How is your putting cadence?
Not something you get asked every day and a bonus point if you understand the question, but it means the natural rhythm of your stroke.
Some golfers have faster strokes than others and in order to accommodate everyone Ping has brought out the Cadence TR range of putters.
This is a range of 7 different head shapes that cover all the Ping classics like the Anser, plus a few of the newer head styles like the Ketsch mallet.
Each model features the Ping TR insert that stands for True Roll. This has been around for a while now and contains grooves on the face that are different depths to maintain ball speed wherever you happen to strike the ball on the face.
In the centre of the face the grooves are deeper and towards the heel and toe they are shallower, not that you can really see this as it is all in the way the grooves are precision milled.
Depending on the model, the TR insert goes most or all the way across the face and I prefer the full width versions as I get a little concerned about the possibility of a major mishit on longer putts that goes nowhere. The all metal Ping Karsten TR putters manage to have full width grooves on every model, but according to Ping it is dependent on the mass of the putter head when inserts are involved.
In mallet style putters there is more mass further back from the face and that has a greater effect on increasing the MOI of the putter. With the more blade style putters like the Anser, they need to keep more of the heavier steel weight in the heel and toe to maintain the MOI, rather than lose it to the lighter insert if it was the full width.
What makes the Cadence insert different is that it comes in two weights of Traditional and Heavy. The Traditional version features a blue aluminium insert and a blue grip and this is for golfers with a fast or normal putting stroke tempo. The Heavy version insert is black and made of stainless steel that adds around 25 grams to the weight of the head.
In order to see which one is best for you can either be a little bit of trial and error or you can use the Ping iApp on an iPhone. The app is free to download, but then you have to buy the cradle to attach it to your putter shaft. It is a worthwhile investment as there are plenty of practice games on it as well as the putter fitting tool. Anyway, the iApp will identify the tempo of your stroke and give it a score.
Generally anything scoring 2.2 or higher is a slow stroke and therefore the Heavy version is best for you. Less than 1.8 and you have a fast stroke so the Traditional Putter is best. If you have a specific issue with short or long putts then the options become more varied as this chart from Ping shows:
My tempo of 1.9 is rated as medium, so I could realistically use either model and I headed off to the putting green with both versions of the face balanced, straight stroke B65 putter to find out.
The Traditional version felt very, well, traditional with the lovely balance that you would expect from one of the top putter brands like Ping. Compared to the all metal faces of putter like the Karsten TR, I am not sure the insert gives as much feel and feedback. However as inserts go it is pretty good and the distance control from the TR grooves seemed to do its job.
What I particularly liked was the Golf Pride Ping Cadence PP58 mid size grip that is on both models. It still has a pistol shape but in a chunkier form with nice flat front and lovely soft feel that makes it much easier to relax your hands and take the tension out of your arms.
On the Heavy version of the putters, the grip is black to match the insert, but it is the same weight as the blue version.
Moving on to the Heavy version of the B65 and right away it felt very good and almost the same feel to swing. It did feel heavier, but not as much as some counterbalanced putters I have tried, nor did the extra weight work in that way to keep the head swinging straight back and through. It was almost like a mid-heavy weight putter in the grand scheme things, so if you have a tendency to a faster stroke then the Heavy version will just slow everything down a bit to calm your cadence.
The sound from the black Heavy steel insert was a bit deeper and more solid than the blue version and probably for me I preferred the Heavy version for that reason. On longer putts the extra weight was not an issue and the ability to judge pace and distance was equally as good with both weights of putter for me.
Some people prefer heavier putters if they get a little twitchy on the short ones and most counterbalanced putters stand out due to their construction, which almost advertises your issue to others. What I like about the Ping Cadence range is that you can play your favourite Ping putter shape in various weights and no-one will know without some forensic investigating.
If you don't care about that and want even more weight then each model can also be ordered with a 38 inch counterbalanced shaft or with an adjustable shaft that can vary the shaft length from 31 to 38 inches, but also makes it a little heavier to use.
The standard putter length is 35 inches and as an added bonus the holographic shaft sticker with the stroke style on it will light up in bright sunshine, so that is unlikely to bother you much in the UK.
Overall I think the Cadence range is a good alternative solution to the tempo issue and is yet another option that you can explore after you have been rated by the iApp, which I think is one of the best self-fitting tools around.
Apart from an extra £20, there seems very little difference between the Cadence TR Traditional and the more expensive Scottsdale TR putters, as they are both regular weight with the same aluminium insert. However the only model that appears in both ranges is the Anser, although the Shea head is also in both, but with different hosels.
The Scottsdale TR Anser is a 350g head whereas the Cadence TR Anser is 340g in Traditional and 365g in Heavy, so if you like that head you could really fine tune the weight if you wanted to. For anything else the head shape could determine which TR range you go for if you have a regular or a slow stroke.
What the Cadence TR range offers is that heavier option for faster swingers in a wide variety of Ping heads that will be familiar to most people, without having to add lead tape or going the full hog to a counterbalanced putter.
There is a multitude of options from head shape, weight and shaft length, so this is a very comprehensive range and whatever your cadence, you will find the ideal Ping Cadence TR putter if you take your time.