Where does the science of putting end and the art begin? Probably on the face of the blade. The purest, most machine-like stroke in the world won’t do you much good if the putter doesn’t feel right to you.

Enhance Your Feel with an Insert Putter 1

Yes, inserts for putter heads can indeed enhance the feel of your putts. Putter head inserts are designed to provide a softer feel at impact, improve feedback, and influence the overall performance of your putter. Here are some additional details on how inserts can enhance your putting feel:

  1. Softened impact: Many putter head inserts are made from materials like elastomer or urethane, which are softer than the metal face of the putter. When the ball contacts the insert, it compresses slightly, resulting in a softer and more muted feel compared to a solid metal face. This can give you a better sense of the ball striking the putter and provide a more comfortable, responsive sensation.
  2. Dampened vibrations: Inserts can help reduce unwanted vibrations that may occur during impact. The softer material absorbs some of the energy generated at contact, minimizing the harshness or jarring sensations that can be felt in the hands. This damping effect can contribute to a smoother, more controlled stroke.
  3. Improved feedback: Putter head inserts can enhance the feedback you receive on your stroke. The softer feel and dampening of vibrations allow you to better perceive the quality of your strike. You can more easily discern whether you hit the sweet spot or made slight mishits, aiding in your ability to make adjustments and fine-tune your putting technique.
  4. Sound modification: In addition to feel, inserts can also influence the sound produced at impact. Some inserts are designed to create a distinct sound that golfers find satisfying or confidence-inspiring. The sound can help reinforce a solid strike and provide auditory feedback on the quality of your putt.

It's important to note that the specific feel and performance characteristics of putter head inserts can vary based on the design, material, and construction of the insert. The best way to determine which insert suits your preferences is to test different putters with various inserts or consult with a club fitting professional who can guide you in finding the right option for your game.

Ultimately, while inserts can enhance feel and feedback, they are just one component of effective putting. Technique, alignment, practice, and overall confidence are also vital factors in becoming a proficient putter.

That’s the basic idea behind putter inserts, flat pieces of plastic, metal, urethane or other materials built into the striking surface to enhance sound and feel. (Yes, inserts are legal under the Rules of Golf.) Some inserts are soft, others firm, but all are made to deliver a specific type of feedback. Inserts are typically a different color from the rest of the blade, which helps frame the ball and improve the golfer’s focus.

Many equipment companies make putters with a variety of insert styles. Thomas Golf, for one, offers models with aluminum, urethane and polymer inserts.

The obvious question golfers often ask is, What kind of insert is best? The answer is just as obvious: There’s no “best” or “worst” – an insert’s performance is largely a matter of personal preference.

For example, a golfer who likes a soft impact sensation may prefer a softer insert made of lightweight plastic. One who wants a firmer feel might choose a putter with a steel insert. Some inserts even feature tiny markings or grooves, like those on your irons, purported to soften feel even further.

While the best way to choose an insert putter that best suits your game is to try out different types, here are a few general rules:

  • If you struggle to get putts to the hole from middle and long distances, the ball may come off the face of a firm insert slightly “hotter” and roll farther.
  • If you often hit the ball well past the hole, a softer insert could take a little pace off your roll.
  • On greens that are exceptionally fast (with a Stimpmeter reading of 10 or higher), a soft insert may help control the speed.
  • On slow greens (Stimpmeter reading of less than 8), a firm insert can give your putts some extra “oomph.”


One other consideration is the ball you play. If you typically use a firm, two-piece “distance” ball (like the Top-Flite XL Distance), a soft insert may improve your feel on the greens. On the other hand, let’s say you play a very soft “tour” model or low-compression ball (such as the Titleist ProV1 or Wilson Staff DUO); you may find the firmer sound and feel of a metal insert to your liking.

Some golfers own two or more putters, each with a different feel, and choose the one that best matches course conditions or even their mood that particular day. Remember, putting is an art – make sure you’ve got the right brush for the job.

Q: What are insert putters, and how do they differ from traditional putters? A: Insert putters feature a face insert made of a different material than the rest of the putter head. This insert can be made of materials like urethane, aluminum, or polymer, and it is designed to enhance feel and improve the ball's roll at impact. Traditional putters typically have a solid metal face without any insert.

Q: How do insert putters enhance feel for golfers? A: The insert in the putter face is softer and more forgiving than the metal face of traditional putters. This softer feel allows golfers to sense the impact and connection with the ball better, providing them with a more precise and consistent feel during their stroke.

Q: What are the benefits of using insert putters for golfers of different skill levels? A: Insert putters can benefit golfers of all skill levels. For beginners and high-handicap players, the softer feel can help in making solid contact and gaining confidence on the greens. For more skilled players, the improved feel can aid in distance control and touch during their putting stroke.

Q: Do insert putters have any impact on the roll of the golf ball? A: Yes, insert putters can impact the roll of the golf ball positively. The softer insert can reduce skidding and create a smoother roll off the putter face, leading to improved distance control and truer roll.

Q: How can golfers determine if an insert putter is suitable for their putting stroke? A: Golfers can determine if an insert putter is suitable for their putting stroke by testing various models on the practice green. Trying different inserts, shapes, and weights can help golfers find the one that aligns best with their stroke and provides the desired feel.

Q: Are insert putters more forgiving on mishits compared to traditional putters? A: Yes, insert putters are generally more forgiving on mishits compared to traditional putters. The softer insert helps minimize the loss of distance and accuracy on off-center strikes, providing a more consistent performance across the face.

Q: Can golfers customize the insert in their putter to suit their preferences? A: Many putter manufacturers offer various insert options to customize the feel and performance of their putters. Golfers can choose different materials and hardness levels to find the one that best matches their preferences and putting style.

Q: How do insert putters affect the sound at impact? A: Insert putters often produce a softer and more muted sound at impact compared to traditional putters. Some golfers prefer this quieter sound, as it can feel more comfortable and less distracting during the stroke.

Q: What are some popular brands that offer insert putters? A: Several popular golf brands offer insert putters, including Odyssey, TaylorMade, Ping, Scotty Cameron, and Titleist. Each brand provides a variety of models and insert options to cater to golfers' preferences.

Q: Can insert putters help golfers with inconsistent putting strokes? A: Yes, insert putters can help golfers with inconsistent putting strokes by providing more feedback and feel during the stroke. The softer insert can help them identify and correct inconsistencies in their contact with the ball.

Q: How can golfers determine the best insert putter for their game? A: Golfers can determine the best insert putter for their game by trying out different models and inserts to see which one offers the most comfortable and consistent feel during their putting stroke. Seeking professional club fitting advice can also be beneficial in finding the ideal putter for their game.