Whether you’re a major winner or a club golfer, it is likely that you will have experimented with a hybrid club over the past few years. The technology going into producing the ultimate utility club has had a profound effect on the sport in recent years and very few players at any level can now afford to go without having one in their locker, or more to the point, in their bag.
Golf Putters are the most used club in a golfer’s bag and make up almost 50% of all shots taken on the green in a singular round. They are also pretty well misunderstood and many golfers seem to lack the right knowledge about Golf Putters, instantly giving themselves a disadvantage even before a foot has been laid on the greens.
Golf Putter Balances
This is a traditional favourite for golfers. The Mid-Slant Putter will balance at around 45 degrees and tends to have full-shaft offset. They encourage less rotation for slighter arc stroke type and this helps achieve more balance in performance. The Mid-Slant Putters was first introduced by Ping Golf and the critical acclaim that drove it forward to the upper echelons of the golf club hierarchy is still going strong today, where almost everyone who’s anyone in the golf market has attempted to make a similar variation of its classic design.
Face-Balanced Putters point upwards should you balance the shaft on a finger, and this means that centre of gravity is directly below the axis of the shaft. This allows the golf club head to remain in the square position throughout and straightens the putting stroke during forward flows of motions. They are ideal for straight strokes with a back and through approach.
Toe-Down Putters are very popular, especially with those golfers with an in-to-out-to-in or very strong arc stroke type. The golf club is enabled to power through the swing without over-indulging and missing the hole. Interestingly, if you were to lay a Toe-Down Putter on horizontal, the toe would point to the ground; hence the name!
Golf Putter Shapes
Mallets make putting easier and are ideal for higher handicap golfers who aren’t exactly oozing confidence. They have a larger surface area on the crown with plenty of room for varying alignment aids. The Mallet Putter is normally face-balanced and peripheral weighted to offer the same performance as other putters, but with more ease.
You know the golfers who still yearn for the traditions of yesteryear by what they prefer to use on the golf course. Many of these ‘old school’ golfers will point to the Blade Putter as being highly effective on the greens and – being the oldest putter still in regular circulation – they clearly have a valid point. Blade Putters predominantly are toe down designed, and because of their relatively small heads and higher centre of gravity, these brilliant clubs offer little margin for error and work well for every level of player.
From oldest to newest, modern putters are Peripheral Weighed. They have added weight in the heel and toe for increased MOI (moment of inertia) which measures how much the golf club head twists. The higher the MOI, the less twisting occurs on off-centre hits. This allows for straighter putts even on the occasional miss-hit connection.
Golf Putter Face Technology
For important feedback through feel and sound, you need to look at getting putters with a metal face design. These putters will immediately allow you hear any connection made with the golf ball the moment impact is made, which benefits in helping know where the centre is located. Softer materials limit sounds and give less feedback.
Groove Faces are more recent in their design and offer the feel of metal that gets the golf ball rolling immediately upon impact. The significant rise in golfers choosing these putter faces looks set to continue due their apparent success and lack of any real drawbacks. Grooves also manage to halt skidding, sliding and back spinning of the golf ball, even reducing the risk of ‘hopping’ before the golf ball gets off on a roll down the greens.
Golf Putter Insert Technology
The ever-evolving world of golf would be nowhere near as interesting without the ever-evolving golf equipment that comes with it. And it’s not just the equipment that is evolving, either; technology has taken some huge bounds in recent times and Insert Technology is just one of them. From rubber to elastomers, right through to ceramic and composites and other metals, it’s this variety of material that really helps Insert Technology to chisel out the perfect performance and leave golfers shaking their heads in ecstatic disbelief. Using lighter materials allows for more MOI to be produced, and this in turn helps to reduce hopping, skidding and other frustrating problems that occur upon impact.
Golf Putter Shaft Lengths
Standard Length Putter (33-35 Inches)
The standard length putters are still very common and used by lots of golfers. Working as an almost extension of the arm, the putter produces pendulum-like arcs that make it easy to hold a constant swing. Height and posture will ultimately determine the length of the putter you choose, and these are two aspects that should be considered before a final decision is made. Selecting the right length will encourage you to get your eyes directly over the golf ball while also remaining in a stance that’s comfortable and practical.
Long Length Putter (48-52 Inches)
The lesser used and ultimately less common of putter lengths, longer versions can be neatly rested above the belly button, chin or chest, but differs from that of the Belly Putter and can require a complete overhaul in grip. Good tactics used by golfers is to grip the golf club with the left hand and, holding the putter into the body with the right hand working as a claw in the middle section of the putter, to pull and push through the line like a pendulum. This moves the entire stroke of the Long Putter’s power into the right hand, though it’s a tough skill to master and is hard to perform when conditions are especially windy.
Belly Putter (42-46 Inches)
The middle ground and popular among golfers, Belly Putters have enjoyed significant praise due to their stability brought on by anchoring the butt of the golf club to your belly. However, with news over rule changes being introduced regarding the third point of contact, golfers who use this putter as a major part of their game may have to squash this trend and try out a new putter, just in case.