If you are aiming a professional tournament, the putter is an indispensable item in your bag. You may wonder why that is. Apart from their advantages (free stress of golfing life), there are many things which will blow your mind. A various market of putters exists for reasons. Now, it’s time to discover everything in my post
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What is a putter?
When it comes to golf sport, a putter is a club. Players use it to make strokes which are pretty short and low-speed as long as the ball can roll into the hole within a short distance. Unlike iron and wood clubs, it is designed with a flat clubhead, and low-profile, low-loft striking face especially it has some features which you can’t see in other kinds such as positional guides, non-circular grips, and bent shafts.
Commonly, it’s used on the putting greens, or courses with fringes and roughs close to greens. The putter is a highly specialized item to make a specific task, and it’s considered as an indispensable tool for all golf players.
Types of putter
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Face balanced putters
The face of this type points upwards to the sky when the shaft is balanced on your hands horizontally so the gravity focus under the shaft axis. I highly recommend the face balanced putters for golfers who have straight-back-straight-through putting stroke because its design is to close less on the follow-through and open less on the backswing
Toe balanced putters
Toe balanced putters are the ideal choices for players who want to point their toes to the ground when balancing the shaft on their hands. That means its gravity doesn’t focus on the shaft axis directly. It suits with golfers who have an arc in the putting stroke because it tends to open and close through their stroke.
[su_lightbox type=”iframe” src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVM0LcTbDpM” class=”golflightbox”]>>See more video that explain the difference between Face balanced and Toe balanced[/su_lightbox]
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Putter Head Designs
Among all designs, mallet putter is considered as an elaborate and notable product due to its big clubheads. Like the big heads in driver design, the mallet shaped putter allows players perform the more consistent tee shots on the green. On the market, this kind of head design comes with a variety of size because the manufacturers want to help their users align to putts as well as possible by alignments aids and shapes on the back of the head.
The distinctive feature of the putter head is to provide player a deeper, lower center of gravity and the increment of MOI reducing spins and improving performance on off-center putts. This is an ideal option for those who need a balanced face suiting with straight strokes.
Blade putter is the most traditional and oldest kind which was extremely popular in the 20th century. Aside from a pretty small, straight, blade-style club head, its flat and straightforward look helps the production of golf club become easier even in the early days.
However, don’t let its mini appearance fool you because it can tout a few very advanced technologies. You need to remember the requirement of more delicate touch so you should play on the hard and fast greens.
Note about face balanced blade putters: It suits with golfers who have a straight putting stroke since its blade putter tends to be the balanced face.
What are the differences of blade vs mallet putter?
Although putters vary in styles and shapes of head, there are 2 most common kinds on the market: mallet putters and blade putters. Naturally, each kind has its own outstanding features. To help you choose the best for your game, please have a look at the comparison below:
The design of mallet putter is more elaborate especially its big club head. Although the face of the club is similar to the blade putter’s, it has a multitude of shapes from semi-circle to square back. The big part of weight focuses on its face, but the extended head of club can influence weight which is shifted to other parts to stabilize the head of the putter throughout the impact and stoke. Moreover, this dispersion gives players a different feeling while using.
The mallet putters come with a bigger sweet spot which is a where your club will get a true rolling putt without twisting or pushing. Since most of the weight focus on the perimeter, the club head of mallet putter balances better. Thus, whether or not the putting stroke hits dead center, it will minimize twisting and being torque which usually end up a bouncing/skidding roll after hitting the ball.
Alignment is another benefit. Mallet putters can’t align a putt, but there are many different styles which can help you align thanks to their thicker body and elaborate design. For some of the models, alignment may take you a long way because of a part of the equation to put precisely.
Last but not least, it is still about weight. The additional force from swinging a heavy club helps you hit the ball into the hole easily and quickly. It’s also very handy for players who want to apply for the flat stick.
Although there is also a traditional look, compared to mallet putter, the design of blade putter is more straightforward. In any mini golf course, you can see the simplest form of blade putter. The blade putters have various versions with displaying different specifications relating to weight and kinds of faces.
This is also called the heavily toe-weighted blade putters since the shaft connects the head of the club at the blade heel or close to the blade center and the sweet spot moves closer toward the heel. If you have arc stroke, blade putters are an ideal choice because of the distribution of weight between your toe and the heel.
Peripheral weighted putters/heel-toe weighted putters
These are the natural evolution of blade putter. In spite of a delicate and soft design, the heel and its toe portions are still heavy which provide the whole club more forgiveness and consistency.
Since 1966, it has been famous with the Pin Anser even at that period, it created a revolution of the game, and until now, a lot of great golfers all over the world still use it. Though it is a traditional toe-balanced model, with the unique look of the hosel and length, you can change it to suit with people who have an open-square-close putting stroke.
The futuristic putter that is the latest development is a kind of enormous design from face to back parts. Meanwhile, its shaft is attached to the back face of the putter.
Among all putter kinds, the futuristic putter is the most advanced-technological kind. It’s straightforward for you to see a high moment of inertia (MOI) that is claimed by most of the companies. That means putters will resist twisting when striking your ball off the center. Usually, they don’t come with face balanced putters, so it suits with a square-to-square stroke.
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Putter faces and inserts
Depend on the preference of players, the ball they use, and the greens’ speed they putt on, there should be a suitable putter face. For instance, it’s not suitable to apply a durable metal faced putter on fast greens with your hard feeling.
Beginners had better interpret the feeling of putting like sound. How to determine is that when practicing, they should put earplugs or headphone. This helps them see the way they react as long as don’t hear the sound of the strike. If someone wants less noise, a soft insert is better.
Metal faced putters
Apart from steel, metal is also a traditional type which has been used in the past. There are some used until now include titanium, zinc, copper, brass, aluminum, and bronze. Yet, metal is the naturally strong and heavy one that suits to make the face of the putter very much. Meanwhile, steel has some obstacles to create an ideal putter. For example, it’s difficult to make a responsive strike, and it also can’t give putters a stable and controlled feeling.
The outstanding feature of the metal faced putter is that it creates a louder noise which looks like a kind of connection when you hit the ball. This helps you feel by hearing where your putter’s center is.
Some faces of the metal faced putters come with milling creating a softer feeling as having less material when contacting with your ball. It seems to be strange, but the fact is that a rough face can create an aid performance even it doesn’t get the soft feeling as an insert putter.
Insert faced putters
Basically, insert faced putters are metal putters, but they have been replaced with a light-weight non-metal face. The main feature of this light insert is that the whole weight is redistributed to add the toe and heel of the putter. This helps it increase the MOI and provide more forgiveness.
According to most of the players, the disadvantage of this kind of soft insert is there is no the sound produced when hitting the ball. This is because the design of insert face is served with a softer feeling compared to the traditional steels. However, on the market now, you can also find out a few modern designs which can replicate the metal sound as well as the feeling of steel in a light insert.
When it comes to the positive side, it allows you play with a firm cover ball with the same feeling when you hit a soft ball with a metal face.
Groove faced putters
Groove faced putters is a new development recently, and many of you will want this last thing. Obviously, it has its own reason:
For example, whether on putt or green, the impact of the putter on your ball usually ends up hopping, sliding, skidding even back spinning before your golf ball rolls on the green. Moreover, if you struck on the right line, these effects still cause missed putts. Thus, you have to get forward rolling motion at once after striking your golf ball to make more accurate putting.
Rather than, a groove faced putter can help players perform that forward motion as well as keep the ball on line quickly. When hitting the ball, the grooves will grip its surface and lift it out of the resting position simultaneously. This is the process of imparting the over-the-top rolling action.
The face of groove putters is usually metal, but on the market now, there is the appearance of insert putters which come with grooves.
Putter shafts & hosels
The majority of putters available on the market come with steel shafts to provide users a consistent and strong feeling. The connection between the shaft and the head of the putter is the hosel. And below are some basic options:
The design of the heel-shafted putter is that on the end, there is a direct connection of the shaft and the putter head.
Although how to connect the shaft and the putter head of center-shafted putters and heel-shafted putters is similar, there is a significant difference that is it meets the putter in the head center lengthwise. To have a suitable center-shafted putter, it depends on the preference of players.
When it comes to the hosel of the putter, some love the design at the center to hit the ball into the hole quickly (you just need to take the club straight back then swing straight through your ball) while other players like heel-shafted putters which allow them to guide their putt with the putter head.
Hosel offset is another version of the putter. Its design is that the hosel blends back for moving the bottom of the shaft front of the putter face to draw the hands of golfers ahead of the ball through the impact. Remember that the majority of putters have a few degree of offset.
If you want to make consistent putting and quality strikes, it’s essential to find out the proper length of putter for your stroke and height. In case you use a putter with the wrong length, your posture will be very bad even ending up inconsistent contact.
Shaft length is the number from the putter sole under the hosel to the shaft top. The thumb of rule is the putter shaft has to reach at least 18 inches long, and you don’t be limited by the maximum number. Whether you are a professional or unprofessional player, it’s better to test all kinds from the small putter, chest putter to chin putter to have a suitable model for your game. Take a look at the 3 suggestions below:
Traditional length (32-36 inches):
This number is the most common length of the putter. A standard inch putter helps players make a pendulum swing in their putting stroke. A putter with the perfect height functions as an extension of your arms allowing you to hang down and grip merely. That means it helps golfers enhance the ability to use a pendulum-like stroke.
Belly putter (41-46 inches):
Belly Putter is the latest craze in the world of golf sport for sure. Specifically, its stability is beneficial for the putt by making the 3rd point of contact (2 points of hands and one point of the belly). When using the belly putter, your posture won’t change thanks to the design anchored against its body.
According to the R&A and USGA in 2013, belly or anchored putting is illegal. Therefore, on January 1st, 2016, belly putters don’t be accepted in any sanctioned competition. However, the length of the putter 41-46 inches is another problem. You can still use longer putter but in a non-anchored technique.
With this anchoring ban, some manufacturers have decided to add the weight into the grip. This way also creates the counterbalanced performance so that users can legally take advantages of anchoring.
Long putters (48-52 inches):
The long putter is less common than others, but they vary. Although with the belly putters or traditional putters, you can use the normal putting grip, in this case, it’s essential to change the grip completely.
Most of the golfers will use their left hand to grip the club, simultaneously hold the putter into their body. Meanwhile, they will use another hand as a claw in the center of the putter to push and pull through the line of the putt. So, the power of the whole stroke focuses on the right hand. Naturally, this is a hard skill, and it will be more challenging to make in the wind condition.
Unlike other kinds of clubs, there are available many types of grips to your putter. According to the rules on the game, the putter grips have to come with a flat edge which is put facing with your body to help you determine the area where your thumbs will be on. Even material of putter grip is a varied choice.
The manufacturer also provides the different sizes to maximize the ability of players on the greens. For a thick grip, your hands and wrists will be taken out of the stroke that any players are looking for to improve their putting as well as possible. However, it also has a disadvantage that is you can’t have the same feeling when using a standard grip (the vibrations on the shaft are dampened down).
The bottom line
Although in general, putter is just a club, there are many differences you have to remember. Keep in mind that all features of the size, clubhead design to your playing level of the putter because they can influence whether or not you win your game.
Finally, if you are a beginner and interesting in purchasing a putter, you can refer to this article “best putters for beginners”
So, have you know what a putter is and how to use it in properly? Just let me know your question in the comment section below or share if the post is informative