By Alex Gallemore
PUTTING is one area of the game many of us choose to ignore, as holing a putt probably doesn’t feel as
satisfying as smashing a drive after a long day at work. We all know deep down that the putter is the club we use the most but for some strange reason, many of us, including myself, overlook the importance of getting fitted correctly.
The technology in putting has evolved and there are many new ways to get you back on line and sinking more putts. Shaft length, grip size and face balance are just some of the criteria in the selection process but number one is … how does it feel? Regardless of it ticking all the technical boxes, unless you feel confident standing over the ball you will never feel comfortable with the club and, most likely, it will end up in the garage with the others.
In Dubai it’s great to have the eGolf Megastores. Not only do they offer free fitting as part of their service but they have most of the brands and styles for you to try. Factor in plenty of time as it’s a trip worth taking. I caught up with Regardt Van Rooyen, their Custom Fit Specialist, to discuss what’s flying off the shelves and about the various brands they have to offer.
Can you try and explain why the TaylorMade Spider putter has been so successful on Tour – and also from a retail
point of view this year?
RVR: When Jason Day found success with the prototype version and rose to World No.1 in 2016, the club – coupled with the red finish – became a popular choice among players. It was a colour that hadn’t been seen in putters before. The more visibility it got on Tour the more popular it became among amateurs. The putter performs well because the weights are at the back to create an improved MOI (Moment of Inertia) which gives it more stability through impact. It also features an interesting groove pattern on the face, which is slightly at an angle. The depths of the grooves create less backspin and more topspin, which leads to improved roll.
When you see people coming into the store to get a putter how do they go about it? Is it just what looks good on the eye or is there a formula?
RVR: There’s a bit of a formula. We have almost every single putter on the market here so the first thing I would ask the client is what do they like the look of and is there any specific colour they prefer. For me, it’s all about getting the putter fitted properly. I need to make sure the customer is happy with the feel of the putter and the look of it.
What’s the percentage of people getting fitted for a driver to being fitted for a putter?
RVR: We see around 80% of our customers getting fitted for drivers and only around 5% for putters, which is a pretty bad ratio given that in a round of golf you use the putter far more than the driver. It’s a lot more important than any other club in the bag – so getting fitted with a comfortable one in imperative.
Do eGolf charge for that service?
RVR: No, we don’t. It’s absolutely free and it’s a simple process. It takes less than an hour and a half as we look at lie angles, weight, length and set-up, and we can do that with every single putter in the store.
What brands are you able to get here at eGolf Megastore?
RVR: We have TaylorMade, PXG, Cleveland, Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi, Ping, Titleist, Odyssey and Evnroll. As I said, we stock almost all the putters that are out there.
I recognise most of those brands that you’ve just mentioned but the one that has caught my attention was Bettinardi. Can you tell us about them?
RVR: Bettinardi is a company that only creates putters – they don’t specialise in anything else. Their putters have a Very soft feel, one of the softest out there, and they really focus on the look of the putters as they think it’s doubly important to have a putter that looks good when you’re standing over the ball. They also have a wider line on their putters to give added confidence when aligning it behind the ball , and they incorporate matt finishes to stave off unwanted glare.