Choosing a putter that fits your eye and fills you with confidence is like picking a spouse. Sometimes there isn’t a rhyme or reason to the attraction, but you know what’s right when you see it.
One could spend hours discussing the wide variety of putters on the market. There are long putters, belly putters and traditional-length putters. There are putters with mallet heads, blades and variations of the two. There are putters that look like something Francis Ouimet would have used, and others that are so exotic in their technology and design that they appear as though they’ve landed from another galaxy.
The best putter on the market? Impossible to determine. If there were such an animal, every tour pro would use it. But Tiger Woods doesn’t use the same putter as Phil Mickelson, who chooses a different weapon than Adam Scott, who, well, you get the idea.
Certainly, the Scotty Cameron Select GoLo from Titleist is one of the most popular among pros and amateurs. The newest version of this old-time favorite has a stainless steel head with a thicker face and topline that produces a smooth feel and a muted sound upon impact. You can customize sole weights in the heel and toe so that the head weight matches the shaft length.
Nike’s Method Core has a low, deep center of gravity and a polymer-aluminum face that sends the ball quickly rolling toward the hole. The lightweight aluminum body provides stability on poorly struck putts.
The TaylorMade Ghost Spider S sounds like a sports car. Actually, it has drawn the kind of rave reviews you might read about a finely tuned machine. The design makes it easy to align the putter and produces pure rolls.
The Odyssey Metal-X series features a lightweight, double-layered face insert that results in a muted feel upon contact. Oval-shaped cavities on the outer face create friction with the ball and improves roll.
Although the above mallet-style putters are certainly popular, blade putters haven’t exactly gone the way of Nehru suits. The all-black Nike Method Midnight series is an imposing, cool-looking instrument, and with two tungsteen weights in the heel and toe for stability, even mis-hits will find their way into the hole.
The Odyssey Metal-X series delivers a firm face with a dampening effect thanks to the urethane layer. Oval-shaped dimples in the face create friction and reduce skidding. The lightweight face is also forgiving, and who doesn’t need that when faced with a knee-knocking 5-footer?
So whether it’s a mallet, a blade or maybe an old wood-shafted putter you found on a discount rack, finding the best putter is like choosing a fine wine: If you like it, then it’s perfect for you.