Putters are like snowflakes, there are no two that are just alike. Still, even when you look at a bunch of snowflakes under a microscope, it’s clear which ones are beautiful, symmetrical, and worthy of further study and which ones are just meant for making snowballs. Putters are kind of the same way — no matter if you’re looking at a conventional putter with a blade-style head or something a little more exotic like a mallet putter, many seem really nice, and a few are obvious dogs. Even so, you may wonder which manufacturer makes the best putters.
Choosing a putter is a somewhat subjective process, but the putter manufacturers with the most Golf Digest Hot List Awards include Ping with 103, Odyssey with 83, Titleist with 61, and TaylorMade with 57. These companies have long histories of quality club construction and many have made significant advances in putter technology, improving short games everywhere. Odyssey putters are favored by the pros; this brand has the highest count of putters in golf’s most popular tours, including the PGA and LPGA.
Choosing the Right Putter
No matter what brand you ultimately decide to go with, choosing the right putter for your swing is not an easy process. A professional fitting will take a lot of the guesswork out of it and give you the confidence that you’ve got the best club for your swing, but if you’re buying off the shelf or through a reputable vendor of used clubs, you’ll have to do some of your own homework.
Go visit your pro shop and try out a few different putter styles — the traditional blades have been around a while, but they can be hard for new players to control well; mallets or heel-toe weighted putters may be better for your game if you’re a casual player. The only characteristic that may be more vital than the head design when buying a putter is the shaft length. Most golfers play with too long of a putter, causing them to grip down the shaft. A putter of the correct length will put the shaft in line with your forearms.
Once you determine the correct head style and length of putter for your game, it will be much easier to find an affordable and quality putter. If you’re a casual golfer, it may be worthwhile to look at used clubs through specialty shops. These stores check the quality of a club before selling it in order to assess its value — you can realize substantial savings on lightly used putters by purchasing one of last season’s favorite clubs.