How to Choose the Right Putter

Putting is a significant part of golf and one of the hardest if we’re honest. It’s so tasking that even a renowned ball-striker, Ben Hogan, suggested eliminating putting from golf!

Since that’s impossible – and we wouldn’t want to do away with putting anyway – it is of paramount importance to put a lot of thought into the process of choosing your putter. If you’re a golfer – and we assume you are or you wouldn’t be reading this – you’d agree that the putter is the most crucial club in golf. With the proper skill set, a suitable putter can help you build your score.

Although the putter is the most used equipment in golf, many players select a putter based on reputation or appearance. A good brand name and catchy ads can be persuasive, but you might end up wasting a lot of money in your quest to find the perfect putter. With the many choices available, it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing based on design, brand, or reputation.

The key is to use the putter that works well with your posture, strokes and makes you feel comfortable and confident. The better your skills at putting, the higher your chances at winning. This is why selecting a good putter is a necessity. Before getting a putter, you have to be aware of your body specifications, stroke style, and the features and types of putters. Armed with this knowledge, you will find it a lot easier to choose the putter of your dreams.

Now that you know choosing a putter is quite a big deal, you may be thinking, “shouldn’t I get professional fitting?”

If possible, yes. But since you’re here, you may not need to spend so much on getting professional help. This article will show you how to get the right putter for you and save you hundreds of dollars in the process.

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Factors to Consider when Choosing Your Putter

#1: Your Putting Style

Golfers often use either the arc stroke or the straight back, straight through the method. Know what kind of strokes you’re producing by trying several putts. Your putting style determines the shape and face of the putter you need, as well as other factors like the Hosel.

#2: Loft angle

The ball forms a slight depression in the green, so you need a reasonable degree of loft to get the ball out quickly. Most putters have between 2 to 6 degrees of loft. A putter with too much loft can lift the ball higher than expected, making it easier to get off-line.

You need about 4 degrees of loft for your putter. This makes it easy for the ball to move out of the slight depression and creates momentum that keeps the ball rolling. Let’s say a putter with a 4-degree loft gives ‘keep the ball rolling’ a new meaning!

#3: Target Line

A target line enables you to see the direction of the putter’s movement during a stroke. Shorter target lines facilitate better aiming.

#4: Length

Putters vary in length, from 18 inches and above. Based on the size, putters are classified into conventional, long, and belly putters.

  • Conventional Putters: 32 to 36 inches.

A conventional putter is a good option if you have great putting nerves and minimum wrist action. If you have the ‘yips’ (inferior putting nerves) or are too handy, a belly or long putter is a better option.

  • Long putters: 48 to 52 inches

Long putters are well-suited to players suffering from low back pain. Long putters serve as an extension of the arms and make it easier to give the ball a roll. Using a long putter requires a different grip than other lengths.

  • Belly Putters

If long putters are uncomfortable for you, you can go for a belly putter. Belly putters work well for arc strokes. About 41 – 46 inches long, the belly putter adds a third point of contact – the belly.

When choosing your putter, it’s best to keep in mind that the length of your putter plays a crucial role in determining your posture while playing. If you tend to grip down the shaft when putting, you should get a short putter. You should get a long putter if you grip beyond the shaft. When holding a putter with the correct length for you, the shaft should align with your forearms.

To determine if a putter is the correct length for you, do not stay too far or too close while trying it out. This can give you a wrong perception of how suited the putter is to you. And don’t we all know a good posture is half the battle won!

#5: Weight

Knowing the proper length isn’t enough; you have to find a putter that weighs just right. The length and weight of putters are often related. A 35-inch putter weighs about 330 grams, while 34 inches weighs 350 grams. If you’re using a shorter putter, it has to be heavy enough so it won’t feel too light. 32 inch-putters can weigh as much as 380 grams.

#6: Shape

  • Mallet

If you’re a golfer who plays it straight back and straight through, then the mallet is for you. The deep head design lowers the center of gravity and makes off-center hits less cringe-worthy. Mallet putters are suitable for slower greens, and the added weight can improve precision.

  • High MOI

This type of putter has a heavier head than the mallet and the blade. Despite its heaviness, the weight is spread evenly across the shaft, giving the shaft a middle balance.

  • Face-balanced putters

The face-balanced putters have their center of gravity directed below the shaft axis.  The shaft is parallel to the ground, and the face of the putter is directed upwards when balanced on your finger. If you have a straight putting stroke, the face-balanced putter is the one for you.

  • Toe-balanced putter

As the name denotes, the toe-balanced putters have toes that point to the ground when you balance them on your finger. If you have an arc in your putting stroke, this putter is highly recommended.

  • Blade Putter

Simple, flat, and suitable to fast greens, the blade putter is the one to go if you have a straight putting stroke. This is because it is face-balanced. The lightweight makes it suitable for faster greens.

#7: Putter Faces

The type of putter face to choose is determined by the speed of green (slow or fast), ball, and your personal preferences.

  • Metal-faced Putter

Steel is the most commonly used metal for putter faces. Aluminum, bronze, copper, brass, zinc, and titanium are also used. A significant advantage of this type of putter is its durability. It’s designed to last long, even though it isn’t as forgiving as the insert-faced putters.

  • Groove faced Putters

The grooves on the faces increase the grip on the ball, making it easier to incite the ball into a forward-rolling motion after contact. Grooved putters are mostly metal-faced putters, although some insert-faced putters have grooves.

  • Insert-faced

Though also metal putters, the faces are covered with a light non-metal insert.

#8: Hosel

The point where the putter head meets the shaft is known as the Hosel. Choosing the right Hosel is something most golfers overlook, but it plays a significant role in how well your club swings.

  • Plumber’s neck

Putters with a plumber neck Hosel are easier to handle. It has a horizontal bend below the meeting point of the shaft and the Hosel.

  • Long Hosel

Though similar to plumber’s necks, a putter with a long Hosel has an extra length. Before getting a putter with a long Hosel, you must keep in mind that the putters are more toe-balanced.

  • Flare-tip

Putters with a flare-tip Hosel have less offset and are a bit toe-down.

  • No Hosel

Face-balanced putters typically have no Hosels. This is a good fit if you prefer a straight back, straight through stroke.

#9: Shaft

  • Heel shafted

Often toe-balanced, the heel-shafted putter has the shaft connected nearer the heel of the head. Blade putters are often heel-shafted. If you have an arc putting stroke, the heel-shafted putter is for you.

  • Centre shafted

The Hosel connects the shaft to the center of the head. Usually, face-balanced, center shaft putters have distributed weight on the head’s heel and toe. It’s well-suited for straight back, straight through stroke.

Final Thoughts

While choosing your next putter, remember to not get carried away with the design, feel, or brand name. Before you make a purchase, it is essential to ask yourself these questions:

  1. “Does it suit my style and stroke?”
  2. “Does it fill me with confidence?”
  • “Have I used this type of putter before, and do I want to use it again?”
  1. “Is it comfortable?”

Apart from the technicalities involved, comfort with the use of a putter is a critical determinant in your decision. Choosing the right putter is quite a thorough process that requires some time and effort, but when you’re on the greens making your wins, you’ll realize none of it was a waste. And who knows, you might find out you’re a better golfer than you thought.

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