We take a look at some of the flat-sticks that have become legendary over the last 100 years of golfing equipment
10 Best Putters of All Time
Top professionals will use the flat-stick around 28 times a round, while the average amateur will need to strike it a few more times than that. As such, it’s absolutely key to find a putter that you trust and perhaps even fall in love with a little.
Over the decades the design of the putter has evolved, not only as equipment technology has moved on but also as advancements in agronomy have produced smoother and faster putting surfaces. Through the years, there have been a number of influential designs that have become beloved by top players and amateurs alike.
Here, in approximately chronological order, we run through ten of the very best putters (opens in new tab) of all time...
1. Bobby Jones Calamity Jane
A simple offset blade with a hickory shaft, forged by Condie and sold by William Winton, stamped by Jim Maiden with the nickname ‘Calamity Jane’. The putter was almost 20 years old when Jones first used it in competition in the 1923 US Open at Inwood Country Club.
Jones won at Inwood and, in fact, he used the original and then a replica (Calamity Jane II) to win all 13 of his Major titles.
2. Titleist/Acushnet Bulls Eye
The concept by Phoenix professional John Reuter in the late 1940s was to design a putter that swung like the pendulum of a clock. They were first known as ‘the sweet strokers’, before the name became ‘Bulls Eye’. Acushnet put them into mass production in 1958 and they became one of the most popular, and successful, putters of the 20th century.
3. Wilson 8802
The original shape was part of Wilson’s Arnold Palmer collection, but it was renamed the 8802 in 1963. It’s a classic blade and the design has been used with great success by some of the greatest putters of the last 60 years, Ben Crenshaw being possibly the best.
4. Ping Anser
No putter has more worldwide victories than the Ping Anser. With perimeter weighting, a cavity back and low centre of gravity, the putter set new standards in design.
George Archer was the first to win a Major with an Anser at the 1969 Masters. Freddie Couples, Seve Ballesteros and Mark O’Meara have all tasted Major success using one. The high-pitched sound of the original is how the Ping company got its name.
5. Ram Zebra
First introduced in 1976, the Zebra featured adjustable weights and a ‘Stripe’ alignment system that gave the putter its name. The putter’s inventor, Dave Taylor, sold distribution rights to Ram Golf in 1979 and the company doubled in size over the next three years. Nick Price was one golfer who used it to great effect.
6. Scotty Cameron Newport 2
It’s one of the most recognisable and successful putter shapes of all time. It has been used in multiple tournament victories, including the majority of Tiger Woods’.
It’s a blade-style putter with plumbing neck that has been refined slightly over the years. There have been various incarnations, but it remains one of the most popular putter styles out there.
Related: Best Blade Putters (opens in new tab)
7. Odyssey 2-Ball
Odyssey placed two round circles, each the diameter of a golf ball, behind the putter face as an alignment guide. By putting more weight behind the ball, it skidded less off the face. Paul Lawrie won the Dunhill Links in 2001 using a 2-Ball and, in 2002 and 2003, one in four putters sold was a 2-Ball. It remains a favourite.
8. Seemore FGP Black Blade
Used by Payne Stewart in his 1999 US Open win and Zach Johnson to win the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open Championship, this face-balanced blade has a unique look.
There’s a red spot on the back of the blade that’s obscured by the shaft when the face is square. It’s helped many players improve their putting.
9. Odyssey #7
As used by the likes of Luke Donald and Henrik Stenson, this fang-style putter has been a firm favourite of pros and amateurs for almost 15 years. Both fangs and the curved, ball-sized back act as alignment aids and it’s one of the most stable and consistent face-balanced putters ever made.
Related: Best Mallet Putters (opens in new tab)
10. TaylorMade Spider Tour
Used by some of the best players of the modern era, this super-stable mallet was embraced by amateurs and is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive putters of the 21st century.
For more golf gear content check out the Golf Monthly website.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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