You can't believe it. You've been waiting all week to hit the links and you're finally there, standing on the 1st hole green of your favorite golf course, shaking your head in contempt as you realize that you've left your putter at home.
“Must've left it in the living room,” you mutter as you recall getting some indoor practice in the day before. Your golfing buddy doesn't seem too concerned.
“Don't worry about it, you can use mine,” he says as he hands you his putter. You notice right away that your buddy's outlandish putter looks nothing like the classic blade putter that you're accustomed to, but all golf putter types must be basically the same, right?
Not quite. The golf equipment industry has strived for years to develop golf equipment and accessories that account for the different playing styles of individual golfers, and putters are no different. That's why it's important to have a thorough understanding of what different types of golf putters bring to different players, so you'll know exactly which types of putters are best suited for your individual needs on the green.
What is a Mallet Putter?
Ubiquitous in golf bags and on putting greens around the world, mallet putters have become a popular putter type for both professional and amateur golfers alike. The large putter head at the end of the club shaft gives the mallet putter its name as well as its unique look that separates it from other golf putter types.
Mallet putters are perfect for golfers looking for a little more visual assistance to help them line up their shots. Many of today's mallet putters use high contrast alignment technology and two-ball designs that allow golfers to better align desired ball paths from the clubface to the hole.
While most mallet putters may seem like heavy, lopsided clubs, the reality is that their weight distribution has been carefully development by golf equipment experts worldwide. Most mallet putters available today have weights placed in both the toe and heel of the putter head. This gives mallet putters equal weight distribution across the clubface, providing a larger sweet spot for golfers inadvertently hitting off-center shots.
The weight distribution of mallet putters along with their visual alignment aids make them the perfect putters for golfers with straight putting paths from the backswing to the follow-through.
What is a Blade Putter?
The time-tested blade putter head design is perhaps the most recognizable putter type, and remains the weapon of choice for some of the greatest golfers to ever play the game. Blade putters come equipped with a toe-heavy design, making them the perfect putter type for players with large arcing paths throughout their putter stroke.
The best way to determine whether or not a blade putter is right for you is to take a slow practice swing with your putter while lining up a yard stick in front of you horizontally and slightly above your intended club path, forming a square between yourself and the stick. If your putting path moves inside the square from the backswing, center at the ball, then inside the square again during your follow-through, then a blade putter is exactly what you need.
What is a Cavity Backed Putter?
Much like the popular cavity backed irons that distribute weight equally around the perimeter of the clubface, cavity backed putters apply the same hollow-back design, allowing equal weight distribution around the face of the putter. This grants golfers a larger sweet spot, providing more forgiveness across the face of the club.
Cavity backed putters are also perfect for golfers that are looking for an intermediary between the wide arcing paths that blade putters afford, and the straight-and-center paths that mallet putters are known for. So if you're looking for a putter that isn't too arcing, and isn't too straight, then a cavity backed putter should be just right for your golf game.
There are many different types of golf putters available on the market today, most of which are slight variations of blade putters, mallet putters, or cavity backed putters. When it comes down to it, choosing a putter is all about the comfort, the feel, and the confidence it provides while you are shooting the greens, so make sure to try out and test several different golf putter types before deciding on the perfect putter to carry in your bag.