Mallet putters have surged in popularity in recent months and for a good reason. With the news that Tiger Woods has traded in his beloved Scotty Cameron blade for a TaylorMade mallet, these unique putters have gained a newfound spotlight. Woods recently said the new mallet allowed him to keep the ball on his putting line and improved his putt speed. For long-time adopters of the best mallet putters on the market, Woods’ reasoning strikes a chord of truth.
According to Golf Digest, physicists with sport science backgrounds have determined that the mallet does improve forgiveness, stability, and alignment over a blade putter. As a result, top players, such as Woods, have adopted the mallet in droves, with over half of the top 50 golfers in the world using the large-headed putter.
Mallet Putter VS Blade Putter
As more golfers gravitate to the mallet, many have wondered what is the difference between a blade-style putter and a mallet putter?
Looking at the two models side by side brings apparent similarities. The face is the same on each putter, slim in height and usually accompanied with an insert. The hosel is located to the inside left of the club head on most right-handed models, although some mallets do have center-located hosels.
But similarities aside, there are far more differences when comparing the two putters.
The best mallet putters are known for their bigger club heads. And although the club face is like the blade, the mallet carries a variety of shapes and elaborate designs. This uniqueness is where the mallet putter excels in look and, ultimately, performance.
With the larger club head, the mallet has more weight to use when striking the golf ball. Golf manufacturers have found ways to move that weight around the head for improved balance and stability. And these superior features are the reason most professional golfers give when explaining why they have made the switch to a mallet putter.
Due to the perimeter weighting, mallet putters also feature greater sweet spots that enable purer strikes of the golf ball even on off-center hits. The balance provided by the mallet putter eliminates the excessive hand movement that can cause putts to bounce and skid off the club face. Purer contact equals purer rolls for the amateur.
Alignment also sees improvement with the mallet. Due to the large club head size, manufacturers have added a variety of cosmetic alterations to help the golfer maintain a correct line on the putt. For those golfers who suffer from weak eyes, the alignment tool on mallets provide a better foundation for striking centered putts.
One final bonus for using mallet putters comes when needing more control from off the green. Due to the weight and shape of the mallet, putts from shorter rough come out easier and with less skid than when using a blade through the grass.
In contrast, blade putters are lighter in weight and need more finesse from the grip to the type of stroke used when putting to be successful. That’s not to say that blade putters are a relic from a long-ago era of golf. Blade putters have excelled with advancements in recent technology.
That said, blade putters are typically toe weighted and demand that the golfer use an arching stroke to see positive results on a consistent basis. Advanced golfers prefer a blade putter due to their traditional look as well as their desire to use the arc stroke with their short game.
Best Mallet Putter Reviews
TaylorMade Spider Putter
Used by elite pro golfers such as Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, the TaylorMade Spider Putter has been improved making it one of the best mallet putters in 2018. With a lightweight, 360-gram head, the Spider is one of the best mallet putters for the golfer looking to improve their squaring the face at impact.
The Spider comes with four different hosel choices. The first is the Small Slant hosel, which is the preferred hosel by Johnson and Day. The small slant is made for an arching stroke and a finish that releases the putter.
The second hosel, known as Double Bend, that is offered with the Spider is ideal for golfers who want to carry a straight back and straight through putting stroke. The Double Bend hosel meets the club head to the inside, clearing an area for easy sight when striking the golf ball.
The third hosel is known as Plumbers Neck and is a fit for golfers that like an arching stroke. And the final choice available is the Center Shaft hosel for golfers who like the straight back-straight through stroke with a centered shaft alignment.
On all models of the Spider, a soft surlyn insert on the putter face contributes to consistent forward roll and exceptional distance control. Also, there are three sight lines on the top of the face to improve alignment and assure correct contact.
TaylorMade TP Ardmore 3
Played by Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, the Ardmore 3 is a high-quality mallet with a clean look and solid construction.
Featuring a Pure Roll® insert, the mallet putter combines 45-degree grooves with a soft compound to create a face that boosts topspin and enhances forward roll across a variety of grasses used on greens.
An enhanced alignment system takes away the anxiety of adequately lining up putts with a clear and distinguished line along the area behind the club face. The system assures that putts start and stay on-line.
Like the Spider, the Ardmore line comes in a variety of similar hosel combinations with the plumber neck version being the most popular for professionals and amateurs alike. In addition to the hosel combinations, two weights are located evenly on the sole of the club for added stability and feel.
The TP Ardmore 3 is available in three different lengths and comes with the stock SuperStroke large grip. Perfect for golfers that utilize a slight arc in their putting stroke, The TP Ardmore 3 is a gorgeous mallet putter.
Odyssey Red O-Works #7
Similar in look to the Ardmore, the Red O-Works #7 from Odyssey is a fanged mallet that features an improved face insert for enhanced forward roll.
All the bells and whistles associated with high-quality Odyssey putters are here in the Red O-Works #7. Microhinge Insert technology has two components that professionals adore. The first is hinges on the insert that flex upon impact. These hinges improve topspin and reduce skid. The second component is a Thermoplastic Elastomer Inner Layer that helps with feel through impact.
A new and improved Versa Alignment system helps amateurs and professionals set up and align with accuracy. With line-marked wings, the O-Works #7 has a large footprint behind the clubface for easy and correct positioning of the putter.
Odyssey also offers an S-neck option for the #7 for golfers who like a slight rotation with their putting stroke. For those players who like the straight back-straight through the stroke, there is a face-balanced option of the #7 available.
The Red O-Works #7 is one of the best mallet putters for any golfer looking to upgrade to a mallet that comes from a high-quality company.
Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball Fang Putter
The most popular mallet in Odyssey’s history is given a reboot with the O-Works Red 2-Ball Fang putter. With ten different lengths, Odyssey has taken the classic 2-Ball mallet to the next level with the red finish and enhanced club head.
Boasting the two-ball alignment system that has been improving golfers’ alignment for two decades, the Red 2-Ball Fang putter is evenly weighted for stability for a steady putting stroke every time.
Odyssey has answered one of the chief complaints about previous versions of the 2-Ball with the addition of fanged wings. When looking at the club head, the two fangs that surround the 2-Ball alignment system redistribute weight from behind the club face.
Detractors of the 2-Ball felt that too much weight was centered behind the middle of the club face. So, when golfers had off-center strikes, the power behind the golf ball was a fraction of the strength on pure hits. But with the balanced weighting, the 2-Ball Fang resists twisting and stays level when striking the golf ball.
For golfers looking for the classic look of the 2-Ball putter with the improvements provided by new technology, the Odyssey Red O-Works Red 2-Ball Fang putter is a solid choice.
Wilson Staff Harmonized M5 Mallet Putter
Constructed using a solid design, the affordable Wilson Staff Harmonized M5 Mallet is a reliable choice for the golfer looking to improve their putting game.
The first feature that amateur golfers love on the M5 is the easy alignment design on top of the club head. Horizontal lines support an accurate setup and provide dependable guidance for keeping putts on line.
The flared and curved area behind the clubface keeps the stroke level and anchored without excessing twisting. Weighted evenly, the M5 is a great option for golfers who prefer the straight back-straight through putting stroke.
The face insert on the M5 is made from a micro-injection polymer that improves contact with the golf ball. Feel has been upgraded with one of the best lower-price mallet putters because of the remodeled face.
If there is a complaint with the M5, it belongs with the grip. The stock grip has a vertical seam along the back to improve feel throughout the stroke, but many believe that it falls short. Adding a SuperStroke thick grip has boosted feel on longer putts.
Cleveland Huntington Beach #6 Golf Putter
Cleveland has been making terrific putters for quite some time, and the tradition continues with the Huntington Beach series. A highlight of their mallet offerings is the sleek #6 model.
What makes the Huntington Beach series standout is the precision milled face of each putter. On the #6, the rounded face supports a classic midsize mallet with a double bend shaft. The milled face gives the golfer a superb feel with each putt.
The back of the mallet is shaped as a half-moon with a single alignment line down the center. Weight is distributed to the toe and heel to balance the face. The design and performance make the Cleveland mallet a dependable addition to any bag.
The Huntington Beach #6 has a quick learning curve for the amateur making the transition from a blade. With the enhanced feel and improved control, the #6 is an ideal choice for the golfer looking to shave strokes from their average score.
Mallet Putter FAQ
What is a mallet putter?
A mallet putter is a club used on the green that has a large, block-like look to the club head. Blade putters have the name because they look like the blade of a knife. They are short, thin and lightweight.
Mallet putters, on the other hand, look like the mallets used in croquet, hence the name. They distinguish themselves from blade putters because of the location of the hosel. Most mallet putters have plumber neck styled hosels that can be anchored anywhere from the center of the putter to the inside of the club head.
Older models of mallets adopted a design that featured a rounded and fuller appearance. In contrast, newer models have taken on a futuristic look with popular designs featuring different takes on a flared wing design with weights in the sole of the club head.
Due to their size and the distribution of the weight along the club head, mallet putters have experienced tremendous growth with professional golfers.
How to use a mallet putter?
Using a mallet putter does take some getting used to, especially if the golfer has played with a blade putter for most their life.
The first obstacle to navigate is the sheer size of the mallet in relation to the blade putter. If the golfer prefers a straight back-straight through putting stroke, the mallet will deliver with a little learning curve. This is, in part, due to the even weighting of the club head of the mallet.
The second area of concern when switching to the mallet putter is the type of hand grip needed for consistent strokes. With the mallet being heavier than the blade putter, most golfers use a more stabilizing grip, such as the cross-handed or locking the putter along the inside of the outer forearm with an extended shaft.
Finally, the third area that golfers need to adjust to when using a mallet putter is how to align the club face with the golf ball. Most blade putters have a single notch to designate the center of the face. The problem with that is most studies show the true center of a club face on a blade putter to be more toward the heel due to the weight dispersion. On a mallet, because of the balanced weighting and elaborate marking system on the club head, the center is indeed the center of the club face.
How many pros use mallet putters?
At the end of the 2017 season, over half of the world’s Top 50 players had a mallet putter in their bag. Pros using mallet putters include Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, and Dustin Johnson.
The 2013 U.S. Open winner, Justin Rose, is currently playing with a flared TaylorMade Ardmore 3 mallet putter. Since switching his putter to a mallet, Rose is consistently ranked among the top birdie-per-round leaders each season. In addition to Rose, Woods is also using the Ardmore mallet to positive reviews.
Dustin Johnson, also sponsored by TaylorMade, has used several mallet models by the company. The 2016 U.S. Open winner, Johnson recently tested a TaylorMade Spider version that is 15% smaller than his typical regular sized Spider Tour model. In addition to being smaller, the Spider Mini has a single weight in the back center of the club to aid with stability.
Justin Thomas breaks from the TaylorMade monopoly with his use of the Scotty Cameron mallet, the Titleist Futura X5. Thomas went from using a blade to a mallet and won four times on the PGA Tour including the 2017 PGA Championship.
Thomas prefers swinging with an arc rather than the straight back-straight through. Cameron adjusted the X5 to Thomas’ specifications. With the new putter, Thomas believes that the mallet allows him to align, aim and feel the putter better at impact.