Welcome to My Golf Geek’s first equipment post. It’s fun to talk about drivers and irons and wedges, but let’s be honest, 40% of the golf shots you hit are with your putter. Every hole’s par has two strokes allocated for putts. No math degree needed here to figure out if you want to shoot better scores, make more putts.
In this day and age, all equipment is customizable and you have endless options for getting fit for the right clubs for you. Before you spend any time and money getting fit for a putter you should probably have an idea of what works best for your stroke, height, vision, etc.
Knowing how to choose the right putter is your first step to shaving strokes. Let’s get started on lowering that handicap index. Keep in mind, these are guidelines to think about. I would always advise you to get a custom fitting from a professional.
Offset or No Offset
This is a really easy place to start. Simply put, this is a yes/no question. Are you left eye or right eye dominant? Find out here.
If you are right eye dominant you should have offset. If you are left eye dominant you should not. It’s just that simple. The reason is because where your eyes are at address. If they are over the ball like they should be and you are left eye dominant your head will be way in front of the ball.
I discovered this recently in my own game, it has made a huge difference. Everything just looks better, which makes me more confident, which leads to a better stroke and better putts.
I will simplify this here. Know these are approximate guidelines. Everybody has a different posture, grip and many other variables could come into play that your fitter will discuss with you.
- 6′ or taller: 35 inch putter
- 5′ 9″ – 5′ 11″: 34 inch putter
- 5′ 8″ or less: 33 inch putter
Those are the three lengths that you can get standard from any of the club manufacturers. If you go the custom route you can get just about any length you want.
A great segue from the putter length. If you have a 35″ putter and want it to be 33″ don’t just cut it down. That completely changes the swing weight. A good guide to follow is:
- 35″ putter – 330 gram head weight
- 34″ putter – 350 to 360 gram head weight
- 33″ putter – 370 to 380 gram head weight
If you don’t have the correct swing weight you will struggle tremendously with your speed.
This is the hot topic in putter design and fitting right now. You have two basic types of putter heads.
- Face Balanced – Lay the shaft in your hand, if the putter face is pointing skyward, that’s a face balanced putter. Face balance is the correct design for a square to square stroke. In other words, straight back and straight through.
- Toe Balanced – Lay the shaft in your hand, if the toe points to the ground, that’s a toe balanced putter. Toe balance is best for and arching stroke. In other words, take the putter back slightly inside and then release the putter blade at impact.
You may be able to find this on your own or with a buddy. However, the technology that club fitters have will tell you exactly what your path is after hitting as few as eight putts.
Putter heads come in many shapes and sizes, but for our purposes I will talk about the two main categories.
- Mallet – There are large mallet heads and mid-mallet heads. In each case the mallet benefits the square to square stroke and are almost always faced balanced. 70% of players on the PGA Tour are currently using mallet putter.
- Blade – The opposite, for arc strokes and are toe balanced.
The finishing touch, and it is important. I say the same thing with grips for all clubs. It is the only place you actually touch something with your hands in the golf swing so not underestimate its importance.
Much of choosing a grip is personal preference, but consider a few things. A wider grip moves your hands further away from the club. This is very helpful for someone with an inconsistent stroke or that tends to have problems with too much wrist hinge.
A slimmer grip gives you more feel. If you have a consistent stroke, and use your shoulders like you should, this improves your feel dramatically.
Make Putts and Lower Scores
I hope you found this content helpful. As I mentioned earlier in the post, knowing how to choose the right putter is the quickest and best way to lower scores. My idea for this post was to give you a foundation. My advice with equipment is and always will be to take the foundation and go see a Club Fitting Professional.
If you have any questions or additional insights please always feel free to comment below.