Everything you need to know about putters, which type best suits you!
As you know, putting is the most important part of the game. That’s why its important you fully understand the different putter types and their benefit’s. So that you know how to choose the right putter for your golf game.
Nowadays, there are so many putters to choose from. This was not the case in years gone by. Back in golfs early days, you had the standard blade putter and that was your only choice. With advances in technology and club equipment, there are now so many different styled putters to choose from.
To try and understand the differences between each of these putters can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this blog post. So that you can better understand all of these features and choose the right putter for your game.
If your a high handicapper, click here and find the putter most suited to your game!
How To Choose The Right Putter: What Kind of Putting Stroke Do I Have?
The first step, is to determine what kind of putting stroke you have. This can be broken down into two types, which can be seen down below. You should be looking at this image thinking, When I’m putting, do I bring the putter back straight and then straight through or on an arc.
First of all there’s no right or wrong here, both strokes are used by some of the best putters of all time. Take PGA tour player Brandt Snedeker, Arguably the best putters over the last 10 years on tour. Snedeker uses a pop stroke technique. This is where he has a very short back swing and follow through. However he keeps the putter on a straight line the whole time, with very little face rotation. (hence straight back straight through)
When we look at the arc stroke technique the best example would be the one and only Tiger Woods. Tiger brings the putter back on an inside arc while slightly rotating the face open. He then rotates the face back to square at impact and further releases following the arc. Think of a door opening and closing. Martin Kaymer is another good example of a great putter who uses the arc technique.
How To Easily Determine Your Putting Stroke
If your still unsure on which technique you think best describes your putting stroke, try this drill. NOTE- this can be done anywhere, you do not need to be on a putting green.
- Step 1- Get two alignment sticks and place them parallel to each other, just a little bit outside the width of your putter head. (if you don’t have alignment sticks, just use golf clubs and align the shafts)
- Step 2- Place your golf ball in the middle of the alignment sticks.
- Step3- Address the ball with your putter and begin your back stroke.
- Step 4- Pause on the back stroke and take note of where the putter is in comparison to the inner alignment line.
If the putter head is largely outside the alignment line, you have an arc putting stroke. If the putter head is largely inside the alignment line you have a straight back straight through putting stroke.
How To Choose The Right Putter: Putter Heads & Head Balance
While there are two main types of putter head types, one being a blade and the other a mallet. There are really two versions of mallet putters, these being a mid-mallet or mallet. To keep things as simple as possible, we’ll look at the different types of Scotty Cameron putter heads.
Blade Putters (Toe Balanced)
If your a traditionalist you’ll likely prefer the look of a blade putter, like the Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 pictured below. However, a blade putter is most suited to an arc putting stroke. This is because blades tend to be heavily toe weighted. This weight distribution encourages an arc putting stroke and moves the sweet spot closer to the heel of the face.
Another factor that you should think about is that blade putters tend to be less forgiving then mallets. This is because mallet heads tends to have a higher MOI, this is the resistance to club head turning at impact. This results in more solid hitting and better distance control.
So really what were saying here is blades are more suited to consistent putters. People who regularly hit putts out of the middle of the putter head. If your not one of these people maybe you should look into mallets!
Mid Mallet Putter (Face Balanced)
A Mid Mallet putter like the Scotty Cameron Select Fastback, pictured below. Tend to be face weighted, this feature means the putter face stays much straighter on the way back and through. (of course not dead straight, but it tends to open far less then a blade). This type of putter is best suited to a straight back and through putting stroke.
As mentioned previously these putters also have more forgiveness and are also easier to align. As these putter heads feature a longer alignment line compared to a bladed putter. Again, here it does depend on your personal preference. However do bear in mind your putting stroke and what would work best for it.
Mallet Putters (Face balanced or Mid Balanced)
Many tour players now use mallet putters like the Scotty Cameron Future X Mallet. Such as Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, who all trust the Spider putters as their weapons of choice. Mallet putters feature the highest MOI and its no wonder why so many top professionals now use them. While the majority of Mallet putters are face balanced some are mid balanced. This is effectively in between a toe balanced putter and a face balanced putter.
Mallet putters are the most forgiving head type as they have larger sweet spots, thanks to their larger head size and heavier weight.
Their also the easiest to align as they feature longer alignment lines on the putter head. If your a high handicapper and really struggle on the greens, a mallet putter is likely the way to go. While predominately suited towards a straight back and through stroke, many golfers with an arc stroke still use mallet putters due to their greater forgiveness.
To see more Scotty Cameron putter models click here.
How To Choose The Right Putter: What Size Putter Grip Should I Use?
Traditionally, there was only the regular size putting grip. However in recent years, there are now a variety of shapes and sizes available. For example, in the image below you can see the difference in size between the SuperStroke 5.0 and the classic Ping Slim grip.
Large putter grips are best suited to those who like to take their hands out of the putting stroke. As the wider grips make it harder for the hands to breakdown while stroking the ball. On the contrary, if you like using your hands a little bit in the stroke, the skinnier grips are the way too go. These allow you to use your hands more and are more suited to arc stroke putters.
Thicker grips are also more suited to those who like a straight back and through putting stroke. The best thing to do here, is to play around with different grips and see which feels the best for you. There is no right or wrong here, just what ever makes you feel the most comfortable.
What Are The Different Types Of Putter Faces?
When looking at putter faces, there are only two options. Your choice is between an insert putter face and a milled putter face.
Both are widely used and it really just comes down to your own individual feel . As you can probably tell, the insert face gets its name because the face is inserted into the putter head. Whereas a milled putter face is developed through a more complicated milling process. It really comes down to your personal preference. As with modern technology both face types can be manipulated to provide different feels and sounds.
Generally speaking, an Insert putter face will provide a softer feel and lower sound. So if a softer feel is what your looking for, an insert face might be best suited for you. However, that’s not to say that all insert face putters provide as soft a feel as the next one. Or that an insert face provides a softer feel than any given milled putter face. This is because of advances in technology and a milling process called deep milling.
Milled putter faces tend to provide a firmer feel and higher sound. So if your prefer a higher sounding, firmer feel putter. Then a milled putter face is the best option for you. Milled Putter faces also provide an amazing feel and are often more expensive then insert putters. This is largely due to the complex process of CNC milling. This is where the whole putter head is created from the one piece of material using a CNC machine.
Of course, this is the opposite to an insert putter, which will use a variety of different materials. All and all, you should really try out a few different putters both milled face and insert face putters. This will enable you to decide on which one works best for you.
How To Choose The Right Putter: Putter Hosels
Firstly, the hosel is where the putter shaft connects with the putter head. There are now a number of different hosel variations available. Here we will look at the 6 main ones and discuss their benefits.
The Plumber-Neck hosel (pictured above) is the most common of putter hosels. this hosel design encourages a forward press slightly and provides a certain amount of offset. The fact this putter encourages you to have your hands ahead of the ball it helps avoid breakdown of the wrists. These types of hosels are most commonly found in toe hang putters as it encourages an arc putting stroke.
This is one that some of ye may not find visually pleasing. However, a center shafted putter also has its benefits. For instance if your a straight back straight through putter you should definitely give one a try. The shaft being positioned near the center, redistributes the weight of the head more evenly. This allows the putter head to stay straighter throughout the stroke and reduces clubhead twisting.
These hosels are very similar to the plumber neck or offset hosels. These are essentially just longer versions. However the added length does not just provide a different visual appeal. The long-neck feature creates more face balance then the regular plumber neck which creates more of a toe weighted feel. These hosel support a less severe arc putting stroke.
Putters with flare-tip hosels are generally more suited to those with arc putting strokes. This is because they manipulate the weighting of the putter head to be more toe-down. This encourages face rotation through the putting stroke.
A Slant-Neck putter hosel boosts similar benefits to the plumber-neck hosel. In that both of these hosels create a certain amount of offset. Slant-Neck putters also encourage a slight forward press in the stroke.
No-Neck putter shafts typically encourage face balance. Again, if you are a straight back straight through putter, this would be a great option to try out. Which obviously means if your a person who has more of an arc stroke, your best to steer clear of these hosels.
If you found this post interesting and want to find out more about wedges. Click here and learn everything you need to know about wedges!