Putters Buying Guide – What To Look For When Buying
1 An Introduction
The putter is the most personal club of a golfer, as it is the most frequently used club in a golf bag, selecting the best putters for a beginner can be a daunting task. Choice of a specific putter depends on several factors including the golfer’s personal preference. It is often said that an avid golfer will have more putters than even the number of shoes owned by a lady! When you consider the fact that putting perfectly can make or break your golfing career, the overwhelming number of golf putters on sale is well justified.
2 Comparison of putter types
The golf market today is inundated with different styles of putters and choosing the right putter that suits your game can improve your score considerably. You can also save a good number of strokes. Blades and mallets are the popular styles of putters. In 2014, blade putters are the best putters that ruled the golf courses and the tournaments.
Types of putters
With the proliferation of technically designed heads and faces, golfers of the day are spoilt for choice. Putters are more. There are three different types of putters:
Blades: A blade putter is the simplest of putters in design and is shaped like a blade. It is the default putter of putt-putt golf in the world. These putters are best suited for players who have straight putting strokes. Blade putters give you an advantage when it comes to distance control while you are putting. These putters favor fast and hard greens, and they need a delicate touch. Many golfers opine that blades work best for an in-out-in arc stroke. Because of their distribution of weight, blade putters allow you to have better precision in feel.
Half-Mallets or Mid Mallets: A mid mallet is a good balance between a mallet’s forgiveness and a blade putter’s precision of the feel. Mid-mallets are bigger than blades but smaller than mallets. This size makes them perfect and versatile enough for different strokes.
Mallets: Golf beginners often start with mallets. They are designed with deep heads so that they have a lower center of gravity. Hence, the mallet putter is considered the most forgiving and is not only the best putter for a beginner but also the best putter for a high handicapper. In spite of their bigger sizes, the mallet putters weigh just as much as a blade putter. Beginners can avoid directional misses by using this mallet putter. Despite their high Moment of Inertia, Mallets remain the most forgiving and have adjustable weights that can solve your problems.
A mallet works best for a straight putting stroke with a straight back. It is better suited for a compact, short stroke. When you swing a mallet, you will definitely feel confident that your ball will go where you intend it to reach. For this reason, it is considered to be the best putter for a beginner as well as a high handicapper.
3 Key factors to consider
Moment of Inertia (MOI)
Whether you are buying the best putter for a beginner or one for an experienced player, MOI is a crucial factor to consider. MOI is the measure of how much an object resists twisting motion. Objects with high MOI will be harder to move, as they will be more resistant to twisting. To minimize loss of distance and control of direction, twisting should be minimum. Therefore, MOI should be maximum.
There are face-balanced and toe-balanced putters available on the market today. Face-balanced putters have a face that will face upwards when the shaft is balanced on your finger. The center of gravity lies below the shaft’s axis. Experts recommended these putters for beginners who have straight putting stroke. Toe-balanced putters will have their toes point to the ground when the shaft is balanced on your finger. This is suitable for players who have an arc in their stroke.
Shafts of putters are always made of steel for that strong and consistent feel. Hosel is the point where the putter head and the shaft meet. There are Heel-shafted putters, Centre-shafted putters, and Hosel offset. There are many golf putters on sale with varying shaft types and lengths. Take into consideration your playing habits and preference when choosing a suitable putter.
The face you’d prefer to have on a putter will also depend on the feel you want. It also depends on the ball you play with and the speed of the greens on which you usually play. You will have to try various combinations of putter face and ball to decide. There are traditional metal-faced putters, insert-faced putters, and groove-faced putters.
The material of the putter’s face usually depends on the feel you prefer to have. Traditionally, the material for putter face is steel. Some other metals that have also been used are aluminum, bronze, copper, brass, zinc, and titanium. Some may consider metal faces as the best putters for beginners because the sound produced on impact can be used as a feedback of the strike. However, if you’d rather not be disturbed by sound, you can use a soft insert. Steel is reputed for its responsive strike that gives the player a good, controlled feel.
You may have several clubs in your bag, but the putter is the only one that has different grip options available, including a flat edge. Many brands offer different diameters and sizes to give you better comfort and confidence on the greens. A thick grip will not give you a feel because the vibrations coming off the shaft will get dampened along the way. A standard putter will be the best putter for a beginner whose stroke involves the action of the wrist.