A lot of players choose a putter based on the way it looks and how it feels when it strikes the ball at impact. These are two very important variables, yes. We all know that there are two basic head designs when it comes to a putter; mallets and blades. They both serve a purpose and it’s not just how they look at address.
A mallet putter’s major characteristic is that it’s alignment-aided, or easier to line up to the target. They also tend to be heavier. But the main principle of a mallet is that they promote a straight back and straight thru stroke. These putters are face-balanced, which means they are resistant to twisting. If your putting stroke has a natural arc to it, or rounded motion, then a mallet is not for you.
Players with a rounded, or arc, stroke will benefit more from a blade putter. These are heel balanced and promote “toe hang.” This is a motion that opens the putter slightly on the backstroke and allows it to close a bit on the through-stroke.
I have worked on perfecting a square, straight back and thru putting stroke for years, but have always loved the classic look of a blade. Popular examples of a blade style would be a Ping Anser or Scotty Cameron Newport. But there is no doubt, based on scores and stats I kept myself, that I just simply make more putts with a mallet; especially from 6 to 8 feet. An example of a mallet with some alignment aided features would be an Odyssey 2-ball or a Scotty Cameron Futura.
There are fundamentals of putting that you can change or work on, but try not to fight against your natural path. Instead, find a putter that fits you. You may have never thought about what type of stroke you have. But it is important to fit a putter to your needs just as much as it is a driver. Putting is more than 50% of the game. When you are confident on the greens, it takes pressure off the rest of your game. And less pressure means fewer strokes. And fewer strokes mean more cash in your pocket and more tabs picked up by your buddies.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay, Published by Craig Walton – GolfHQ.com