The most used club in your golf bag should not be the one you buy off the rack and without being properly fit. No two putting strokes are the same and thus putters should not be either. Companies will spend millions of dollars to telling you about the new technology in their metal woods causing golfers to focus on these clubs over their short game weapons. The same effort in engineering that goes into driving the ball further off the tee is applied to new putter technology. If you are still playing a putter with technology created in the 1970s, it may be time for an upgrade.
New model putters still hold the traditional shapes and leverage groove patterns and perimeter weighting that helps make these clubs consistent and forgiving. Knowing which putter is best for you begins with understanding your stroke and knowing what different kinds of putters can offer you. Over half of the shots during your golf rounds are taken with your putter and wedges yet little is known among casual golfers of the important features of these scoring clubs. We examine each of these features in detail so that you come away with an improved understanding of putter design and a reference for which model is best for your game.
Top 10 Most Forgiving Putters
When Do You Use A Putter?
On the greens, or just off of them, is when golfers should be using their putters. Due to the exceptionally low lofts of these clubs, putters launch the golf ball very low to begin a forward roll as quickly as possible. Golfers should leverage using their putters from off the green when the grass is thin and they believe a putt will stop closer to the hole than a chip or pitch.
Finding the Best Putter Your Golf Game
Golfers should look for putters that match their stroke types. Both club head design and hosel shapes will dictate the toe hang of each putter. The toe hang of the putter can dictate club arc and lead to changes in a putter’s success between golfers. Golfers who miss most below their target may benefit from a putter with additional toe hang than their current model. Conversely, golfers who often push their putts right of the target may find a more facebalanced putter helps them hole more putts.
Stroke types are broken down into classifications based on their arc of rotation around a golfer’s body. Strong arcs, slight arcs, and straight paths are used to denote swing categories. Strong arc swing types will find that putters with maximum toe hang are best. Large, mallet designs and shafts without offset help golfers with less arc hit putts more in-line with the hole.
Every golfer will create some degree of rotation when producing their putter arc. Due to the angle, the shaft enters the putter head, a straight-back, straight-through putter stroke is less reality and more vernacular used by professionals to teach golfers. Identifying your stroke type is vital to choosing the putter that will help you hit the most consistent putts.
The price of a putter can vary by hundreds of dollars. These prices are more reflective of the putter’s collectible value and craftsmanship than of its performance. Because there is such large after-market fanfare for putters, it can be difficult to tell which putters are sought after due to their performance. Budget-conscious golfers can be assured that finding a putter that matches their stroke is most important and these model are available in very affordable options.
Top Putter Features
All putter share similar build characteristics. The grip and shaft meet to create the hosel for that putter. Putter heads are crafted in such a way that they enhance performance differently, based on their design. A putter’s head shape, hosel design, and groove technology differ among models and will offer a wide range of advantages to golfers with different putting motions.
Putter grips come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and weights. Due to the subjective nature of putting, fitting a grip to each golfer is an art. Players should not hesitate to experiment with different grip models to makes them the most comfortable when standing over their putts.
Midsized and oversized putter grips have gained favor from golfers because of their ability to reduce the influence of the wrists in the putting stroke. Golfers struggling to control distances with their putter may find that larger grips help take the tension out of their strokes. For golfers who need extreme help with their strokes or prefer to have more weight under their hands, counter-balanced grips offer golfers enhanced feel and help promote a fluid, natural putting motion.
Due to the many ways that golfers can hold the putter, manufacturers have created grips with different shapes. Non-conventional putter holds such as the claw and reverse-hand methods have created a need for putter grip manufacturers to offer grips that are uniformly sized under both palms. These non-taper grips from companies like SuperStroke have become as common as traditional taper designs and give golfers more options for their preferred putter hold.
Putter Head Shape
Putter are grouped into three categories for golfers to use as a reference to match with their arc styles. Putters are broken down into blades, mallets, and perimeter weighted models and will share similar characteristic among putters within the same group but respond differently when swung than putter outside their groups. These differences in head shapes will encourage different release patterns and golfers should be careful to choose a putter that looks great and help encourage their natural arc pattern.
Blade putters are the most common design and were made popular when Ping introduced the anser style in 1966. Popular blade models include the Scotty Cameron Newport and the Callaway Odyssey #1. These putters will fit strong and slight arc stroke types. These putters offer clean lines and simple alignment aids that can help golfers create solid setup positions. Some golfers will forego the looks of the bladed putter for models such as the mallet and perimeter weighted with increased forgiveness.
Mallet putters have grown in popularity due to their extreme forgiveness and bold alignment aids. By increasing the head weight of the putter and pulling the center of gravity low and back, putter designers have improved golf ball performance on the green. Golfers with slight or straight arcs will benefit the most from the mallet club head styles. While these putters may offer the greatest performance advantages, blending golfer’s visual preferences into these large shapes has been difficult for club craftsmen.
Perimeter weighted putters attempt to blend the performance benefits of mallet putters with the beautiful aesthetics of bladed options. These models are the most popular of the three putter categories. Golfers who love the look of blades but understand they can benefit from an improved short game should look for these models in their next putter.
Finding a putter that you are comfortable with and inspires you to practice on the putting greens will lead to lower scores. Golfers who enjoy developing their putting strokes with repetition and technicality will gravitate towards putter models with square shapes and sharp lines. Players who putt primarily with feel can appreciate softer lines and rounded profiles. Knowing how you plan to approach your putting can provide you with insight into which putter will suit your eyes the most.
Putter Shaft Length
The shaft length should fit into your putting posture so that your eyeline is directly over the golf ball or just inside it. The most common stock putters come in 33, 34, and 35-inch options but can be custom ordered to lengths that help you achieve the proper eye position. Once you have set your eyes correctly, balancing your new putter around the shaft length is important.
When putters are built, they have head weights that balance with the grip and length of the shaft that is installed with them. Swingweight is defined as the force a club exerts with the weight of gravity when the grip is held in a position perpendicular to the ground. Swingweights that are too heavy or too light will lead to poor strikes and fewer birdies. Longer putters may need to be complemented with heavier grip options to help lessen the weight created by the club head mass. Shorter length putter should be outfitted with lighter grips so the putter swingweight does not get too light.
Putter Faces and Inserts
Traditionally putters have been carved from a single block of metal into shapes that hosels can be fit in to. More recently, engineers have discovered creative ways to influence the golf ball’s performance when struck with the putter. Groove patterns and face inserts have made it possible for golfers to marry improved performance and exceptional feel.
Some examples of putter face and groove technology include the Micro-hinge technology from Callaway and the grooves of Evnroll putters affect the rolling patterns of the golf ball. Both of these technologies are designed to help golfers hit putts that travel consistent distances and shape towards the hole. Inserts can also provide golfers with an exceptionally soft feel that cannot be produced using only metal.
Putter Shafts and Hosels
The hosel is created when the shaft of your club meets the club head. Putters have many variations on hosel shapes. These shapes help to influence the toe hang of the putter. Putters with the same club head but different hosel designs can promote vastly different swing arcs. As a general rule, the further the club shaft is in front of the putter head the more toe hang the club will have. Clubs with shafts that point directly onto the putter head will have minimal toe hang.
Types of Putters
Beyond the type of club head, each putter model is categorized into, putters are rated on a gradient of toe hangs. Blade, mallet, and perimeter weighted putters can be made with toe hangs that are face-balanced, minimal toe hang, or maximum toe hang. The more toe hang a putter has, the more open the face will become on the backswing and the more aggressively it will work closed during the downswing.
If you are unsure of how much toe hang a putter has, balancing it on a table or your hand can illuminate these angles. Place the club in your hand or on the table with the club head hanging freely. When the club head is in suspension, if the clubface is pointed to the sky, that putter is face-balanced and offers minimal toe hang. Putters that angle more downward will have increasing toe hangs with maximum toe hang models hanging almost perpendicular to the ground.
The toe hang of a putter is important in determining which model is right for you. The larger the toe hang, the more rotation that club will promote during the swing arc. Less toe hang with evoke less face rotation. As a general rule, right-handed golfers missing too often to the right will benefit from putters with less toe hang. Right-handed players missing too often to the left can have the opposite dilemma and may want to try putters with more toe hang.
Frequently Asked Questions
When trying to figure out which putter is best for your stroke and which models offer the most in forgiveness, we have addressed some frequently asked questions for you below.
Q: How do I know which putter is best for me?
A: Putting is the most subjective part of golf. Why some putters work for certain players and fail in the hands of others is difficult to understand. When selecting your putter, find something that is easy to line up and helps you get the ball started on your intended path. Understanding your stroke type and matching that to a club head and hosel setting will improve consistency between rounds. Putting is about confidence and your putter should be built with that in mind.
Q: What is the most important factor to consider when buying a putter?
A: The most important aspect of putters can differ between golfers. Forgiving mallet designs can offer golfers struggling with the speeds of greens improved distance control. Putters with properly matched toe hangs will help golfers missing left or right to find the direction of the hole more often. Some golfers may buy putters because of their unique craftsmanship and exclusivity. No matter what you are struggling to find, there is a putter that can help you play your best golf.
Q: When should I use a putter from off the green?
A: When choosing a club, the objective is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible. When the golf ball is resting on tight lies with little grass, golfers often can find better direction and distance control with their putters than with their wedges. Testing your putter from a variety of lies and distances can help you decide when to chose your wedge and putters appropriate during your competitive rounds.
Q: Should I switch putters if I’m not putting well?
A: Many players rely on their equipment to influence their psychology. Putter changes help the best players in the world when their putting goes awry. Changing putters can provide a spark to your short game and help you feel comfortable on the greens.
Top 10 Most Forgiving Putters
Ping Vault 2.0 Putter
The Ping Vault 2.0 Putter line is 100% milled to offer a tour level feel. Integrated with True Roll Technology, the putters are the ultimate blend of form and function. Stunning craftsmanship coupled with advanced groove technology is what really seperates the Vault 2.0 putters from Ping from other putters in similar shapes. The Ping Vault 2.0 putters are availble in three finishes and can be presicion weighted to help golfers find their ideal club balance.
Odyssey Toulon Putter
The Odyssey Toulon Putters are a premium offering from Callaway and Odyssey. Produced by master craftsman Sean Toulon, these putters are ultra-premium. Toulon putters feature a Deep Diamond milling process that gives golfers consistency across the putter face. All toulon putters are designed with alignment features that make them easy to setup and have aluminum sole plates that allow golfers to dial in their weight preferences. Players looking for premium forgiving putters should look at the Toulon offering from Callaway.
Seemore Nashville Putter
The Seemore Nashville Putter is a premium milled putter line made for golfers who love classic shapes and intuitive alignment features. By using a red dot to help golfers ensure their putter face is square, SeeMore works to offer golfers additional alignment tools when compared to other putter brands. Players looking for sleek 100% milled putters will love the redesign of the Nashville Studio Series.back to menu ↑
Envroll ER7 Putter
The Envroll ER7 Putter is the full mallet offering from Evnroll. Evnroll has introduced a brand new concept into the putting market. By utilizing V-shapes and variable sizes in their groove patterns Evnroll has created a fast with identical ball speed from the heel, toe, and middle. The ER7 is Evnroll’s fullest size mallet putter and offers golfer help in putting distance and direction.
Scotty Cameron Select Newport Putter
The Scotty Cameron Select Newport Putter is a staple of modern putter design. Maybe the most recognized name in golf, Scotty Cameron has been crafting putters for decades. Inspired from his work and tour player feedback, the Select Newport putter line is timeless and forgiving. Players who love looking at a beautifully designed putter will fall in love with the Scotty Cameron line.
Bettinardi BB1 Putter
The Bettinardi BB1 Putter is unrivaled in design and premium materials. A Flymkill face allows Bettinardi to give golfers an even softer feel. this classic blade design is unique in its appearance and performance. If you have never thought of Bettinardi when it comes to putter buying, the BB! may be the one to get into your hands.
Ping Sigma G Putter
The Ping Sigma G Putters are designed with golfers in mind. Ping truly thought of everything when making the Sigma G lineup. Available in 18 different models the Sigma G offers golfers unrivaled options for their game. A variety of different shapes and toe hang options make the Sigma G line one of the most versatile groups in golf. Premium face inserts mean that you do not have to sacrifice feel or performance when choosing a head shape and hosel setting perfect for your stroke.
TaylorMade Spider Putter
The TaylorMade Spider Putter is the most stable putter offering from TaylorMade. This putter is set with weight pused as far back and outward as they bold shape allows. By removing weight from the putter face, TaylorMade has packed maximum forgiveness into a shape that continue to dominate on Tour. Golfers of all skill levels will find something to love in TaylorMade’s Spider.
Odyssey Toe Up Putter
The Odyssey Toe Up Putter is unique but may offer forgiveness where other putters cannot. By desiging a putter that hangs with the toe upwards, Callaway has designed a putter that works to square itself. Struggling golfers who think their stroke could use some help will find performance gains in this radical design. If you can get past the odd looks of the Toe Up putter, it can offer relief in a unprecidented way.
Rife Switchback Putter
The Rife Switchback Putter is one of the only putters availble that can be truely designed for the individual. By placing the weight exactly where you need it most, Rife offers golfers the ability to fine-tune their strokes and improve perfromance and forgiveness. If you miss your putter on the toe side, additional weight there may help save your strokes. Golfers who strike their putter in the heel could benefit from less weight in the toe and heavier weights in the heel. Lining up the weight with your strike pattern is what gives an edge to the Switchback putter.
What Putter Should You Buy?
Choosing a putter can be difficult; however, the right putter can leave lasting impacts on your game. The goal in buying a new club is to make your poor shots better and your good shots great. With putting, that means reducing three putts and making more birdies.
Brands like Ping, Callaway, Titleist, and Taylormade provide modern putters with the perfect blend of technology and craftsmanship for golfers looking for the best putters in the world. With new models coming out every year, the same brands offer putters at reduced prices with major benefits. Golfers should prioritize matching a putter to their stroke type over paying top dollar for the newest equipment.
With any club buying, it is best to test each model to see what fits your swing style and preferences. Testing outside or indoors can illuminate your new putter’s true value. Better putters don’t just look nice in the bag, they provide confidence that helps you shoot your lowest rounds ever. Thank you for reading and happy testing!