set up and start the putting stroke with the head resting on the ground behind the ball. Contact with the ground stops any twisting effect; we call this position neutral. When we lift the head up and away from the ball the twisting of the head has even greater impact on a relaxed grip that is also starting from a neutral position.

So now you have received the bad news about "face balanced" putters what about all the others. Blade, Heel & Toe Weighted and Centre Shafted. Its all bad news I'm afraid.

Blade putters are heavily weighted towards the toe. Our robotic testing concluded the same effect of "face balanced putters" only worse. If the face was closed a little then that is the way it turned, open slightly and the face wanted to open all the way. It was a bit like trying to balance a golf ball on a pinhead.

The result with Heel & Toe Weighted putters (45 hanger) also wanted to fall open.

Centre Shafted putters are mostly weight towards the toe and the results were the same as with a Blade putter.

Being a putter manufacturer I decided to do something about this phenomenon and make a putter that will remain stable when balanced freely in, and when swung through the plane of the putting stroke. I have called it "REALITY BALANCED"™.

What the "Reality Balanced" putter offers is a chance to start and finish the stroke with the head of the putter in a totally neutral position. There is no chance of the head of the putter suddenly becoming active and wanting to twist open. Maintaining the exact same compensating grip pressure each time is not necessary. It gives a golfer a great sense of wellbeing knowing that there are no outside forces at play during the stroke. In fact the "Reality Balanced" putter will enable the golfer to lighten their grip to the extreme without loosing control.

The Reality Putter | Special Features

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