When it comes to choosing a putter, there is no one correct choice It is all about what looks good to you, feels right, and sounds solid off the putterface.
However, the more you know about the options available, the more likely you are to end up with the right choice.
There are three main putter styles. Each has its merit. The modern blade putter replicates the early design traditionally used for putting and is generally best left to highly skilled golfers.
In 1966 Karsten Solheim introduced his Pinger Anser putter that is now the most widely copied design and has become the modern standard. This flange heel-toe weighted putter offers more forgiveness and is easier to use than the classic blade putter.
The third choice is the face-balanced mallet putter. It is probably the most forgiving of an off-centre strike of the three styles.
Most golfers putt with a standard length (or short) putter. The alternatives are the mid-size belly putter, and the long broomstick putter.
Again there is no correct choice other than to say that the best putters on tour use a standard length putter.
Cost is a relative term. The wrong putter is expensive at any price.
Compared to the cost of a high-tech driver, the cost of a putter is inexpensive, especially for a club that you will use more often than your driver.
As long as the putter you choose is well-balanced with no obvious defects, you should make your decision based on the other options.
The shaft of a putter either enters the putter head at the heel or the centre. There are also several variations in the hosel design and shaft shape.
There are claims that the physics of a straight-in centred-shafted putter are better as they reduce the effect of any twisting of the putterface at impact. The same principle is used in the design of a hammer where the shaft is in the centre of the head.
You should, however, base your choice of what looks right when you address the ball.
One of the difficulties of putting is aiming the putter accurately. The purpose of any alignment aid is to make this task easier.
Putter designers use a variety of shapes, lines, circles that they claim improves aim.
Mallet putters typically have more design features dedicated to aim. You should choose a putter that facilitates aligning the top line of the putter head at 90 degrees to your aimpoint.
Material inserted into the putterface neither helps nor hinders the accuracy of your aim. Choosing a putter with or without an insert is more a question of what feels and sounds best on contact with the ball you use.
Efforts to reduce the amount of twisting of the putter head that occurs on impact with the ball have played a significant role in putter design.
Less skilful golfers have difficulty contacting the ball on the sweetspot of the putter. The more off-centre your hits, the more the putter head is inclined to twist.
A putter with a high moment of inertia helps to reduce putterface movement when you hit the ball off centre.
When you have a good understanding of the main options in putter design in order to make an informed decision in the choice of a putter, you are ready to move on to:
Lesson 4 - Putting Straight.
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