This post is to give a basic overview of putters and to provide some basic information to help you to choose the correct putter.
Best Putter For A Beginner
More often than not if you buy a beginners package set it will come with a putter. If it doesn’t or you just wanted to buy your first putter to go with your first set my advice would be to just get a fairly basic inexpensive one. The reason for this is that although the putter is an extremely important club the truth is as a beginner, and I say this with all due respect, you probably won’t really notice the difference between a basic putter and a very expensive one.
Having said that some putters have larger sweetspots than others and as a beginner you are likely to miss the sweetspot more than you will once you have been playing for a while. Some putters have what is called heel and toe weighting and these putters tend to have larger sweetspots so you may want to consider this type of putter initially.
Different Types Of Putter
There are so many different types of putter which is why choosing one can be quite a lengthy process but they are broken down into different types all of which have slightly different features and benefits.
Heel and Toe Weighted Putters : These types of putters have weight placed towards the heel and the toe of the club, the idea of this is to create an enlarged sweetspot which particularly benefits newer golfers but are used by all levels of players. The iconic Ping Anser putter is the most famous version of this type of putter and has been used by tour professionals for decades.
Face Balanced Putters : If you were to lay a face balanced putter horizontally on a table with the putter head distanced away from the edge of the table the face of the putter would remain parallel pointing up at the ceiling. The benefit of this when you are putting is that the putter head stays much squarer just before, during and just after impact which would suit someone who tends to prefer a straight back and through putting stroke.
Toe Weighted Putters : These putters have more weight placed towards the toe of the club so if you were to do the same experiment where you lay the putter horizontally on a table with the clubhead distanced away from the edge of the table the toe of the club would point towards the ground. This type of putter would tend to suit someone who prefers what we call an arcing putting stroke, this is where the putter face tends to open slightly on the backswing, returns to square at impact and then closes on the follow through.
Blade Style Putter : These putters tend to be heel shafted and are favoured by the traditionalist and are less common than in years gone by but you can still find them. They generally have a relatively small sweet spot so not really suitable for newer golfers.
centrally Shafted Putters : As the name suggests the shaft of the club enters the clubhead centrally so the shaft is pretty much directly behind the ball. This type of putter tends to suit someone who also prefers the straight back and through putting stroke.
Mallet Putters : These putters have a semi circular appearance and can either be face balanced or toe weighted. In years gone by they where almost regarded as a last resort for a player that was having putting problems but nowadays it’s not uncommon to see them being used by tour players
Correct Putter Length
A standard length men’s putter is 35″ and a ladies putter is 34″. However it is not unusual for men and ladies to feel more comfortable using various length putters. I remember Phil Mickelson using a 33″ putter to great effect for quite some time so don’t be afraid to experiment with different lengths of putters. A word of warning at this point though, if you are using a mid to high price point putter don’t just have it cut down or lengthened without speaking to a PGA Professional or a custom fit professional as the putter is probably perfectly weighted for its current length, you may need to be have the putter custom fitted.
How Important Is A Putter
The simple answer here is very. You will use a putter for over 40% of your shots so it’s important that you have one that you like and trust. As a beginner the putting aspect of the game probably won’t be as important to you as it will when you become more proficient in the game.
I can remember as a beginner just feeling pure relief that I have manged to get my ball onto the putting surface and the knowing that whilst on the putting green I didn’t have the fear of missing the ball or hitting it into a hedge or pond, although I have de greened the ball a few times in my life haha ( hitting the ball off the green whilst putting). As you start to play more and focus more on your score putting becomes a much more important part of the game, if you look at the men and ladies on tour putting becomes one of the or if not the most important statistic to them.
As mentioned previously there are so many different types of putter all with subtle differences and choosing the right one can take some time. What I will say is when you are looking for a putter some will suit your eye better than others and only you will know which one that is and that is very important. Also, it’s absolutely vital that you try it out either on a putting green or even on a putting mat if that is all that’s available, you will soon know if you are going to get on with it or not.
Well very best of luck, if you have any comments or would like some further help please feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to get back to you.
All the best
The purpose of this post is to share the experience and knowledge I have gained in my role as a PGA Professional and more specifically my work with disability groups during my time as County Disabilty Coach with a view to promoting disability golf and raising awareness. I will also provide information and links to groups and organizations who are involved in disability golf.
I thoroughly enjoy my disability golf sessions and find them to be hugely rewarding and they always seem to be very well received by the people who take part in them. Alongside my work within golf I also worked for British Blind Sport who provide sporting opportunities for visually impaired youngsters aged 14-25 and also Sense who support deafblind children and adults. My role’s with British Blind Sport and Sense required me to arrange and assist in all manner of sporting and leisure activities such as horse riding, trampolining, boccia, indoor skydiving, rock climbing, goalball, gym sessions, footgolf and of course golf.
During this time I realised that there must be thousands and thousands of people with disabilities who would love to have a go at golf but may feel it’s not something that they could do or may not know how to go about starting. I know for a fact that I have introduced 100’s of people to golf who would never have even considered playing and I intend to continue doing this but in addition I hope this post will perhaps reach a wider audience.
Is Golf Accessible To All
When people think of playing golf they think of playing 18 holes around a full length golf course and this is traditionally what you would refer to as a round of golf but as I have mentioned in previous posts ‘playing golf’ doesn’t have to be restricted to that alone.
Certain impairments or disabilities may make playing around a typical golf course either very difficult or impossible but that doesn’t necessarily mean playing golf is out of the question. Having said that I went to watch the Disabled British Golf Open and there were competitors with a huge range of impairments using a vast array of adapted equipment so really anything is possible.
Examples of the impairments groups competing in this tournament were Amputee’s, Autism, Asperger’s, Spinal Injuries, MS, Parkinson’s, Golfers in wheelchairs, Golfers with Visual Impairments, Golfers affected by Thalidomide, Frederick’s Ataxia and Golfers with Dwarfism.
The golfers competing in this tournament were playing to a very high standard and I would imagine most had been playing for many years, you can aspire to compete at this level if you wish or play completely for fun and enjoyment without any intention to compete at any level, that’s the beauty of golf you can play at whatever level you choose.
If playing around a full length course doesn’t appeal to you then maybe consider playing golf around a shortened course, sometimes referred to as a par 3 course or a pitch and putt course, or a driving range or maybe on a putting green.
There is a huge appetite for a shortened version of golf and whilst I don’t envision or in fact hope for a time when people no longer play 18 holes in a round of golf there are steps being made for speed golf or types of target golf where you can score points hitting shots from one point.
Golf is becoming more and more accessible if you have a disability but improvements can always be made where this is concerned, if you have any comments on your experiences on this subject either positive or negative I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment.
Organizations For Golfers With Disabilities
There are a growing number of groups and organizations providing help and information for golfers with disabilities. Please find below some links to various websites and if you know of anymore please send them to me and I will share them on my website.
The most common adaption of the golf equipment in my experience has been either shortening or lengthening the clubs and this can easily be done by a Club Professional or can be ordered this way directly from the company usually at no extra cost. Having said that some golfers may need their equipment adapted specifically for them, if you are having any problems in this area please feel free to contact me and I will try to help if I can, if I can’t I will try and find somebody who can help you.
Promoting Disability Golf
This post is purely aimed at promoting golf and it’s opportunities to people with disabilities whether they have never played golf before, already play regularly or are returning to golf after injury or illness. This area of golf is very dear to my heart and am passionate about introducing the sport to people who perhaps had not considered it before.
If you have any information or experiences you would like to share or feel would benefit fellow golfers with disabilities please send me a message or leave a comment below.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this post.
All the best
This post is designed to offer some help to you if you are thinking of buying your first set of golf clubs and are not sure which are the best golf clubs for a beginner.
Package sets are very popular nowadays but there are also plenty of suitable beginners sets which you can buy i.e woods, irons, putter and bag separately or even buy the irons individually.
When I first started playing golf it was traditional to buy half a set of clubs and add the other half at a later stage, a half set would be made up of alternate clubs i.e 3,5,7 and 9 irons then you would fill in the gaps as you go and a full set of clubs was made up of 3 Woods and 9 Irons. Whilst this is still possible to do it is often more convenient to buy a package set. Package sets usually consist of approximately 12 clubs (14 is the maximum you are allowed to carry at once) The clubs are an assortment of Woods, Hybrids, Irons and of course a Putter plus a bag and in most cases offer quite a financial saving when compared to buying all the equipment separately.
What Am I Looking For
There are a vast amount of clubs to choose from and obviously as a new golfer that can seem quite daunting. There are certain things however to look out for in a club if you are a beginner which can make the game much easier for you.
What I will say at this stage is that even if you are not sure what you are looking for in a golf club it really helps if you like the look of the club, this might sound obvious but if you like the look of them you are slightly less likely to blame them every time you hit a bad shot 🙂 Clubs have a variety of designs and you need to like the look of them both in the bag and when you address the ball as it will help to install confidence which is essential at all levels of golf not just as a beginner.
When reading through the following advice please bear in mind that we are referring to the irons in the set. It is quite important to have all your irons from a matching set but it’s not necessary to have woods that match your Irons. If you buy a beginners package then the woods included will be designed to match that standard of player but if you are looking to just buy a set of irons then you can add the wood or woods separately.
Hybrids are also very common clubs now for all levels of player, Hybrids are kind of a mix between woods and Irons and are often used to replace long irons (1-4 Irons typically) as long irons can be quite difficult to use in comparison to the shorter irons (5 iron upwards)
Common Features of Beginners Clubs
The things to look out for in a golf club if you are a beginner are :
Larger than standard club heads – The benefit of this is the larger the club head the larger the sweet spot which will give you better results on off-centre hits.
Peripheral weighting – This is where more weight is placed around the outside to the club head which again will give you better results on off-centre hits, this is also sometimes referred to as heel and toe weighting or cavity back golf clubs.
Wider Sole – This is where more weight is placed on the sole of the club giving it a wider appearance. The benefit of this is when you strike the ball more weight gets under the golf ball promoting a higher launch and therefore more height on your shots.
Other Features To Look Out For
Other features manufacturers incorporate into golf clubs to make them easier to use are:
Offset clubheads – This is where the leading edge of the club is set back slightly from the base of the shaft to help to encourage the hands to remain ahead of the club head at impact.
Slightly shorter shafts – This isn’t true of all beginners clubs but sometimes beginners can find a club easier to use if it is a bit shorter than standard. There will potentially be a slight loss of distance associated with this but improved consistency and a better strike can often outweigh any slight loss of distance.
Buying your first set of golf clubs should be an exciting prospect and not one to feel apprehensive about. It is quite easy now to do a bit of research online and get an idea of prices and of the type of club that may be suitable for you and although they may all seem fairly similar it will make the game much easier for you in the early stages if you try and select a club with the features I have listed above.
Lots of people use their beginners sets through to a good standard, you don’t have to upgrade as soon as you become more proficient at golf but by the time you have played for a year or so you will have got a much better idea of the type of golf club that suits you best.
All the best