Why Use a Putter With Zero Degrees of Loft?
There are two main benefits to use a putter with zero degrees of loft. In the 2 minute video below I demonstrate these benefits.
The first benefit of zero degrees of loft is the ball gets rolling more quickly and tracking on the target line. I posted another slow-motion video below that shows the difference in zero degrees of loft launching the ball a shorter distance and rolling with topspin sooner. To help understand this concept a bit more let's look at a more extreme version of getting the ball to roll quickly with topspin. Visualize in your mind’s eye someone topping off an iron shot. The ball barely comes off the ground for the first few feet before it starts to run on a straight path. Any bump the ball encounters hardly affecting the straight path and the ball continues to roll straight. This happens to a putter with zero degrees of loft but on a much smaller scale. The ball launches for a few inches before the ball starts to roll on the target line.
The second benefit of zero degrees of loft is the changes in lie angle of the putter do not affect the direction. Again, to better understand this concept lets look at a more extreme version with an iron. What happens when the ball is stuck with an iron that toes up for a right-handed player? The answer is the ball will go left of the target line. The converse is true if the toe is down; the ball will go right to the target line. This same effect happens during putting but on a much smaller scale. The fact becomes more evident on longer putts as the small degree in which the ball moves offline becomes more apparent.
Zero degrees of loft will work for most players. However, if you are a player that plays a forward press and can maintain the hands in front of the be putter head at impact, then you should not play a putter with zero degrees of loft. Furthermore, zero degrees of loft will not work for players that place the ball back of the middle of their stance.