No matter how far you hit the ball, the game gets real on the green when you’re just a few feet away from the hole. That’s why your putter is one of the most important clubs in your golf bag. In this guide, we’ll highlight the different types of putters you can choose from, as well as how to choose the right one so you can start sinking putts consistently.
Types of Putters
There are several types of putters out there, many of which have overlapping features that cater to different play styles. When choosing the right putter, you should know what types are available to you.
1. Blade Putters
Traditional and classic, blade putters are some of the most common putters available on the market. Typically smaller than other putter varieties, blade putters have a thin, flat, angled clubhead with a straight or slightly curved hosel. Blade putters are often milled from a single piece of metal for extra balance and feedback.
2. Mallet Putters
Mallet putters are larger and more forgiving than blade putters. These putters often have a more significant alignment aid on the clubhead compared to blade putters. Mallet putters also come in a variety of shapes, including semi-circular and square designs. Mallet putters frequently feature an insert in the clubface.
3. Peripheral Weighted Putters
A peripheral weighted putter has additional weight concentrated around the outer edges, or periphery, of the putter head. These putters provide more stability during swings and are generally more forgiving than other putters. Peripheral weighting can be found in various putter designs, including both blade and mallet styles.
4. Face-Balanced Putters
Face-balanced putters feature a weighted clubface and are often recommended for golfers who have a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke. While face-balanced putters can be found in various head shapes, they are particularly prevalent in mallet-style putters.
5. Toe-Balanced Putters
As the name suggests, weight is concentrated towards the toe of the club. Toe-balanced putters are often recommended for golfers who have an arced putting stroke, where the putter moves on an arc with an open-to-close motion. While toe-balanced putters can be found in various head shapes, they are commonly associated with blade-style putters.
6. Insert Putters
An insert putter features a specially designed insert in the clubface, usually made from materials like polymer, aluminum, elastomer, or other soft materials, to create a softer impact feel compared to the traditional metal faces of putters.
7. Milled Putters
Milled putters are typically made from a single block of metal, commonly stainless steel. Some high-end models may use other materials, such as carbon steel or aluminum. Milled putters are known for their consistency in terms of weight and balance, which contributes to a more predictable performance on the greens, as well as superior feedback during putts.
8. Counterbalanced Putters
A counterbalanced putter incorporates additional weight in the grip or shaft to shift the club's balance point, moving more weight closer to the golfer's hands. Shifting the balance point higher encourages a smoother and more pendulum-like motion that some golfers prefer.
What to Look for When Choosing a Putter
Choosing the right putter is a crucial aspect of your equipment selection, as it directly affects your performance on the greens. The right (or wrong) putter often makes the difference between under-par and over-par.
Putter Head Design
Determine whether you prefer the traditional look of a blade putter or the larger, more forgiving design of a mallet putter. Blades are generally more compact, while mallets often have enhanced alignment features. Keep in mind that blade putters are often more technical than mallet-style putters, making them trickier for beginners to use.
Look for a putter with alignment aids that suit your eye. Some putters have lines, dots, or other markings on the crown to help you align the putter with the target.
Choose a putter length that complements your posture and putting stroke. A putter that is too long or too short can affect your setup and stroke mechanics.
Learn more: Golf Club Length: Which Size Is Right For You?
Weight & Balance
Pay attention to the weight of the putter. Some golfers prefer a heavier putter for stability, while others may prefer a lighter one for increased feel and control.
You should also consider the balance of the putter. Face-balanced putters are suited for a straight-back, straight-through stroke, while toe-balanced putters are better for those with an arced stroke.
The grip can influence feel and control. Choose a grip size that feels comfortable in your hands. Some golfers prefer thicker grips for reduced wrist action, while others like standard or slim grips for more feel.
Different putters come with various shaft designs, including straight, offset, and hosel configurations. Select a shaft that complements your putting stroke and feels comfortable.
Material and Face Insert
Consider the material of the putter head and the presence of a face insert. Materials like stainless steel, aluminum, or composite materials can affect the feel and sound of impact. Inserts can provide a softer feel and better distance control.
Determine your budget for a putter. While premium brands may offer superior putters, there are many other brands that provide high-quality clubs at much lower price points. Additionally, you can often find gently-used putters for a fraction of the retail price.
Learn more: Complete Guide To Buying Used Golf Clubs
Best Type of Putter for Beginners
Putting is often the most daunting part for beginner golfers. A lot can happen in that short distance between your ball and the hole–that’s where your putter choice can make or break your game. Traditional blade-style putters can sometimes be too technical for beginner golfers, which is why many beginner golf sets include mallet putters.
Many beginner golfers find success with mallet putters due to their larger size and stability. Mallet putters often have a higher moment of inertia (MOI), making them more resistant to twisting on bad hits. Mallet putters are also generally more forgiving than blade putters. The larger head size of a mallet provides additional stability and can help mitigate off-center hits.
A putter with clear alignment aids can also be beneficial for beginners who are still working on their alignment skills. Look for a putter with lines, dots, or other markings on the clubhead to help align the putter with the target.
As a beginner, you may not need to invest in a high-end putter immediately. There are budget-friendly options that still offer quality and performance. Focus on getting a putter that suits your needs without breaking the bank.
Best Type of Putter for Intermediate and Advanced Players
Here’s the thing: there’s no rule stating advanced players can’t use mallet putters, too. The best type of putter for intermediate and advanced players ultimately aligns with their preferences, feels comfortable, and instills confidence on the green.
That being said, many advanced players prefer milled blade putters for their classic design and enhanced feedback. Milled putters are crafted from a single block of stainless steel and are known for their precision and quality. Advanced players often appreciate the superior craftsmanship and the additional feedback they get from these types of putters.
Sink the Putt
Ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role when choosing a putter. Take the time to test different putters on the practice green and choose the one that feels comfortable, instills confidence, and complements your putting style.
Want a putter that looks amazing and plays like a million bucks? You’ll find it in any of the Stix Golf Sets. Ours is a sleek mallet-style putter with a large squared grip and millet clubface, giving you ample control and feedback even on those scary four-foot putts. Sink the putt and grab the Stix putter today.
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