Thought you all would find this interesting:
Geoff Mangum's Explanation Behind Putters & Their Proper Balance
Face-balanced putters and toe-hanging putters differ only in degree, not in kind. Both designs tend to make the toe flare open in the backstroke, out of the stroke plane, and not simply out of the target plane. The toe-hanging putter has a greater tendency to do this, inherent in the more severe physics of the mass imbalance, but a "face balanced" putter also does this to a lesser degree. This physics reality is CLEARLY not appreciated by golf instructors or players and even by almost all designers, so perhaps they will learn something of great commercial value by looking into these issues with a desire for clarity.
What I really "like" is a "reality balanced" putter, which ends up being a "heel-hanging" putter.
If you take a "toe balanced" putter and position it at the top of your follow-thru and then let it freely swing back to its own top of backstroke position, you will see it swings severely open at the top. That's due to the extra inertial of the extra mass in the toe end of the face: this extra heaviness won't stop as soon as the lighter heel end, so the toe crashes thru the wall of the train station and the toe goes farther than the heel, flaring open out of the target line AND the stroke plane. The "face balanced" putter does the same to a lesser extent. Why is this? Because the center of mass of the putter swinging on a tilt is not the same location as when the putter shaft is balanced on the finger level with the ground to "see what sort of balancing the putter head has". Finger balancing and the balancing during the swing are simply not the same, and what you want to know about is swinging or so-called "reality" balance -- what are the balance physics and inertial effects during a stroke, not when the putter shaft is poised on your finger.
But if you invert a "toe-balanced" putter (flip it heel-away, toe-near, underside of grip now on top) and suspend it at the top of the follow-thru and then let it swing to it's natural position at the top of the backstroke, you should see a putter that NOW swings squarely back and thru, sans unhelpful "toe-flow" causing the putter to open out of plane and off line. Interesting, huh?
visit Geoff's Flatstick Forum at puttingzone.com for more info