A Detailed Explanation: Putters
This week's blog, as outlined in the title, will be a detailed explanation of the structure of a putter, in addition to some helpful information that might behoove our audience to know when selecting a putter.
Elements of A Putter
Before taking a deep dive into the structure of a putter, familiarize the audience with the different elements that make up a putter.
The essential components of a putter are the club head, club face, hosel, shaft, grip, and sole. Within these parts, several other sub-parts work together to create an active role overall.
Now that we have gone over the main elements, we will look deeper into how each of these parts comes together to create the putter as a whole.
The club head on a putter is the part that makes sole contact with the ball upon impact. Overall, there are two main styles that a putter's club head might be. In particular, the two primary types are the mallet style and blade style. The mallet-style gives the player more forgiveness and stability, whereas the blade style yields more control and precision due to the putting stroke.
Putter heads vary depending on their brand and model. Some critical variations necessary to note are the club head's grooves, patterns, and inserts. Each three of these facets generally add control, distance, and feel.
Concerning material, a club head is usually constructed using a metal such as steel, brass, aluminum, or copper. If you are unsure which material or stylistic additions would best suit your putting stroke, I recommend trial and error by trying new putters to understand best what gives you the best results.
The club face is a part of the club head. Notably, the club face references the physical surface, which also makes contact with the ball. I will only spend a little time explaining the club face because it is a sub-part of the club head. However, it plays a vital role within the putter's composition and is worth mentioning and bringing up. Generally, the function of the putter's club face is to control the direction and speed of the ball as a direct result of the player's putting stroke. An essential aspect of a club face is that depending on the brand and model, it can have a variety of patterns or materials on the face itself, yielding differing results.
The difference between the club face and the head is that the head refers to the entire portion attached to the shaft. The club face is a sub-part of the club head and refers to the flat piece on the outside, the angular part of the head.
Another component of the club head, the putter's sole, is the part that contacts the ground upon the putt. The sole varies based on the design of the putter itself. However, one of the primary purposes of the sole is to give the golfer a smooth putting stroke.
The design itself of the sole can include various weighting mechanisms, soles, ridges, grooves, and other technological advancements which benefit the player.
Moving up the putter, we have the hosel. The primary function of the hosel is to connect the shaft to the club head. The angle at which the hosel is situated on the putter defines the club head's direction. Overall, this can impact the consistency and direction of a putt.
Some common hosels are heel-shafted, center-shafted, and double-bend. Below is a quick synopsis that briefly points out these types. It is worth noting that there are other variations of hosels. However, these are among some of the most common.
- Heel Shafted Hosel: Located at the heel of the putter and is well-suited for players with an arced stroke style.
- Center Shafted Hosel: Located in the middle of the club head and
- Double-Bend Hosel: A double-faceted hosel with one part situated on the club head and a second part located directly on the shaft. This hosel style is well-suited for those with a straight-back-straight-through putting stroke style.
Based on this synopsis, knowing your personal putt stroke style is worth knowing because selecting a hosel that aligns with your style will enhance your overall putting game.
The shaft, arguably the most prominent physical component of the putter, is the stick-like figure which connects the club head to the grip. For composition, the shaft is generally constructed with graphite or steel.
Putter shafts come in several forms, which can be geared toward the putter's stroke style. For example, the shaft can have a variety of weighted mechanisms, which may be to the player's benefit.
Hence the name, the grip, is part of the putter the player holds onto while completing their stroke. The grip is generally created using rubber or softer material, ameliorating the player's grasp of the putter. Some of the most common types of putter grips are listed below.
- Pistol Grip: Consists of a thinner middle and thicker bottom and top.
- Oversized Grip: Consists of a thick overall grip.
- Counterbalanced Grip: Consists of a longer-than-average grip and added weight near the bottom of the grip for enhanced consistency.
While there are several other grips, these are the most common.
As a golfer, it is crucial to understand the composition of a putter, as each mechanism installed within a putter can maximize your game to the fullest if you use the putter to your advantage. Best of luck on the course, and I hope you can consider some of this information next time you shop for a new putter or even seek to modify your putting stroke style.