Conference paper Open Access

Love at first try? How reliable is a first impression for selecting a golf putter?

Travnicek, Peter; Litzenberger, Stefan; Sabo, Anton

In the game of golf the putter is used for 40 to 50 percent of all strokes during a round. Therefore, it is important for a golfer to find the putter that suits the own game best and that promises the most success on the green. Compared to all their other golf clubs, average recreational golfers usually select their putter relatively fast - the main criterion for choosing a specific putter being the first impression after a few practice strokes. The purpose of this paper therefore is to find out whether this first impression is reliable in the process of finding a putter, a study was completed. The study was conducted with ninety test subjects of varying skill levels and experience. This study used three different types of putters. The putting accuracy of each test subject with every test putter was recorded. The subjects had to twice fill in a questionnaire about their perception of the putters’ properties before (Q1) and after (Q2) the putting sequences. The results of Q1 and Q2 were set in relation to the analysis of putting accuracy resulting in low number of successful identifications for Q1 and more than twice the number of successful identifications of Q2. An analysis of the handicap
and the playing experience of the test subjects indicates that golfers of all skill and experience levels are able to find the best putter through the first impression. However, the results showed that the identification rate is still low. The paper therefore concludes that a golfer should not rely on the first impression alone. 

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