No individual club gets used more in a round of golf. That fact is recognized by many golfers, but not all. Some will pay little attention to the shortest club in their bag, simply filling the slot in the bag with whatever seems to look and feel good.
Increasingly though, golfers are putting greater effort into choosing the “weapon” they will go to battle with on the greens. Making putts is the quickest way to score better and as a result, the market for a quality putter has grown immensely.
Golf coaches are spending more time on putting instruction, launch monitor technology is including more putting related data, and manufacturers have expanded their offerings immensely. You can see that when you browse the shelves at your local pro shop or golf stores. Where once a company may have only provided a couple options, if you look through the catalog of companies like PING or Odyssey, for example, you’ll find dozens.
So how do we go about choosing a putter? This is meant to be a scientific guide to that, in this feature we are simply highlighting some of the models you can buy this year, so consider speaking with your local professional about a selection. Look and feel are important but for optimal results you’ll also need to have factors like length, lie, and lift dialed in, along with hosel design, other alignment features, and weight, and even grip style and size.
Yes, it sounds like a lot of effort but reminded how this narrative started – pointing out how the putter is THE most important club in the bag. Take your time, get it right and you’ll likely to find the putting “magic” that you’ve been looking for.
That, and maybe take a lesson or two. That always helps.
Enjoy this putter showcase.
Bettinardi Studio Stock 28 CTR
They may be a little harder to find at retail but it’s worth the effort if you can get access to them. The latest milled 303 stainless steel putters from Bettinardi golf feature a new milling process and unique formulation of their steel. They don’t feature an insert, instead offering up the next variation of “Roll Control Face” that helps deliver more consistent distance across a larger portion of the face. A new finish process called ‘Diamond Blast’ gives a non-intrusive look at address while being anti-glare.
Cleveland Golf FrontLine
Launch conditions matter just as much with putts as they do for regular golf shots. That’s part of the premise around these models which push mass forward in the head using heavy tungsten weights to create a putter that twists less at impact, according to the company. More than 47 grams of weight is represented by the tungsten. Multiple head designs are offered, all with a glare-free finish.
Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft
These still may be the best value for putters in the market today. The SOFT models are the advancement of the first Huntington Beach models offered about four years. What you will in these ones is a variety of shape options to suit tastes with strong alignment features to enhance play by any golfer. There are custom options to give the look a unique touch, but everyone gets the advantage of milled face feel and consistency. If you are working in a budget, or even if you are not, they are worth a look.
Cobra KING 3D Printed Agera
Working in partnership with HP and their Metal-Jet technology, this is the first full line of putters using 3D printing at a commercial level. The process was used to create a nylon weight cartridge and structure that displaces mass and re-distributes to benefit overall moment of inertia. They claim the nylon material is half the weight of aluminum. The nylon also acts as a dampening agent to temper sound and tune feel. Surrounding the cartridge is a steel chassis, a forged aluminum crown, tungsten weights, and a SIK Face Insert that sees the static face loft vary up and down on the face to optimize dynamic loft, creating more consistent roll conditions off the 6061 aluminum insert. The oversize Agera mallet has a whopping MOI over 7,600, making it one of the most stable putters in the business.
Cobra KING Vintage Series
3D Printing technology is not for everyone, but have no fear, COBRA has options when it comes for putters. For 2021 that comes in the form of four shapes and seven models that comprises the Vintage Series. In them you can find all the advantages of the SIK Golf face insert technology in a steel chassis and our testing over the last few weeks has left us impressed with what they offer. The family includes four unique shapes: a blade (Sport-45 & Sport-60), mallet (Torino), fang (Nova & Nova-40) and an oversize mallet (Stingray & Stingray-40) with model names that are inspired by classic sports cars.
There is a nice blend of traditional and modern shapes with custom weighting technology and fitting options.
Evnroll V-Series – ER11V Mallet
The offerings from Evnroll keep coming. While many players are not familiar with the brand, those who know trust the built-in groove technology and quality of these products. One of their latest models is a full body mallet, the ER11V which sports increased off set to accommodate the mid-lock style of putting that tend to lean the shaft more forward. It has extraordinarily little toe hand and with lengths of 39-41”, the head weight comes in at a comfortable 380 grams. It has a black anodized finish on the 6061-aluminum head.
Mizuno M.Craft VI
By adding three models for 2021, and bringing the M.CRAFT collection to six options, Mizuno is making them a serious staple in the putter market. Quality build and looks; just need time for serious golfers to discover them and their qualities. With a heavier than normal (for the market) 371-gram head, this putter is designed to encourage a smoother, more rhythmic stroke. That can be adjusted even more through an optional weight kit.
Odyssey Triple Track Seven
A popular head shape was a supplemental addition to the original Triple Track putter line-up and was a welcome one. This double-bend shaft, face-balanced mallet, has a less “full” head shape, making it pleasing to those who prefer a blade but want the extra benefits of a mallet. The Triple Track alignment system helps players square the head up to their start line more easily and matches up nicely to the Callaway Triple Track golf balls. The MicroHinge Star insert is a little firmer than the regular one.
Odyssey White Hot OG
The White OG model received a little more attention recently when Jon Rahm used one to help him win the 2021 U.S. Open. It’s been two decades now since the urethane White Hot insert helped Odyssey make their name in the golf putter segment and these new putters pay homage to the originals. All eight head shapes – #1, #1WS, #5, Rossie, Rossie S, Seven, Seven S and 2-Ball have a silver PVD finish that helps accentuate their fine milling. They are available in a stepless steel shaft or the multi-material Stroke Lab shaft in candy apple red.
PING G Le2 Echo
Fitting continues to be a big issue for golfers, especially female golfers who often must deal with putters that are way too long for optimal performance. This is somewhat solved in the PING G Le2 Echo which has an adjustable shaft that allow for self-adjustment between lengths of 31” and 35”. The 360-gram mallet has a dual-durometer Pebax face insert that has both a firm and soft layer to provide varied performance benefits. Also has a softer PP59 midsize grip.
PING 2021 Anser
Easily one of the most recognized, copied, and most used putters of all time, the PING Anser gets another look this year as part of the 2021 collection. It’s available in standard Anser, Anser 2, and Anser 4 models, each with their own look or variation in hosel. Unlike the originals, the new editions use multi material to enhance their playability and blend in a soft, dual durometer insert for enhanced feel.
The Spitfire is part of the Battle Ready Putters line-up from this Arizona-based manufacturer. This milled model uses aerospace-grade aluminium and high-density tungsten body construction to boost the MOI. This model is a variation of a blade design with wings that have multiple materials. It features a Pyramid Face Pattern that help the golfer better control the ball speed, launch, spin, and roll. It is built to custom specifications for each golfer.
Scotty Cameron Phantom X11
For lovers of mallets, this model, and the family of putters, must be a consideration for their high quality of engineering, ability to retain value, more compact size, and customization options. It is a slightly more compact mallet, appealing to a range of golfers who want the performance of a mallet but are not in tune with some of the more elaborate designs. It has a single sight line for simplicity.
Scotty Special Select Newport
The classic when it comes to putters, the shape has become the base style for many Scotty Cameron lovers through the years. This variation blends in multiple materials – 303 stainless steel with tungsten sole weighting with no insert. It has a narrower topline that some previous models with a plumbing neck to aid alignment. It has soft overall lines that make it extra pleasing to the eye.
SeeMore ONEss Nashville
A quite simple centre-shafted design with limited off-set, the Nashville Studio Series has a fully milled 303 stainless steel head. The black diamond finish is proprietary and promises durability. Like other SeeMore putters, it sports RST (RifleScope Technology) that is patented and allows a player to easily align the clubface.
TaylorMade Spider EX
While it is larger than the Spider X, the EX has a more streamlined look. A new variation of the True Roll insert has a complex multi-material construction. That insert is just part of the feel story, as is a new fluted shaft that enhances flex near the clubhead. The head is constructed with an aluminum frame with a carbon composite centre and had a 28-gram steel weights at the head and toe with heavy tungsten weights at the rear.
TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast Del Monte
A new finish created though the use of a high-pressure stream of water gives this putter a very premium look on a 303 stainless steel body. Strong enough to endure precise million, the 303 provides a soft feel at impact. The Del Monte model is a blade but offers up advantages you might find in a mallet due to the deeper shape with the shorter bade length, it comes in two models, one with an L-Neck and the other a Single Bend hosel. With 29° of toe hang, the L-Neck best fits players who create moderate face rotation throughout the swing. The Single Bend hosel delivers a more face balanced outcome (only 8° of toe hang) that better aligns with golfers who have a straight back and straight through putting motion.
Toulon Design Seattle Putter
A deep milling pattern and smoky finish distinguish this putter from others on the market. It also has a 360-gram head weight to enhance feel and is very customizable for a long list of lengths. Added to the Toulon family in 2020, although it is a mallet, the use of a crank neck hosel gives it about 29 degrees of toe hang to promote more face rotation and arc. It is finish with a multi-material Stroke Lab shaft.
Tour Edge Exotics Wingman
A mallet, but a modern one with plenty going on in the design. It uses multiple materials to boost the moment of inertia to high levels. The company says the weighted wings are key to keep the path consistent throughout the stroke. Players can customize the overall weight and feel though an optional kit that includes two 8-gram and two 15-gram weights. The standard head weight is 355 grams but can be boosted to 379 grams. It can be placed to different stroke arcs.
Wilson Infinite Buckingham
No, they are not named for the small town that is now part of Gatineau, Quebec, but you can pretend, if you like. Wilson Golf expanded their Infinite series of Wilson Staff putters with the men’s and women’s Buckingham models. For those curious, it is named for a neighbourhood near the company’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Like the other Infinite models, the Buckingham putters have a dark, matte finish to reduce glare and make the sightlines more visible. These mallets are designed to resist twisting at impact more and incorporate a double-milled face for increased feel and more exacting specifications. They also have counter-balanced weighting to help the golfer better control their release for a smoother overall stroke. The Buckingham models come in right- and left-hand models in 34″ and 35″ lengths.
XXIO 11 Mallet
These made a little hard to find, but as part of the Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO family, their appearance is becoming more prevalent on North American shelves. This mallet with a head fully milled from 303 stainless steel is buttery soft at collision with the ball and blends in tungsten nickel weights. A crisp leading edge makes for better alignment, enhanced by two lines in the cavity and a double dot on the topline. Available in left- or right-hand in 34” and 35” lengths.