Several years ago, while playing a round with a stranger I was paired with I was quite surprised when we reached the 1st green. The golfer pulled out a putter that was almost comical in length. Upon asking he told me it was 27 inches long. Asking him why he would be playing such a club, one that required him to bend over significantly to even make contact with a golf ball, he shared that the putter started at a normal length (35″). Each year (and sometimes more than once a year) he would somehow feel the putter was too long for him. In response he would trudge back to see his pro and have the putter cut down just a little bit more so it would feel right again.
The moral to this tale? If he’d just starting playing golf today instead of twenty years ago, PING would have had an easier solution for him. Not to that extreme I will say, but at least those now looking to make putter length adjustments between rounds or mid-season will have a creative new option.
Today PING has officially revealed the Sigma 2 putter series, which, among many other features, includes an adjustable length shaft technology. Not only can you make a choice on the length, the series sports some ten model options. That even includes one (the Fetch, appropriately) with a built-in golf ball pickup system. Yeah, these are not your average putter introduction.
“The Sigma 2 putters are engineered to bring a new level of performance and excitement to our putter line,” states John K. Solheim, PING President, in a release from the company. “As we do with every product, we combined our extensive technical knowledge gathered over our nearly 60-year history with the needs of the everyday golfer. In the Sigma 2, along with the new face design that’s both very soft and responsive, this approach includes providing golfers the ability to customize their shaft length by introducing a simple and intuitive adjustable-shaft-length technology that is a standard feature of every putter in the line. Our research indicates 8 out of 10 golfers are playing the wrong-length putters and losing strokes as a result. That’s a staggering statistic to us and one we’ve made easy for golfers to solve with the Sigma 2. Golfers will see significant improvement in their putting consistency if they use a putter length customized to their game.”
So before we can to fancy faces and model variations we’ll take on the elephant in the room – the adjustable shaft.
Those familiar with PING will know that in 2012 the company introduced an adjustable length NOME model, followed by more models, so this is not new territory for them. This time though, the technology is a lot more refined and, well, far less visible.
The new system is hidden under the grip and uses an adjustment tool that inserts at the top of it. This allows golfers to set the length anywhere between 32″ and 36″ to fit them better. The adjustments can be made in ¼” increments.
“The adjustable shaft is just a really cool technology,” shared Solheim. “Our engineers took a very complex technical challenge and simplified it for the benefit of golfers. It allows you to experiment with various lengths and ultimately self-fit yourself. You’re no longer limited to a specific length measurement. You simply adjust it until you’re comfortable, ideally with your eyes directly over the ball. We call it ‘invisible’ technology but once you customize it to your length, the results will be very clear on your scorecard.”
A Whole New Face
While the putters in the Sigma 2 series feature the familiar TR (True Roll) face patented by PING to provide more consistent ball speed across the face, what is behind that face is something all-new.
Dual layers of material, one softer (at the front) and one firmer (behind) now grace the hitting surface to help benefit the player as they play different length putts and increase the force of impact accordingly.
“Feel is difficult to quantify as there are a lot of opinions and preferences about how a putter should feel,” said Solheim. “The Sigma 2 has a very soft feel with a lively response, similar to a solid-face putter. It is designed for the golfer who prefers a putter on the softer side of the spectrum but with the response of a firm face, including more consistency on longer putts. By combining the two hardnesses of the PEBAX material and utilizing our TR face pattern, we’re providing a feel preference that appeals to a large segment of golfers while delivering the consistency golfers need to improve their ‘strokes gained: putting’ results.”
Get A Grip
To suit the preferences of each player, PING is making use of three proprietary grips for this collection of putters. Each provides a different diameter, shape, and weight. They progress from the PP-60 through the PP62.
A Variety of Shapes
As you would expect from PING, some common shapes dominate the new series with some new ones to get your attention.
They cover a myriad of styles, weights, and shape, and are built for varying stroke types. Each not only has the adjustable length shaft but can be customized for lie and loft.
They include the all-time classic Anser (blade), ZB2 (blade), Arna (mid-mallet). Kushin C (mid-mallet face-balanced), Fetch (full mallet with design to pick the ball out of hole without bending down), Tyne (mallet), Tyne 4 (mallet), Wolverine H (mallet), and the new Valor (mallet).
Prices start at $270 and pre-orders are available now.
I know at least golfer who might be interested…but I am guessing there will be a whole lot more.