Golf terminology can be a topsy-turvy world at times and while getting technical is generally a good thing, if it cannot be properly understood then it may not fully achieve its intent. Well, THP is here to help with that in what we are calling our “THP Classroom” series. The goal here is simple, take the complex and confusing, and make them understandable across the spectrum. First up on the agenda? Toe Hang. This is one of the most commonly used pieces of terminology when it comes to putters, but often words/phrases like face-balance, full-hang, no-hang, 1/4 hang, 6-O’clock (or any number), and the likes are never really fully explained. Have no fear, THP Classroom is here to help. What is Toe Hang anyways? From a technical standpoint, the Toe Hang of a putter speaks to the heel/toe weight balance relationship in the design. Alternatively, the term Face Balanced relates to that heel/toe weight being literally balanced in the design. Now, technical is nice, but what does it mean in real world terms and what causes/effects this? Essentially, the more weight that is situated toward the toe will make for a larger Toe Hang, this type of balance is typically better for those with a larger arc in their putting stroke as it allows for the face to open/close and be more square at impact. On the other end, face-balance usually appeals to a stroke with less arc overall, which won’t/shouldn’t require heavier toe weighting to aid in opening and closing the face through the stroke. Now, to be clear, Toe-Hang/Face-Balance is something that can be achieved not only through the head design and weight location, but also the neck/shaft type and placement on the head. Measuring this is as easy as letting the putter-shaft rest on your index fingers and seeing what direction the face goes, if it is face up then it is Face-Balanced and if the face points towards the ground at some angle then it has Toe-Hang. Where it gets somewhat confusing is that there are different levels of Toe-Hang described often as time and/or fractions. Making it simple with the most often used terms, if the toe points straight down then it is 6-O’clock or “full” Toe Hang and if the toe hangs slightly then it is 4-O’clock or “1/4”. Now, all of that can get much more specific as weighting and shaft variables can give Toe Hang all over the spectrum, but it’s a solid general overview. What does all of this mean to you? As far as what Toe-Hang means to the individual it’s pretty simple. The basic explanation is more Toe-Hang for a more arcing stroke and less as the amount of arc in the stroke decreases. With all that said though, there are no absolutes in this game and there really isn’t any ONE hard and fast rule as it pertains to what Toe-Hang one should use. Fitting into recommendations and parameters don’t always mean comfort and confidence, and in putting that is a massive part of the equation. As always, the best way to find what works for you is to try out options or go get fit, but even then it’s nice to know what all of this terminology means. THP Classroom aims to be your access point to making the technical more understandable for everyday golfers of all skill levels. If there are any topics you would like for us to address in a dedicated article, you can reach us through email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter using @THPGolf and #THPClassroom within the tweet, and of course on the THP Forum.
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