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Home PING goes groovy

Distance control typically is only applied to how a player hits their irons. Everyone wants to hit his or her driver as far as possible, for example. Tiger Woods has often said he wants to consistently be pin high with his approach shots to give himself a chance a to shoot his lowest score. Distance is important from tee to green, but perhaps even more so on the putting surfaces. After all in order to make a putt a player has to marry speed and line in order for the ball to be accepted by the hole. Leave it to PING to come up with a new technology that improves a player’s speed and distance control with a putter. The Phoenix, AZ-based Company has created a face insert called TR, which stands for True Roll. The insert is a part of the new Scottsdale putter line that will be available at retail starting in February.

The company, which knows a few things when it comes to grooves, underwent an extensive research project with respect to putters. “It was a broad approach where we studied grooves and different inserts to determine the relationship between launch angle and spin rates in a putter,” explained Marty Jertson, Sr. Design Engineer at PING. “On longer putts, say from 30 feet, there is a higher statistical area of misses on the putter face than from 10 feet,” he said. “We found that deeper grooves, placed in the sweet spot of the putter face slow the speed of the ball when it starts rolling. Typically players find the middle of the putter face on shorter putts and begin to miss either on the heel or toe when faced with longer distances. By shallowing out the groove depth towards the heel and toe it speeds up mishits relative to the center hits,” he explained. Leaving yourself a 3 or 4-foot putt for par can get old rather quickly. The TR technology is intended to reduce that annoying distance players can be faced with too many times over the course of a round. “On a 25 foot putt, our testing showed a half inch mishit towards either the heel or toe using the TR technology produced basically the same ball speed versus a center hit,” Jertson said. In drivers, moment of inertia (MOI) has been the common ally to help stability at impact with off center hits. Putters have incorporated MOI, especially in mallet style models over the years, to help create stability on off center impact. However, energy is lost and ball speed is influenced. The TR insert in the Scottsdale line provides game improvement technology and helps players of all handicaps control their distance on the greens. PING said the Scottsdale TR insert has 47% more consistent ball velocity in its 9 test positions used on the putter face.

The Scottsdale TR putter line will debut in February in 12 models, including three new designs: Grayhawk, Tatum and Carefree, which is a long putter. The MSRP on the traditional models will be $162.50, while the mallet versions will be $192.50. The belly/long putters will have an MSRP of $235 each. PING is offering adjustability in length on its standard putters, from 31” to 38”. There will be a slight upcharge of $35 if consumers want this feature. All Scottsdale TR putters fall within PING’s “Fit for Stroke” models.