What Loft Should Your Putter Be?

It may be called the 'flatstick', but the amount of loft on your putter is important and we explain why.

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

It may be called the 'flatstick', but the amount of loft on your putter is important and we explain why.

What Loft Should Your Putter Be?

The putter is often called the 'flatstick' because it is often seen as the club with next to no loft. In fact it is the club with the least amount of loft with the next one up being the driver which often varies between seven and 13 degrees.

The club with the highest degree of loft tends to be the lob wedge with 60 degrees and above.

That isn't to say putter loft doesn't exist, or that it doesn't matter, because it certainly does.

When putting, if your putts often bounce or skip then the loft on your putter may not be best suited to your putting style. Finding the right loft to suit your style can help make sure putts run smoother and more consistently, which could mean more holed putts.

Related: Best Putters

'Effective Loft'

Traditionally, the standard loft on putters is three to four degrees however out on Tour there is something called 'effective loft' which is the goal of delivering the putter with three or four degrees of loft at impact.

Therefore the putter they use will be entirely catered to their style in how they deliver the club-head. (For example a player who does a forward press will need more loft because they de-loft the putter when they are about to make their stroke. Phil Mickelson is one example of this).

How Does Loft Impact Putting?

Too much loft on your putter can cause the ball to get airborne for a fraction of a second which damages distance control.

If your putter doesn't have any loft then the putter will press the ball into the turf at impact which can cause skidding and skipping.

Both of these things limit feel, hinder distance control and can cause more putts to bounce or skid off-line. The whole point of putting is to get the ball rolling as smoothly and as purely as possible on the greens.

Related: Which putter length should you use?

Other Factors

The loft of your putter can also be effected by not just your putting stroke but also the model of putter you use and even the greens you are putting on.

In terms of the former factor, if you use a long putter, less loft may be the way to go because they tend to strike the ball on the way up.

The greens themselves can also have an impact here. Perfect greens that are smooth tend to require less loft whilst higher loft may help on bumpier greens.

Additionally where the ball is positioned can also play a role. For example, if you prefer to play the ball off the front foot, less loft could be a better option to account for the upswing at impact.

Therefore when you take all of this into account, the loft of your putter is vitally important.

What Loft Should Your Putter Be?

So then what loft should you go for? Well this will be dependent on how you deliver your stroke, how you putt and the other factors mentioned above.

This is where custom fitting and proper guidance comes in because a knowledgable fitter will be able to fit your putter to make sure you deliver three or four degrees at impact, which is believed to be ideal.

For more tips and your gear questions answered, check out the Golf Monthly website.

Sam Tremlett
Sam Tremlett

A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
He quickly became a golf equipment expert and has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice, and spends a lot of his time putting golf gear, apparel and shoes to the test.  
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 


Sam is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6