How to Choose the Right Putter

by : Mark Pearson

Go to any pro shop or golf store and take a look at the range putters for sale. There is a bewildering array of club shapes, lengths and styles. There are more types and variations in putters than any other club in the bag.

If you were to quickly look at what is on display you may come across any or all of the following (and possibly a few more)

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of what you may find:

Long putters
Short putters
Heavy putters
Light putters
2-ball putters
3-ball putters
Cylinder head putters
Mallet head putters
D-shape putters
Blade putters
Face balanced putters

...and the list goes on!

With all this choice, how do you know if you have a putter that will work for you? Well, first and foremost, don't get overwhelmed by all the choice. Here are my recommendations on getting a putter:

Invest in a decent putter!

You can spend many 100's of dollars on a driver which you may only use 10 times a round. Remember that you hit almost 50% of your shots with the putter, so get something you are going to be comfortable with. As with most things you get what you pay for, so if you buy something really cheap the chances are it just won't help you in the long run.

Choose a relatively 'standard' putter

Shoulder high putters, 'belly' putters etc. are not standard and do not promote learning proper technique. Standard putters have a length in the range 33 to 35 inches (84-90cm), and research actually shows that statistically the shorter putters perform better.

Test the putter

You must actually try the putters out to see how they feel. This is just as important with putters as it is with all clubs. Choose 3 or 4 putters that you think are going to be the ones you like and test them against each other. Preferably take the putters onto a real green (or synthetic green) as opposed to putting on the shop floor carpet. Hitting real balls in to real holes on a real green will give you a real feel.

Get the putter custom fitted

Chances are that any putter you buy may still not be quite right for you. After all we are not all the same height, weight and shape, so it would be a bit much to assume that an off the shelf putting would be right for all of us. Have the professional check the length and lie-angle for you and adjust it if necessary. This should be part of the service when buying a putter at any decent golf store or pro shop.

If you bear these tips in mind when buying your next putter you will be confident you have the right putter for you. Confidence builds success.