Buying the right putter begins with an understanding of putter design. There are TWO designs you need to be aware of. One design is what is referred to as a Face Balanced putter. The other is a Toe Heavy design. One design is BETTER suited to one type of putting stroke, the other for the other type of putting stroke. YOUR job as a golfer is to figure out which type of stroke you like, and then to buy the design of putter that best works with YOUR type of stroke.
The first type of stroke is in the form of an ARC. The putter goes back inside the target line, then returns to the target line coming into impact, and then returns inside in the follow through. The second type of putting stroke is the Straight Back, Straight Forward method. According to most so called EXPERTS, if you use the ARC type stroke, you should use a TOE heavy putter design. And if you use the Straight back and forward stroke, you should use a FACE BALANCED putter design.
Now that you know about the two types of putting strokes and the two designs of putters, your job is to figure out which stroke is best for YOU, and then to DEMO a bunch of putters that are designed to work with YOUR type of stroke. But please don’t accept this as FACT. This is what the EXPERTS are telling golfers, but that doesn’t make it TRUE, not for EVERYONE. Your job is to now TEST their recommendations by DEMO-ING a bunch of putters to make sure this advice works for YOU. My guess is that it will for MOST golfers, but not for ALL golfers.
What I would recommend is that you go to a Golf Shop with a BIG putting area, and a LOT of different putters to DEMO. Try a few putters to figure out which type of STROKE you like best, and then DEMO a few putters in the design that is best for that type of stroke. Then DEMO a few putters of the other design, just to make sure you FIT the norm in terms of putter design to putter stroke type.
After you have figured out which design of putter is best for your type of stroke, the real fun begins. You get to DEMO as many different putters as you can. If you have been in a golf shop recently, you have no doubt noticed that there are dozens of different STYLES of putters. From the old style BLADE to the modern MALLET style, to the WEIRD looking things being made by most of the top OEM brands.
A word of advice if I may. Please DON'T just look at a putter and decide it’s NOT for you just on looks. You may be surprised at how a putter that may look Awful to your eye at first, may in fact be the BEST putter for you if you give it a chance. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or read how important the LOOK of a club is to how you will play with it. This may be true for SOME golfers, but it’s not really true for everyone. If you are willing to LOOK beyond the LOOKS of a certain putter, you might just find a real GEM hiding under an ugly cloud. What I recommend is that GIVE it a chance. Try it a few times both from long range and from short range. And don’t go by PRICE or BRAND when looking for the right putter for you. Some of the high dollar putters may in fact NOT be the best for YOU. It could be the opposite in fact. An OPEN mind can be your BEST FRIEND when looking for a new putter.
There are a few things to LOOK for when you DEMO putters. One is how it feels in your hands. You don’t want a putter that is too LIGHT, nor one that is too HEAVY for you. You might want a putter with “Guide Lines” on the top. Lines that are there to HELP you align the putter to your target. This can be a very helpful AID to aligning the putter and it can make a huge difference in how accurate you putt. Another thing to look for is the HOT factor. Fact is, some putters will cause the ball to come off the face HOTTER than others. If you tend to hit most of your putts SHORT, you might be smart to look for a HOTTER face putter. If you play on SLOW greens this can be a huge help for your putting game. On the other hand, if you tend to hit your putts well past the cup, or play on really fast greens, the last thing you should be buying would be a putter with a HOT face.
Now that you have a good idea of what to look for in a new putter, go to a golf shop and DEMO as many putters as you can. Try all types of styles, and both designs of putter, both the FACE balanced and the TOE heavy, and go with what works best for YOU. Try some 30 foot putts, try some 2 footers. Try EVERY THING in the store. Then, COME BACK another day, and see if you get the same results. If you do, you know it wasn’t just LUCK. If you find one putter that works BEST for you on two or three different days, there’s a good chance you have found YOUR PUTTER. If you LOVE it on day ONE, and HATE it on day TWO, keep looking, you haven’t found the one yet. If you LOVE one putter three days in a row, BUY IT. That’s the one for you. Good luck and remember to have an OPEN MIND and have FUN while you DEMO.