Hole More Putts - Finding The Right Putter For You?
There are literally thousands of different putters available on the market. The question is how do you go about selecting the right one for you?
The first thing you need to establish when selecting a new putter is getting one that suits your specific putting stroke. Every golfer has their own individual stroke and certain models of putter suit certain putting strokes better than others. The best way to do this is to simply ask a friend to watch you hit a few putts. If you tend to keep the putter face square throughout the stroke, taking the club straight back and straight through a face-balanced putter would be best suited to your game. Face-balanced putters typically have a larger head and are commonly referred to as a mallet design offering excellent stability and greater forgiveness.
On the other hand if you're what's classed as a 'feel' putter and tend to rely on greater hand-eye coordination to square the putter face at impact using an arced putting stroke then you would be better suited to a putter with toe-hang. This type of putter is commonly referred to as a blade design, with each model offering varying levels of toe-hang depending on how arced the putting stroke is.
By establishing what putting style you come under you can instantly disregard a whole host of putters that will simply not improve your game, if anything they could potentially hinder your progress.
The next step to finding your perfect putter is working out the correct length of shaft to go for. Length is vitally important not only does it dictate how you address the ball, including posture and eye position over the ball, it can affect both directional and distance control.
A simple way to work this out is to take your normal putting posture (most commonly it would be slightly bent over at the waist with knees slightly bent until your eyes are directly over the ball) without a putter in your hands let your arms hang naturally below your shoulders, then have someone pass you putters of varying lengths until you find one that feels comfortable i.e. has a small amount of grip above the highest hand and allows you to make a pendulum like movement from the shoulders without restriction. By being able to make this unrestricted movement while making a solid contact with the ball you can be sure that the putter is the correct length. Any longer and you would be cramped up, any shorter and you would have to hunch over.
The exception to the rule when it comes to club length is the introduction of the 'counterbalance' putter. Heavier head weight, longer, heavier grips & longer overall length are all features of a counterbalance design. When selecting a counterbalance putter you need to remember to setup as you would with a standard putter, gripping at the same point while allowing around 2" of the grip to sit above the top hand. The added weight high up in the grip moves the putters balance point closer to the hands increasing the clubs overall MOI, making for a more forgiving, stable putter that offers a more consistant rhythm through the putting stroke. If you struggle to control the path of your putting stroke then a counterbalance model should be a consideration.
Of course you cannot overlook the fact the player must like the look of the putter design whether it’s got two balls or a long line to aid alignment or no alignment at all ultimately the player must feel comfortable. The majority of putters cost between £80-£300 which is on the whole less than a driver which when you consider the old adage ‘drive for show putt for dough’ is used for 30% of shots should be considered money well spent.