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 in terms of the entire bag of clubs, 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 of loft. The club with the highest degree of loft tends to be the lob wedge with 60 degrees and above.
The putter may have the least amount of loft, but that isn’t to say it doesn’t exist, or that loft on a putter 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.
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).
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.
The loft of your putter can also be effected by not just your putting stroke but also stance, the model of putter you use and even the greens you are putting on. Therefore when you take all of this into account, the loft of your putter is vitally important.
So then what loft should your putter be? 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, do not forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.