Don’t Forget the Flat Stick

    With all the talk about drivers and irons so far, it would be easy to forget your putter. That would be a mistake, of course. You need to have a putter that you can trust, so it would be wise to spend some time thinking about which model will find a home in your set.

    As you pick out a putter, you will be thinking only of the club head. The shaft is going to be steel (in almost every case), and you aren’t going to be swinging fast enough to need to worry about the flex of the shaft. To find a putter that is going to serve you well, you should be thinking only about the design of the head itself. So, what should you be looking for? Consider the following points –

  • Mallet or blade? There are two general categories of putter heads that you will be able to pick from – mallets and blades. Mallets have deep heads and are usually relatively low in profile. On the other hand, blades are very thin from front to back, and sometimes (but not always) stand a bit taller. There are an incredible number of different putter head designs on the market, so the best approach is to start testing and see what you can find. If you have used a particular type of putter to this point, and you are looking for a change, start your search with some putters that are quite different from your current model.
  • The feel of the face. This is the most important part of picking a putter. You need the ball to feel great coming off the face, as that feel is going to directly impact your ability to control speed on the greens. Some players like a face that feels ‘quick’ or ‘hot’, while others like a softer feel. There is no right or wrong here – try any putter that you are considering and only make a purchase when the feel of the face is just right.
  • Keep it in your budget. As you already know, putters can get expensive. Before you start shopping for a new putter, set a budget for yourself and then stick to it. Make a list of all of the putters you should like to consider that fall under your budget limit, and then evaluate those models one by one. You don’t have to go way beyond your budget in order to play good golf, so make a plan for how much you are willing to spend and go from there. After all, saving money when purchasing clubs may allow you to afford to play more golf down the line.
  • The shaft is the engine of every golf club, but don’t overlook the importance of club heads, either. You need both halves of this equation to come together in order to be left with a piece of golf equipment that can perform at a high level. Take some time to educate yourself on golf equipment, and always keep in mind that your gear needs to work properly for you first and foremost. It’s not about having the fancy brand names or the same clubs as your favorite player – it’s just about finding clubs that work. Good luck!