How to Choose a Putter: Choosing the Right Golf Equipment
By: Dan Davis, PGA Professional Thousand Hills Golf Resort
Figuring out how to choose a putter? We’ve all heard the saying, “Drive for show and putt for dough!” And apparently most manufacturers are also clinging to this thought process as well. Putter prices have spiked almost out of control. For this reason it is very important to understand the different attributes that go into making such an investment. If you need help choosing other equipment, visit my Golf Equipment Tips articles for more info.
- Head Shape – This is one of the first things to consider when learning how to choose a putter. Putters of years past were almost always blade style putters that had their weight evenly distributed across the face or had more weight in the middle. This was the norm until Karsten Solheim developed the Ping Putter in the 1960’s. This was the first toe heel weighted putter. Both of these styles of putters are still in use today. The mallet head putter is another style which has been around for some time yet has been revitalized by the popularity of the two ball putter.
- Weight – Although putters vary in weight more than any other golf club it is an attribute that should paid attention to when choosing the right putter. As a general rule I prefer a heavier putter if playing slower greens and a lighter putter if I normally play faster greens. In both scenarios you still want to feel the weight in the head of the putter. This will help you to keep the putter head on line.
- Shaft positioning – The way the shaft enters the head of a putter is one of the attributes that you might want to consider when deciding on how to choose a putter. The two choices are either center shafted or heel shafted. Some people believe that a face balanced putter will produce a truer stroke. Most center shafted putters are face balanced and if it is heel shafted it must have a curved shaft in order to be face balanced. Try both styles before choosing to pick the style that is right for you.
- Shaft length – Putters now days come in all different lengths but usually are between 32”-36”. The only exception to this rule is the belly and long putters which were made popular on what now is the Champions Tour. Again, personal preference is the most important factor but make sure that you can consistently position your eyes over the ball when choosing the length of your next putter.
These are the most important factors to consider when choosing a putter. As always, nothing beats going down to the local pro shop and asking for advice there, and especially trying them out for yourself. With a little due diligence and a few golf equipment tips, choosing the right putter can be an enjoyable experience.