Putters buyers' guide

Thomas Tanner
Jan 14, 2008
6 minutes
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‘Drive for show, putt for dough.’ The adage is as true today as it ever was. If a good golfer posts a score close to par, almost half of the shots taken will be with a putter. So it’s almost impossible to overestimate the importance putting plays in determining your score - yet it is an area which is often neglected; Most of us are happier booming away drives at the practice ground than honing our skills on the practice putting green - (professional golfers, on the other hand, spend hours on the practice green.

There is more choice in design of putters than any other club in your bag – offset, mallet, belly, two-ball, blade – the list goes on – and prices vary enormously – you can buy a cheap new putter for a £10 – or spend upwards of £200.

But which putter to choose? The real answer is the one you feel most comfortable – and confident - with – and it’s simply a case of trying some out. All we can do is provide a few tips on the types of design available.

To help narrow down the options, we’ve put together a quick 4 Steps Guide.

Putter Design

There were traditionally three main types of putter head design: Blade, half-mallet, and mallet – we show some modern examples below:

Classic Scotty Cameron Blade: Looks great – very simple – but not very forgiving should you not hit the ball out of the middle of the clubface.

Ping modern-day B60 Half-Mallet: Nice feel – and certainly easier to hit than the classic blade above.

Yes! C-Groove Olivia Mallet: Heavier, with the solid feel preferred by many players Nowadays, in addition to the classic shapes above, there is a wonderfully exotic array of heads on offer – all designed to help you align the ball up more accurately - and to stop the clubhead from twisting if you don’t quite hit the ball out of the middle.

Odyssey White-Hot 2 Ball: The most famous and the biggest selling putter of all time. But designs are getting much wackier than this now.

Putter Shaft

Shaft design also has a bearing on how the clubs feels. Many putters nowadays – most in fact - have an off-set shaft – that is, the shaft (or head design) sets the shaft over the ball (and the head behind it) – as can be see in this Scotty Cameron Detour. An offset head serves two functions – to help get your eyes over the ball and see it more easily – but more importantly, to ensure your hands ahead of the ball at impact – a key feature of ensuring the clubhead hits the ball squarely.

Putter Faces

Putter faces are now made from wide range of materials – aside from steel, you can choose from rubber, nickel, copper, aluminium, – even ceramic – and all have a slightly different sound and feel. As a rough rule of thumb, for very fast hard greens, you probably want a soft face insert, for slower greens something heavier. But it’s really down to personal choice and to decide which ‘feels’ best for you, you just need to try as many types as possible.

Ping’s urethane-based blue insert provides for softer feel in their G2i putter range – and Odyssey’s Dual Insert Technology with milled stainless steel inside a White Hot urethane insert. Just two examples of the myriad face materials available.

Putter Length

The most common conventional length for a putter is 35” – but if you prefer a shorter shaft, you can also opt for 34”, or 33”. All putters on golfbidder have the length specified in the notes section. You may though have heard of mid-length, ‘belly’ and long putters.

Belly Putter

The idea with belly putters is that they are anchored by being pushed into your midriff – and this helps to reduce wrist action – a lot of golfers get too ‘handsy’ – that is, they try and ‘steer’ the ball. Belly putters are typically 41”-45” long.

Chest Putter

Chest or ‘long’ putters are even longer, and rest on the chest – with the aim of creating a smooth, repeating pendulum effect in your swing – again removing wrist action.

Long putters are typically 45”-50” in length. Long putters are good for people with back problems (no crouching low over the ball) however, gauging distance, tends to be more difficult with a long putter.

And they are a bit of a nuisance to carry around to be honest. Our advice would be to steer clear unless you are really struggling with shorter putts and opt for a conventional length putter.

To Conclude

We hope this brief guide has helped you understand a bit more about the wide range of putters on offer. To view thesecond-hand putters we have in stock today, click here As with all our other stock, putters come with a no-quibble 7 day trial period.

Feel free to try one out – if you don’t like it, no problem. Simply return for a full refund.

If you need any further help or advice, feel free to ring our PGA-qualified Customer Service Team.

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Further reading

Does the shape of the putter head make a difference? It must do with so many different options available. But how does it interact with your stroke, and which one is right for you?

A regulation course with a par of 72 allows for half of those shots to be putts. Yet for some unknown reason, we don't give putting the attention it deserves - spending hours on the driving range and then five minutes on the putting green.