Starting from the premise that choosing a putter depends on the feeling it gives us, but nevertheless it is possible to establish some aspects such as length, weight, grip, degrees, etc. that will determine to a large extent which one is best suited to our game.
Read our full guide on how to choose the right putter for anyone and make sure you are choosing the right one before going to buy it.
We can find putters of all shapes and colors, sizes, weights, shaft placement, length and aesthetics, and if that were not enough, the sensations offered by two apparently identical models can be completely different.
If there is one of the clubs we carry in our bag in which we have to have confidence, that is the putter, and it is not for less since it is the club that is most used in a regular round of golf.
An amateur player can make between 30 and 40 putts in a round, while he will only use the driver on 12 or 14 occasions.
Putters are classified according to the design of their head and according to the position of the shaft in relation to the club head:
- By head design, we can find three types of putters: such as the Los blade, the hell-toe and the mallet.
- By the position of the shaft in relation to the club head, we have heel-shafted putters or centered-shafted putters.
In both cases we will find models in which the shaft enters inside the head, with hosel, with offset and without it.
Generally speaking, the centered shaft putter marks the line better and offers greater control of the club head on short strokes and the putter without offset reduces errors when there is a tendency to leave the hands behind.
On the other hand, the offset putter makes it easier for the face to arrive square when the player brings his hands forward and is more forgiving when it comes to long swings.
Then there is the putt known as the broom putt. This is the club that has a longer shaft so that the player holds it with one hand against his chest while with the other he makes the stroke.
Since 2016 its use has been prohibited, since the putt cannot be anchored to any part of the body. The Royal and Ancient (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), decided its prohibition as of 2016.
The new rule 14-1 B, which was also approved by the PGA and the Race to Dubai, this rule prohibits the putter from touching any part of the player’s body that impedes the natural swing of the club on the way to the ball.
According to the design of the head the 3 usual models are: The blade, the hell-toe and the mallet.
- The blade: nowadays they are on the way to extinction and their use is relegated to a few players who are able to master them or who are inclined to classic aesthetics. Their design comes from the first putters that were nothing more than irons with few degrees, so they do not offer any advantage in alignment and their mass distribution loads too much weight on the center of gravity, offering little forgiveness on off-center hits.
- Hell-toe putters start from a similar size to blades, but distribute more weight to the ends for a wider sweet spot. Most take advantage of the cavity to mark a reference line that helps to place the club. Except for those that use a centered shaft, the rest have offset, to a greater or lesser extent, which reduces the push effect. They are usually made of steel and some have inserts that soften the impact.
- Finally, mallet putters extend the back of the putter to get a wider view of the squareness of the face and were banned by the R&A at the beginning of the 20th century because they were considered to make the game too easy. Their surface allows designers to play with weight distribution and manufacture putters with a higher moment of inertia. They are manufactured in a variety of materials, from aluminum to resin composites or even wood.
The first point to take into account when choosing a putter is the length of the shaft as it affects the position and the distance to the ball. If we have a putter with the correct length, we will be able to position ourselves with the correct posture at the ideal distance.
If we talk about standard putters, most of the ones we find in the market are 34″ for men and 32-33″ for women.
To choose the most appropriate length, try to find the balance between distance and control. With a longer shaft you need less swing arc, while with a shorter shaft you will always have more control of the club head. All this without forgetting that a player of 190 cm in height will have serious problems to play and practice with a putter of only 33″ in length for example.
The standard weight of the putter head for a 35″ shaft is 360 grams; the smaller the shaft, the heavier the putter head should be. It should be noted that a good fitting is essential to know what is best for you.
The grip is very important because it is the only part of the club with which we have contact when putting, and it has to adapt to us and be very comfortable, there are different sizes, shapes and feel, and all these variables influence the grip and comfort.
One of the most popular grips is the Superstroke, as they have a size and thickness much larger than the rest, as well as the same thickness at all points, which means that we do not break our wrists during the stroke and that, in theory, a more solid stroke is executed, improving the impact on the sweet spot of the putter.
Weight balance is one of the fundamental factors when choosing a putter. Depending on the way in which the weight is distributed in the putter head there are two types of head Face balanced and Toe weighted.
- Face balanced putters have the weight evenly distributed throughout the putter head. This type of putter is perfect for golfers who make the correct pendulum motion in the stroke.
- Toe weighted putters have the majority of the weight shifted to the heel. They are ideal for golfers who make the pendulum movement in the form of an arc or with a slight curve, as they help the face to arrive square at the moment of impact and for those who tend to miss to the right of the hole.
Some putters are more tolerant of off-center hits than others. The forgiveness of a putter is related to the putter’s moment of inertia.
moment of inertia of the putter. The higher the M.O.I. the less the ball will deviate in off-center hits.
Finally, in golf, it is based in great part on the sensations that the clubs give you, and in the case of the putter this sensation is even more important.
The ideal way to choose a putter is to have the possibility to try different putters and configurations, and feel the different sensations they give you.
To make the right decision let yourself be advised by professionals, but in the case of the putter your feelings should be above, as it is the most personal of all the clubs you carry in your bag.
After reading all my recommendations, you will know how to choose the right putter for you.