Your Putter Choice should not
just be an impulse act.
When you start golf, you typically putt with anything available. As you learn the game, you need to find a putter that improves your chances of holing more putts.
Should your choice of putter determine your putting style, or is it the other way around? This is a putting dilemma that every golfer faces - unfortunately getting the answer wrong most of the time.
Putting style is a somewhat ambiguous term that describes the way a person putts. It can cover everything from the setup at address, the grip, the pre-putt routine, the putter path as well as the way the ball is struck.
However, most references to putting style relate to the putter path a golfer uses rather than variations in grip, posture, or stance.
The two most common putter paths are:
Each is tied closely to the physics of the actual putter.
For most amateur golfers the easiest putter to use is probably a mallet putter. Being face-balanced with a large forgiveness area on the putter head, it keeps the putterface more aligned to the aimline (target line).
This is because it doesn't try to open on the backstroke. It favours a stroke with little or no arc.
The physics of blade putters, or flange putters (45 degree hangers), are less forgiving.
Balance one of these putters on the tip of your extended fingers and you will see the face swing open as the toe of the putter points down.
The stroke with this type of putter has more of an arc to it.
When you started golf you probably putted with whatever putter was available to you, and without any thought of any particular way of doing things. It was simply a case of getting the ball in the hole as best you could.
Because golf stores predominantly stock flange putters, you were probably steered in this direction.
Putting instruction often assumes that you have a personal style or favourite putter that can't be jettisoned. Instead of going back to the basics, instruction focuses on working around your preferred method or putter. I don't find this approach satisfactory.
I would rather start from the premise that a good setup with sound fundamentals will determine a reliable putting stroke and therefore your eventual putting style.
When you are in a balanced and athletic position, you can decide through gradual trial and error what type of putter is easiest for you to manage based on your skill level and the time available for regular practice.
Using this approach you get round the putting dilemma of having to decide up front which comes first – your putting style or your putter choice. Sound fundamentals built around a good setup will make the decision for you.
1 = www.clubrepairnews.com
2 = www.rifeputters.com