Understanding different putter types can make a significant difference when perfecting your golf game on the putting green.
The putter, often called the “flat stick,” is a unique club in a golfer’s bag, pivotal for those crucial short-range shots. This article delves into the world of golf putters, highlighting various types like mallet putters, blade putters, and others, each offering unique benefits to enhance your putting style.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the golf world, understanding the nuances of putter head design, putter shafts, and putter grips can help you make an informed choice for your game.
What is a Putter?
A putter is a particular golf club with a loft not exceeding ten degrees, designed primarily to roll the golf ball along the grass, ideally straight into the hole. Unlike other golf clubs, a putter has an almost flat putter face.
A putter shaft that can be of various lengths and a putter grip designed for precision rather than power.
Originating in the 15th century, putters have evolved significantly, with modern designs featuring advanced materials and engineering, such as insert putters with a softer feel or milled putters known for their precision.
Each type of putter, from face balanced putters to toe balanced putters, caters to specific putting strokes and personal preferences.
Putter Types You Can Buy
A Blade putter is the classic putter type, known for their simple, flat, and narrow putter heads. Blade putters tend to suit players with an arc in their putting stroke, offering more feel and feedback.
They often have a heel-shafted putter design and can include features like hosel offset to help align the target line.
The mallet putter is a more modern design with a more giant putter head, providing more forgiveness on off-center hits. These are suitable for players with a straight-through putting stroke.
Many mallet putters are face balanced, keeping the putter face square to the target line longer.
Peripheral Weighted Putters
This design bridges the gap between blade and mallet putters, offering a putter head larger than a blade but not as bulky as a mallet.
Peripheral putters are often face-balanced or have minimal toe hang, catering to various putting strokes.
Belly and Long Putters
Long putters can be anchored against the body, though recent rule changes have impacted their use. A Belly putter, on the other hand, are often used by players who prefer to have the end of the putter grip anchored against their midsection for stability.
Each putter type offers distinct advantages, depending on the golfer’s putting style, personal preference, and the conditions of the putting green.
In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into how these features impact your game and how to choose the right putter for your style.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Putter
Selecting the right putter involves more than just picking a brand or style; it’s about finding the perfect match for your golfing style. So, what should you consider?
The standard putter length for most golfers aligns with their arm length. A putter that’s too long or too short can affect the stance and, consequently, the putting accuracy.
Putter length golfers should aim for is one that allows them to stand comfortably with their eyes over the ball.
Head Weight and Balance
The weight of the putter head influences the feel of the putt. Face-balanced putters are great for those with a straight putting stroke, while toe-balanced putters are suited for strokes with more wrist action. The right balance can lead to a more consistent and controlled putting stroke.
Putter Face and Material
The putter face can be metal, insert, or groove-faced. Insert putters often provide a softer feel, ideal for fast greens, while metal-faced or groove-faced putters offer more feedback and can be better for slower greens.
Your choice might depend on the golf ball you use. For example, a firmer cover ball might pair better with a softer face.
Putter Grips and Shaft
Grips range from traditional to jumbo grips, which can reduce wrist action for more stability. The putter shaft position, whether center shafted putters or heel shafted putters, also affects alignment and stroke style.
Ultimately, how the putter feels in your hands is crucial. The best putter feels like a natural extension of your arm and instills confidence on the green.
To bring these comparisons to life, let’s look at real-world examples. For instance, the iconic golfer Scotty Cameron is known for his preference for finely crafted blade putters. His success on the greens showcases how well these putters work for those with a refined, precise stroke.
In contrast, many PGA tour players have shifted towards mallet putters for their stability and help with alignment. The rise in popularity of these putters among professionals highlights their effectiveness in high-pressure situations.
Regular golfers also have their preferences. John, a mid-handicapper, switched to a face-balanced mallet putter and saw immediate improvements in his short game, especially on fast greens. Meanwhile, Sarah, a beginner, found her groove with a peripheral weighted putter, citing its balance of feel and forgiveness as a game-changer.
These examples underscore a vital point:
the best putter is not about what’s popular but what works best for your game.
Whether it’s a Scotty Cameron blade or a face-balanced mallet, the key is to find a putter that complements your stroke and feels right in your hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Delving into the frequently asked questions is an excellent way to address common curiosities and concerns golfers have about putter types. Let’s explore some of these:
What’s the Difference Between Face Balanced and Toe Balanced Putters?
A Face balanced putter is designed so that the face points upwards when balanced on your finger. These are ideal for a straight through putting stroke. Toe balanced putters, on the other hand, have a toe that points downwards and are better suited for players with an arced stroke.
How Do I Know if I Need a Blade or Mallet Putter?
This largely depends on your putting style and personal preference. Blade putters are often chosen by players who prefer feel and precision, while mallet putters offer more forgiveness and alignment assistance. It’s also worth considering the type of greens you usually play on; firmer greens may suit blades, while mallets can be beneficial on softer, slower greens.
Can Putter Length Impact My Game?
Absolutely! The standard putter length for most golfers is about 34-35 inches, but this can vary based on your height and arm length. A putter that’s too long or too short can impact your posture and, subsequently, your stroke efficiency.
Are Heavier Putters Better for Putting?
Heavier putters can be more stable, especially on fast greens, providing a consistent stroke. However, the choice between a heavier or lighter putter should also consider your personal comfort and the speed of greens you often play on.
Do Putter Grips Make a Difference?
Yes, the size and texture of the putter grip can significantly affect your stroke. Larger grips can help reduce wrist action, potentially leading to more consistent strokes, while traditional grips offer more feel and flexibility in the hands.
In conclusion, understanding the nuances of different putter types is not just about adding a new club to your bag.
Whether you lean towards the precision and tradition of blade putters, the modern stability of mallet putters, or something in between, the right choice can transform your game.
Remember, the perfect putter feels right in your hands, complements your putting style, and instills confidence as you line up for that all-important shot. Experiment with different styles, consider factors like putter length, head weight, and putter grip, and most importantly, practice!
Your ideal putter is out there, waiting to help you lower your scores and enjoy the game even more.