Do Putters Make a Difference? (Expensive vs Cheap)

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So, we know that premium drivers will help us hit the ball further and straighter.

We also know that top-of-the-range irons and wedges will help us hit approach shots with more precision and better spin control.

But, do putters make a difference to our golf game?

When you’re struggling on the greens, it can be tempting to upgrade the putter in exchange for some good fortune. But is it worth splashing out on an expensive putter, or is putting all skill and mind games?

In this article, you’ll learn whether expensive putters can improve your putting, and how they compare to cheaper models. Stick with us till the end of the article, where we’ll be sharing our favorite putters for amateurs right now, for every budget.

Do Putters Make a Difference?

Putters can certainly make a difference to your golf game. It’s important that a putter is visually appealing, giving you confidence over the ball. Also, some putters provide better feel than others, due to both material and design. Furthermore, different putter shapes are designed to fit various natural putting strokes.

Do Expensive Putters Make a Difference?

Almost half the strokes you take on the golf course occur on the greens.

Your putter is arguably the most important club in your bag!

Putting is mainly about feel and confidence. A good putter achieves both of these by excelling in two departments: aesthetics and build quality.

Expensive putters, backed by significant R&D, often hit both these criteria:

  • Aesthetics – Typically look better than cheap putters
  • Build quality – Reliable and consistent feel off the face

While cheap putters can sometimes look reasonably good, they often fall short on build quality and have an inconsistent response off the face. For example, a $10 putter is going to be made of poor materials as the manufacturer has to take shortcuts to hit that price point.

By contrast, more expensive putters are likely to be made of good materials and manufactured with more precision. This gives the golfer confidence that the putter will provide a consistent roll, every single time.

Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference. On a tighter budget, it might be worth considering a middle ground. Putters in the $100 region – while not manufactured to the highest degree of accuracy – can certainly roll the ball consistently well.

However, there’s more to the putter than its cost. Read on to learn about how the putter head design, shaft, and grip all factor into performance on the greens.

Do Expensive Putters Make a Difference?

Why Do Putters Have Different Shapes?

There are two primary types of putter head shapes: blades and mallets.

Blades are traditional-looking heads, with a long and slim appearance. Mallets are larger heads, often as wide from face to back as they are from heel to toe, with a variety of designs.

Blade Putters

A blade putter is a traditional head shape and is the favorite of golf ‘purists’ as they are known to offer the best feel on the greens, but can sometimes lack forgiveness.

Blade putters are toe-weighted, with a sweet spot positioned towards the heel. This is because the shaft connects to the head at the heel.

How to Putt With a Blade Putter
  • Use an arc-type putting stroke
  • Manually guide the putter head through the ball
  • Aim to hit the center of the putter face

Heavy toe-weighting makes blade putters more typically suited for golfers with an arc in their putting stroke.

An example of a blade putter

Mallet Putters

Mallet putters are a relatively modern invention in the golf industry. The head is larger and can come in several shapes and sizes.

Since there is a lot more weight behind the face of a mallet putter, the head is naturally stable and balanced throughout the putting stroke. Also, there is a larger sweet spot that offers more forgiveness for players who struggle to find the center of the putter face.

How to Putt With a Mallet Putter
  • Use a straight back, straight-through putting stroke
  • Let the club and gravity do the work
  • Make use of the design visuals on the putter

Mallet putters are typically suited for golfers who are looking for a bit more forgiveness, with a straight-back and straight-through putting stroke.

An example of a mallet putter

How to Find Your Putting Stroke

Essentially, there are two main putting strokes: arc and straight.

Understanding how to match your stroke with the right putter makes a big difference. This, when combined with a consistent green-reading method, will help you make more putts.

If you have an arc putting stroke, a toe-hang blade putter is ideal. If you prefer a straight-back and straight-through stroke, you’re better off with a face-balanced mallet putter.

The video below gives a concise summary of both arc and straight putting strokes:

Do Putter Shafts Make a Difference?

There are two main things to consider when choosing a putter shaft: length and weight.

Putter Shaft Length

The length of the putter shaft is a key factor in having a comfortable putting stroke.

The length of the putter impacts your eye position at address. If your eyes are too forward or behind the golf ball, there’s a good chance that you’ll misread the target line. This can cause over-adjustments, inconsistencies, and fewer putts made.

How to Measure Putter Length

There are three easy steps to find your ideal putter length at home:

  • Step 1 – Get into a proper putting stance
  • Step 2 – Let your arms hang naturally below your shoulders
  • Step 3 – Measure from the ground to the wrist of your top hand

The measurement found in step 3 is your optimal putter length.

Putter Length Guidelines

While you should use the advice above to find the perfect putter length for you, the following list takes height as a useful reference:

  • 32 inch – 5′ to 5’2″
  • 33 inch – 5’3″ to 5’8″
  • 34 inch – 5’9″ to 5’11”
  • 35 inch – 6′ and up

These guidelines are based on the average spine tilt of 40 degrees in the putting position. Golfers who prefer to tilt more should choose a shorter putter, while those who stand more upright or experience back pain may want a longer putter.

It’s important to determine which putter length is best suited to you. Having to hunch over or stand too upright can negatively impact the consistency of your putting stroke.

Do Putter Shafts Make a Difference?

Putter Shaft Weight

The weight of the putter shaft can have a large impact on feel as you stroke the ball.

Heavier putters provide more stability through the putting stroke, preventing the putter face from twisting at impact.

Recently, heavier putters weighing up to 400 grams have become increasingly common. These are being seen on tour, where even pros look for help with their putting stroke.

However, light putters can offer more feel for putts over longer distances, allowing you to better gauge the speed of the putt.

Tiger Woods uses a light putter – not a bad player to model your putting game after!

Ultimately, heavy and light putter shafts each have their own benefits and drawbacks. I recommend you test out a few different putters to see which weight suits you best.

Do Putter Grips Make a Difference?

Another component that separates different putters is the rubber grip. Putters will usually have either a standard grip or an oversized grip.

Standard Putter Grips

Traditionally, putters have standard grips where the grip is slightly thicker than the shaft. This grip style has been used since golf’s inception and remains the most popular grip style today.

Standard grips provide the following advantages:

  • Gives you a better feel of the ball at impact
  • Adds no extra weight to the putter
  • Feels similar to regular golf club grips

Oversized Putter Grips

However, oversized grips have become increasingly common in recent years, developed by brands like SuperStroke. These are used by a number of tour pros, including Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, and Sungjae Im.

Oversized grips offer several benefits:

  • Keeps your arms relaxed and your hands soft
  • Prevents the putter head from twisting at impact
  • Promotes a straight-back, straight-through stroke

Standard vs Oversized Putter Grips

In theory, oversized putter grips should offer more control and consistency, and be a better choice for high handicappers.

However, to determine which grip suits you best, I recommend testing out both on the practice green. Once again, it’s up to personal preference.

A comfortable putter grip will help to stabilize the putter throughout the stroke, reducing the number of pulled or pushed putts.

If you’d like to keep your current putter but try out a different grip, you can remove the old putter grip yourself without cutting it in case you want to switch back at any point.

Do Putter Grips Make a Difference?

Best Putters For Amateur Golfers

As mentioned several times in this article, different putters will suit different golfers. We highly recommend testing as many putters as possible before settling on one.

However, these are a few of our favorite putters right now:

TaylorMade Spider Tour Putter – Best Overall

Having manufactured golf clubs for over 40 years – and sponsoring many tour pros in the process – TaylorMade has grown to become one of the industry’s largest brands.

The TaylorMade Spider Tour Putter is one of the most forgiving putters on the market, offering excellent balance and stability through the stroke. This makes it a great pick for any golf amateur, whose budget will stretch to it.

Reasons to Buy
  • Very well-balanced and stable
  • Excellent forgiveness
  • Useful ball alignment guide
  • Available in right and left-handed versions
Reasons to Avoid
  • Lie angle can take some getting used to

Rating: ★★★★★

>> You can order your TaylorMade Spider Tour Putter here

Wilson Harmonized M1 Putter – Best Value

Although not regarded as a premium brand in golf, Wilson has been manufacturing golf clubs and equipment since 1914.

The Wilson Harmonized M1 Putter is our best pick for golfers shopping on a budget. The simple design provides a solid and fairly consistent roll, with a useful alignment guide for assistance. Despite lacking some forgiveness at times, it remains an excellent choice for beginner golfers at this price tag.

Reasons to Buy
  • Classic, retro styling
  • Perfect for golfers with an arc putting stroke
  • Very well priced
Reasons to Avoid
  • Lacks a bit of forgiveness

Rating: ★★★★

>> You can order your Wilson Harmonized M1 Putter here

Scotty Cameron Special Select Putter – Best Premium

Titleist’s premium line of Scotty Cameron putters is the definition of top-of-the-range. First manufactured in the early 1990s, the iconic blade putter has been used by numerous pros and amateurs worldwide.

The Scotty Cameron Special Select Putter is the latest iteration of the solid stainless steel putter, featuring a milled face pattern precision milled in the USA. Tungsten sole weights provide balance through the stroke for a larger sweet spot and greater stability.

Reasons to Buy
  • Prestigious putter used by many pros, including Tiger Woods
  • Sleek and timeless design
  • Customizable sole weights for the perfect feel
  • Available in a variety of putter head styles
Reasons to Avoid
  • Not suitable for golfers on a tight budget!

Rating: ★★★★★

>> You can order your Scotty Cameron Special Select Putter here


In conclusion, putters can absolutely make a difference in a golfer’s game. There are three main points when considering this:

  • Aesthetics – gives confidence over the ball
  • Build quality – provides consistent feel off the face
  • Putter style – different putters suit different natural strokes

If you’re looking to upgrade your putter, take these points into account. A putter doesn’t have to be expensive for it to perform well on the greens, it just has to look good, feel good, and suit your natural putting stroke.

Once you’ve found what works for you, practice your putting as frequently as possible to improve your chances of sinking putts out on the course!

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Hailing from the South West of England, Jake has been playing golf for over a decade. He founded Pitchmarks with the aim of helping everyday golfers like himself learn more about the game, through instructional content and honest gear reviews. He has a degree in Architecture and a passion for golf course design, along with a lofty goal to play the world's top 100 courses.