If you're a beginner golfer, finding the right putter can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not! In this article, we'll guide you through the process of choosing the perfect putter that suits your skill level and enhances your performance on the green. From understanding the basics of putting techniques to considering the different types of putters, we've got you covered. So grab your clubs and let's get started on your journey to becoming a confident and successful golfer!
Types of Putters
Blade putters are the most traditional and classic type of putter. They have a thin, compact head shape that resembles a small blade, hence the name. This type of putter provides a great feel and control, making it popular among skilled golfers. Blade putters are suitable for golfers with a slight arc in their putting stroke.
Mallet putters have a larger and more forgiving head design compared to blade putters. The bigger head provides more stability and forgiveness, making it easier to achieve a consistent stroke. Mallet putters are often favored by golfers with a straight-back and through putting stroke.
As the name suggests, half-mallet putters combine some features of both blade and mallet putters. They offer a middle ground between the classic blade and the more forgiving mallet putters. Half-mallet putters are a popular choice among golfers who want a balance of stability and feel during their putts.
Length of the Putter
Standard length putters typically range from 33 to 35 inches and are the most commonly used putters. They provide a comfortable setup and feel for most golfers. If you are of average height and have no specific requirements, a standard length putter is a good starting point.
Long putters, as the name suggests, are longer than standard putters, usually between 38 and 46 inches. This type of putter is anchored to a golfer's body, such as the chest or belly, reducing hand and wrist movements during the stroke. Long putters can be beneficial for golfers with shaky hands or those who struggle with a consistent stroke.
Similar to long putters, belly putters are anchored to the golfer's body, specifically the stomach area. The length of these putters ranges from 41 to 44 inches. Belly putters provide stability and can help eliminate some of the wrist breakdowns in the stroke. Golfers who struggle with short putts often find belly putters helpful in improving their accuracy.
Putter Face Design
Insert Face Putters
Insert face putters feature a softer insert in the clubface, which helps to promote a smoother and softer feel at impact. The insert material can vary, such as rubber or milled aluminum, and provides additional forgiveness on mis-hits. Many golfers prefer insert face putters for the enhanced responsiveness and consistent roll they offer.
Milled Face Putters
Milled face putters are made from a solid block of metal and usually have a flat face with precision-milled grooves. These grooves help to improve the topspin on the ball and ensure a consistent roll. Milled face putters are popular among golfers who prefer a crisp feel and maximum control over their putting.
Putter Toe Hang
Face-balanced putters have a design where the face remains vertical when balanced on a finger. This toe-balanced position creates a more stable face during the putting stroke, making it easier to keep the putter square to the target line. Golfers with a straight-back and through stroke often find face-balanced putters suitable for their game.
Toe-balanced putters have a design where the toe portion of the putter hangs downward when balanced on a finger. This type of putter encourages a slight rotation of the face during the stroke, which can benefit golfers with an arcing putting stroke. Toe-balanced putters provide a more natural swing path for those with a pronounced arc in their stroke.
Standard grips are the most common type of putter grip and have a uniform diameter throughout the grip. They provide a familiar feel and are suitable for golfers who prefer a traditional grip. Standard grips offer a good balance between control and comfort on the greens.
Pistol grips have a more pronounced and ergonomic shape, resembling the handle of a pistol. This design promotes a relaxed and repeatable grip, reducing the likelihood of the wrists breaking during the stroke. Pistol grips are popular among golfers who seek a more secure and stable grip on their putter.
Oversized grips have a larger diameter compared to standard grips, allowing golfers to grip the putter with less tension in their hands. These grips can help reduce wrist movement and improve putting consistency, especially for golfers with a tendency to grip the putter too tightly. Oversized grips are often chosen by golfers who prioritize comfort and control.
Heel-Toe Weighted Putters
Heel-toe weighted putters have additional weight distributed towards the heel and toe areas of the putter head. This design promotes a higher moment of inertia (MOI) and increased forgiveness on off-center hits. Heel-toe weighted putters help reduce the impact of miss-hits, resulting in a more consistent roll and improved distance control.
Center-shafted putters have their shaft positioned in the center of the putter head, creating a balanced weight distribution. This design allows for more stability and enhances the golfer's ability to maintain a consistent stroke path. Golfers who prefer a pendulum-like stroke often opt for center-shafted putters for their predictable feel and performance.
As mentioned earlier, face-balanced putters have their mass evenly distributed throughout the head, resulting in face stability during the stroke. This weight distribution promotes a straighter putting stroke and less face rotation. Face-balanced putters are suitable for golfers with minimal face rotation in their stroke.
High-end putters often come with premium materials, advanced technologies, and precise craftsmanship. These putters may have unique designs, personalized customization options, and higher price tags. If you are serious about your golf game and value the precision and quality in your equipment, investing in a high-end putter can be advantageous.
Mid-range putters strike a balance between affordability and quality. They offer decent performance and features without breaking the bank. These putters often incorporate some advanced technologies found in higher-end models at a more reasonable price. If you are a golfer looking for a reliable putter without a hefty price tag, mid-range putters are worth considering.
Budget-friendly putters cater to golfers who are mindful of their spending but still want a functional and reliable option. These putters may have simpler designs and fewer customization options compared to higher-end models. However, they can still offer good performance and value for beginners or occasional golfers who don't want to splurge on their equipment.
The arc stroke is a putting style characterized by a slight rotation of the putter during the backswing and follow-through. Golfers using the arc stroke have a natural curvature in their putting path, ideal for blade putters and toe-balanced putters. The arc stroke requires precise control and consistent timing to achieve accurate putts.
Straight Back and Through Stroke
The straight back and through stroke, as the name implies, involves a pendulum-like motion where the putter moves straight back and through with minimal face rotation. This style is well-suited for mallet putters and face-balanced putters. The straight back and through stroke aims to produce a simple, repeatable movement for consistent results.
Look and Feel
Personal preference plays a significant role in choosing a putter. The look and feel of a putter can affect confidence and overall satisfaction. It's important to find a putter that aligns with your visual preferences, whether it be a classic design, a modern look, or a putter with unique graphics or colors. Additionally, the feel of the putter in your hands and during the stroke should inspire confidence and suit your personal preference.
Many golfers develop brand loyalty based on past experiences, recommendations, or affiliations with specific golf brands. Brand preference can be influential in the decision-making process, as each brand often offers its own unique technology, design philosophy, and reputation. Whether you have a favorite brand or are open to exploring different options, considering your brand preferences can help narrow down your choices.
Some golfers may seek more customization options to tailor their putter to their specific needs and preferences. Customization options can range from different finishes, paint fill colors, alternative grips, shaft lengths, and even personalized engravings. If having a personalized putter that reflects your individuality is important, exploring brands that offer extensive customization options can be beneficial.
Try Before You Buy
Visiting a Golf Shop
To ensure you find the perfect putter for your game, visiting a golf shop is highly recommended. Golf shops typically have a wide selection of putters available for testing, allowing you to try out different models, lengths, designs, and grips. Taking the time to visit a golf shop gives you the opportunity to feel the putters in your hands, simulate your putting stroke, and make an informed decision based on firsthand experience.
Taking Advantage of Demo Days
Demo days, organized by golf brands or retailers, provide an excellent opportunity to test a variety of putters and other golf equipment. These events often take place at golf courses or driving ranges, allowing golfers to try out different putters on real greens. Taking advantage of demo days gives you the chance to receive advice from brand representatives, compare different models, and make a well-informed decision on which putter suits you best.
By considering the different types of putters, understanding your putting style, and taking personal preferences into account, you can confidently choose a putter that helps optimize your performance on the greens. Remember to try before you buy and take advantage of the resources available to you, such as golf shops and demo days. Happy putting!