Like it or not—I’m keeping my opinions to myself—the long putter is legal, at least for now. And as more pros wield them and the rest of us get used to seeing them on tour, on television, and in our weekend rounds, it’s time to wonder if an elongated flat stick is right for us.
A big part of that “right for us” dilemma is figuring out just how long is long. Should we be sticking the end in our gut? Bracing the grip against the sternum? Somewhere in between? (I’m reminded of that old commercial for prunes: “Is five too many? Three too few?”) To what lengths should we go for good putting?
Helping us solve the problem is PING, which has a long history of excellence in putters as well as well-founded traditions of innovation and club fitting. They come together with the creation of the Nome 405 adjustable-length putter, which has the added attractions of partaking in the game’s current fascination with adjustability while conforming to the Rules of Golf.
Honestly, what makes more sense than a putter with a shaft that grows or shrinks up to 9 inches—from 37-1/2 to 46-1/2—allowing the golfer to find the right spot between belly and breastbone to secure the grip? The Nome 405 comes with a special adjustment tool that loosens a stainless-steel ring and lets the shaft slide up and down. It’s really quite simple. (Still, an adjustment guide is included and there’s a YouTube video showing how it’s done.)
The Nome head is mallet-shaped, made of high-grade, precision-milled aluminum, fitted with a heavy tungsten sole (its total weight is 405 grams), and feels very solid on the end of the shaft no longer how long you make it. A black bar with a white stripe is an easy-to-see alignment aid. The shaft—which is a combination of steel and graphite—is available in a choice of three bends in keeping with PING’s emphasis on proper fit.
And to make a long story short, the Nome head is also available on a standard-length putter.
Adjustable: $320; standard: $270.
Getting a handle—of the right length—on long putting
By: James A. Frank