Some Things to Consider When You’re Buying a Putter
Your putter is the most “personal” club in your bag. Buying a putter can
be tricky because so many things are involved in finding the right
“fit” and so many choices are out there. Here are some things to
consider – hopefully, knowing what they are will make the process a
little less daunting. So will reading through some of the putter reviews
we’ve posted on our site.
It’s easy to make the wrong choice when you’re buying a putter. For one
thing, there are hundreds of different choices. And it’s easy to get
caught up in a mindset that can be deadly – you might think that the
most expensive putter or the one that a lot of your buddies are playing
must be the best choice, but that’s not necessarily true.
Golf is a game of skill, not a matter of “keeping up with the
Joneses.” You can help your putting skills by buying the right putter.
So, the first thing to keep in mind is your goal: choosing the putter
that’s best for you. That won’t necessarily be the most popular or most
expensive putter, or even the putter that your favorite pro plays.
Instead, when you’re buying a putter it’s important to choose the one
that suits you best.
To achieve your goal, you’ll need to evaluate
various factors: price; type; head shape; face insert (or not);
alignment aid(s); and shaft offset/hosel. Let’s take them in that order.
Putters vary wildly in price, from as little as $50 to over $300. As I
mentioned above, the most expensive putter isn’t necessarily the one
that’s right for you (although it might be). Just keep in mind that you
don’t need to pay a ton of money to find a good putter. That means you
shouldn’t be reluctant to try putters in different price ranges. Feel
and consistency are what you’re looking for. A putter that feels right
and puts a consistent roll on the ball will boost your confidence and
improve your putting, no matter how cheap or expensive the putter is.
Traditional length, belly length or even longer? Most people use
traditional-length putters (the standard is 35”, although 34” and even
33” are fairly common), but using a belly or chest putter can help
people whose putting stroke has too much wrist action. Belly and longer
putters can, however, be short on “feel” and make distance control a
problem. Try several putters of each length and identify which type
you’re most comfortable with.
- Head Shape.
Blade putters are fairly compact and have top lines that are much
narrower than mallet putters. They’re also more difficult to control
than mallets, at least for me. In addition to being larger than blades,
mallet putters vary widely in their shapes and usually have some
built-in weighting and other features to increase their Moment of
Inertia and promote smooth putting strokes. Again, try several putters
of both types and find the one that feels best and gives you the most
- Face Insert. Some golfers
prefer using a putter without a face insert, while others like the feel
and feedback inserts can deliver. Inserts can be made of different
materials, and each material provides a different feel. Try some putters
with milled steel faces (no insert) and then try some with different
types of face inserts. You’ll probably be able to tell which type you
- Alignment Aid(s). As golfers, we all
realize the importance of lining up the putter properly. Many putters
use some sort of alignment aid(s) to help players line up the putter
face correctly. Some of these alignment aids are very discreet while
others are so obvious they’re impossible to miss. And although putter
manufacturers try to make their alignment aids as helpful as possible,
some designs work better for some golfers than for others. When you’re
buying a putter, make sure you get one that has an alignment system you
- Shaft Offset/Hosel. Several
different shaft offsets and hosel styles are possible with putters. When
you’re buying a putter, you may see some with a “plumber’s neck hosel,”
“S-neck hosel,” “flare-neck hosel,” “center shaft,” “half-shaft
offset,” or “full shaft offset.” Try different types to see which one
seems to work best with your putting stroke. The right shaft
offset/hosel style can help you keep your eyes over the ball properly.
It can also help keep your hands slightly ahead of the ball, which can
increase your putting accuracy.
Buying a putter is a
complicated decision and it’s easy to make the wrong choice, but there’s
no reason to feel overwhelmed. When you’re buying a putter, the
information above can help you find the right one. We also invite you to
read through the putter reviews we’ve posted on our website.
From "buying a putter" to putter reviews.