When making a decision to purchase a new complete set of golf clubs, most golfers spend the majority of their time researching and analyzing information about woods and irons. Customers often overlook the importance of finding the correct putter. It widely known that most golfers add unnecessary strokes to their game while on the putting green. Selecting the right putter those strokes can be easily avoided or at least minimized.
If you are having trouble reaching a specific benchmark in your game, try improving your putting game. The right putter can make a huge difference, whether you are trying to break 100 or 80. It is important to research putter styles to find an effective putter for your game.
All of us have grabbed a putter and instantly knew it felt good after a few practice swings. First impressions are important here. You can instantly determine what type of look and feel appeals to you. You want a putter that gives you confidence in making the putt, before you even hit the ball.
Here is a simple checklist we go over with our customers to help them decide on a putter. Of course there are numerous considerations; we try to point out the obvious to make the decision easier for you.
- Decide on a putter head shape design.
- Determine what alignment system is going to help you visualize the line you are seeking.
- Insert or No Insert? What type of feel at impact feels good to you?
We can categorize putter head shapes into three different styles:
- Cavity back putters are traditional looking putters with a hollow area in the middle back of the putter, which generates a larger sweet spot. Weight is distributed toward the perimeter of the putter head. A classic cavity backed putter is the Ping Anser putter, first popularized in the early 70s.
- Blade style putters have the weight of the club head distributed to the heel or bottom of the putter, leaving you a thin top line to look at when you are addressing the ball. The Titleist Bullseye is a great example of a popular blade putter.
- Mallet putters are typically much bigger than traditional putters. Many newer models even include alignment systems. The shape of mallet putter heads vary widely, as do their weight distribution. Half moon putters are a type of mallet putter with a rounded head shape. The Odyssey Two-ball putter is one of the hottest mallet putters on the market today.
There are various types of alignment systems available in putters. It can be difficult to decide which one to choose; golfers should base their decision on what feels most comfortable.
To make your decision easier, determine what visual aid helps you line up a putt. For example, a line, ball, or double lines can all assist your putting accuracy. There is no indication that one system is better than the other, which is why there are so many variations of putters used on the course. All alignment systems are designed to aid you in lining up your putt, however you use them.
There is a reason why inserts are located in the sweet spot of the putter. Various insert materials will provide different results. Some inserts are soft, some hard, and some are milled so the surface is completely flat. The insert material affects the way the ball behaves when struck.
Inserts can reduce skipping at impact. This is an important feature to make sure your putt stays aligned. The main purpose of an insert is to provide a specific feel to the golfer. Some golfers prefer the feel of certain insert materials over others.
Overall, the most important factor is to play a putter that feels comfortable when you address the ball in your putting stance. The more comfortable you are with your putter in your hands, the more it will feel like an extension of your body. That will translate to confidence, and hopefully, less time on the green.