The putter headweight is important
to the feel of your putter.
A change in headweight can lead to your putter feeling too head heavy, too light, or just right. Fortunately it is possible to adjust the weight to suit your needs.
A putter is assembled from three component parts:
In manufacture the maker decides the weight of the putter head, the corresponding shaft length, and the type of grip.
The balance between these parts can be measured by calculating the putter's swingweight on a swingweight scale.
Unfortunately the assembled putter that you buy may not fit you and may require some modification. However, when you do this, for example, by shortening the putter length or by fitting an oversize grip, you change the original factory swingweight.
The importance of the actual number on the swingweight scale is debatable. This is because your putter is a one-off club and doesn't have to be matched to the other clubs in your set.
However, club maker Ralph Maltby recommends that a putter should measure between C8 and D6. Below C8 he considers too light, above D6 too heavy.
I decided to check the swingweight of some of the putters that golfers at my club use. I tested 67 putters of different makes and models ranging from Odyssey to Ping to Scotty Cameron to TaylorMade.
The range of swingweights stretched from C3 to E9. This was not surprising as the swingweight of a putter is primarily driven by the putter length and the weight of its head. A number of the putters had been cut down, and a few had oversize grips.
Scotty Cameron appears to be the only maker that includes the swingweight of his putters in the list of specifications.
He changes the head weight according to the length of the putter - and this combination of length and putter head weight is shown as a swingweight range.
The standard length of an off-the-rack putter is 35 inches.
Some manufacturers offer shorter lengths, but often do this without increasing the weight of the putter head. This will have the effect of making the putter head feel lighter.
A number of putters now have adjustable weights in the sole of the putter.
This allows you to add or subtract weight. It is certainly more convenient that using lead tape.
The trend in putter design is to offer the customer more options, moving in the direction of shorter shaft lengths and heavier putter head weighting.
That said, the feel of a putter is personal and its feel can also be influenced by the ball you play and if there is an insert in the putter head.
Should you worry about your weight of your putter head? This depends on you and what feels just right, remembering, of course, that there is no one best swingweight or putter headweight.
1 = www.leaderboard.com/SWINGWT.HTM
(Allows you to estimate the swingweight of your putter without a swingweight scale)