Pick Your Weapon: How to Choose a Putter

VD December 12 2021

There are blade, half mallet, and mallet putters, long and short, heavy and light, with a thick or thin club handle - the variants of golf putters are almost endless. And it's hard to believe: the putter is one of the most important golf clubs in a golf bag and is the club that you hold in your hand most often. The amateur golfer needs his putter an average of 40 times over 18 holes - the average for professionals is around 30.

Therefore, there is no such thing as a universal model. There isn't even such a thing as the best putter. The reasons for this are manifold: Because we all have different putting strokes and we each have our own preferences when it comes to the feel of the club in our hands. A putter with which you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel confident is a personal matter.

Both passionate golfers and golf beginners will sooner or later grapple with the choice of the right equipment. In addition to golf shoes and golf clothing, golf bags, and golf trolleys, particular attention should be paid to the selection of clubs.

Choosing the right putter, even if it's an arm lock putter, depends on a number of factors. We'll take a closer look at three of these factors to help you make a purchase decision.

There are some things you can keep in mind when you're looking for your perfect putter:

The Length of the Putter:

This should correspond to your height. If you're on the short side, you don't want to be playing with a putter that has too long of a club shaft. The handle is best adjusted to the grip (see below).

The Length of your Golf Clubs:

Depending on the length of your golf clubs, you also need to choose an appropriate putter. If you play with short irons, you'll be looking for a short putter; if you use mid- or long irons, you may want to go for a longer putter.

The Type of Club Handle:

There are also different kinds of club handles - blade putters have thin handles, while mallet putters have thicker ones. If you're looking for your first golf putter, it makes sense to opt for a blade or half-mallet model because you still don't know what kind of grip size suits you best. The thickness of the handle can be adjusted with an adjustable heel plate.

Golf Putter Grip Size

There is no other piece in your golf bag which means more to your game than the little round green thing on the other end of your putter shaft. It's definitely worth taking some time to find the right grip size and shape for your putter. There are many different types of grips to choose from - the most popular are rubber, synthetic leather, and cork.

The Size of Your Hands:

The grip should fit snugly in your hands without being too tight or too loose. You should be able to hold the grip easily with your fingers and thumb with no gaps between them.

The Shape of the Grip:

There are two basic grip shapes - pistol (or awl) and V-shaped. Most golfers prefer the pistol grip because it gives you more control over the club.

Golf Putter Shaft Flexibility

Just like the driver, your putter needs a certain amount of flex in the shaft to create the desired ball flight. If the putter is too stiff, it will not conform to the greens and you'll lose energy on your shots. If it's too flexible, it will wobble and send your shots all over the place.

The Right Putter for You

Now that you know what to look for, it's time to find the putter that's perfect for you. As mentioned earlier, there is no one putter that is right for everyone - it depends on your height, club length, and grip size. Experiment with different putters to find the one that feels best in your hands and gives you the most confidence when making those important shots.

What is a putter?

A putter consists of a steel or graphite shaft and a head in different designs. The putter is used to push the ball on the green or from the foreground into the hole.

Precision and uniformity are therefore the main requirements that golfers place on a putter. Standard putters have a shaft that is 33 to 35 inches long, but 38-inch putters are also commercially available.

You grab the putter with both hands, lying one on top of the other, and swing it. Belly putters are slightly longer (approx. 43 inches) and are pressed against the stomach or chin with the upper end of the shaft when you swing.

The longest models are known as broomstick putters, are up to 48 inches long, and are placed under the chin when you swing. In this way, the golfer stabilizes his shot and prevents mistakes by twitching or warping.

Which is the best putter for me and my game?

One differentiates putters mainly according to their head shape. Mallet putters are the largest variant, while narrower heads are known as blades. You should choose different putter categories depending on the precision of your shot.

Length of the putter

Your personal approach is important here. There is no rule of thumb that calculates that if you are a certain height or arm length you will need an X-inch putter. Every golfer gets used to his personal approach. There are people who tend to stand stooped when putting, others tend to stand upright. In contrast to iron or wood, one cannot speak of "errors" when it comes to response. 

Impact moment

Determine how centrally you hit your putter. If you can answer this question, you will know which putter head shape is right for you. There are three different forms:

  • Blade
  • Half-Mallet
  • Mallet

They differ mainly in the size of their head, with the blade putter having the smallest and the mallet putter having the largest. To choose the right putter, consider the following rule of thumb: the higher the likelihood that you will not hit the golf ball with the center of your putter, the larger the putter must be. Because this prevents you from twisting the putter at the moment of impact. In addition, many putter grips have guidelines that make it easier for beginners, in particular, to hold the club correctly.

You should always hit a blade putter in the middle of the clubface, otherwise, you run the risk of twisting the putter at the moment of impact. A larger clubhead (half-malett or mallet) counteracts this situation. 

Generally, you can say that there are three commonly used types of putters.

Blade putters

The blade-putters are used by professional players with great accuracy. The clubhead is made completely of metal, which provides a very favorable ball contact for most people who enjoy using this type of putter. The blades have an evenly balanced weighting throughout the entire club head. This keeps the concentration on the precise movement over the ball to achieve good putting results. However, one drawback of these putters is their shorter grip size and therefore they need to be held more firmly for control purposes with your hands at impact. For players with an average height, this is not a problem.

Therefore, the best choice of professionals. Blade-putters are generally used by people with average height and weight, who like to play precisely on the ball without too much force.

Mallet Putter

The mallet head putters offer larger club heads. This increases the contact area on the golf ball which provides more accuracy for amateur players or those who do not want to concentrate too hard on their game. A disadvantage of these types of putters is that they have a longer grip in order to ensure better control during your stroke The choice between a blade putter and a mallet putter depends only on the size of your hands or if you prefer using an iron grip or a long rubberized grip. Mallet putters are generally used by amateur players, who do not have too much power but still want to enjoy a good posture during their putting stroke.

Broomstick Putter

The broomstick or pistol grip putter is a very new type of putter which is becoming more and more popular among professionals these days. This type of club allows the player to use a mirror image position while holding the blade-putter in your hands. There has been no major change in this type of putting club since it was first introduced on the market. Most professional players swear on this type of golf club because they think that practice makes perfect when using this type of putter . A disadvantage here can be that you will need some time to get used to this type of putter. A further weakness is that some players are not able to play accurately with the broomstick grip, especially the short game. This type of putting club might be good for you if your height does not exceed 180 centimeters and you have a lot of practice playing with this type of golf club. Broomstick Putters are generally used by amateurs or players who do not like practicing too much or who want to achieve better results in professional sportsmanship competitions.

There are more types on the market but these three categories cover 90% of all manufacturers' putters on sale today.

Therefore, the rule applies: the greater the risk that you will hit the ball off the center of the clubface, the sooner you should opt for a half mallet or even a mallet putter.

Swing movement

In golf there are three swing movements:

  • Straight
  • Slight arc
  • Strong

Depending on the swing movement, a "face-balanced" or "toe-balanced" putter is the right choice for you. The further you stand from the golf ball while putting, the more likely you are to swing in an arc.

But which swing type are you? If you are the straight back and through a type of player, swing the putter head straight back and through the golf ball. The clubface is always square. Accordingly, a "face-balanced" putter is the right choice. 

On the other hand, if you swing your putter in a strong arc, in which the face opens or closes strongly, you need a "toe-balanced" putter.

These terms "face-balanced" and "toe-balanced" describe the weighting of the putter and support you in your swing movement.

You can easily determine the weighting of your current or general putter: Balance the putter in two fingers and keep the club in balance. You can now see the weighting based on the head.

Tips for Choosing the Right Putter

You must like the look of a putter. If the model is not visually appealing then it will be difficult to direct you consistently. There are many types of putters, such as mallets, blades, offset, and center-axis. Make sure that the putter you choose pleases your eye.

Make sure the putter looks and feels good to you. The feel of the putter is also important. Some putters are harder to grip; Some carry more weight into the clubhead. Some provide a soft feel on impact. Everyone's tastes are different. The putter needs to feel as good as it looks.

Find the length of the putter that will allow you to take your most comfortable stance. You need to be comfortable at the address, whether you can upright or want to squat over the ball.

Golf putters are ideal for precise play and are mainly used for pitting. For the best results, it is important to ensure that the length of the putter is appropriate for your height when purchasing a putter. There are correspondingly smaller models for women because most golf putters for men are too long and therefore not suitable for female players.

The feel and appearance are subjective and can easily be decided by the player and even length is a personal choice. But a real fitting session is required to determine the loft and lie, so find a company, PGA Professional, or retail store that can assist with these two key features of a great putter.

The putter, like all golf clubs, is a personal choice. You may want to try out different models or borrow a friend's putter to see if it suits you before making a purchase. Be sure to factor in the cost of new grips and shafts when purchasing a used putter, as these components will likely need to be replaced in order for the putter to play its best for you. Also, keep in mind that purchasing a putter is an investment in your game, and the right putter can help you shave strokes off your score!

Keep these factors in mind when choosing the perfect putter for your game!