Golf equipment continues to change, especially with the advent of adjustability that has been introduced. Manufacturers pursuit to seek improvement never rests and it extended to another area. PING today said it became the first major golf company to introduce a USGA-approved adjustable-length belly putter shaft. The adjustable putter shaft, offered exclusively with the Nome 405 putter, allows the player to self-adjust the length within a 9-inch range to optimize performance.
“At PING, custom fitting is our priority, and with the popularity of belly putters we saw a unique fitting opportunity because shaft length is so critical to performance,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “Adjustability is key because the standard 42-inch belly putter fits a narrow range of people. When the shaft is too long or too short, it alters your distance from the ball, your eye position, and the path of your stroke. Adjustability lets you experiment until your posture is comfortable and your eyes are over the ball, which helps you make a consistent stroke and solid impact. We’re pleased to have USGA approval of this easy-to-use, innovative technology. Golfers are going to find it will help improve their putting.”
Putting is often a subjective thing, mainly predicated on feel. In part its how belly putter became popular with some players. But as history has shown players don’t always feel the same each and every day. “One of the big advantages of this technology is it allows you to take it down so in a sense, you can putt with it as a standard putter would,” explained Brad Schweigert, Director of Engineering at PING. Typically most standard putters are 34” in length and the Nome 405 can adjust from 37.5 to 46.5 inches. In essence players, professional or amateurs, can move from standard to belly style with the Nome 405 from round to round, if they wanted to. “Granted it’s quite a bit heavier than a standard putter as all belly putters are,” said Schweigert. “You can easily putt with it (Nome 405) with the grip extended if I wanted to try that for the day. But one of the things we found with the belly putter is that literally a quarter of an inch adjustment can be critical. There are different techniques to belly putting. Where do you anchor it? Some people try different anchoring positions. This putter offers the flexibility to anchor it on the center or maybe you want it lower on your body. If you only get fit one time then it’s only for one anchoring positioning and you won’t have the flexibility to change that position.”
The player is able change the length of the Nome 405 using a PING adjustment tool that threads into a locking ring on the shaft. Turning the tool loosens the ring, allowing the shaft to slide telescopically. The player then adjusts the shaft to the desired length. Turning the adjustment tool in the opposite direction and removing it locks the ring and secures the shaft so it’s ready for play.
The shaft is available in three different bends to match Straight, Slight Arc, and Strong Arc stroke types. This coincides with PING’s Fit for Stroke putter-fitting concept. The adjustability feature of the Nome 405 putter in concert with the iPING putting app available for free through iTunes, allows any player to test their consistency level in order to understand whether they’ve actually improved and at what length it was accomplished.
The Nome model is a timely choice for the adjustable putter shaft. It had a recent PGA Tour win even prior to its official launch. PING Pro Hunter Mahan used a standard-length Nome 355 putter to win the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February. Mahan said the Nome’s alignment aids gave him confidence in his aim. “I felt I could make just about any putt I looked at.” Since the victory, more PING pros have put a Nome putter in their bags, according to the company. Players are being introduced to the adjustable putter shaft in the Nome 405 putter at this week’s Shell Houston Open. The putter is expected to be available at retail May 1st. It carries a suggested retail price of $320.