How To Choose A Putter: Are You Using The Right Flat-Stick?
Whether you are buying your first ever putter or adding another one to an ever-growing collection, choosing the right putter is an important decisions to get right if you want to shoot better scores on course. With so many putters on the market, choosing the right putter can also be a daunting task, so we have put together a guide to help you whittle down your options when searching for a new flat stick. There are lots of ways that you can help yourself to hole more putts and the following should open up your mind to a process that needn’t be too daunting.
Finding the right putter for your game is incredibly important and if you can start holing a few more putts each round, your handicap is likely to come down too. In the piece below, and video above, we’re going to break down the five key elements you should consider when deciding which putter is right for you.
How To Choose A Putter
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the feel of the putter. This is a really important factor to consider because on the market right now are a wide range of firm and soft feeling putters to choose from. One thing to consider is the greens you play on most frequently. Are they slower? Or are they faster?
If you typically putt on slow greens, a firmer feeling face will suit you more whereas if you putt on ultra-fast greens a softer feel will work more efficiently and help you control distance. In your putter research, read what the manufacturers say about the feel the putter provides and try to marry up the firmness or softness of the face with the types of greens you play on most regularly. Get this right and you’ll have a putter that provides you with the exact feel you like that will also work best on the greens you play on most often.
We often talk about how having a club you like the look of can help you maximize its effectiveness and nowhere is that more important than with the putter. Getting the right look at address can inspire confidence and help you hole more putts.
Manufacturers like TaylorMade (opens in new tab) and Odyssey (opens in new tab) are aware of this and so have designed a wide range of looks to choose from and narrowing this down can be a tricky task. On one end of the spectrum, you have very large mallets (opens in new tab) with a myriad of alignment aids and tools to help you line up putts more accurately.
These mallets are often more forgiving too, giving you more leeway when you don’t strike the putt as you’d like. Our guide on the most forgiving putters is exclusively made up of mallet designs, so definitely look for a mallet style if you're a higher handicap golfer.
At the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the ultra slim line blade putters (opens in new tab) that are aimed at the golfer who wants to control their putts through the feel of pace. Working out where you sit on this spectrum will help narrow down your search and also give you the right look and feel on the greens.
Price and Budget
In our guide to the best putters (opens in new tab) on the market right now, there are a whole host of options with different price points. This tells you a little bit about the range of putters there are out there today but this can also help you narrow your search down a bit further.
Why is there so much difference in price? A lot of it comes down to the technology used to create some of the more expensive putters and the technology at work does a lot to provide golfers with the kind of feel and consistent ball roll they want to achieve.
Also affecting the price is the craftsmanship that goes behind each putter. As you jump up through the price bracket you’ll often find that the craftsmanship and the overall aesthetic gets refined even more. The best Scotty Cameron putters (opens in new tab) illuminate this nicely. However, regardless of your budget, there is such a wide scope of price ranges that you should be able to find the putter that suits you the best.
A key question you’ll need to answer when choosing the right putter is how strong is your putting arc? For some players, their stroke tends to be fairly straight back and through whereas some golfers tend to putt more in, to square, to in, which would be referred to as a stronger arc.
A face balanced putter is ideal for the players who have a straight back and through stroke. For the players who have the stronger arc, a putter with a toe hang in it will be much more suited to your stroke. So, do a bit of research on your own putting stroke and then pair that with the putter that has the right balance to support this stroke on the greens.
Finding the right length putter will help you get the correct posture over a putt and make sure you eyes are nicely positioned directly over the top of the ball at address. Having the right length putter also makes a big difference to how well you can pick the line of the putt when you’re standing over the ball.
Getting a putter fitting from a PGA pro is the best way to help you decipher which length is best for you, but for those who don’t want to go through the fitting process we do have some advice. The most popular putter lengths are 33 inches, 34 inches or 35 inches and you’ll be able to find most putters available at these lengths
The 34 inch putter length will suit those golfers of an average height - between 5ft 6" and 6ft - and if you’re a bit smaller or taller than this you can go down or up an inch accordingly. Getting this decision right will give you a consistent and correct posture over the ball and allow you to see the lines of putts better when stood over the ball.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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