How to Choose the Right Putter

Choosing golf equipment can be a difficult task, one of the trickiest items to pick is the putter. There is not a single club in your bag you will turn to more during your round of golf than the putter.

The putter is arguably the most important club in your bag, as it can make or break your game. They say what separates the good players from the great ones is your short game, and the most crucial aspect of that short game is your putting.

Your putter is based mainly on feel, what may feel like the perfect stroke for one player can feel completely different for another. A lot of it has to do with the confidence you can establish with the club itself.

However, there are some characteristics which are imperative to look at when you want to pick the perfect putter for yourself. If you follow the guideline below, you will be able to find a putter that is just right for you.

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How to Choose a Golf Putter

STEP 1: What Kind of Putting Stroke Do You Play With?

There are a few major features of your own game and your club that must be looked at when determining which putter is the one best suited for you.

The first in this regard would be to determine the type of putting stroke you employ in your game.

The way to understand this is to grab the putter which you currently use and practice your putting motion, it can be over a ball or just shadow practice.

In doing this exercise, you will have to focus on the motion of your putter when you take it back and then when you bring it forward to strike the ball.

There are two different types of motions, one is the simple straight putting motion where you keep the face of your club straight and your stroke goes in a straight line back and forward through the ball.

The other method of putting is a little more complicated, this is called the arc style putting motion. This means that the golfer creates an arc in his motion when taking the putter in its backward motion.

The arc is created towards your body which opens the putter face, and then on your forward motion, the head straightens at the point of impact and after impact the putter will close ever so slightly following the same arcing motion.

STEP 2: Understand the Putter Head & Balancing Types

Once you have figured out your putting stroke, now keep that motion in mind. This is the point where you will consider the different characteristics of each putter and try to narrow down your options to find the perfect fit.

The first characteristic to consider is the head balancing of your putter. This will be entirely dependent on the type of putting stroke you have in your game in order to determine which type of balance suits you better.

The two different kinds of heads for putters are either the face-balanced putter and the toe-hang putter.

For those of you that have the straight putting motion, it is advised that you opt for a face-balanced putter.

This is because the balance of this putter is far more even and therefore it makes it much easier for the player of a straight stroke as the putter face will remain square throughout the stroke, making for a far better impact on the ball and this will add consistency to your putts in terms of striking the ball.

For those of you that have an arc in their putting motion, the toe-hang putter is a much better option.

The design of this putter is such that the balance of the head remains towards the toe of the club which helps the arc motion in a way that it ensures when you straighten your arc before making contact with the ball. The slight weight imbalance towards the toe of the putter causes for the face to be square at the point of impact, ensuring a clean strike of the ball.

Simply put, it greatly increases your chances of making sure you hit the ball with the center of your putter.

In order to figure out which putter is a face-balanced one and which is a toe-hang putter, there is a simple exercise to help you tell the difference.

The key is to hang the shaft on your hand and try to balance it. By doing this, the head of the putter will naturally rotate to the position where it can find the easiest balance.

When the face comes to its resting position, if it is pointing upwards, the putter will be a face-balanced putter. Similarly, if the face of the putter hangs to the side or downwards, that would be categorized as a toe-balanced putter.

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STEP 3: Putter Weight & Head Shape

Now that you have determined your putting stroke, and furthermore chosen the type of face you are looking for in order to complement that stroke. The next objective is to figure out the weight of your putter and the head shape you prefer for it.

There is no exact science to this method, this is where the factor of feel comes into play. The idea is to see which weight and head shape best suits your game in itself and apart from that which one suits the types of courses you play.

Every green is different, and not every putter responds as well to different types of greens. The head shapes of putters vary, there are those which are more suited for professional golfers.

These putters offer less forgiveness for when the sweet spot is not struck with the ball. That’s why if you are a less experienced golfer and you don’t have the consistency in your stroke that lower handicap players do, this would not be a good fit for you.

Therefore, blade style putters are for those players who have the ability to strike the ball from the center of the putter consistently and they can extract the maximum utility out of the putter on every stroke.

For amateurs who struggle in this regard, a mallet putter could be the way to go as it has a bigger head and offers much more forgiveness for putts which are not consistently hit from the center of the face.

As far as weight of the putter is concerned, there are two aspects to look at.

The first is the type of courses you typically play at, as a rule of thumb, on a course with slow greens you should always consider having a heavier head on your putter.

On greens that are faster, it is always advised to have a putter with a slightly lighter head. By doing this, you are ensuring more consistency in your putts especially when it comes to distance control on the greens.

The second aspect to this is the feel of the putter and what your own preference is. This is imperative because you don’t want to end up with a putter that is either so light or heavy that you don’t have the ability to create the stroke you imagined would be necessary for your putt.

Therefore, it is important to pick up the putter and see how it feels in your hands, because putting is a game of confidence, and if you are confident in the club you hold, you will be confident in using it which will always ensure a more positive outcome.

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STEP 4: Choose Your Putter Shaft Length

The next step is to pick the correct shaft length. This is a much more complex procedure which is usually done with a PGA professional.

There is a key which can help you get an idea of what would be the ideal length of the shaft for you.

For this, you would have to place a ball on the floor and line up on top of it as you would normally for your putt.

After doing so, drop a golf ball with your left eye, if this lands on the ball on the floor, that length is the correct one for your putter. If it lands between the ball on the floor and your feet, the putter would be too long for you.

STEP 5: Choose Your Putter Grip

The last step in choosing the perfect putter is the grip. There are multiple grips to choose from and this is again something which is based mostly on your own preference and feel.

Some golfers prefer using a wider grip as it separates your hands on the club and ensures that you use your shoulders and takes your wrists out of the putting motion.

A heavier grip can help you feel like the head of the club is lighter and vice versa.

Try out different grips in the market and find one that feels good to you, as mentioned before there are somethings which are based on feel and personal preference, and these are very important as they build confidence in the club.

With these steps, you are now ready to pick your perfect putter and start improving your score by holing more putts and being far more confident around the greens.

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Thanks for reading today’s article!

Nick Foy – Golf Instructor

nick foy golf academy
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