When most golfers work on putting they focus on face and path without as much thought to the loft and rise angle of the putter and how that is affecting the launch conditions of the golf ball. With the advent of launch monitors club fittings have become geared towards optimizing launch angle and spin rate based on the speed of the golf ball. Putting should be no different.
When launch conditions are optimized in ball striking whether it be with driver, irons, or wedges the golf ball is less affected by the wind as the ball flight is more piercing and distance is optimized. When launch conditions are optimized in putting the golf ball is much less susceptible to bouncing offline due to imperfections in the green.
So, what are the ideal launch conditions of the golf ball? According to Science and Motions Sports, creators of SAM Puttlab, the ideal launch for a golf ball being putted on fast greens (10 on the stimpmeter and higher) is 2 degrees of launch with topspin. The variables that influence the launch condition of a putt are the loft delivered at impact and the angle of attack of the putter head. These factors can be changed by changing ball position, the putting stroke motion, or the loft of the putter.
Taking the time to have your putting stroke assessed on Sam Puttlab is a great way to see how the putter is being delivered to the golf ball and to see what changes, if any, need to be made. It really can make all the difference in how you putt.