Best Putters

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
205 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best putters

Last Updated October 2019

We’ve all heard golf commentators and instructors talk about the importance of putting in improving a player’s score. Then most of us ignore that advice and focus on which new oversize driver we’re going to purchase. After all, driving the ball off the tee is fun and putting is frustrating. But if you’re ready to work on lowering your golf score, improving your putting stroke is the key. Having the right putter to fit your game  — physically and mentally — plays a primary role in boosting your score.

There are dozens of different putter designs available. Some of the features are cosmetic, optimized to give you more confidence. Others use science to find just the right features you need for your style of putting.

If you find yourself in a bit of a slump on the greens, a new putter can do wonders for your golf game. The best new putter can encourage you to line up your putts more successfully while giving you a confident stroke. Our buying guide and recommended putters can help you find the right one for you.

Although putters are commonly used on the green, there’s no restriction in the rules on where players can use putters on the course.

Key considerations

Here are a few of a putter’s most important design aspects. Understanding these will help you find just the right putter for your game.

Offset

The offset in a putter describes the location where the putter shaft connects to the head. Different offsets are used to help the player strike the ball squarely, depending on the player’s putting stroke. Each style of offset creates a different strike point on the putter, helping the player aim properly.

No offset: This putter has a shaft that connects just behind the face of the putter head.

Half offset: This putter has half of the shaft’s diameter ahead of the face of the putter.

Full offset: This putter has the entire shaft ahead of the putter face.

Balance

Hold out your hand and place the putter on an outstretched finger to determine what type of balance it has: face balanced or toe balanced. The type of stroke you have determines the putter balance you need.

Face balanced: This putter works nicely for players who are able to keep the putter face on line on their own. This design works best with a pure, straight putting stroke.

Toe balanced: This putter causes the toe of the putter head to drop a little bit during the backstroke and follow-through. For players who have a bit of an arc in their putting strokes, the toe-balanced putter helps them strike the ball squarely.

Shape

Putters are available with heads of many different shapes and sizes. Some of these shapes are made to help a player feel confident in their putting stroke. But there’s also a technological component to the different shapes, designed to help the player keep the putter head square to the ball at impact.

Blade: This style of putter is thin with a flat face. It has a rectangular shape, often with rounded edges. Players who have a pure putting stroke often prefer the simple design of a blade putter.

Mallet: This style of putter has a large, wide putter head. The face of the putter is flat, just like the blade putter. Weight is balanced throughout the mallet putter, which encourages the golfer to keep the putter head in line and square to the ball.

DID YOU KNOW?

A putter is officially defined by the rules of golf as a club with a loft of 10° or less in the face.

Putter features

Beyond the basic putter design, some putters have extra features aimed at improving performance. Some of these features are only found on higher-priced models.

Weight: Most of a putter’s weight is in the head. When you’re seeking extra touch on the ball, such as on fast greens, a lightweight putter is preferred. Large, slow greens often require a heavier putter for success.

Insert: Some pricey putters have a panel inset into the putter’s face. This panel is a softer material than the rest of the putter head, giving the player a feel for the ball as they make contact.

Milled: Milling the putter face gives it roughness, almost like a using a rasp or rough sandpaper on wood. Some players prefer the way the ball feels as it contacts a milled face.

Edge weighting: With extra weight at the edges of the putter head, the face will fight to stay on line even when the swing path is slightly off line.

Counterbalance: A counterbalance putter is an extra-long putter, sometimes called a “belly” putter. The golfer swings it almost like a pendulum, with the top hand as the pivot point. Golfers who have a hard time keeping their wrists and hands steady may have success with the technique used with a belly putter.

A standard putter head weighs about 350 grams (12.3 ounces), but there are lighter and heavier models.

Putter prices

Inexpensive: Basic putters and those from some lesser-known manufacturers cost $15 to $50.

Mid-range: These putters cost $50 to $125. You will find some popular brand names in this price area.

Expensive: High-end putters from popular manufacturers cost $125 to $400. With putters specifically and with golf clubs in general, you’ll pay extra for products from high-end brand names. Certain golf club and putter makers are popular and well trusted among golfers. These manufacturers can charge a premium for their products. As a general rule, putters from the best manufacturers have cutting-edge designs and high-end materials, justifying the higher cost. Inexperienced players probably won’t notice much difference between a $50 putter and a $200 putter, but advanced players will appreciate the design details in the priciest putters.

EXPERT TIP

When putting, the rules of golf say the player must strike the ball rather than push it. This is a common rules violation on very short putts.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Wipe down the putter head after each hole. Even though the putter doesn’t accumulate grass or dirt like an iron, it needs to be wiped with a towel after each use. The grass on the green is often wet, so drying the putter head helps it last longer.
  • Cover the putter head. You don’t want the putter to become nicked or scratched as it’s carried in the bag and bounces off other clubs. A thick cover will keep the putter head in pristine condition.
  • Store the putter in a dry place away from sunlight. As with other types of golf equipment, when the gear will be in storage for a few weeks or longer, place the putter in a dry area out of direct sun. Moderate temperatures are helpful for longevity, too.
  • Don’t throw your putter. Yes, we understand golf can be a frustrating game from time to time, but don’t take out your frustration over a missed putt by throwing the club. You will damage it (even if the damage isn’t visible initially), and your putting stroke will suffer.

Other products we considered

If the putters in our matrix aren’t what you’re looking for, we did find a few other options. If you’re looking to save money, the Wilson Augusta Putter has a simple, classic blade design that is a nice change of pace in putters. Another inexpensive putter is the Ray Cook SR500 Putter. This model has more of a modern mallet design, using a wide head to help with the balance of the stroke. The Tour Edge HP Series Red 10 Putter has a similar modern design, but it also uses a thick, jumbo grip to help the golfer maintain a steady wrist. If you have a larger budget, the Callaway Odyssey Red Ball Putter is a popular choice. Its markings are helpful for setting up the proper alignment, with a degree of forgiveness for off-center putts.

Extra-long putters, called belly putters, are legal to use. However, the game’s rules changed recently to prevent a player from bracing or pinning the club against his or her body during the swing.

FAQ

Q. Are there limits to the size of the putter head?
A.
The putter head (from heel to toe) can’t be longer than 7.0 inches. The putter depth or height (from the sole to the top of the putter head) can’t be longer than 2.5 inches. The putter width (from face to back) must be greater than the depth. The vast majority of putter manufacturers adhere to these measurements.

Q. Does a putter have to be a certain length?
A.
The rules of golf say the putter must be at least 18 inches long, measured from the top of the grip to the sole of the putter head. The rules have no limitation on the maximum length of the putter. This is different from woods and irons, which can be no longer than 48 inches.

Q. Why does the top of the putter head have so many different designs and patterns?
A.
Circles, squares, and lines are all common designs on the top of the putter. As you’re addressing the ball and preparing to putt, looking down on the putter head you can see these designs. They’re made to help you line up the putter head with the ball on the putting line you want to use. Some people use them to visualize the path of the putting stroke, too.

Q. How do I know if I have the right putter length?
A.
As long as you can grip the putter and stand comfortably with your eyes directly over the ball, you have a good length. If you naturally feel like you want to grip the putter at the low end of the grip or below the grip, the putter is probably too long. And if you feel back pain from bending over every time you attempt to putt, the putter is probably too short.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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