- Having the right putter in your bag can help dramatically improve your overall golf game and improve your putting accuracy.
- The best putters provide a high level of feedback that allow you to feel out and correct any mistakes in your form and technique.
- Our top pick, the Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3, offers a customizable weight and feel, is forgiving on mis-hits, and has a milled face that delivers true ball roll.
Golf can be a highly frustrating sport as nearly every aspect of the game affords a wide range of potential outcomes, both good and terrible. A poor drive off the tee can make your golf ball disappear, while any number of slices and draws on the fairway may lead to hazards like sand, water, or knee-high grass.
Then there's the green. This small patch of well-manicured grass is the last hurdle you need to clear to move onto the next hole — so long as you're able to reliably putt. Though plenty of this comes down to skill, some of it concerns the type of putter you choose to keep in your bag. What seems simple enough in design can actually have a dramatic impact on your game.
To help take the guesswork out of which putter fits your game best, we've compiled the following guide of the best currently available. Our picks feature noticeable brands like Titleist but also smaller companies like Odyssey and Pinemeadow. At the end of this guide, we've also included some tips on how to shop for a putter, as well as some insight into the different putter types and what features to keep in mind.
Here are the best putters:
Best putter overall
The Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3 putter delivers a classic look golfers love and also offers the latest materials and technologies.
Pros: Forgiving on mis-hits, removable weights in the heel and toe for customizing the putter's feel, milled face of the putter gives you a true ball roll, new left-handed version will be available
Cons: Takes practice to dial in the desired distance consistently, top of putter may reflect sun's glare, very expensive
The Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3 putter delivers the latest materials and technology you'd expect in a high-end putter, yet it all fits into a sharp-looking design that resembles classic putters.
At the bottom of the putter, you'll find two round weights that you can swap out to give the putter a different feel. These weights, which range from 10 grams to 20 grams apiece, allow you to control the heel/toe weight of the putter. This putter provides a great toe flow in the stroke because the shaft is connected to the putter's heel with a 3/4-inch offset.
The head of the Select Newport 3 consists of stainless steel, while the putter face is made from milled aluminum. The face's material helps to give you a higher level of feedback in the putting stroke than most metal faces.$399.99 from Dick's Sporting Goods
Best mallet-style putter
If you struggle to properly align your putts, the Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball putter gives you a visual clue with circles that look like golf balls printed on the mallet head.
Pros: Favorable design, marked improvement over past versions, red color gives you a clear contrast with the two white circles, the design is extremely forgiving of mis-hits
Cons: Expensive putter, some people find the red color and the two white circles on top of the blade distracting
Golfers aren't shy about providing opinions on putter designs. But when it comes to the 2-ball design of the Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball putter, those opinions increase quite a bit.
Some people don't like the look of the 2-ball putter design, which features two white circles about the size of golf balls directly in the center of the putter face. Other people like the way the two white circles help them visualize the path the putter should follow, moving those white circles through the white golf ball during the putting stroke.
Those who like the design and find it easier to use swear by it. The latest version of the Odyssey 2-ball putter is a high-level performer that will be a popular choice among those who like a mallet-style putter.
One of the biggest improvements in this new version of the Odyssey O-Works is the micro hinge face insert, which consists of stainless steel and delivers a high level of topspin on your putting strokes, even when you have a mis-hit. The insert also should deliver a bit more distance than you may have received in the past.$169.99 from Dick's Sporting Goods
Best budget putter
The Pinemeadow Golf PGX putter gives you a heavy mallet-style style putter for a great price.
Pros: Great price point for a mallet style putter, extra weight gives the PGX a high-quality feel, white color of the putter head contrasts nicely with the alignment lines, no concerns with sun glare on putter head
Cons: Longevity of this putter is questionable, doesn't contain high-end materials found in more expensive putters that help with feel and vibration reduction
For some people, gaining confidence in a putter requires spending $100 or more. Oddly enough, you could hand them an inexpensive putter and it's as if their confidence disappears.
But if you are more worried about what a putter does versus what it costs, the Pinemeadow Golf PGX putter features a heavy mallet-style putter that should give you confidence. It delivers some of the same looks and putting feel that you'd find with a putter that costs two or three times more.
Certainly, the PGX doesn't have some of the high-end materials in the faceplate and in the insert behind the putter face that you'll find in the high-quality putters elsewhere on our list. But for beginners still learning how to develop a feel for putting, this one is a nice introductory putter.
You can get the PGX in both left- and right-handed versions, as well as in both men's and women's versions.$38.92 from Amazon
How to shop for a putter
Shape and weight balance play a key role in the design of modern putters and some putter designs aim to compensate for oddities in your putting stroke.
Different shapes of putters can also help people gain more confidence in their stroke. On the other hand, some may find certain shapes distracting to the eye. It's important to try to match the type of putter you're using to your natural putting stroke path and to your personal preference on putter head shape.
Here are the different putter styles to keep in mind while shopping:
Blade: This style of putter has been around for more than a century. It has a rectangular-ish shape. The shaft extends from the heel of the putter, while the toe of the putter can have some an upward angle or curve to it. Its design works well for a golfer with a straight putting swing path.
Heel/Toe: A heel/toe style putter, which has extra weight at either end of the rectangular putter, is an evolution of the blade-style putter. The weight distribution should help you to keep the putter online better. With a heel/toe putter, you may have the ability to remove or add weight to the putter as well. This allows a golfer to adjust the weight of the heel/toe putter to match multiple types of swing paths.
Mallet: The mallet putter uses a deep shape in the back of the putter. This design creates a lower center of gravity which reduces spin when you have an off-center ball strike. Many different shapes of mallet putters are available, including those with a rounded back or a squarish look.
Key features to keep in mind
Although all putters have a flat area that makes contact with the ball when putting, they use different materials to generate feel when putting. When putting on especially fast greens, for example, you may want a softer material in the putter face.
However, the best advice is to take some time to figure out which type of material gives you the best feel when putting, as each golfer can have different needs.
Metal Face: The face of the putter may consist of almost any type of metal, including steel, bronze, aluminum, or titanium. A metal face will deliver a solid feel of contract. Some metal faces include a milled (or rough or grooved) surface, designed to help eliminate skidding and deliver the proper topspin on the ball.
Insert Face: An insert face consists of softer materials than metal. Through the insert, manufacturers can redistribute the weight across the face of the putter to help you keep the swing path on-center. An insert face should give you a softer feel in the ball-strike than you'll have with a metal face.
Combination Face: Some putters have an insert inside the putter, providing the benefits of that softer material, while also including a metal face that covers the softer insert. Some golfers prefer the feel of this type of putter.
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