What is putter toe hang?

Where does the term come from?

An example of a putter with toe hang

Firstly, the term "toe hang" originates from the fact that a putter is broadly like a leg with a foot; the shaft is the leg, and the foot is the putter's head. The point where the shaft joins the head is the heel, and the other end is the toe.

The term toe-hang then comes from what happens when the shaft of the putter, especially a blade putter, is balanced on your finger (or a rail), and the toe of the clubhead will hang down towards the ground.

For instance, when balanced on your finger, a Scotty Cameron Blade has a considerable amount of toe hang, and on the other hand, some Mallets have no toe hang at all.

Putters have this toe hang for a particular reason, as many golfers have a natural arc in their putting stroke. If you held your arms in front of you and moved them side to side, they would move naturally in an arc around the body. It's the same principle holding a putter, where many of us feel comfortable with a natural arc in our putting stroke.

What does toe hang do?

Toe hang putters match the natural arc in people's putting strokes and prevent the face of the putter from opening and pointing off-target at the end of the backswing and the closing of the face at the end of the stroke. They are ingeniously weighted more towards the toe of the club and matched with the shaft to ensure the putter head is brought back perfectly square at the point of impact with the golf ball every time.

The more toe hang a putter has, the more the clubface will naturally open and close during the putting stroke. And it's essential when choosing a putter to find the right one for you. If you have lots of arc in your stroke, more toe hang will suit, and if you've minimal arcing in your stroke, look for putters with less toe hang.

Do all putters have toe hang?

An example of a putter with no toe hang

This brings us on to putters with no toe hang at all. Mallet-style putters are becoming more and more popular now. The bigger, more blocky heads on these types of putters allow designers to transfer the putter's weight around the head, especially to the putter's back corners. The easier transfer of weight, combined with different shaft styles, makes mallet putters incredibly stable in the putting stroke. The face of the mallet goes back and forth in a straight line, and it doesn't want to open or close, nor arc.

A putter with no toe hang is what we call face balanced, and the face of the club point to the sky. The reason why mallet putters are so popular is because of how forgiving it is to the user. Even if you were to miss the sweet spot on the face of the club, the head of the club is so stable and resistant to arcing that you'll still hit a good putt.

A mallet putter that wants to travel on a straight path throughout the stroke will most suit a player with minimal arc in their swing or a player whose technique allows for a stroke with minimal arc.

How can technology help?

Matching TaylorMade putters with different toe hang

Thankfully, there are mallet putters designed for those who have a natural arc in their stroke but also desire the stability of the mallet. Putters with a flow neck hosel allow some toe hang on mallet putters, therefore better suiting these players. Many Tour players use mallet putters with necks like this to make the equipment better suit their game. There is an in-depth video on putter necks in our mini-series about putters on our Golfbidder Youtube channel.

Do I need toe hang?

To summarise, the more toe hang in a putter, the more suited the putter is to a player with a naturally arcing putting stroke. There can be more or less toe hang in a putter, or no toe hang at all in face balanced putters. Face balanced putters suit players with minimal, straight and through strokes. Putters can be blended with alternative heads, shafts, hosels and weighting to produce new options for players with different strokes and needs from a putter.

For more information or to speak to one of our PGA qualified customer services team call 0208 4016 901. Lines and emails are open and managed from 9:00am - 5:00pm , Monday – Friday and 9:00am - 1:00pm Saturday.