Golf is a great game, but it is also one of the most frustrating games one can play. Putting is the most frustrating part too, when you miss a three-foot put that you made at home without effort.
One missed shot can make you lose a round of match play, or it can add frustration to an otherwise great outing. Putting is seen as one of the most important shots for that reason, because of the angst it causes.
With that in mind golf club makers have spent a lot of time developing putters that will enhance your game. You still have to make the shot, but today’s clubs offer the latest in technology that gives you every advantage on the green.
Why You Need A Good Putter
- The putter is the one club you will use in every round you play. In theory you could play a whole round with nothing but an iron and a putter, but it would be pretty hard to play without one.
- The main thing in putting is practice, knowing your putter, knowing how the ball moves and the lie of the green as well as things like wind and humidity. It is important to have good technology in your putter, but it is even more important to have one that fits you and that you are comfortable playing with. Technology has revolutionized the game of golf, but there’s still not substitute for practice and understanding the science of putting.
- It is also possible to get custom fitted clubs, that are made to fit your body style and height, exactly. Having one that is comfortable can make a difference, and you need every advantage you can get. Putting looks easy on TV, but in reality, it is a very hard shot that is based on finesse more than strength. A high quality putter allows you to take advantage of technology to give you the best possible chance at success.
- Putting is even more stressful for professional golfers. There have been many times that a missed put decided a major championship, or titles have been won with an amazing putt from a long distance. The pros use the latest technology, and that technology is available to all of us amateur golfers as well.
Types of Putters
There are lots of variations available for putters, and the value of these differences is that they allow you to get clubs that lean themselves to your body size and your style of play.
The two basic types of putters are “face balanced” and “toe balanced.” The face balanced putter has a center of gravity behind the axis, and are best for players with a straight stroke on their putt. Toe balanced is more balanced to one end, and is better for golfers that have a bit of an arc when they putt. Many clubs combine these two elements, and you can get one that will fit your style, even if you tend to be both a straight line, and an arc, type putter. Finding the best balance for your type of swing is the best consideration here.
Head designs have also become a popular issue. For decades the blade putter was the only style there was, and it worked well. For most of the 20th century blade putters were about all that were available and are still the most popular. These favor the straight line putter, and is best on fast greens where touch or finesse is important. Another head design is the peripheral weighted putter, that has more weight added to the heel and toe portions of club, making it more consistent. It adds some versatility to your stroke. Mallet putters are also face balanced, and reduces some spin on the ball. These are good for longer putts. Head design is more a matter of personal preference, but knowing the options is always good.
Putter faces are another area to consider, and this is where you try to find the balance to best suit the greens you play on. The type of ball you use is also a consideration. Finding the right combination of putter face and ball, to match the greens you play on most, is the challenge. Steel is the most common type of face, but there are also brass, aluminum, copper at titanium. Insert faced putters use some other type of substance as an insert inside the club head. This softens the feel of the shot and offers more forgiveness for the put that isn’t exactly what you intended. More recently grooved faced putters are becoming more popular. These club heads have grooves that “grip” the ball on impact, and keep it going in a straight line, as opposed to mounding or rising up off the ground when hit.
The shafts and hosels also offer some options to consider. Shafts are generally steel, giving a strong feel to the club. The hosel is where the shaft meets the club face. The options here vary between heel shafted, center shafted and offset type putters. Where the hosel is determines what type it is. This may come down to personal preference.
The length of your putter may also be a matter of personal preference and your style of play. For a very long time standard clubs were 32-36 inches and getting one to fit your height was the main consideration. These are still the most popular. There are also belly putters that are 41-46 inches long, and use the golfers’ belly to help balance the club. These are now illegal in USGA sanctioned events. There are also long putters, that are up to 51 inches.
In some ways putters are all the same, even though there are quiet a few options on nearly every part. There is the head, the hosel which connects the head to the shaft and the grip.
A putter is designed for a short, quick shot. It is the shot that requires the most finesse or touch, and so that is why there are lots of options. It is hard to say which of the options are “best,” or if any are truly better than others.
Understanding each of these common features of putters, and understanding your own game, are the essential parts. Finding the right combination of head, face, shaft and grip is the challenge you face when looking for a putter. The types of greens you play on most are also important.
What To Consider Before Buying
Price is a consideration when buying anything for most of us. But it is also important to realize that when you want high quality, you generally get what you pay for. Just like in anything else, it is good to get the best quality you can afford. Price alone is not enough to make a decision about a club though. You could get the best quality there is, but if you get that quality that does not match your game, it won’t help you that much and could actually hurt your game. Once you figure out your budget, you are then ready to start exploring the options that will best suit your style of play.
Once you have a handle on the price, you can start to consider other things. Your style of play, and where you will be playing, are major considerations when considering which putter options to choose. Some of it does come down to personal preference.
The length may be the most important aspect in a club that you need to consider. The PGA website says your stance is the beginning of any shot. The proper stance means you tilt your body slightly from the hips. Your eyes should be over the ball, looking straight down, hands directly under your shoulders and elbows bent but touching your body. If you find you are having to bend over more, you will need a longer shaft, and if you are gripping too far down the shaft for good control, you will need a shorter one. The shaft should be inline with your forearms. Finding the club with this correct setup is basic, and you do this by getting the correct length of club. This is part of finding the club that best fits your body and shape. Once you have that figured out, you can start figuring out which of the other options are best for you.
Keep in mind, that golfing is an individual sport. Just because something works well for a top golfer on the PGA circuit, that does not mean it will work for you. It is important then to figure out your own needs, and your own game, and which options will best fit that as you develop your game.
If you play on a wide variety of courses in different parts of the country, perhaps playing on smooth fast greens or slower greens, you might need to consider having more than one putter in your arsenal. There are a enough differences in the options to make a difference if you are playing on an east coast beach course or one in the Colorado Rockies for instance. If you are playing just a few courses locally, one putter that best suits your style in those conditions would be best.
Usually people end up with more than one or two putters, but the point is to find what works best for you. It is fine to adjust your game to some degree, but finding out your own natural style is a great place to start after you determine the length of club you need.
Trial and error, as well as experience, are the best ways to tell what will work best for you and your game. Finding the right combination of options that best suit your style, and the conditions where you will be playing, are the keys to having a successful putting game.
Getting advice from the golf pro where you play most is always a good suggestion too. They may have certain brands they like to sell, but they also are there to give you advice. Some courses have clubs, and putters, for you to try out. Playing with clubs that have different options is one way to find out what best suits your style. What works on paper, or in theory, may not work on the green, and what actually lowers your scores over time should be the main consideration.
Top Putter Reviews
Below you’ll see some of our favorite putters for the money, along with a short review on what our editors like about them. So, if you’re having trouble deciding which of the models above is a good option for you, then check out these reviews below and see if they help you come to a decision
TaylorMade OS Spider Putter Review
This elegant putter has a raised, high-contrast sightline to make alignment easier for even the most novice golfer. It comes in right and left orientation and 33, 34 and 35 inch lengths to suit a variety of golfers. It has a comfortable, fat grip and is designed for effortless alignment with an elegant appearance. This is a good mallet head putter for beginners and juniors, designed to be as easy as possible to use. This top brand putter comes with a putter cover and has an oversized head for increased stability and even has counterbalance technology to help newer golfers develop their confidence and skills on the green. This putter will help new golfers hit straighter, hit a more consistent distance, gain a more stable backstroke and lower their handicap.
Why we like it:
- Raised sightline makes alignment easier
- Comes with a putter cover
- Jumbo grip
- Great balance and feel
- Consistent distance
Odyssey Big T Versa V-Line Putter Review
The Odyssey Big T Versa V-Line Putter is designed to help you improve your golf game. It is super sturdy designed to hold up in bad weather and take a beating from the game. It is good quality and when you find a defect within two years the company will repair or replace it. This Odyssey Big T Versa V-Line Putter has a quicker roll with Fusion RX, the Big-T provides dual alignment to easily set up the ball, it has a handy mallet shape designed for golfing and is made for durability and use. It is made of ultra thin steel mesh in a X-pattern.
Why we like it:
- Made of durable material that lasts
- It is aligned to easily set up the golf ball and make the shot
- The V-line shape is designed to help you improve your game.
- The black powder coat reduces glare when you hit the ball
- Defective products are repaired or replace for a two year period.
Our only complaint: It has kind of a clunky look, and for some, the large grip might not be appealing
Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 V-Line Putter Review
If you’re looking for a great putter to help you improve your golf game, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 V-Line Putter is the new and improved version of the #1 insert on tour that’s been highly engineered for a more consistent sound, feel and performance. This ensures the performance that elite players demand from a putter that’s proven week in and week out on the leaderboards. The EyeFit system simplifies fitting to select the proper head shape based on your setup to the ball, and the modified hi-def alignment system is perfect for players seeking a high MOI mallet. Slay more demons and sink more putts with the Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 V-Line Putter!
Why we like it:
- Standard-size Odyssey grip
- comes with head cover
- good weight in your hands
- feels comfortable
- has a solid contact point
- great touch on downhill putts,
- arger head is more stable through impact
- longer shaft allows players to stand up straighter
- can help significantly improve players’ putting
- good value for the money
Our only complaint: Back could be more rounded
Wilson Harmonized Square Heel/Toe Golf Putter Review
Serious golfers, this putter’s for you. This toe-heavy putter comes in a new, larger diameter grip size for better-than-ever putting. The soft-feel grip — a golfer’s dream — is designed exclusively for Wilson, which means you won’t find it anywhere else! This line of Harmonized putters from Wilson is designed to feel great and perform even better. These putters have multiple density areas in the micro-injection face insert and an alignment aid for accurate putts. Many golfers agree that this putter helps give them a nice stroke and greatly helps improve their pace control.
Why we like it:
- Gives a nice fluid stroke
- helps improve pace control
- padded face
- perfectly weighted
- good balance (as golfers can hover the putter off the ground and it stays almost perfectly still, even through the swing)
- unbeatable stock grip
- good value for the money
Our only complaints: Does not come with a head cover, some may think that this putter is too light
QUOLF GOLF Two-Way Putter Review
If you’re looking for a simple but effective putter that’s perfect for lefties and righties, here’s your answer. The QUOLF GOLF Two-Way Putter can be used in the left hand or right hand, so if you’re ambidextrous, take your pick on how you’d like to use it! This sturdy putter measures 33.5 inches, which is ideal for people of many heights. The grip fits snugly in the center of your hand and it’ll help carry the golf ball swiftly across the green. This unique model is mostly used for casual putt-putt course putting, not usually for serious golfers.
Why we like it:
- Good weight (one pound)
- nice grip
- feels great
- has a classic look
- works for right-handed and left-handed people
- carries the ball well
- good value for the money
Our only complaints: Some taller people may find that this putter is too short for them, also it has no alignment aid
Pinemeadow Golf Men’s PGX Putter Review
Want to improve your putting game? This putter is designed to improve your game by helping you focus with the white finish of the putter which is in direct contrast to the green of the grass. This is a tour weighted putter so the shaft weighs 380g and the head weighs an additional 40g. This means it is best suited for use on faster greens. This putter also comes with a PGX cover for the head to ensure your putter stays clean. This putter has a lot of power to it as well, which some golfers may need to adjust to this . This is a standard length putter so the length is 36″ inches which is good for most golfers, even taller ones.
Why we like it:
- Good weight
- Nice white finish for contrast
- Has lots of power
Our only complaints: may need to adjust to using the putter, the white paint may chip over time
Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 #1 Putter Review
The Odyssey Hot Pro putter is engineered to offer the same feel and performance across the entire striking surface. This blade style putter is available in both right and left handed versions with 33, 34 and 35 inch shaft lengths to suit any golfer. It incorporates the #1 insert – except this is a new and improved version to offer week in, week out performance. Laser milled for extremely tight tolerances, this is a putter that is consistently seen on the leaderboards, designed to sink more putts and to meet the exacting standards of elite golfers. It has the golf pride grip standard on all Odyssey clubs and has a clean white appearance that looks elegant on the green. It comes with a head cover.
Why we like it:
- Really good balance
- Comes in multiple lengths
- Comes with a head cover
- Very clean
Our only complaints: Light head – hard for some people to balance
Care and Maintenance Tips For Your Putter
There is not a lot of maintenance to do with a metal club. How can you hurt it? Well it is true you don’t need to do a lot other than keep it clean, but that is something that takes some effort.
Golf courses have a lot of chemicals on them, pesticides and fungicides to keep the green looking green. Residue from that can get on your clubs, especially putters on the greens. There is also dew, water, dirt and other things that can get on your club. This wont destroy it, but it can cause discoloration and even rust.
Some recommend using a silicone spray and a lint-free cloth. Spray the silicone on and work it in with a cloth. This will make the club resistant to water and other things like dirt that can build up. When you are done playing, it is a good idea to clean the clubs with a cloth and make sure they are dry before storing them. Some also advocate an “oil cloth,” but usually those are not really oil cloths, but cloths treated with some kind of silicone type material. Oil is not a good idea with your clubs, because that can absorb the chemicals and dirt on the course. Also, if you get oil on your grip it can cause problems when you try to play.
Using a cover for all your clubs is generally a good idea to keep them looking good. This is true for putters as well. It is easy enough to take the cover off when you get the putter out of your bag on the green.
While we have said practice is the best way to find out what is best for you, one golf pro offered some advice on how to do that. Get your hands on five or six putters you have not used, and one that you usually use. Try puts from three feet to see which works best, and then try from other distances, like 12 or 15 feet. Then try some longer distance puts with each of the clubs. That is the best way to see which options actually work best with your style of play and what works best in the conditions you are playing in. It is great to know all the options out there, and to know what the pros are using, but the bottom line is finding the club that fits you best. By actually comparing the clubs on the same day, at the same time in the same conditions, you will get a clear picture of what will suit your own personal game the best. In some cases you may find no difference, and in that case, just go with your personal preference.