For the beginning golfer, there will be no more significant influence on their score than what happens on the green. Reducing the number of putts per round is a surefire way to improving their handicap. The average golfer takes around 35 putts per round, but a beginning golfer will have far more. Taking into consideration the fact that they play on the toughest courses in the world, professional golfers typically post a putt-per-round average around 30.
The best way to improve putting is by making sure you have the best putter you can afford. Here is a guide for finding the best putters for beginners and high handicappers.
How to Find the Best Putter for You
Finding the best putter for beginners starts with taking a proper assessment of skill level and height of the golfer. Putters are made in all shapes and sizes with shafts that have corresponding lengths to match taller golfers as well as adjusted heights for the small golfer in your family.
There are two ways to find the best putter for the beginner. The first is by merely practicing with as many models as you can get your hands on. The best place to do this is a local pro shop or a golf superstore that has a practice green. The alternative is going to a professional for a putter fitting. These professionals will determine the correct length and loft for your putting needs.
After the fitting or while trying out putters on your own, there are two essential choices that each beginner will need to make to determine the style of putter they would like to use on the course.
The first choice is the type of putter head that works best for you. There are two popular styles making up most of the putters you’ll find on the market today. The first is a mallet-style putter head that looks more blocky than the other choice, which is blade-style. Putters that are labeled as blade-style have a thin head with a slender club face. They are typically lighter in weight and golfers respond to their enhanced feel.
The next choice is the thickness of the putting grip. With new technology, putting grips have grown into a significant business for golf manufacturers with different widths and varieties of firmness. These grips allow for more control and additional feel when making the stroke through the ball.
Making these choices are not easy but essential for finding the best putter for the high-handicapper.
Reviews of the Best Putters for Beginners
Pinemeadow Golf Men’s PGX Putter
With a sleek white finish, the Pinemeadow PGX Putter is an entry level putter for the beginner looking to start their set with a high-performing, low-cost putter. With alignment lines on top of the club head, the beginner is in good hands when striking the putt with the PGX.
The Pinemeadow has added weight to the clubhead for stable and smooth balance that helps around the faster greens commonly seen in courses across the country. Included with the putter is a custom padded headcover that protects the face from nicks and scratches and keeps the contact area clean.
Ray Cook Golf Silver Ray 500 Limited Edition RED Putter
Similar in style to the heralded Taylor Made Spider line that Jason Day has used, the Ray Cook RED Putter is a mallet-style putter that performs admirably for any beginner looking for a professional style putter. With the large clubhead and alignment system, the Ray Cook putter is terrific for the high-handicapper looking to shave strokes from his green game.
With the additional weight in the club head, the RED putter has terrific balance and allows for maximum feel when the ball comes in contact with the club face. With a custom headcover, the Ray Cook putter will stay in pristine shape for the long haul.
Wilson Harmonized Square Heel/Toe Golf
With an emphasis on feel, Wilson has continued their popular Harmonized series with this square heel/toe putter. Redesigned with a vertical seam grip for softness when striking putts, the Wilson Harmonized is one of the best putters for beginners due to its sturdy construction.
Alignment on putts is a snap with guides along the top of the club head. The insert on the club face has multiple density areas for solid contact and effortless roll. In a variety of lengths, the Wilson Harmonized is an excellent addition to any high-handicapper’s bag due to its lightweight and reliable performance.
Orlimar Tangent T1 Putter
A great and forgiving putter for beginners is the Orlimar Tangent T1 putter. With a hosel that assures that the hands are ahead of the club face when hitting the ball, the T1 putter promotes firm contact. The soft TPU face insert provides added feel when impacting the golf ball.
The two-color contrast between the top of the putter face and the remainder of the club head creates a natural sight line when lining up those birdie putts. A head cover is included with the Orlimar T1 putter for safe travel to the course.
Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter
From the foremost putter maker in the USA, Callaway introduces the Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 putter. This blade putter with an offset hosel for proper hand position brings tremendous value and quality to the beginner looking for a high-performance putter.
With a single line on the top of the thin putter face, the Hot Pro 2.0 provides a simple alignment method with tremendous results. The insert on the face gives the golfer enhanced feel and promotes solid strike to the golf ball. With the standard Odyssey grip and head cover included, the Hot Pro 2.0 provides the beginner with everything they need to learn putting with an advanced tool.
TaylorMade Big Red Daytona Putter
Another high-quality blade putter from TaylorMade, the Big Red Daytona model is a lightweight alternative to the mallet with exceptional balance and a soft feel from anywhere on the green. The Daytona has a two-color contrast behind the clubface for distinct alignment, and smooth follow through.
The stainless steel head is weighted perfectly for aiding in the proper stroke for the beginner. The face insert promotes forward roll with minimal bounce. The oversized grip included with the club gives the golfer additional stability. The Daytona is a solid model that will lessen the learning curve for the high-handicapper.
Cleveland Huntington Beach Putter
Cleveland’s signature line of putters is inspired by the company’s headquarters in Huntington Beach, California. This Huntington Beach putter has a milled face for less friction and backspin after the ball is struck. The milled face promotes exceptional feel when making contact with the golf ball as well as a more consistent roll.
The slanted neck allows the golfer to easily see the ball and align with the mark on top of the face. The blade style of the Huntington Beach is lightweight giving the golfer confidence when creating the arc to hit the golf ball. In a variety of shaft lengths, this Cleveland model is one of the best putters for beginners of all sizes.
1. How to Grip a Putter?
There are several popular methods of gripping the putter. What a beginning golfer has to understand first is that gripping the putter is far different from gripping an iron or wood. The putter must be quiet when striking the ball. By that, we mean the hands stay calm through the putting stroke.
The most useful grip for the beginning golfer to learn is the traditional putting grip. One of the golfers who swears by the traditional grip is fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods. In describing how he grips the putter, Woods told Golf Digest, “My grip is conventional. The handle runs under the butt of my left hand, and the back of my right hand is parallel to my left. I position both thumbs directly down the top of the handle, and my left forefinger lies across the fingers of my right hand, to provide unity.”
2. How to Line Up a Putt With Your Putter?
Putters typically have a mark on the top of the club head that helps align the putter’s sweet spot to the golf ball. One of the easiest ways to keep your putt aligned on the selected path is marking the golf ball with a marker before your round. There are devices that hold the golf ball allowing the golfer to take a Sharpie-style marker and create a straight line on the surface for proper alignment.
After determining the break of a putt, the golfer can match the break line with the marker line on the golf ball. Now that you have the line on the golf ball, this allows the beginning golfer to easily align the center spot on the putter with the putting line needed for a successful putt.
3. How to Swing a Putter?
Swinging a putter comes from moving the shoulders around the neck. Beginning golfers want “quiet hands” throughout the stroke. Movement in the hands can create speed issues as the golfer snaps their hands through the putting zone. It is difficult to maintain proper speed on putts of differing elevation when the putting stroke is too handsy.
By using the shoulders to move the putter through the ball, the golfer can establish an understanding of the strength needed to maintain a putting line along the break as well as adjusting speeds based upon the type of greens played that round. When the golfer strikes the golf ball, the hands need to be slightly ahead of the ball to encourage forward roll and minimize bounce as the ball comes off the club face.
4. How to Arm Lock a Putter?
Arm locking a putter is the preferred approach for numerous professional golfers such as Matt Kuchar. The putter is connected to the front forearm of the golfer throughout the stroke. As the golfer is addressing the golf ball, they push forward with the putter so that the grip is resting against the inside of the forearm so that the putter is stable and does not move during the stroke.
Golfers who specialize in using the arm-lock putting approach need specialized putters. Since there is exaggerated forward press with the putter, the clubface needs to be higher lofted than a standard putter. Also, the golfer must be measured for the proper shaft length to maintain the locked nature of the stroke.
When addressing the ball, the grip lines against the front forearm to make a straight line. The arm is an extension of the putter. The trailing hand can either take a traditional grip or use something like the claw grip to hold the putter. The stroke is made with the shoulders, and the club is locked through contact. The style promotes a putt that rolls straight and true with more consistency than using a more conventional method of putting.
5. How to Keep Putter Face Square at Impact?
For beginners, the easiest way to keep the putter face square at impact is to draw the putter directly back and push straight through when contacting the golf ball. Most advanced players use an arc swing path that brings the putter inside before returning the head to square, but this will be difficult for the beginner.
One of the best drills for learning the straight back-straight through method is the Gate Drill. Taking two alignment sticks, the golfer creates a lane by placing the rods on either side of the hole. The path is slightly wider than the width of the putter blade and rests outside the edges of the cup.
Take the golf ball and place it several inches inside the entrance to the lane. Having the rods to keep the putter aligned during the takeaway is the primary reason for having the ball start in this location. The drill is using these boundaries to stroke hundreds of putts from a short distance to gain the muscle memory of taking the putter back and through on the same swing path.
6. How to Counterbalance a Putter?
Counterbalancing a putter on your own is merely about placing a weight in the butt end of the putter’s shaft. By setting it in the shaft of the putter, the golfer does not have to install a bulky weighted grip that is commonly too large for comfortable putting.
Another perk to updating a putter with a counterbalancing weight is that only the end of the grip needs to be affected. With a unique cutting tool, the end of the grip is opened up, and the weight is inserted into the shaft. Most golfers use an 80-100g weight for counterbalancing their putter.
Counterbalancing the shaft does not automatically mean that the club head must add weight. In most instances for the amateur golfer, adding weight to the club head works against the golfer and harms their putting stroke. Golfers with poor fine motor skills see marked improvement when counterbalancing their putter.
7. How to Read a Green?
Using the golf ball or ball marker as your guide, the best way to determine the break of a putt is to stand behind the location where the putt will be made. Beginning golfers can see the slope of the green in relation to the distance of their putt. By reading the slope, golfers can see how far to the left or right the putt must go to find its’ way back to the cup.
Another factor that golfers must understand before they make their putt is the speed of the greens. If the putt is uphill, then it will be slower, and the golfer will need to make a stronger effort on their stroke. The opposite is true if the putt is downhill as the quickness of the putt could create issues when deciding on the size of the break.
8. How to Measure Putter Length?
First, the golfer must place the putter in its normal position with the bottom of the club head flush against the ground and the grip in its typical position for being held with the golfer’s hands. Next, take a minimum 48-inch measuring stick and place it along the shaft line with the bottom of the stick touching the ground where it meets with the section of the clubface closest to the feet.
Use the beginning of the measurement stick at this junction on the ground so that as the inches begin to escalate you get the proper reading of the length as it reaches the end of the putting grip. The measurement at this end of the grip is the length of the putter.
9. How to Replace Putter Grip?
Replacing a putter grip is not a hard task to complete on your own. The easiest way to replace the grip is to take it to a golf superstore and see if they have a service for easy grip replacement. But if you want to learn how to replace the grip on your own, you’ll need a new grip, tabletop clamp, mineral spirits such as paint thinner, masking tape, grip tape and a box cutter to slice the old grip.
First, you’ll secure the putter in the clamp. Make the putter vertical in the clamp so that the grip is sticking above the clamp. Take the masking tape and place it at the bottom of the old grip, making a mark where the center of the club is for centering the new grip. After removing the old grip with the box cutter, you’ll take the mineral spirits and remove the old tape and residue from the shaft. Wipe the shaft dry and make sure there is no moisture present where the new grip is about to be installed.
Wrap the shaft in fresh grip tape where the new grip will soon be placed. Stop wrapping the tape a fraction of an inch from the masking tape. Position the new grip in place making sure the center of the grip is aligned with your masking tape. Slide the new grip on without twisting the grip too severely. The grip tape will set in roughly 15-20 seconds so you must be quick. Align the center of the grip with the mark on the masking tape and wipe the grip clean. Let the club rest for a few hours before putting it into play.
10. How to Extend a Putter Shaft?
Extending a putter shaft is something to consider for taller golfers who feel that they are uncomfortable in their stance due to a shorter, more standard shaft. Grip manufacturers make plastic or metal extenders that fit into the top of the putter shaft, and once the new grip is placed over the extension, the golfer has a taller putter.
Placing the extender into the shaft is a simple process. After taking the putter and placing it into a clamp, marking the center of the shaft with masking tape and a marker, removing the grip and cleaning the shaft of all residue and debris, now is time to place the extender into the top of the shaft.
Once it is secure, wrap the shaft with grip tape and place the grip onto the extender and shaft. Center the grip using the masking tape. After cleaning the area left by the masking tape, you should leave the club alone for a handful of hours before using it at the putting green.