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