I’ll be the first person to tell you how bad of a putter I am. I have gotten much better in the last 3 or 4 years, but it is still the worst part of my game. One thing that I finally started to learn was to find a putter that works and stick with it! This is much harder than it seems, especially when you work for a golf retailer. If there is one club that a lot of golfers collect, it would be putters. There are so many different styles to choose from, owning just one is hard to do. Not to mention that you can get a lot of them for a fairly reasonable price (especially if you think about how many times per round you use a putter, it is nearly justifiable). Luckily for me I was never really the type to own a bunch of putters, I just switched frequently. It was one of those typical “It’s the putter, not me” excuses. Once I got past that, things got easier.
For the past 3 years I have really only putted with two putters. First I had a Guerin Rife Barbados Black Center-Shaft (still one of my favorites). I had switched to the center-shaft to help with my short putts (under 4 feet), which I felt was costing me 3 or 4 strokes a round. While it seemed to help, I sacrificed some on the longer putts. I was never the type to make a lot of 10+ footers, but I didn’t miss them by much. With the Barbados, I found myself having more and more three footers. So, basically I switched to the Barbados to make the three footers, and in return I increased the number of three footers I had. Because of that there wasn’t really any improvement, just the benefit of seeing three footers drop rather than lip out (which was very nice to see). After giving the Barbados a shot for a while longer, I decided the thing for me to do was to go back to the most commonly used putter shape out there, the Anser style, and just practice a lot and learn to make the short ones.
After trying out a bunch of different brands with that same Anser headshape, I finally decided to go with a Bettinardi BB8. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bettinardi’s, they are comparable to Scotty Cameron’s in terms of quality. They are great. This particular one had the gold face insert and was very soft. The finish color was a big part of my decision too. The matte gray looks great at address. On top of all of this, I putted very well with it, particularly from 7 to 10 feet. I still have my days where I want to toss the putter in the woods and search for a new flatstick, but for the most part it has helped improved my putting (along with some solid practice).
While I’d love to say that I will be gaming the BB8 for many, many years, you and I both know that is unlikely to happen. I suppose the moral of this story is to find a putter that works for you, but don’t hesitate to try out some others, as you never know what you might be missing out on. Some of my favorite putters I’ve had were used and I found for under $50. If you are in the market for a new or used putter, we have tons to choose from on 3balls.com and our eBay Store. Start a collection today!