What is your nickname amongst your golfing buddies? Are you known as “the boss of the moss” or “Mr. 3 waggles“?
All golfers know that you drive for show, but you putt for dough. Does your putting make you or cost you dough?
Improving your putting is the best way to reduce your golf handicap – but practice alone won’t get you there. You need the right tools for the job.
Are you using the right equipment? Did you ask yourself ‘How long should my putter be?‘ before buying it? Did you choose your putter length by height?
All the practice and short game lessons in the world won’t help if your putter is working against you.
Choose Your Putter Length By Height – Why It’s Important
The perfect putting stroke is a pendulum motion. Your wrists and hands are not involved and you simply rock your shoulders.
Ideally, your arms should hang down comfortably and you should grip the putter by bending slightly at the waist.
If your putter is the wrong length, you may be slouching or standing too tall. Either one makes it harder to make the pendulum motion.
When your setup is wrong because you didn’t choose your putter length by height it makes it more difficult to make a consistent stroke.
You end up using your wrists and hands to stroke the ball. You will push and pull putts and could even develop the dreaded Golf Yips.
Choose Your Putter Length By Height – How To Measure Putter Length
First thing first, do you know the length of your current putter? If not, do you know how to check it?
Most standard putters are built in three different lengths. 35-inch, 34-inch, and 33-inch. The most common is 35-inch.
Of course, putters can be customized, so you could be using a putter of almost any length. Did you know a putter can be illegal because it is too short?
The USGA (United States Golf Association) maintains the Equipment Rules for golf and they state that a putter cannot be shorter than 18 inches. Can you imagine trying to putt with an 18-inch putter?
Related: 7 Putting Tips To Help You Save Strokes On The Green
The equipment rules for golf also explain the correct way to measure the length of your clubs. It is actually a little bit different for woods/irons and putters.
For woods and irons, the measurement of length is taken when the club is lying on a horizontal plane and the sole is set against a 60-degree plane. The length is defined as the distance from the point of the intersection between the two planes to the top of the grip.
Why so complicated? This sounds like a question on a geometry test! You could go to a putter fitting, but you really don’t need to. Good news – measuring the length of your putter is simpler.
For putters, the measurement of length is taken from the top of the grip along the axis
of the shaft or a straight-line extension of it to the sole of the club.
In other words, simply measure from the top of your grip down to the bottom of the putter head.
Now you know the length of your putter.
Choose Your Putter Length By Height – What Is The Right Size For You?
The perfect putter for you will vary based on your putting style, posture, and the length of your arms. This putter length fitting chart should provide a good guide:
|Your Height (Feet and Inches)||Putter Length (Inches)|
|Under 5 Feet||32|
What should you do if you have the wrong putter length by height? The answer could be nothing.
Are you a good putter? If putting is a strength in your game, don’t change a thing. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
On the other hand, if you lose strokes on the green or if you 3-putt more than you 1-putt it may be time to choose your putter length by height.
Trying a different length putter is a great way to change the feel of your stroke. Get rid of any negativity you have with your current putter.
If you have dreams of becoming a scratch golfer, you will need to be a strong putter.
3 Alternatives To Choosing Your Putter Length By Height
You selected your putter length by height, but you continue to struggle on the greens.
You have gotten a putting lesson and spent hours practicing, but still can’t get the little white ball to roll in the hole.
Is there anything more frustrating than hitting two perfect shots on a par 4, but walking off the green with bogey because of another 3-putt?
Belly putters were a popular solution, but in 2016 the USGA and R&A made them illegal.
Don’t give up! There is still hope! Below we highlight 3 “legal” alternative putting styles to simply picking your putter length by height. One of them may be the key to unlocking more birdies.
Alternative #1 – Armlock
Armlock putting is relatively new in the world of golf. Matt Kuchar started using this putting style in 2011 on the PGA Tour. Bryson DeChambeau used an armlock putter to win the 2020 US Open.
The idea is that the shaft of the putter rests against your left arm (right-handed players) while you stroke the ball.
Armlock putting forces you to rock your shoulders and removes the wrist from your stroke.
You do need a different putter to properly execute. First, it needs to be longer than the “putter length by height” chart above. Most armlock putters are between 41″ and 43″.
Second, the putter will have a different loft, because the process of holding it against your arm causes a natural forward press.
The advantage of armlock putting is that your stroke is more stable. This is a great way to cure the golf yips.
Armlock putting will take practice. At first, it will feel awkward. You may struggle to get lined up correctly when first using this style.
We recommend spending time on the practice green with your new armlock putter before taking it out on the course. Be patient with it.
Alternative #2 – Long Putter / Chest Putter
The 2nd alternative to putter length by height is using a “long putter” or “chest putter”. Bernard Langer and Scott McCarron have been dominating the Champions Tour for years with this style.
Similar to alternative #1, this does require a new/different putter. This putter will be significantly longer than our “putter length by height” chart.
A chest putter can be anywhere from 48″ to 52″ in length.
In this style of putting, the long putter comes up to your chest and you use a split grip. Your left hand is at the end of the putter (near your chest) and your right hand is closer to waist height.
Due to the way you hold this type of putter, they often have two different grips – one for each hand.
An important note – the putter nor your hand can touch (or anchor) in your chest. This was made illegal at the same time belly putters were banned.
When putting with a chest/long putter you want the club very close to your chest without touching it.
Just like armlock putting, this will feel very strange when you first try it out. Practice on the putting green before you debut this technique in front of your golfing buddies.
Using a chest or long putter is another way to remove the wrist from your stroke and can help players that get “nervy” over important putts.
Alternative #3 – Go With A Crazy Grip
The good news about this alternative – you don’t need a new putter. You can use the putter length by height option you already own!
Sometimes, in order to start making putts your stroke needs to feel different. You need a fresh start.
The easiest way to accomplish this “fresh start” is to grip the putter differently. You can try cross-handed, the claw, or the saw.
Cross-handed is probably the most popular alternative grip, but professional golfers have won major championships using both the Claw and the Saw.
Basically, any grip that helps you stabilize your stroke is worth a try.
To putt cross-handed, simply switch your hands. Grip the putter with your left hand below your right hand.
The Claw and The Saw are pretty much the same. You grip the putter normally with your left hand, but your right hand is placed against the grip. Typically, the grip rests between your thumb and pointer finger.
You really aren’t gripping the putter with your right hand, just resting the grip against it to help stabilize. The idea is that you eliminate your right hand from “doing too much” during your stroke.
Become A Better Putter Today!
If you struggle on the greens, validate that your equipment isn’t working against you. Make sure that the length of your putter matches your height.
Is your putter length by height correct? If so, has your putting improved?
Having the correct equipment will help, but it may not slay all of your golf demons. If you continue to struggle, try an alternative putting style.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you do it if that little white ball finds the hole.
Nailed Your Putting? Time To Nail The Swing!
Check out this article: The Complete Golf Swing Sequence Guide: 7 Steps