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Perfect golf will always be elusive; it is part of the challenge of sport in general. I am not alone in wanting all the help that I can get to improve my game, and when it comes to putters, one of the main features that helps golfers is forgiveness. What is the most forgiving putter on the market?
In this buying guide, we will have an in-depth discussion on what you should look for in a forgiving putter as well as several products recommendations.
If you have just begun to play golf, there are a number of issues you have to master. You may think that the short game is the easiest of them, especially if you are finding that you cannot hit the ball consistently off the tee with any regularity.
Did you have fun on putting greens as a kid? Certainly, I did, but as part of your overall golf game, putting’s importance is often underestimated.
Putting requires many skills to effectively master. On the surface, it may look easy. But when it comes to wanting to perfect your golf game, you owe it to yourself to learn these skills and ensure regular practice so that you can master them.
And the first step, to achieving this, is to get yourself a good putter. But how can you tell which putter is the best? Beginners will likely struggle with this, but the first step is knowing what different kinds of putters are out there.
There is no one single design for a putter. I have practiced with a mallet, counter-balanced, and blade putters in my effort to find the putter that suits my game.
You will most likely find that you will also need to experiment quite a bit to find the right design for you. Everyone is different, and it will probably take time for you to find that perfect putter for you and your game.
Weight is also a critical factor and adding weight to a specific putter changes the feel and potential performance.
The best way to determine which putter weight is right for you, is to test multiple different weights. This is one situation in which you really do need to physically try it out before learning which is best for your game.
When you watch top professionals, you will see a range of styles, and just as many different grips.
You need to avoid becoming seduced by fancy professional putter designs, however. Do not choose a putter simply because a certain celebrity golfer uses it. The key to finding that perfect putter is to find one that is right for you and your game.
Clearly, what you are watching works for the individual so it would be wrong to say that there is just one or two perfect ways to putt.
Commentators talk about the best putters on the professional tours but to the untrained eye, their putting technique tend to look little different from all the rest of the field.
The elements of feel, alignment and good hand-eye co-ordination all come into putting but it is also essential to have a putter that feels comfortable to use.
Comfort is everything in sport and golf is no different. You need equipment that feels right to you. If the feel of your putter is off, it will worsen your short game and make it far harder for you to master the necessary skills of putting.
Blade putters were once the only alternative for golfers. These days, I tend to see them used by experienced golfers who are confident with their short game.
The weight is in the toe so that it points downwards. I have an open-square-closed stroke, so these putter suits me fine.
As the name suggests, the shaft meets the putter head in the middle.
The design provides stability and it helps golfers retain their posture and alignment as they make their stroke.
Designers have sought ways to help golfers putt the ball on the ‘’sweet spot’’ and one of the ways they have done that is by increasing the size of the putter face, with aids to alignment incorporated in the manufacture.
Those who are looking for weight as part of trying to achieve feel in their putter may find this design is a good buy.
Think croquet. Your putting stroke will never replicate that used in croquet where you are astride the ball, but the putter head looks like a croquet mallet. It is hollow with a large sweet spot with weighting in both the toe and the head.
It helps to counteract any twisting and certainly helps a starter in their quest for success on the putting green. Therefore, the mallet putter makes a good case to be the best game improvement putter.
These are properties which vary from design to design:
After deciding which of the alternatives bests suits your stroke, you have just to decide on the weight you want to give you the best feel.
Again, the key here is to try these putters out before making a commitment to buy. With these varying styles which all come in different weights, you do really need to make the time to experiment and see how they feel.
Hold it in your hand, practice your stance and try putting a few balls. You will know right away if a putter does not feel right for you. But it can often take a few putts to find that one that is your ideal putter.
When referring to “forgiveness”, the idea is that the design tries to minimise the effects of a poor stroke or connection. In terms of a putter, the easiest way to imagine that is that there is a larger ‘’sweet spot’’ on the face that helps to propel the golf ball in the intended direction.
Beginners or golfers that struggle to master the intricacies of the short game should seek a putter with a high level of forgiveness. Not everyone is a great putter. But this can be offset if you can obtain a very forgiving putter to help you along.
There is little chance of holing important putts on a regular basis unless the putter face and the golf ball are properly aligned to the intended path to the hole.
Some putters have a similar line as part of their design so that at the point of address, the putt line follows that same route. It is then a matter of striking the golf ball correctly with the face square to the ball.
The better your putter’s alignment, the more accurate your putts will be.
Golfers come in all shapes and sizes. Think about the diminutive Masters’ winner, Ian Woosnam and those almost a foot taller such as Ernie Els and Nick Faldo.
The angles that each creates are different, one of the reasons why personalised fitting services have become so popular.
When thinking about putting, it is likely that the lie angle, that’s created by the toe of the putter to the portion touching the surface of the green, will have stature as a factor.
Putter shafts in common use vary in length as one result of that.
This is another example in which physically testing a putter will help you. You may be able to estimate the shaft length you need based on your height, but until you actually hold the club in your hand and try putting with it, you will only be working from guesses. It is always best to know for sure and take the time to try your putter out first.
When it comes to a putter, it is possible to measure the built-in resistance of a putter in resisting the issue of connecting with the golf ball other than in ‘’the sweet spot.’’
Manufacturers include MOI in the features they use to market their products. They want to persuade us that their putters have the required resistance to twisting which can be critical in achieving a good strike consistently.
For the beginner striving for improvement, a high MOI can be an important feature in a putter.
But importantly, not all beginning golfers are faced with this problem. You will learn fairly quickly if twisting is a problem for you and if so, choosing a high MOI putter will help you to offset the issue.
When it comes to deciding on your forgiving putter, here are five putters that I think are certainly worthy to make our list of the most forgiving putters because of the reputation their manufacturers have established.
A slight variant from that used by tour professionals, the standard Spider putter for amateurs incorporates an alignment line to help with judging the ball’s path.
It is face balanced, ideal for putters whose stroke is straight back and through. Perimeter weighting helps compensate for a poor contact.
The aluminium insert ensures a crisp sound on contact which can give you added confidence when you putt the golf ball. In addition, the 45-degree grooves assist in creating the top spin required to get the ball rolling forward in search of its target and reducing the chance of the ball skidding.
The modern mallet design head weighs 360 gr with a loft is just 2.5 degrees and this design is renowned for its great feel and balance.
Wilson offers a toe heavy putter that should suit high handicappers and experienced golfers alike.
Horizontal lines on the putter head assist with the setup and alignment while the polymer insert adds to the feel as you strike the golf ball. That insert also adds to the forgiveness aspect of the putter.
It comes with an oversize grip to make the putter feel very comfortable in your hands.
The Wilson Harmonizer has a 7-degree loft, 17-inch grip and 400gr. head weight. Features also include a gooseneck hosel which is offset so your hands are always in front of the ball until the strike.
Micro-hinge technology improves the roll and creation of topspin in this Odyssey Putter. Manufactured in stainless steel with a no-taper golf grip to help control, the linear design helps with alignment and achieving good putt impact.
The grip is adjustable with weights available separately to adjust the putter. This design acts as an optimal counterpoint to the Odyssey White Hot blade range
The Odyssey Red O-Works range comes in a variety of designs, blade and mallet, with shaft lengths between 33 and 38 inches.
The Daytona has been revised since its first introduction. Now it’s back, and better than before. Essentially, TaylorMade increased its head size to help create a more stable contact. The raised alignment line in red and white improves alignment and hence accuracy.
The head size is distinctive and results in a heavier feel than many other similar putters.
Increased forgiveness may outweigh the difficulty in handling the Big Red Daytona for some golfers. This TaylorMade putter comes as standard with 36 and 38 inch shaft, making it good for tall golfers.
A range with 4 styles and shaft length between 33 and 35 inches, the Hot Pro 2.0 has an insert for more control and sound on impact.
I found that this putter’s finish making it resistant to glare on sunny days is very helpful. It has a proven head shape and the offset shaft assists with a consistent upward strike to achieve the optimum roll. The mallet putter design also has excellent MOI.
Still unsure on what club to buy from our list of most forgiving putters? It’s easy to get information overload but circling back to our main point; the TaylorMade Golf Spider putter is on balance the editor’s choice for most forgiving putters.
It’s modern mallet design makes alignment straight forward. Any negatives are relatively minor, and overall it’s a putter sure to boost your golf performance.
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