The putter - a question of form

Published on   2021-12-20 by Kai

A second text on the subject of putters? Yes, that is urgently necessary, because while the first text mainly dealt with the feeling in handling this club, it is now primarily about technique. But don't worry, it won't be too dry.

There is no club for the golf bag that is discussed as much as the putter. But there is no other club with so many variations.

Anyone who has come to golf from miniature golf has already had the simplest version of the putter in their hands: the blade putter. It is recognizable by its mostly simple shape, flat like a blade. Hence the name. Many professionals play blade putters.

Amateur golfers tend to go for models with more sophisticated designs, the mallet putters. And even if here again the feeling plays just as much a role as in the choice of color, it is more about the technology behind it.

Large club head, different shapes

Mallets have a larger club head, which can be designed in a wide variety of shapes. Of course, the face is always straight, but the other side can be semi-circular, as in the classic mallet, or have a "spider" shape, as in the further development called MOI, which knows hardly any limits.

A look at the bags of other golfers shows the wide range of variation that exists in putter shapes today. And of course, the size of the wallet also plays a role in the selection, but that is generally no surprise when it comes to golf equipment.

However, the topic is not yet exhausted with the head shapes. There are also different designs for the clubface, depending on the requirements and the manufacturer. Here, the feel at impact and the associated ball control play an important role.

Smooth metal hitting surfaces can be found as well as those with metal grooves. The latter are intended to help give the ball a little topspin, so that small irregularities on the green have less influence on the direction of travel. Finally, clubface inserts made of plastic or other materials are supposed to offer greater forgiveness.

Forgiving - a myth?

Golfers have been arguing since time immemorial about whether the buzzword "forgiving", which is also used in connection with other types of clubs, belongs to the realm of esotericism or not. Here everyone may decide for himself what he wants to believe.

However, we have not yet come to the end of the possible variations of a putter. Two points are still missing: the thickness of the putter grip and the length of the shaft. While grips used to be slim and thin, the trend today is for them to fit in the hand not like a small hammer handle, but like the wood of a 5 kilo hammer. Here you have to try out what suits you more.

The final variant can be divided into "almost always" and "almost never", at least as far as amateurs and hobby players are concerned. It is about the shaft length. In the vast majority of cases, putters have a shaft about the length of a short iron or wedge. They allow a good pendulum movement of the arms.

But there are also the so-called "belly putters", which - the name says it - reach almost to the belly and whose grip is placed on one of the forearms during the putt and thus acts like an extension, which should bring more control.

Finally, his mentioned the broomstick putters, also called model "Bernhard Langer" because he plays this putter successfully. The shaft is so long that it is held with the stabilizing hand at chest level like a hammer. The other hand grips much further down and provides the swing. This takes some getting used to, but Langer seems to do well with it.

Previous article in the series: The putter - a question of feeling

Next article in the series: The wedges - bringing the good course score to the green

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