Whether you are in your local pro shop or shopping online, finding the right putter for you can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to think about! Head shape, hosel shape, alignment aids, length, lie angle, and inserts to name a few. I want to break these down for you, helping you choose the right putter for your game. When you’re done reading, you’ll be able to shop with confidence, knowing your putting is in good hands.
Putters come in many shapes and sizes, from blades to mallets. But, did you know that the head shape has an influence on your putting? Head shape influences your aim when lining up your putt. In general, blade-style putters influence your aim left (for a right-handed golfer). As you move closer to a mallet-style head, your aim moves right (again, for righties).
So how do you choose? Think of your tendency on an uphill, zero-break putt from 6 feet. Do you typically miss left? How about right? If your miss is left, you will probably benefit from a mallet-style head. Miss right? A blade will help correct that.
Now that we’ve narrowed down the head shape, we need to pair it with the right hosel shape. Common hosels include a plumber’s neck (think PING Anser), slant (like Jason Day and Dustin Johnson’s TaylorMade Ghost Spider Tour), and double-bend (Odyssey’s #7, similar to Henrik Stenson’s). The more offset a neck has (such as a plumber’s neck), the farther left your aim will be. Slant and double-bend hosels tend to push your aim to the right.
When shopping, use the same test you did with the head shape. A miss left should lead you to a rounder hosel like a slant and double bend. A plumber’s neck will get misses right to move towards the hole by allowing the face an extra split second to close before impact.
Alignments on a putter are nothing new. Line(s), dots, or a combination of the 2 are seen on pretty much every putter on the market. What you might not know is the influence these seemingly minor details have on your putting. In general, lines cause your aim to go left. Lines closer to the face move your aim right. Lines on the back of the club move your aim farther left.
To help you decide which setup is best for you, consider 2 things: what looks good to you and what (combined with the head and hosel) will help you correct your miss.
Length and Lie Angle
When deciding on length, comfort is arguably the most important factor. Take a comfortable stance. Adjusting the lie angle on the putter makes it sit flat once you find the right length. For many, the typical 33-35 inch putters work great!
Counter-balanced putters are another option. Gaining popularity leading up to and after the anchored putting ban, counter-balanced putters have 2 distinct advantages. Their extended length makes them more comfortable for taller players. More importantly, however, is the weight difference of these putters. Extra weight in the grip quiets your hands and stabilizes your putting stroke. If you struggle with a putting stroke that’s too quick, a counter-balanced putter is a great option!
The final feature to consider for your next flatstick is the insert. Putter inserts serve a couple purposes. First, they generally have a softer feel that give you feedback on your putts. In other words, you can tell how and where you hit it on the face to help you improve.
A more recently added benefit provided by inserts is on the roll of the putt. For example, Odyssey’s new Mircohinge insert (above) or TaylorMade’s PureRoll insert are designed to get the ball rolling end-over-end as quickly as possible. Accomplishing this keeps your putt online longer, helping you sink more putts.
Picking a putter with or without an insert is rather subjective, to be honest. Some golfers like the soft feel you get with the insert. Others prefer the solid feel of a milled face (like a Scotty Cameron).
As you look for a new putter, remember the following:
• Blades move your aim left, Mallets move it right.
• Offset hosels (Plumber’s neck, etc.) move aim left. Curved hosels (slant and double-bend) move it right.
• Lines near the face move aim right, lines to the back move it left.
• The length should be comfortable for you.
• Counter-balanced putters smooth out your putting stroke with extra weight in the grip.
• Inserts are generally soft and responsive. New inserts help get the ball rolling online faster.
• Overall, the putter must appeal to your eye, giving you confidence.
Remember, when buying any club, it is important to be properly fit by a professional. This ensures you are getting the best club for your game. If you have any further questions, contact the PGA Professionals at GlobalGolf.com!