The putter is one of your most frequently used golf clubs and plays an important role in the score of every game.

And yet many golfers underestimate the value of a high-quality putter and don't know how to choose the right putter for their stroke and their game.

Tour pros, however, know how much their putter impacts their score, and many of the best putters of all time have been designed with feedback and input from the best players in the world.

Putters come in a wide range of styles and colors, with features and designs to suit every taste and improve every game.

No one putter is the best for every golfer, but our list of the best putters has something for every need, every style, and every level of expertise.

Below you will find reviews of 8 putters, but here are our top 5 putters at a glance:


1. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter (Best Putter for Building Consistency and Confidence)

2. Cleveland Golf 2135 Satin Elevado Counter Balanced Oversized Grip Putter (Best Putter for Forgiveness)

3. TaylorMade Golf 2018 TP Ardmore 2 Putter (Best Putter for Meticulous Aim)

4. TaylorMade Golf 2018 Interactive Spider Putter

5. Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Putter Newport 2

Are You In A Hurry?

Our Test Winner After 35 + Hours Of Research:

Odyssey Hot Pro 2 Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

Why is it the BEST?

  • Precision milling provides consistency across the face.
  • Sleek finish that reduces glare and improves visibility at address.
  • Plumber's neck offset gives a natural stroke without impeding vision.
97%
Our Score

18

RESEARCHED SOURCES

255

REVIEWS CONSIDERED

35 +

HOURS RESEARCHING

36

PRODUCTS COMPARED

Our top 5 Best Putters of All Time (more below)

1. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter - TOP PICK

Odyssey Hot Pro 2 Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

The Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter has an updated version of the White Hot insert for their classic blade head design.

Carry on reading below to find out why this is our #No. 1 Top Pick Best Putter Of All Time...

The White Hot insert has improved the sound and feel of the putter, with laser milling for a tight tolerance that gives consistent performance throughout the face, imparting excellent spin and roll.

It has a full shaft plumber's neck offset and balanced heel/toe weight distribution that aids in alignment and increases forgiveness.

The black finish reduces glare and improves visibility, and adds durability.

While some golfers have trouble adapting to it, you can choose between a standard and a jumbo grip, which will allow you to find your style.

The grip has clear markings on it and is quite comfortable.

The White Hot Pro 2.0 line also comes with Odyssey's innovative EyeFit system.

The dashes on the bottom of the putter allow you to register your eye position at address and fit yourself into the hosel style putter that works best for your eye position.

Apart from the fact that this putter will allow you to create a better impact on the field, the Odyssey 2.0 has an attractive industrial look, inspired by the Gun Metal PVD.  

It's a simple, effective solution for golfers who haven't been professionally fitted for a putter to make the best choice for them.

Video Transcript

Pros

  • The White Hot inserts have a great sound and feel
  • Precision milling provides consistency across the face
  • Sleek finish that reduces glare and improves visibility at address
  • Classic blade design with heel/toe weight distribution
  • Comes with standard or optional jumbo grip
  • Contrasting alignment aids on the top for greater accuracy
  • EyeFit system helps you pick the hotel style that is best for you
  • Plumber's neck offset gives a natural stroke without impeding vision

Cons

  • Some golfers find this putter hard to get used to, but once you do - you will never want another putter again.

The Best Putters Of All Time (Updated for 2019)

Now, welcome to the the actual detail of the review - where we dig in a little deeper. Below you will find out top picks, why we liked them and the pros and cons of each.

Within a few minutes you should have a fairly good idea of which putter is best suited to your needs and be confident making a purchase.

2. Cleveland Golf 2135 Satin Elevado Counter Balanced Oversized Grip Putter - Best Putter for Forgiveness

Cleveland Golf 2135 Satin Elevado Counter Balanced Oversized Grip Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

The precision designed Cleveland Golf 2135 Satin Elevado Putter has a lot of improvements.

The sightline is highly visible at the address and raised 21.35 millimeters off the ground to align perfectly with the center of the ball, whatever your eye position.

The 2135 satin line has milling that is three times deeper, with customized patterns for every putter.

The milling pattern is designed to improve accuracy and give more distance to off-center hits while improving speed control.

This mallet style putter has a heavy 405-gram head, so the counterbalanced grip improves the swing weight and provides excellent MOI for this putter.

The face balanced head and single bend heel hosel make this a good choice for straight-through or slightly arcing strokes.

The Cleveland Oversized grip is weighted to counterbalance the head, so it feels great in the hand and helps to smooth out the stroke.

The Elevado already made a splash with the innovative raised sightline that improves accuracy, and the Satin upgrade has the improved milling system to provide more speed control.

This bundle with the counterbalanced grip makes for a complete package in an incredible putter.

Video Transcript

Pros:

  • Polymer TPU face insert has a soft feel
  • Face milling pattern is three times deeper, and optimized for speed and control
  • The raised sight line is level with the center of the golf ball
  • The oversized counterbalanced grip is comfortable and quiets the hands

Cons:

  • Small from heel to toe

3. TaylorMade Golf 2018 TP Ardmore 2 Putter

TaylorMade Golf 2018 TP Ardmore 2 Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

The TaylorMade Golf 2018 TP Ardmore 2 has a head made of skim milled 304 stainless steel, with a steel shaft for strength and durability, and an all-black PVD finish to minimize glare.

This face-balanced putter has a full shaft offset and weighs 352 grams.

The Pure Roll insert combines 45° grooves with a softer polymer, so it increases topspin and improves forward roll, helping your ball start and stay on the intended line, even across varying surfaces.

The fanged back and line guide system increase accuracy and stability.

The high contrast red and white finish not only looks fantastic, but it helps you envision the proper path and improve alignment.

It has adjustable sole weights, so you can personalize the head weight that is perfect for your game.

It is best for golfers who use a straight back/straight through putter stroke.

The Ardmore 2 took the golf world by storm and continues to make an impression year after year, as pros and amateurs alike use this putter to shave strokes off of every game.

This putter is famous for more than just its looks.

Video Transcript

Pros:

  • Red putters increase visibility on the green
  • Pure Roll face insert optimizes the forward roll
  • Fanged back splits the weight, and improves stability and hit forgiveness
  • Long sight lines for improved accuracy
  • Full shaft offset naturally positions your hands
  • Adjustable sole weights to customize the head weight

Cons:

  • Not available in a 33-inch size

4. TaylorMade Golf 2018 Spider Putters

TaylorMade Golf 2018 Spider Putters

Our Honest Star Rating

TaylorMade Spider designs have taken the golf world by storm, quickly becoming a favorite among amateurs and pros alike.

The innovative spider design creates excellent perimeter weighting to improve off-center stroke forgiveness, while the sightline improves focus and accuracy.

It has a stainless steel frame with a lightweight aluminum body, supporting proper weight distribution.

The famous Pure Roll insert combines 45° grooves with a softer Surlyn polymer, to increase topspin and improve forward roll, so the ball starts and stays on the intended line, even across varying surfaces.

TaylorMade Spider Putters come with a huge range of options, with right and left-handed models, with and without the sightline, and with a range of hosels optimized for different stroke styles.

The groundbreaking TaylorMade Interactive putters add a whole new layer of interactivity and analysis to transform your putting and your golf game.

This putter uses Blast motion capture technology to capture essential stroke metrics, including time, tempo, speed, and rotation.

The accompanying mobile app tracks your performance over time, with historical charts and graphs, and even has training modules and drills to help improve your putting.

The app also uses video capture and video tutorials to help you analyze and improve every aspect of your putting.

The TaylorMade Golf 2018 Interactive Spider Putter is the perfect choice for a beginner, or for anyone who wants to improve their putting.

Video Transcript

Pros:

  • Spider design has high MOI for forgiveness and stability
  • Pure Roll insert has improved sound, feel, and spin
  • Vibration-dampening foam provides consistent sound and feel
  • Optional hosels for different stroke styles
  • Optional upgrade to the SuperStroke grip
  • Innovative technologies in interactive model use video and motion capture technologies to analyze stroke data
  • The interactive app provides training, drills, and tutorials
  • The interactive app provides analysis and progress tracking over time

Cons:

  • Motion capture sensors are light and unobtrusive, but some players find them distracting

5. Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Putter Newport 2

Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Putter Newport 2

Our Honest Star Rating

The Titleist Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Putter Newport 2 is a legendary putter, that easily deserves recognition as one of the best putters of all time.

The stainless steel body and aluminum face inlay provide excellent balance and weight distribution.

The four-way side-to-side and front-to-back balancing keeps the putter square and flush.

Vibration-dampening material improves the sound and feels and gives solid feedback.

Slim top-line milling and a refined sight line give additional accuracy at address, and refined contours look sleek.

It has adjustable weights that provide superior counterbalancing and comes with a mid-sized Matador grip as well as a head cover.

This blade style putter is excellently balanced for perfect alignment, with heel-toe weighting and a plumber's neck offset hosel that will deliver incredible performance on both straight and arced shots.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound and solid feel
  • Four-way balancing for accuracy and stability
  • Adjustable weights for the perfect balance
  • Refined bevels and squared edges on the top line provide a cleaner look
  • Refined sight allows for easy aim
  • Vibration dampening gives great feedback

Cons:

  • Some golfers may prefer a softer feel

6. Odyssey 2018 Red O-Works Putters

Odyssey 2018 Red O-Works Putters

Our Honest Star Rating

The O-Works line from Odyssey has a wide range of innovative toe-hang designs for every preference.

The famous Odyssey red color gives great contrast and visibility on the green, and every putter in the line has excellent sight lines for great accuracy.

The black finish on the bottom adds durability. The textured Microhinge face inserts generate topspin to impart speed and spin.

The hinges on the Microhinge insert flex and rebound at impact for more spin, and the TPE elastomer inner layer gives a soft, responsive feel.

The mallet designs are well weighted, with wings for excellent alignment and line of sight. The face-balanced 2 ball design weighs 350 grams and comes with the Winn AVS midsize pistol grip. These putters come with a headcover.

The O-Works putters from Odyssey are famous for their excellent spin, with the unique Microhinge insert that controls spin and prevents skidding, while providing great sound and feel. The

se putters are top-rated by experts and a great choice for improved control.

The weighted wings on the Odyssey O-Works increase stability and MOI, with a micro-hinge face insert for better roll.

This putter gives great visibility, with a toe hang perfect for slightly arcing shots, and has been tested to have some of the best topspin in the game.

Pros:

  • Red putters give great contrast and visibility
  • Excellent sight lines and high contrast design
  • Microhouse face imparts speed and spin to improve accuracy with a soft feel
  • Head designs to suit every type of stroke
  • Great accuracy and control
  • Exceptional balance

Cons:

  • Counterweights are an additional purchase

7. Odyssey Red Ball Putter

Odyssey Red Ball Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

The Odyssey Red Ball Putter has an innovative scope to guide golfers for perfect alignment every time.

It's a fantastic putter to improve your game, with the immediate visual reference that boosts accuracy and consistency in your putts.

It has the Odyssey red color and the White Hot face insert for a fantastic sound and feel, with great roll and speed.

The face-balanced mallet shape has more forgiveness and excellent weight distribution and higher MOI.

The Red Ball putter from Odyssey lets you know when you are perfectly aligned.

It's a great way for a new golfer to train their body mechanics to aim a putt correctly every single time, building the consistency you need. 

Pros:

  • Putter design and red ball scope dramatically improve alignment and consistency
  • Great balance and weight distribution
  • White Hot RX insert has great sound, feel, and roll
  • Red ball scope system improves both head position and hand position during an address
  • High MOI

Cons:

  • White Hot mesh can quickly trap blades of grass and get dirty during play

8. Bettinardi Golf 2018-2019 BB29 Putter

Bettinardi Golf 2018-2019 BB29 Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

Bettinardi makes legendary putters, and the BB series continues the tradition.

The Bettinardi Golf 2018-2019 BB29 Putter is made from a proprietary blend of soft carbon steel, for exceptional quality in manufacture and feels on impact.

It is a classic heel-toe weighted blade design, that weighs 350 grams.

The stealth black finish has a matte surface to reduce glare and improve aiming visibility while providing more durability than other finishes.

The Super-Fly face milling has a softer feel and improved accuracy. It comes with a premium quality deep etched corded Lamkin grip.

Bettinardi products are made in the US, just outside of Chicago.

Bettinardi putters are a premium piece of equipment, engineered to the finest detail, and the distinctive yellow and black design is a stylish statement to go along with these exceptional putters.

The BB29 has a streamlined blade design with a deeper offset and a rounded topline that perfectly frames the ball, to improve every aspect of your address.

Pros:

  • Matte finish is soothing and provides great visibility
  • Durable finish
  • Excellent sound and responsive feel
  • Excellent consistency

Cons:

  • Some golfers do not like the feel of cord grips

Our Winner for The Best Putter of All Time: Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0

Odyssey Hot Pro 2 Putter

Our Honest Star Rating

Our Winner for The Best Putter of All Time

The best putter of all time is the Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 #1 putter. This classic blade design has a short slant-neck hosel and half-shaft offset, with a scoop back and a dark matte finish that reduces glare increases longevity and looks great at address.

The head weighs 343 grams, with a standard 3° loft and 70° lie, and comes with left-handed and right-handed orientations, in 33-, 34-, and 35-inch shafts.

What makes the White Hot Pro 2.0 so special is the Odyssey White Hot insert. The White Hot insert has been tour-proven,  with a multi-layered design inspired by the latest technological advances. The White Hot insert provides exceptional feel and performance, with great sound at impact. It offers consistency across the entire striking surface, for excellent feel and consistency.

Golfers love this putter for the fantastic sound, great feedback, and design details that improve your game at every level. Golf pros know that consistency and confidence are the keys to sinking putts every time, and the  Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 #1 putter delivers in spades.

Best Putters Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing a putter, there is simply no substitute for getting professionally fitted. While many golfers get fitted for their drivers, irons, and wedges, many simply neglect getting fitted for a putter. However, the putter is the club you use on every hole, and it's a piece of equipment that can dramatically affect your score.

For most golfers, the best strategy on the green is to reduce or eliminate the three-putt by improving both lag putting and short putting. This means developing the speed and distance control to place your first putt within 5 feet of the hole, and that means consistency.

Getting professionally fitted for a putter helps you understand your stroke and your address, and choose the putter that fits your best so that you can hit your putts on the same part of the club face every time. Consistency at address is the simplest way to develop speed control, and therefore the best way to improve your performance and lower your score.

Talking about choosing the right putter, it all comes down to a few key features that you need to consider. The buying process shouldn’t come as a burden, and while you can feel pressure about whether you are on the right track, taking in consideration length, lie, stroke arc as well as the design of the putter itself will allow you to make the best decision. If you can't get professionally fitted for a putter, here are some ways to help you better understand your needs, so you can choose the right putter for you.

Your Golf Club Set Buying Guide

How to Find Your Stroke Arc

One of the most important aspects of choosing a putter is understanding your stroke arc. To see your natural stroke, set up a putt with a ball and your normal putter. Use two lengths of masking tape or painters tape about a yard long, and place them parallel to each other, a few inches on either side of the ball, like a narrow channel.

Stand with your toes parallel to the first line of tape, and practice putting. When you watch your stroke against the straight line of the tape, you will see whether your natural stroke is straight-back-straight-through, or whether you have an arc to your stroke. Pay attention to the degree of your arc, if you have one; the deeper the curve, the more you will need a putter to accommodate it. Lesser curves may not require it. A putter that is not face-balanced (moderate-to-high-hang) is the right choice for those of you with a semi arcing stroke. If you find yourself having a straight-back-straight-through putting stroke, the face-balanced putter may be the right choice to accommodate your needs. For players that have a balanced stroke that combines straight-back and a moderate arcing stroke, putter with MOI is a great buy.

How to Find Your Lie

If your putts are inconsistent, you need to know whether they are consistently inconsistent. In other words, if you consistently strike the wrong part of the club face, your distance control is inconsistent and inaccurate, and you may need a putter with a lie angle that better accommodates you. To see how consistent you are, spray some foot powder onto the face of your putter.

For common putters, the standard lie angle seems to be around 72 degrees, while certain manufacturers recommend an offset of up to 90. With a good lie angle, you will be able to find a proper energy transfer and make solid contact with the ball. What you should know is that the lie angle is highly affected by the length – the longer the putter, the flatter the angle is. Drill some putts, and then look at the face of your putter. If your putts are tightly grouped on the center of the face, you have the correct lie. If your putts are tightly grouped on the wrong part of the face, you need a different lie.

If your putts are all over the face, you may need to find a putter with a better length, weight, or balance, or simply need more practice to build consistency. Don't forget that it will be much easier to alter the angle if you use a hosel or a band to insert the shaft.

How to Find Your Length

The standard 34-inch putter is a great size for a man who is 5'10”, who has a distance of 32 inches between his knuckles and the ground, who stands with a 40-degree back bend at address, with softly bent elbows and his eyes over the ball. If you have an unusual stand at address, with a different curvature in your back or bend in your elbows, or if you are much taller or shorter than 5'10”, or have unusually long or short arms, then standard club lengths may not work for you.

Keep in mind that an oversize or jumbo grip creates more options for comfortable hand placement on the club; if a putter is a comfortable size and weight for you, but the grip isn't big enough for your preferred hand placement, you may simply need to get a larger grip. In order to figure out your length, we recommend that you use the adjustable sliding shaft method – if you find yourself standing closer to the ball chances are the putter is too short; on the other hand, if your eyes are inside the ball, and you are at a distance, it is too long. 

Once you know your stroke style, and have determined whether you need an unusual length or lie, you have all the information needed to choose the best putter for your playing style. It then becomes a question of features, designs, and personal preference.

How to Find Your Loft

The loft is another feature that should affect your decision. Measured in degrees, it is the angle between a leveled surface and a putter face. Without any loft, you wouldn’t be able to create impact and lift the ball out, while with too much loft you will not be able to control the ball, as it will bounce off in numerous directions. From what it seems the standard loft is set between 2 and 4 degrees, while the ball and your standing position can change the loft once you strike. If you are going to play on fast greens, the loft is not as important as it is on a slower surface. Whatever your loft is, you should try to maintain a neutral hand position, if you don’t want to mess it up during fitting.

How to Find Your Grip

The only kind of contact you have with the putter is through the grip, which means that an inadequate one will lead to less efficient strokes and problems finding your standing position. If you enjoy a pendulum-like stroke going for a fatter grip which will allow you to achieve more control, investing your shoulders and arms in, is a good decision. On the other hand, most beginners seem to go for a more convenient thin grip, which can be quite tough for those with weaker wrists. A standard grip sits at around 11-12 inches with a flat front flange, while the angle at the putter face is set to 90 degrees. There is just one thing to consider – if you decide to go for a jumbo grip, make sure that such a putter can fit in your golf bag.

How to Find Your Head Weight

While the head weight is not as important as the lie angle and the length of the putter, it still plays an important role when it comes to searching for the right fit. A lighter head will work great for a fast surface, while the one that is above the standard of 350 grams seems to be better slower greens. There is a number of putters that come with an adjustable head, but that shouldn’t give you much of a trouble, and as long as the shaft is not too stiff, you are good to play.

Golf Putter Key Characteristics

Golf putter head shape

There are three main types of putter heads:

  • Blade putters. A blade putter is slender and has a classic, traditional design. They are ideal for golfers with a lighter, more delicate touch when putting, and are best suited for straight-back-straight-through stroke
  • Peripheral weighted putters. The classic peripheral weighted putter is the Ping Anser design, which distributes weight more evenly. These kinds of putters have a larger sweet spot and accommodate strokes that have an organic curve as well as straight shots.
  • Mallet putters. These putters have a deep head design with a lower center of gravity. The large heads have room for various alignment aids, and they are highly forgiving for off-center hits. These are the best head shape for deeply curved strokes.

Golf putter balance

While it used to be true that the shape of a putter head almost always indicated balance and toe hang, that isn't always the case anymore. It used to be the case that large mallet head and high MOI putters were faced balanced, while small mallets and blade shapes were toed hang balanced. Today, putter heads of any size and shape can be balanced in a wide range of ways, impacting the performance of a putter.

To determine how a putter is balanced, hold the putter out horizontally in your palm and let the head rotate to balance itself naturally. If the putter naturally rests with the face horizontally balanced, it's a face-balanced putter. If the putter naturally rotates so that the head is tilted downward and the toe is pointed upward, it has some degree of toe hang.

  • Face-balanced putters. These putters stay square through the motion of your stroke and are best for straight-back-straight-through stroke styles.
  • Toe-hang putters. These are designed to minimize twisting through the motion of your stroke if you have a natural arc. The greater the toe-hang, the deeper the arc can be.

Golf Putter Design Features 

The above features are necessary to find the golf putter specifically designed to match your body and motion when putting. Putters have many more features that affect your gameplay, but choosing these features is more a matter of feel, style, and preference. For these kinds of features, it largely comes down to what different players like best.

Golf putter hosels

The hotel is the place where the putter shaft meets the head. Hosels are often part of the putter's balancing mechanism (for example, center shaft hosels are almost always on face-balanced, mallet style putters), but hosel bend and placement also influence your hand position and the eye at address, which is why many golfers have very strong opinions about hosels. Here are the different types:

Heel-shafted putters

Heel shafted putters do not have a hosel. The shaft simply connects directly with the heel of the putter.

Center-shafted putters

A center shafted putter also doesn't have a hosel but connects the shaft with the center of the head.

Offset hosel

An offset hosel bends to place the shaft ahead of the face of the putter. This moves the player's hands ahead of the ball on impact, and many find it improves a straight-through stroke. There are several types of offset hosels, depending on the shape of the bend.

Double bend hosel

A double bend offset facilitates face-balancing and straight-through strokes, with very little rotation.

Short hosel

A short offset typically complements an arcing stroke and a toe-hang balance.

Plumber's neck hosel

A plumber's neck is a more angular double bend style, suited to soft arcs and straight shots, and often paired with mild toe-hang putters.

Onset hosel

The onset of the hosel is the opposite of an offset hosel and is fairly rare. It moves the player's hands behind the ball on impact and has the advantage of complete visibility of both the ball and entire putter face at address.

Golf putter weight and balance

The question of balance comes up again and again. Balance plays a role in the head shape, in the hosel style, and again in the overall head weight and shaft balance of a putter. Generally speaking, the putter weight affects distance control, but it also affects directional control. In recent years, putters have become heavier, because the greater weight improves stability and consistency. Often these heavier putter heads are counterbalanced in the shaft to provide easier momentum and a more natural stroke. The balance of weight in the putter as a whole is measured in swing weight – a well-balanced putter doesn't feel as heavy as a putter with a heavy head and less counterbalancing in the shaft. The right weight for you all comes down to your preferred feel, but here are some things to consider when choosing a putter weight.

It's all about distance control. Many people find that heavy putters perform better on short putts over lag putts, while light putters are better over distance. 

It all comes down to the green. On a faster green, a heavier putter head provides more control over distance. Using a light putter on a fast green tends to allow the ball to move too quickly and get away from you. On a slow green, a light putter might be the better choice for distance control.

Weight and balance are primarily matters of how you prefer your putter to feel and move with you. There is also evidence that different weights of putters perform better over different distances and on different greens, but no proven evidence that there are putter weights or swing weights that are consistently better than others.

Golf putter MOI

MOI stands for a moment of inertia, and is a measure of a putter's “forgiveness.” A high MOI putter is a putter with a large head and large face, which reduces twisting and compensates for a golfer not consistently hitting the sweet spot. Generally speaking, slender, blade-style putters have the lowest MOI and require a golfer to have a great deal of control and consistency in their putts. Larger putters with a heel-toe balance have a higher MOI, even when they weigh the same amount.

Golf putter inserts, grooves, and milling

Every putter has a face designed with some kind of feature to improve your game, whether they are inserts that affect how your putter contacts the ball, or groves and milling that control the direction of kinetic energy. Inserts, groves, and milling make all the difference in golf putters, with a staggering range of materials, features, and functions. Generally speaking, inserts and milling are designed to do the following:

  • Improve sound: The sound of the club hitting the ball may seem like a small thing, but it's incredibly important to the enjoyment and aesthetics of the game. Inserts allow manufacturers to fine-tune the sound of a putter
  • Improve feel: Inserts affect how the ball feels at the moment of impact. They typically soften and smooth the feel without inhibiting the transfer of motion
  • Distribute weight: Inserts allow a putter head to be soft at impact, with the weight distributed around the outside of the head, for greater stability and balance
  • Improve roll and spin: Most milling and grove patterns are specifically designed to impart spin and roll to the golf ball. The more spin the club puts on the ball, the greater the directional accuracy
  • Improve forgiveness. Many milling patterns are designed to broaden a putter's sweet spot or compensate for off-center hits.

However, every manufacturer has its own insert technology or proprietary milling pattern, so different inserts and faces perform differently and have different functions. Some inserts are designed to reduce vibrations, some to impart more speed control, reduce skidding, and more. However, some inserts are simply better than others for accurate spin control, like the Odyssey Microhinge or the TaylorMade Pure Roll, and some milling patterns are simply better than others for speed control, like the Cleveland 2135 or the Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

Generally speaking, some golfers strongly prefer the satisfying sound of insert putters, while others feel like they get more accurate feedback from milled faced putters, and this is an area where every golfer has to try different things to find out what works best for them.

Fangs, spiders, and unusual head shapes

Fangs and spider head designs are variations on a putter mallet head. They distribute weight and provide longer sightlines, which can help some golfers improve accuracy.

Golf Putter Usability and Aesthetics 

Todays' golf putters have a number of aesthetic and usability enhancements to help improve your score and their game. Here are some of the most significant differences.

Color and finish

Color and finish are primarily about how the putter looks to the player at address, but there are a number of functional aspects as well. The finish affects the durability and good looks of a putter and can reduce glare and improve visibility. Recent years have seen the dominance of red putters, which provide excellent visibility on the green and give a great contrast to sightlines. There is also some color science to show that the color red improves attention, focus, and accuracy, so perhaps red putters are more than just fashionable.

Sightlines, guidelines, and dots

Many putters have one or more lines or dots on the top to help guide your aim as you golf. The lines are aimed directly at the point where the ball should contact the sweet spot of the putter, to help guide your eye and aim. In fact, sight and guidelines tend to have the effect of guiding our aim even unconsciously, as the body reacts to what the eye is seeing. In other words, putters with lines on them will affect your aim whether you want them to or not. For putters who naturally have a straight-back-straight-through stroke, sight and guidelines can be incredibly helpful at lining up your shot.

However, golfers with a natural arc in their stroke can actually tense up when dealing with sightlines, particularly if they are the long lines on a fang-style putter. Their eye wants them to line the shot up straight, the way they are looking at it, but their body motion wants to naturally curve and arc, and this can create tension in the back and shoulders that can actually impair their putts.

For players with a comfortable arc in their stroke, a single dot or very short sightline on the top line of the putter can help them to aim accurately without causing tension. For golfers who can consistently hit the sweet spot when putting, many find that choosing a naked putter with no guidelines helps to free them up from distractions, which actually improves their focus and performance.

Grips

Putter grips don't require as much traction and texture as other irons, because the swing and hand positions are so different. There is an incredible variation in preferred hand positions when putting, and every player has their own style. Far more than just an accessory, a grip governs your connection with the putter and can give you a comfortable, natural extension of your motion. There is a huge range of grips available, and they have the potential to shave strokes off your game. Here are just some of the different types of grips: 

  • Grip shapes: Grips come in round shapes, rounded square shapes, hexagonal shapes, and even oblong shapes that help your hand feel comfortable and natural on the putter
  • Pistol grips: A pistol grip is a rounded oval shape, and is often preferred by people with small hands or short fingers
  • Paddle grips: Paddle grips are oval shapes that are more tapered on one end, more like an egg. The paddle shape is often preferred by people with large hands or long fingers because they can lay more naturally
  • Oversized and jumbo grips: Oversized grips are a great choice for people who hold the putter lower down the shaft than others, and jumbo grips provide extra cushioning for hand comfort
  • Counterweight grips: Some grips have counterweights in them to improve the swing weight of a putter and provide a smoother motion to the stroke
  • Corded grips: Most putter grips are made of some form of rubber or elasticized plastic. They have a cushioned, slightly grippy feel in the hands. Corded grips, however, have a cord material wrapped around the putter shaft, which can give better traction in wet weather or for hands that are prone to sweating. However, corded grips are less cushioned and many players find them less comfortable.

Final Words

Putting is an all-too-often overlooked aspect of your golf game, and many players don't take advantage of the opportunity to improve their score and their playing experience with a high-quality putter. However, a putter is a golf club you use on every single hole, and the right putter can take strokes off of every single game.

For new golfers, the right putter provides visual aids and information that can help improve aim and build confidence. For intermediate players, a good putter can compensate for off-center shots, and deliver consistency where it may be lacking in your game. And for advanced golfers, the right putter is a trusted partner, allowing you to have the ultimate control over your putts and your game.

Today's putters have a wealth of technological advances, including next-generation materials as layered inserts, companion apps to coach and guide you, and scopes and sightlines to improve your aim. Ignoring this important aspect of your golf game and taking an extra stroke on every green is unnecessary when a simple equipment upgrade can make all the difference. Investing in the right putter for your game and your needs just make sense, and it's better to do it now rather than later.

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