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3 Keys to Putters and Putter Fitting

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Check the forums and you’ll see “mini wars” going on between Scotty Cameron fans, Bettinardi fans, and those that don’t give a damn.

You probably know someone, whether personally or through the internet, that’s a “Scotty Snob”, “Betti Snob”, or some other type of “Putter Snob”.  Hell, maybe you’re the type!

Big-picture: when it comes to buying the right putter for you, it doesn’t matter.  Not one bit.

So what if you like a Scotty, a Betti, or maybe an EVNROLL or Xenon (ever hear of Argolf putters)?  What if you’ve got a simpler taste, like a Ping Karston putter?

Are you happy?  That’s really all that matters.

putter fitting

This baby cost me less than $100!

What about someone that’s on the fence, that doesn’t know what they want?

Well, there are keys to finding a putter that’s right for you; let’s see what they are:

One: The Cost of the Putter

Easily the first thing one has to consider is the cost of the putter.  I don’t know if it’s…

elephant putter fitting

…that thing about the big animal being in a building or something (via Flickr)…

… but it needs to be said.

Putters can get insanely expensive.  A Scotty Cameron putter can easily break $300, usually for around $350-$380.  Some even sell for more than that!  A Betti hovers closer to the $400 mark, and can go up from there.

But is that the mark of a good putter?

In a word: no.

It really doesn’t matter what you spend, so long as it’s custom fit to your stroke.  I’ve seen people putt well with a Scotty, but I’ve seen people putt well with an old Ram Zebra.  I’ve seen people putt like crap with both ends of the spectrum, as well.

Just like my post about how much to spend on golf clubs, use the same approach with putters.  Ask yourself:

Can I afford it?

If you answer “yes”, go for it.  If not, look for options.

 

Two: The Fit of the Putter to Your Particular Stroke

Not every putter sold off-the-rack is a good fit for you.  There are some things you need to consider:

Length: while some putters are sold at 33″, 34″, and 35″, those may not be enough for most.  You may find that 30″, or 36″, is your best fit.  That’s OK, because every club can be “retrofitted“, or modified, in some way.

Loft: The average putter loft is 4*, but you need to ask yourself if you deliver the putter with the shaft vertical.

If you said “no”, how do you do it?

  • If the shaft leans towards the hole, you might want to consider a putter with more loft.
  • If you lean the shaft away from the hole (a rare occurrence, but it happens), you might want to consider a putter with less loft.

Grip Size/Material:  There are a METRIC TON of options.  Some examples:

Small grips:

Big grips:

And many, many more in-between.  But how do you know which one’s right for you?

The best thing is usually to trust your gut.  If you have big hands, a bigger grip is likely the best bet.  For smaller hands, a smaller grip would be a good idea.

The best part about grips is, they’re fairly cheap.  Unlike dropping $100+ on shafts to experiment, grips don’t cost much more than $25, with many being <$10, so it’s easier on the wallet to play around with them.

Weight: Some like a light putter, while others like a heavy one.  A good putter fitting takes care of this, as well as all the other specs.  If you’re on the fence about getting fitted, I highly advise you do so.

As a general rule, though, many “handsy” putters (those that like to let their wrists hinge slightly) are normally comfortable with a lighter putter, while those that want to keep their wrists out of it tend to gravitate towards heavier putters.

Three: Do You Like How the Putter Looks?

Yes, this could’ve gone in with the second section, but that one was already getting long.  So, I’m making it its own section!

Anyway, here’s where we can really get some “paralysis by analysis”.  How many look like the classic Anser style?  I mean, even those Scotty’s and Betti’s do it!

There’s some that look like half-moons, a vampire’s smile, the Starship Enterprise, the letter “T”, even one that looks like this guy’s head:

Cute Wolvie putter fitting

He’s the best there is at what he does… is it being adorable? via Flickr

So you’ve got options.

Which style is “best”?  Some people swear by mallet putters, while others swear by the Anser style.  Toe-hang, face-balanced… does it matter?

We could gather up some friends and test this stuff, but there’s 25 million of us- how can 10, 20, or even 30 of us predict what’s best for every single golfer out there?

You gotta like what you’re looking at.  If it looks weird, or ugly, or whatever to you, there’s a good chance you won’t like using it, even with a putter fitting.  Same goes for the way it sounds.  If you’re one of those that can get past the looks, more power to ya.

Next time you’re in the market, I highly advise a putter fitting.  All of the things I’ve talked (wrote, I suppose) today will be addressed.

Regardless if you want to spend $50 or $500, you owe it to yourself to treat it as an investment.  You’ll be a LOT happier with your putting performance if you do.

 

Don't Forget the Offer!

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About the Author

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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