With the Ryder Cup matches coming up in a few weeks. I thought I'd investigate the potential use of "performance enhancing golf equipment" by either side. What I learned is worth mentioning, although most golfers will not recognize it as an advantage by the European side.
As far as the use of drivers, fairway metals, irons, and wedges is concerned, both teams seem to be using similar equipment. However, it is in the area of putters that the European team seems to have the advantage over the American team.
At least half of the European team members are using putters that have larger than average grips. That's right, their grips are fatter than usual.
How is that an advantage? As a manufacturer of one of the most performance enhancing golf putters of all time, the PROBE 2020, I know what can improve a golfer's putting stroke. My 2020 was inverted-shafted, where the thin end of the shaft was in the grip, and the fatter, heavier end of the shaft was in the center of the brass putter head.
This guaranteed a pure pendulum stroke instead of the usual jerky stroke encouraged by virtually all other golf putters. The well-known "yips" were virtually impossible to imitate with a PROBE 2020 putter.
We also made the 2020 with larger than usual putter grips, which encourages each golfer's hands and wrists to remain calm during the stroke. It was virtually impossible to "strangle" the fatter grip with too much grip pressure, which can cause the hands to push or pull the putter off-line.
I have noticed that European tour players use fatter putter grips then do most American tour players. When I tried to search for different putter grips online this past week, I was surprised at what I found, or should I say what I did not find.
I could not find any manufacturers of fatter putter grips listed on the Internet. I could find article after article about name tour players using a righthand low grip, or a lefthand low grip, or a claw grip, or whatever. That described how they all held the putter grip, but there was no mention about the thickness of the grips preferred by each player.
Could it be possible that the Europeans understand how the thickness of a putter grip can give a player an advantage, and that the Americans have no clue about the subject?
That alone could determine the outcome of the Ryder Cup matches this fall.