Types of Putters

You’re eyeing up that final shot. The right putter can make or break your game. It’s more than looks; it’s about design, weight, feel, and even aesthetics. Whether you’re choosing between a blade or a mallet, an insert or a milled putter, you’ve got options.

In this guide, we’ll navigate the vast world of putters, helping you understand the nitty-gritty and make an informed choice. Let’s find your perfect putter.

Putter Head Design

As you explore the world of golf, you’ll encounter three main types of putters: the blade putter, the mallet putter, and the modern mallet putter.

Each has unique characteristics that can affect your game in different ways.

Let’s take a closer look at these putters to understand their unique features and how they can influence your playing style.

 Blade Putter

The blade putter, a timeless classic in the golfing world, is likely a piece of equipment you’ve used at some point in your golfing journey. Despite the bustle around mallet putters, don’t mistake the blade putter as a tool for only low-handicap players. Its design promotes precision and consistency, especially for those with an arc-style putting stroke.

To help you understand its unique attributes, here are some key features:

  • Classic design, usually longer from heel to toe.
  • Ideal for players with an arc-style putting stroke.
  • Favors precision and consistency on the greens.
  • Features heel-toe weighting for stability on off-center hits.
  • Often used with a short alignment aid for targeting putts.

Recognize the blade putter for what it truly is: a reliable partner on the greens.

 Mallet Putter

In your golfing journey, you’ll undoubtedly encounter mallet putters, a popular choice known for their distinct semi-circular design. These putters excel in performance for golfers with a straight back and straight-through club path. Additionally, many mallet putter designs are face-balanced, providing another level of performance and customization.

Ideal for beginners, mallet putters shift the center of mass further back, keeping the putter face stable even with off-center strikes. This design aids in distance control, a critical aspect of successful putting. Moreover, the longer alignment aid, a characteristic feature of mallet putters, is beneficial for aiming.

 Modern Mallet Putter

With advancements in technology, you’ll find that modern mallet putters offer a unique blend of design and performance features that can greatly enhance your game on the green. These putters are distinct from traditional mallet putters, offering upgrades in adjustability, balance, and overall design.

  • Oversized Head: This gives you a larger sweet spot, increasing forgiveness for off-center strikes.
  • Adjustability: Some models allow you to customize weight distribution to suit your playing style.
  • Stability: The large head and material mix push the center of mass far back, aiding stability at impact.
  • Popularity: Many PGA Tour professionals have embraced these putters, demonstrating their effectiveness.
  • Advantages: These putters can offer you minute advantages that may significantly improve your performance on the green.

Choose a modern mallet putter to experience the blend of traditional design with cutting-edge technology.

When considering putter head design, you’ll find a key distinction between insert and milled putters.

Insert putters utilize different materials in the face to modify feel and performance, while milled putters are crafted from a single piece of material, offering a consistent, solid feel.

It’s not just about choice, it’s about understanding how these design differences can impact your game.

 Insert Putters Vs. Milled Putters

You’re likely to come across two main types of putter head designs when shopping for a new putter: insert putters and milled putters. Both designs have their own unique feel and performance characteristics which can significantly impact your putting game.

Milled putters are crafted from a single piece of material, often a soft metal. They’re known for their stability and consistency at impact, providing a high-end feel that lasts for years.

Insert putters feature an insert in the face, delivering a softer feel on impact. They’re great if you prefer a softer touch when putting.

Quality and engineering are crucial when choosing an insert putter. Avoid cheaper models under $100, as they may have inferior performance and durability.

Both milled and insert putters are excellent options, with the final decision largely coming down to personal preference.

Regularly experiment with different putters and stay updated with new models to find the best fit for your game.

Shaft Designs

When it comes to the game of golf, the design of your putter’s shaft can significantly influence your performance. It’s not just about the standard steel shafts anymore – innovations like the Odyssey Stroke Lab’s graphite and steel combination have revolutionized the field.

You’ll need to consider how different shaft materials and designs can enhance your feel and consistency, particularly for those crucial putts within 15 feet.

 Hosel Design

Understanding the design of the hosel, which connects the putter head and shaft, can significantly influence your putting game. The hosel’s design can affect the stroke’s balance and alignment, so it’s crucial to choose wisely.

Here are some key aspects of hosel design to consider:

  • Center-Shafted Putters: These putters have the shaft connecting to the middle of the putter head. Ideal for those wanting a symmetrical look at the address.

  • Heel-Shafted Putters: The majority of putters fall into this category, with the shaft connecting at the heel.

  • Off-set Hosel: This design can offer slightly more forgiveness for mishits.

  • Straight Neck: A no-frills design, it provides a direct connection between the shaft and putter head.

  • Head Size and Center of Mass: More influential than hosel design in terms of forgiveness.

Picking the right hosel design can help enhance your putting performance.

Face-Balanced Vs. Toe-Weighted Putters

In choosing the right putter for your game, it’s crucial to understand the difference between face-balanced and toe-weighted putters. These terms refer to the positioning of the center of mass in the putter head, which impacts how the putter face rotates during your swing.

Face-balanced putters, when rested, have their club face pointing skyward due to the weight being evenly distributed. This design is intended to keep the face square throughout your stroke, making it an excellent choice if you use a straight back-and-through putting method.

Toe-weighted putters, on the other hand, have a center of mass closer to the toe. This results in the toe hanging towards the ground when the putter is at rest. The design encourages the face to open on the backswing and close again during the downswing and follow-through. This is ideally suited for golfers with an arc-style putting stroke.

However, these aren’t hard and fast rules. If you tend to leave the club face open at impact or miss putts to the right, a toe-weighted putter could help correct these tendencies. Conversely, if you often close the club face at impact or miss putts to the left, a face-balanced putter might be the solution.

While traditionally, blade putters were toe-weighted and mallet putters were face-balanced, today’s market offers a blend of designs. Always check the manufacturer’s details before buying and test putters to find the best fit for your stroke. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you.

Putter Length

When it comes to putters, length is a critical factor that can significantly impact your golfing experience. You might be more familiar with the traditional putters, but there’s also the long putter and the belly putter to consider.

Let’s explore the intricacies of these three categories and how tweaking your putter length can affect your game.

 Long Putters

Although you might be accustomed to a standard putter, it’s worth exploring long putters, which generally range from 48 to 52 inches and require a unique setup and stroke technique. These putters are designed to encourage a smoother pendulum-like swing, reducing the risk of twitchy hands affecting your putt.

To understand long putters better, consider these features:

  • They necessitate an upright stance, with the top of the putter anchored against your chest.
  • The stroke is more of a shoulder rock than a wrist hinge.
  • They typically have a larger grip to accommodate both hands.
  • They offer increased stability and consistency in the stroke.
  • However, they require practice to master and aren’t permitted in professional tournaments.

 Belly Putters

Before you delve into the world of belly putters, it’s essential to understand that they’re typically between 41 to 44 inches in length, varying based on your height and stroke type. These putters are designed to create a third point of contact, anchoring against the belly to provide more stability during your stroke.

However, it’s worth noting that from January 1st, 2016, this anchoring technique has been deemed illegal in sanctioned competitions.

The length of your putter plays a crucial role in finding the right fit for your stroke, and custom fitting can help determine the ideal length for your game. Cutting down a putter at home can affect swing weight and feel, so it’s recommended to have it done by a professional custom fitter.

 Adapting Your Putter Length

So, how can you adapt your putter length to suit your golfing style and needs better?

Putter length is crucial in finding the right fit for your stroke. Remember, cutting down a putter at home can drastically affect swing weight and feel. To avoid this, get your putter adjusted by a custom fitter.

Consider these points when adapting your putter length:

  • Long putters range from 48 to 52 inches and require a different setup.
  • Belly putters vary based on player height and stroke type.
  • Putter length affects your stroke significantly.
  • Custom fitting can help determine the ideal putter length for you.
  • Grip size can impact the feel and performance of a putter.

Ensure your putter length aligns with your golfing style for optimal performance.


Choosing the right putter can significantly enhance your golf game. Whether it’s a blade, mallet, or modern mallet, the putter’s design, weight, feel, and aesthetics are all crucial factors. Consider the shaft and head design, balance, length, and even the grip size.

If you are considering buying new golf putters, I suggest that you try different types of putters before making a final decision. You can do this by visiting your local golf shop or using the free Global Golf trial program. This option allows you to test putters before deciding which one to buy.

Both insert and milled putters have their own unique merits. So, sift through your options, understand the essentials, and select the perfect putter that not only suits your style but also improves your performance on the green.