All golfers love the sound of the golf ball hitting the bottom of the cup. With the right types of putters in our arsenal, we would all enjoy making more putts.
Problem is, there are so many different types of putters on the market. How do you choose the right putter for your stroke?
Learning to be a great putter requires a combination of technique, confidence, and using the right flat stick.
Below we take a deep dive into the types of putters. We want you to understand all of your options and help you make an educated decision.
Make the right choice, start making more putts, and earn the nickname “the boss of the moss”.
Let’s get started!
Types Of Putters: The 3 Components Of Your Flat Stick
Every putter has 3 components that determine how the golf ball rolls when struck.
Matching these three components with your putting stroke is the key to choosing the right putter.
#1: The Putter Head
The head of your putter is the part you use to hit the ball.
The shape and material used in the head determine how the ball rolls on the green.
When considering the different types of putters, the head should be the first choice you make. We break them down into three categories (blade, mallet, hybrid).
A blade putter has a more traditional look. Blade putters are toe-weighted with a sweet spot positioned slightly towards the heel (blade photographed below).
If you have ever used a putter at a miniature golf course, you have used a blade. It is the most common of all types of putters.
Not all blade putters are exactly the same. You will see minor differences in the shape of the head and different hosels (the place on a golf club where the shaft is connected to the clubhead).
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A mallet putter has a larger head (see image below). Typically round or square in shape, the larger size allows the weight to be distributed differently than a blade.
Due to the size of the head, mallets tend to have more in the way of designs and aiming aids.
Generally speaking, mallets are more forgiving putters due to the stability of the face.
A “hybrid” head putter (imaged below) is the combination of a blade and a mallet. You may hear them referred to as a bulky blade or a small mallet.
You get the best of both worlds. You get the feel of a blade with the stability of a mallet.
A great example of a hybrid is the original Odyssey Two-Ball.
The head is the most important, but there are other features that determine the types of putters you will find.
#2: The Length
When it comes to length there are 3 different types of putters for you to consider – Standard, Mid-Size, and Long.
A standard length putter will be 33″, 34″, or 35″ long. If you use a standard length putter the one you select will be based on your height and your putting stance.
The vast majority of players from scratch golfers to beginners use a standard length putter. They are also the easiest to find when you are shopping.
Mid-size putters will typically be between 38″ and 44″ long. There are 3 different types of putters that fall into this category.
Counterbalanced putters, belly putters, and armlock putters.
Counterbalanced putters are typically 38″ in length and have extra weight added to the butt end of the club. This weight moves the balance point higher up on the putter.
This gives the golfer more feel at impact and creates more MOI (moment of inertia). MOI is the speed at which the balls spring off the putter at impact.
Belly putters are between 40″ and 43″ long and are designed to be anchored in the golfer’s belly during their stroke.
The belly putter was the most popular mid-size putter until 2016 when the USGA made it illegal to use one in competition.
Related article: The 5 Best Illegal Golf Clubs: Non-Conforming Drivers We Recommend
You can still use the putter, but you cannot anchor it in your mid-section (belly).
Armlock putters are similar to belly putters but are designed to rest against your left arm while making a stroke.
This became more popular following the “belly putter ban”, with Matt Kuchar being the first PGA tour player to use an armlock putter.
Compared to the other types of putters, it will take you longer to get used to putting with the armlock style.
Long putters, our final category, are between 48″ and 52″. Before 2016 they were used by anchoring them against your chest or your chin.
This is another one of the types of putters that were impacted by the rule change. Unlike the belly putter, you will still see a decent number of golfers using them.
Instead of anchoring the long putter in their chest, they simply hold the end of the grip near their chest.
Long putters continue to be very popular on the Champions Tour.
#3: The Grip
The final component that separates different types of putters is the grip. Your putter will either have a standard grip or an oversize grip.
A standard putter grip is just slightly bigger than the shaft. The shapes can vary slightly.
Oversize putter grips are a relatively new phenomenon in the golf world. SuperStroke launched the first examples in 2009 that caught on with professional golfers.
They have become very popular and come standard with many of the putters you buy today.
The concept is simple. The larger grips help you remove your hands and wrists from your stroke. This reduces the chances of a yip.
The cool thing about oversize grips is that you can easily install one on your current putter. Create a different feel without having to buy a new club.
Now that we have talked about the components that define different types of putters, let’s move on to tips for selecting the right putter.
How To Choose The Right Putter For You
Which putter is best for me?
The options can be overwhelming. You could have a standard-length mallet putter with an oversized grip or a mid-size blade with a regular grip.
With so many different types of putters, how do you find the best one for your short game?
Some experts will tell you it depends on your type of stroke. If you open and close the clubface during your stroke, you should use a blade.
If you keep the face square throughout your stroke, you should use a mallet. There is some truth here, but we don’t think it is that simple.
Putting is more art than science. More feel than calculation.
You may need to try several different types of putters before you find the right one. The good news is that you can try it before you buy it.
Golf retailers often have a putting mat in the store and your local pro shop will let you test out different types of putters on the practice green.
More than any other club in your bag, you need to “like” your putter. You need to feel comfortable and confident when you are holding it.
Our recommendation is trial and error. Try several different types of putters until you find the perfect one for you. When you find it, you will know it!
How Do You Hold Your Putter?
There is one more piece to the “putter equation”. How do you grip (hold) your putter? Three different ways have been used to win golf tournaments around the world.
The conventional putter grip is very similar to how you hold your other clubs. It is an overlapping grip and you overlap 2 fingers to keep your hands connected.
For a right-handed player, your left hand should be placed on the putter first and your right should go below it.
The cross-handed putting grip was made famous by golf Hall of Famer Jim Furyk and has become very popular.
It is the opposite of holding the putter with a conventional grip. Your right hand is placed on the putter first and your left-hand goes below it.
The advantage of putting cross-handed is that it helps you keep your front wrist firm and flat. A wrist flinch can cause you to miss short putts.
Many golfers feel the cross-handed grip is more stable than conventional.
#3: The Claw
The claw is a grip that golfers created to eliminate the yips and improve their short putting. Older golfers tend to switch to the claw to deal with “putting scars”.
You grip the putter with your left hand the same you do with a conventional grip, but your right hand is less involved.
There are different versions, but the key is that part of your right-hand rests against the putter, but you don’t grip the club.
This removes the possibility of your right-hand flinching during your stroke.
Find the best putter for you. Determine the best way to hold it. Start making more putts!
Up Next: How To Improve Your Stroke
Hopefully, you now know the answer to ‘which putter is best for me.’ Now time to try it out in these putting tips!