The Best Putter for You

What’s the best putter for you?Putting frustrates golfers, no matter what their level, more than any other element of the game. How many times have you heard a pro claiming during his post round interview that he played well but just didn’t get the putting working or that his putter was cold? I would guess it’s many, many times. No doubt it’s a crucial element of the game and if you want to improve your scores you need to putt well.So, how do you go about choosing a putter that’s right for you and your stroke?Firstly we need to understand how a putter may or may not be suitable for you. There are two basic putting strokes, straight back – straight through (SBST) and the arc, where your path is inside the line on the way back and turns gently at impact. You will need to know which of these strokes you incorporate or feel most comfortable with before hitting the pro shop.

The best way to narrow down the field in terms of models that you should be looking at is to find out which putters are face balanced and which are toe balanced. If this sounds technical, don’t worry it isn’t; simply balance the club in your fingers and see how the head lies in relation to the ground. If the face faces the sky it’s face balanced and if the toe faces the ground, it’s toe balanced. If you can’t make it to the pro shop you will be able to find out from many online sources if a particular putter that suits your eye is one or the other via a simple search.The face balanced putters are better suited to a SBST stroke and toe balanced to the arc. The weighting on the face balanced putter will not effect the path of your stroke, it’s a neutral set up that just wants to travel in a straight line. The toe balanced putter will want to close around impact. It wants to be sent on a gentle arc and the weighting helps the face to square up at impact to maximise accuracy.Now you have checked your preferred stroke and identified the type of putter that is going to fit your stroke all you have to do now is choose from a bewildering array of designs, finishes, and technology. Not to mention budgets….a putter could cost you a few pennies or several thousand if you want to go high end. Before you are suckered in by the gushing reviews of these expensive clubs, remember one thing; it’s all about getting the ball in the hole and not about flashy paint fills, tour specs and a natty headcover.

The best bet is to demo as many models as you can, there is no substitute as no other club has that special connection with a golfer than his putter. Try and get fitted if you can. The correct length and lie angle will give you every chance of being able to find a comfortable set up and posture. If you are setting up awkwardly to try and make the putter fit you, you will be much more likely to be riddled with tension, which is the enemy of a good stroke. You will be using it for over 25% of your shots after all. Surely that demands that you look carefully and patiently for the right one?