Which putter is best?
No matter how great you are at teeing off or driving the ball down the fairway, you’ll never become a great golfer without a solid short game. That’s why you may have heard that golf games are won or lost on the green. So, if you want to shave a few strokes off your score, it’s time to put away that driver for a little bit and focus on your putting.
Along with regular practice, it’s essential to have a good putter that suits your playing style if you want to sink the ball in fewer strokes. Blade-style putters like the Odyssey Golf 2021 White Hot OG will appeal to traditionalists, while mallet-style putters like the TaylorMade Spider X #3 often feature more advanced alignment aids and can quickly help beginners’ performance on the green.
What to know before you buy a putter
All putters fall into two main categories: blade or mallet. Blade putters are the most traditional and have a thin, flat head. They are popular among low-handicappers and purists who don’t want to feel like their putter is responsible for lowering their score rather than their skills.
Mallet putters come in a variety of unusual shapes, but they all have large, wide heads. They generally also have a large sweet spot, which makes them very forgiving. They often boast several features designed to improve your putts, such as elaborate alignment aids, adjustable weighting and a high MOI.
The offset of a putter refers to where the shaft placement is in relation to the head. On putters with no offset, the leading edge of the shaft is directly in line with the leading edge of the putter face. On putters with an offset, the leading edge of the shaft is ahead of the putter’s face. This helps keep your hands in front of the ball at impact, reducing the chance of wrist breakdown.
Putters may be face balanced or toe balanced. Face-balanced putters don’t open and close much during the stroke, making them better for players who have a straight putting stroke. Toe-balanced putters tend to open and close through the stroke, making them best suited to players who have an arc in their stroke.
Features to look for in a quality putter
All putters either have a metal face or an insert. Metal-faced putters are usually made with steel, though you can find some made from other metals as well and offer a hard and responsive strike. They produce a satisfying sound and feel on contact, which makes it easy to immediately know if you have connected at the sweet spot or not. Many metal-faced putters have milling to soften the feel and sound without sacrificing control.
Putters with an insert are often more expensive than metal-faced putters, but many players feel they offer a better feel for the ball. Another benefit of lightweight non-metal inserts is that they allow manufacturers to redistribute the weight to the heel or toe of the putter, which increases the MOI and makes them more forgiving of mishits.
The loft of putters ranges from 2 to 5 degrees, and though this may not seem like a lot, it can make a big difference in how they play. If you have too little loft for your playing style, the ball won’t go as far as you want. On the other hand, it might get a little air if you have too much loft, resulting in a bouncy and unpredictable roll.
Most putters come with some kind of alignment aids to help you line up your putts. This may be something as simple as a color-contrasting line or elaborate geometric patterns. The former is easier to pick up and use, but the latter may be more beneficial for those familiar with using them.
Premium putters often feature an adjustable weighting system that allows you to customize the putter’s weight for your playing style. Some may find a heavier putter gives them a smoother stroke and more distance, while others prefer a lighter putter because they feel it offers better control.
How much can you expect to spend on a putter
The most inexpensive putters may cost as little as $25, though these are often from lesser-known manufacturers and of poor quality. Anyone remotely serious about their golf game should expect to spend at least $50-$75 on a decent putter, while those who want a tour-quality option should be ready to spend between $150-$500.
How long of a putter do I need?
A. As with all golf clubs, how long of a putter you need depends on your height. Most pros recommend people over 6 feet tall use a 35-inch putter. Those between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall should use a 34-inch putter, and those between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches should use a 33-inch putter. If you are taller than 6 feet 4 inches or shorter than 5 feet 6 inches, you may need to consider a custom putter.
Are there length restrictions for putters in tournament play?
A. According to the USGA, there are no restrictions on the maximum length of putters, but they must not be shorter than 18 inches.
What is the best putter to buy?
What you need to know: The White Hot OG is a classic design with modern technology that will satisfy tour and non-tour players alike.
What you’ll love: It combines the feel of a soft putter with the performance of a hard face, and it is available in several head styles to suit all kinds of putting styles.
What you should consider: It lacks the micro hinges of many of Odyssey’s newer putters.
Top putter for the money
What you need to know: The Pinemeadow Site 4 won’t turn any heads on the course, but it gets the job done for casual players on a tight budget.
What you’ll love: A high-contrast sightline combined with an offset hosel makes it easy to line up your putts.
What you should consider: The finish is prone to chipping.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This customizable, high-MOI putter is a favorite of professional and casual players alike.
What you’ll love: It puts a good topspin on balls, so they travel smoothly over the green.
What you should consider: The heavyweight of the head can take some adjusting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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