In an interview to camera before the final round of the Irish Open at Adare Manor in Ireland, Padraig Harrington assured the TV audience that he was relishing the challenge ahead, which resulted in the first win by an Irish native since John O’Leary clinched the title at Portmarnock in 1982. It gives the 35 year-old Dubliner his 11th European Tour title, puts him 3rd in the European Tour Order of Merit and 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Padraig’s long game is consistently inspiring but his putting has taken on a new dimension, owing to a recent collaboration between Harrington and Torpedo Golf, who collaborated on putter shaft development with bio-mechanics specialists at the Quintic Consultancy.
Harrington first started working with the new Torpedo Shaft (patent pending) in his putter in late 2006. It saw its public debut in the 2007 Wachovia Championship, where he took the sole lead in round 1 with just 24 putts. Attached to Padraig’s regular putter head, the shaft itself does look special, with a lozenge-shaped brass mass just below the grip, and so his fellow professionals and commentators are very curious to know what’s in the bag?
The very same Torpedo shaft design saw him power to victory in The Irish Open and it has already aroused the interest of more than one golfing journalist…
The brass torpedo is positioned so that it alters the putter’s centre of gravity to increase the sweet spot on the putter face, but it differs from conventional wisdom by leaving the face itself out of any adjustment process. Described by the inventor Tim Winey as a ‘floating fulcrum’, it virtually tricks the golfer’s muscular system into putting with improved control over swing path and – more importantly – distance control. This latter is especially important since most 3-putts are a result of poor distance-control not poor aim.
The feel of the weight encourages the hands to be much more passive during the stroke. Some professionals have described the sensation as only having to swing the grip, allowing the putter to “do the work” for them. The extra mass of the fixture also minimizes the likelihood of the hands becoming “active” or “manipulative” during the putting stroke, particularly likely while putting under pressure.
Due to the fact that the shaft is the key, it also means that golfers can have it applied to their own preferred make and shape of putter head.
“It was born out of years of bio-mechanics research & coaching into the putting stroke… trying to keep the face square at impact is vital for successful putting,” says Quintic MD Dr Paul Hurrion. “The key to Torpedo is the rhythm that it helps create during the stroke. We work very hard on this with the players, along with pace control, ball roll and quality of strike. This applies to short, medium and long putts, it helps eliminate wrist action during the putt.”
The shaft conforms to USGA & R&A standards and is applicable to all putters, straight shafts, single or double bend. Torpedo Golf, in partnership with Quintic, believes the product is going to redefine putting.
Dr Paul Hurrion had another special reason to be pleased at Padraig Harrington’s win… He also collaborated with shoe manufacturer, Hi-Tec, on designing their CDT shoe that Harrington wears by choice when playing. They are designed to enhance power, control and distance through improved grip, stability and balance.