Selecting the Right Putter
While sharpening golf skills and game are of utter importance, it is just as important to carefully craft the golf clubs that become part of your collection and everyday use. Changing your golf clubs according to your individual skills and needs can amplify your overall performance and game exponentially. Therefore, I wanted to use this week's blog to discuss the importance of selecting the right putter and construct a sort of "how-to" for anyone looking to choose the right putter but may not know exactly where to start.
How Can Selecting the Right Putter Benefit a Golfer?
In essence, selecting the right putter according to your individual skill and need can enhance your alignment, stroke, comfort, and confidence.
Alignment plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of your putts. Having the putter which fits you best allows you to accurately align your putts. I would argue that this is important because even the slightest alignment error can cause a missed shot.
Next, using the right putter will create a consistent putting stroke. Once you begin utilizing the putter that is best equipped to handle your skillset, your muscles will start to commit your putting stroke to your muscle memory. Overall, this will result in a consistent putting stroke, allowing you to regularly predict ball roll and control distances.
Third, having the right putter will give you comfort. Sometimes, comfort can be put on the back burner on the green. However, it should be prioritized because a comfortable putter will diminish concerns regarding golf equipment while playing, which will yield increased attention to the putt itself. Further, this will create a relaxed, smooth, natural putting stroke.
Last but certainly not least, the benefit is confidence. Most people agree that confidence while playing is an integral facet of the game. Golf without confidence is like a plant without access to sunlight— its growth, like that of a golfer, is suppressed. The right putter can equip you with the confidence to approach putts unfamiliar with distance and angle. Having confidence in your putter yields a turnout of more successful putts and lower scores.
Steps for Selecting the Right Putter
Selecting the right putter, though seemingly daunting to some– especially beginner golfers, is crucial to maximizing performance on the green. I am going to give my top tips to serve as a guide for selecting the right putter.
Determine Your Putting Stroke Style
The first step I recommend is determining which type of putting stroke you typically use. The most common tend to be straight, arc, or strong arc. To summarize, here is a brief synopsis of the different putting styles:
Common Types of Putting Styles
- Straight: The golfer swings straight back and directly through the ball.
- Arc: The putter head has a slight "arc" while going through the backswing and follow-through. In other words, the club head moves inside the target line during the backswing and subsequently reverts to the square position upon impact. This type of stroke works well with golfers who tend to pull or push while putting.
- Strong Arc: The putter head plays a significant role in moving inside the target line while going through the backswing and during the follow-through. Another way to put it is that the clubface closes slightly while on the backswing, but as it transitions into the follow-through, it opens slightly. This best serves golfers who may want an aggressive stroke or those who often need more time with regard to distance on putts. However, if you have this type of stroke, you most likely know because this is more difficult to successfully master. It will likely be suitable for more advanced players.
Choose Your Putter Based On Your Putting Style
Once you have determined your putting style, you can identify which putter style aligns with your needs in this regard. If you have a straight swing, I recommend shopping for a blade-style putter with minimal face balancing. This type of putter will naturally support the straight stroke style because there will be less of a toe-hang combined, with most of the weight in the club's face.
If you have the arc style, I recommend a putter with a toe-balanced design and a moderate arc shaft. This will improve control of the path of the stroke and maintain a consistent arc throughout the duration of the putting motion. A mallet style would be great because of the larger head and forgiveness on off-center putts.
I recommend a putter with a toe-hang for golfers with a strong arc type of putt. A toe hang is an angle at which the putter hangs down from the shaft. The more toe hang a putter has, the more face-balanced the putter will be. A putter with a high degree of toe hang will cause the club face to open and close more efficiently throughout the stroke, aiding in mastering the strong arc putting type.
If you are somewhere in between any of these putting styles, a putter with a high MOI would be my recommendation. That would be a great place to start. A putter with a high MOI will give the golfer, with any style of putting, consistent ball roll will yield predictability while hitting.
Take Into Account the Putter’s Length
This point is self-evident and does not require much explanation, so I will keep it short. The main takeaway from this point is that while selecting the right putter, you should consider the length of the putter. The length of the putter can impact your comfort, confidence, alignment, and stroke consistency. In short, the goal is that you should be able to stand up straight, have your arms hanging straight down, and the grip of the putter should rest comfortably in your hands.
Consider the Weight of the Putter
The putter's weight is another facet to consider because it can change the outcome of your putts. The ideal weight of a putter depends on each golfer's stroke type and personal preference more broadly. Considering the earlier mentioned stroke styles is vital when contemplating the putter's weight.
For those with the straight putting type, a lighter putter will best serve you. On the other hand, those with an arc and strong arc should direct their attention to a heavier putter.
Pay Attention to the Putter Face Composition
A putter face falls into one of two categories: milled or insert. Here is a brief comparison that summarizes the differences between the two:
Milled vs. Insert Putter Faces
- A milled putter face is made of a piece of metal that has been manufactured with precision, creating a solid, consistent feel upon impact with the ball. An insert putter face is generally made using a softer material. Hence the name, an insert putter face, is inserted into the head of the club, which yields a more delicate feel upon making contact with the ball.
- Due to its material composition, a milled putter face produces a crisp, overall louder sound due to making contact with the ball, whereas the insert putter face produces a more muted sound.
- A milled putter face will generally give less forgiveness than an insert putter face because of its softer material makeup. The softer material in an insert face allows the face to absorb energy given off due to a mishit putt.
Try out a Variety of Putters
The last piece of advice as part of this guide to selecting the right putter would be to simply try out a variety of putters. At the end of the day, it is essential to be content with your selection. By trying out different styles, you will be able to grasp a feel as to what best suits what you are looking for.
Lastly, if needed, seek out help from a club fitter.
While trying out different putters, do not hesitate to ask for help from a club fitter. They would have an idea of what to add to a club that may maximize your golf game even more.
Here at Golf Superstore, we are proud to call ourselves a Top 100 club fitter. We can help you find the right club for you and your swing. Find us at golfsuperstore.com or you can call us (toll free) at 855-643-1800.
Hopefully, this blog gave you an idea of what to look for while selecting the right putter, so it would be good to communicate that to an individual who would be able to look for each of those qualities in a golf club on your behalf.