Do Putters Make a Difference?
Putting is the most unique art in the world of golf. It's also the most overlooked. As golfers practice, mature, and hone their craft, putting is often the overlooked stroke that gets left behind in favor of driving, wedge shots, approach shots, fades, slices, and more.
Putting is perhaps overlooked because it seems so simple - but in reality, it's anything but. Putters absolutely make a difference in your golf game, because when it comes to putting, minute differences in stroke, grip, and club design can lead to wildly different results.
Here's a complete guide to why a putter matters for your time on the green.
What Is the Difference Between Putters?
Golf is an old sport. Scottish history dates it back to at least the 15th century, when King James II passed an Act of Parliament banning citizens from playing football and golf, which was then spelled “gowf."
Generations upon generations of golfers have put years, decades, and even centuries into improving their games. Putting was always a part of that.
Learning the value of a good putting technique begins with learning the difference between putters, and deciding which is right for you.
Blade putters are the oldest and still the most common type of putter you'll find on the green. These are the type of clubs that have a long, slim, and sleek look. A putter is always going to have a wide, flat head, but the blade variety chisels that head down to a sharp, aerodynamic design.
These clubs offer the best feel on the golf course. They fit ergonomically in the hand, and they make it easy to adjust the grip. This is generally a toe-weighted club, which means the club head is heaviest at its toe, which helps head off unwanted club twisting.
The main debate in the putter conversation among golfers comes down to mallet putters vs. blade putters. Where blades are sleek, comfortable, easy to use, and classic, mallet putters are stable, balanced, offer more forgiveness, and are more modern in their design.
A mallet putter will have weight concentrated behind the face of the head, rather than at the toe. This gives you more control over the club, and makes for a larger sweet spot. This is the ideal starter putter for novices, because it offers the most forgiveness. By the same token, the better you get at golfing, the more you might find a mallet putter to be limited in terms of what blade putters, by contrast, are capable of.
You might be noticing already that the main difference between each of these styles of putter is where the weight is concentrated in the club head. In blades, the weight is concentrated in the toe, while in mallets, the weight is concentrated behind the face. In peripheral-weighted putters, the weight is moved to the side.
The effect of this weight displacement means that peripheral-weighted putters have the soft touch of blade putters with the wide, sweet spot of mallet putters. They're a versatile club choice, ideal for those who can't choose between blades and mallets - and want the advantages of both.
Face-balanced putters may not look all that different from mallet putters at first glance. But if you were to balance this club on your finger, you'd notice something unusual: with face-balanced putters, the club face points directly up at the sky.
The effect of this is that the center of gravity shifts directly below the axis of the shaft. If you have a straight putting stroke, this is the putter for you.
The last type of putter, and the least common you'll see out on the green, is the toe hang putter. This club carries extra weight in the toe, ideal for those who close the putter face on impact. The weighting on this club makes the impact less severe, and so gives you a more consistent shot.
How Much Difference Does the Right Putter Make?
Healthline recently published the results of a study on the mental and physical health benefits of golf, which concluded that playing 18 holes of golf can be equivalent to walking more than 6 miles. The benefits to your body and mind can be enormous.
In full transparency, putting is the part of the game where you'll feel the least physical strain, but it does take the most concentration and mental dexterity. However, if you have the wrong hardware, no amount of focus will help.
Having the right putter makes all the difference. The right putter can help improve your stroke, help with distance control, and imbue a sense of confidence. It's important to protect your club face against dents and scratches so that you don't lose any stroke consistency.
Do Putter Shafts Make a Difference?
Putter shafts make a difference regarding your height and stance. Some tall golfers have a hunch when they put, while conversely, some shorter golfers elongate their spines when they play. The length of your shaft matters just as much as its weight. How smoothly does it go slicing through the air when you swing? Pay attention when you try out putters.
Do Putter Grips Make a Difference?
Grips matter enormously. There are two basic kinds of grips: standard grips and oversized grips.
The default putter design comes with a standard grip. This is a rubber grip that gives you a solid feel of the ball at the moment of impact. It doesn't add any extra weight and feels similar to the grip on your other clubs.
Oversized putter grips are becoming increasingly common. They help keep your arms relaxed, they can prevent unwanted twisting through your stroke, and they're good for players working on keeping a straight back while they stroke.
Some find oversized grips distracting, a counterproductive design feature that may detract from improving your put. It's all about what feels good to you.
Do Expensive Putters Make a Difference?
Your putter is arguably the most important club in your bag. Mastering your put could mean the difference between playing a decent round and winning a round.
You can get away with using a cheap putter if you know what you're doing. But if you're still learning, it's worth investing in a higher-quality putter. Aesthetics don't matter; it's build quality you want to focus on. An expensive putter will be made from good materials and provide a more consistent roll.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There Really a Difference Between Putters?
There is a considerable difference between blade putters and mallet putters, and between peripheral weighted, face balanced, and toe hang putters. The primary difference is the distribution of weight, which should correspond to your stroke style and experience level.
How Important Is a Good Putter?
A good putter makes all the difference. Well-made putters are manufactured to give you precision shots and consistency. How the grip feels, how long the shaft is, and other features are a matter of personal preference, but the build of the putter matters enormously.
How Much Does Your Putter Matter?
A good putter used well can change the outcome of a round of golf. Build quality will give you consistency and help you refine your putter style. Once you have control over your style, you'll be unbeatable.
Don't let your competition get the better of you because they invested in better clubs. Treat yourself to the putter you deserve, and the gear and apparel you deserve, too. Stitch Golf has top-of-the-line golf gear and apparel to kick-start your golf game. Tees, polos, golf bags, and more. Level up on the green with Stitch Golf!