Playing golf involves more than just swinging the clubs. The game truly comes alive with the dexterity of those quick, accurate moves. And the putter is definitely the unsung hero when it comes to achieving accuracy on the greens. However, with so many putters on the market choosing one that is most suitable for you becomes quite challenging, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you choose the best putter for yourself.
Choosing the right putter is incredibly important not just for precision and accuracy but for scores as well, a perfectly executed putt can save strokes and help reduce overall score. We’ve outlined 7 critical elements you should consider when deciding which putter is right for you.
How to Pick Your Weapon?
1. Match the Putter to Your Putting Stroke
First things first, when selecting a golf putter ensure that you match it to your putting stroke. As a golfer whether you're a beginner or an advanced player you'll have a unique stroke, and the design and characteristics of the putter should complement and enhance this stroke. There are three main types of putting strokes: straight-back, straight-through; slight arc; and strong arc. Identifying your unique stroke type will help guide you toward the right putter for your game.
Straight-back, straight-through stroke: If you have this stroke type you’ll benefit from a face-balanced putter. This type of putter features a clubhead that remains square to the target line throughout the stroke as such promoting a straight-back, straight-through motion.
Slight arc stroke: If you have a slight arc in your stroke a toe-hang putter will be the most suitable for you. These putters have a clubhead that hangs down at a slight angle when balanced on a finger, allowing you to have a natural swing path that matches the arc of your stroke perfectly.
Strong arc stroke: Finally, if you fall under the category of golfers with a strong arc in their stroke, a toe-heavy putter is the ideal choice. These putters have additional weight in the toe, which helps to counterbalance the strong arc and promote a smoother, consistent stroke.
2. Know Your Putter Head Style: Blade, Mallet, or Half-Mallet?
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The next important factor to consider when choosing the perfect putter is the style of the putter head. There are three main types to choose from: blade, mallet, and half-mallet. Each style has its own unique characteristics and benefits.
Blade putters: These putters have a traditional, narrow design that appeals to many golfers. They tend to be more compact and have a smaller sweet spot, making them ideal for precise, controlled putting. Blade putters are often preferred by golfers who have a slight arc in their stroke. So, if you fall under this category, now you know which putter type is just right for you.
Mallet putters: Mallet putters are characterized by their larger, more forgiving clubhead design. They typically have a higher moment of inertia (MOI), which means they are more resistant to twisting on off-center hits. If you're a golfer with a straight-back, straight-through stroke, mallet putters are your go-to.
Half-mallet putters: As the name suggests, half-mallet putters combine elements of both blade and mallet putters. They offer a balance between forgiveness and precision, making them a versatile option for golfers with different stroke types.
Ultimately, the decision between a blade, a mallet putter and a half-m allet putter boils down to personal taste, how confidently a given style gives you to take the greens, and how well it fits in with your comfort level and putting stroke. Both varieties have particular benefits and can be useful in the hands of players who recognize their qualities.
3. Find the Best Putter Shaft Length Appropriate For You
The length of your putter shaft is something you shouldn't overlook. The aim is to find a length that allows you to maintain the proper posture and eye position over the ball. Standard putter shaft lengths for women's putters are typically around 33 inches. But, these are just guidelines and individual preferences may vary.
To determine the right shaft length for you, consider your height and how you naturally hold the putter. If you're a golfer on the taller side, you may benefit from a longer shaft, while shorter women golfers may find a shorter shaft more comfy. It's also worth noting that unconventional putting strokes or personal preferences may require customized putter lengths.
4. Consider Putter Weight and Balance As Well
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Equally important is the weight and balance of a putter. These two elements play a very important role in putter performance since weight distribution affects the feel and stability of a putter during the stroke. Generally, heavier putters promote a smoother, more controlled stroke, while lighter putters offer greater feel and touch.
When it comes to balance, there are two main types to consider: face-balanced and toe-hang. What's the difference?
Face-balanced putters have a center of gravity that aligns with the shaft, promoting a straight-back, straight-through stroke. Toe-hang putters, on the other hand, have a center of gravity that is closer to the toe, which is better suited for golfers with an arc in their stroke.
5. Understand Loft and Lie Angle
The loft and lie angle of a putter are crucial for achieving a consistent roll and accurate aim. The loft refers to the angle between the putter face and the ground, while the lie angle is the angle between the shaft and the ground.
The ideal loft for a putter is typically between 2 and 4 degrees. This loft helps promote a slight topspin on the ball, ensuring a smooth roll and minimizing skidding. The lie angle, on the other hand, should be fitted to match your natural setup and posture. A properly fitted lie angle ensures the putter sole rests flat on the ground, promoting a consistent stroke and accurate aim.
6. Know Your Grip Size and Material
A putter's grip is a key factor in determining how your putting stroke feels and is controlled. Your putter handling technique is directly affected by the grip's material and size , which affects how well your stroke is executed.
Using a thicker grip reduces wrist movement and creates a steady feel that is ideal for a smooth, pendulum-like motion. On the other hand, thinner grips provide greater wrist flexibility, which enhances feel and control during the stroke. Grips also come in various sizes, including standard, midsize, and oversize. Smaller grips allow for more wrist action, while larger grips can provide added stability and a firmer hold.
Whether it's rubber, synthetic materials, or corded grips, the selection of materials greatly influences the tactile feedback felt with each stroke.
Rubber grips which are the most common and offer a comfortable, tacky feel provide a more supple, cushioned feel, but corded grips which are ideal for golfers with sweaty hands are superior at improving traction and control, particularly in wet conditions. Individual preference and comfort ultimately determine the ideal grip thickness and material combination.
Our go-to are synthetic grips because they offer a softer, cushioned feel and maximum comfort which comes in hand especially on those days where you feel like going an extra mile on the green.
Ultimately the key to finding the perfect grip that not only feels comfortable but also increases control and dexterity during putt sessions is by experimenting with different sizes and materials.
7. Quality and Reputation of the Brand
Don't forget about quality. When investing in a putter, it is essential to consider the quality and reputation of the brand. Established brands like Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade, and Odyssey have a long-standing history of producing high-quality putters that are trusted by professionals and amateurs alike. These brands prioritize craftsmanship, durability, and performance, ensuring that their putters deliver exceptional results on the greens.
But, it's also worth noting that quality does not always come with a hefty price tag. There are many affordable options available from reputable brands that offer excellent performance and value for money. Do your research, read reviews, and consider seeking expert advice to find a putter that fits your budget without compromising on quality.
8. Budget Considerations
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When it comes to budget, it's important to strike a balance between quality and affordability. While high-end putters may offer top-of-the-line features and craftsmanship, they may not be necessary for all golfers. It's possible to find cheap putters that fit your budget while still providing excellent performance and durability.
Think about exploring pre-owned or discounted options from reputable sellers, which can offer significant savings without compromising on quality. Additionally, be sure to take advantage of sales, promotions, and discounts to make the most of your budget. Remember, the goal is to find a putter that suits your game and preferences, not necessarily the most expensive option on the market.
9. Seek Professional Guidance
While this guide provides a comprehensive overview of the what to consider when choosing a putter, it's always beneficial to seek professional guidance. PGA professionals and club fitters have the expertise and experience to analyze your putting stroke, assess your individual needs, and recommend the best putter for your game. Their insights and personalized recommendations can save you time, money, and frustration, ensuring that you find a putter that maximizes your potential on the greens.
10. Practice, Practice and Patience
Choosing the best putter doesn't end there. Once you have chosen the perfect putter, it's also important to spend time practicing with it to familiarize yourself with its feel and performance. Remember, putting is a skill that requires patience, consistency, and a lot of practice. So, take the time to develop a routine, work on your technique, and build confidence in your stroke.
You may consider investing in a premium tour-grade putting mat to create a dedicated practice space at home. This will allow you to hone your skills and refine your putting stroke in a comfortable and convenient environment. Afterall, improvement takes time and dedication, so embrace the process and enjoy the journey toward becoming a more accomplished putter.
Don't Forget This:
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Choosing the best putter is a personal journey that requires careful consideration and self-awareness. By understanding your putting stroke, matching the putter head style to your preferences, considering shaft length and weight, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can find a putter that enhances your game and brings you closer to achieving your golfing goals.
Always keep in mind that a putter isn't just a tool; it's an extension of your playing style and a key component of your success on the greens. Take your time, explore different options, and trust your instincts, they will never fail you. With the right putter in hand, you can confidently step onto the green knowing that you have equipped yourself with a reliable and effective tool to tackle any putt that lies ahead. Enjoy putting!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice. Always consult with a qualified golf instructor or club fitter for personalized recommendations based on your individual needs and preferences.