Operation: No more three-putts!
Yes putting is hard work and it's not too much fun to get good at. But if you want to shave a handful of strokes off your score within weeks, eliminating three-putts is the simplest and easiest way.
Practicing only an hour a week can easily knock 4 or 5 strokes off your score within a month. I know it can, because I did it.
Dave Pelz (the short game guru) tells us that amateurs take 8 more strokes than a pro per round on the greens as well as about 4 three-putts per round. Let that sink in. Four unnecessary shots you can eliminate right now with a bit of practice and of course, a decent putter.
It's easy to see how important putting is to lowering your score and handicap - just check out my bro-in-law's round of 98 here. He uses an Odyssey 2ball putter I bought him. By just two-putting every green, you can knock off a minimum 4 shots!
Driving ranges are everywhere, but using practice greens requires less energy and you get practice that translates directly to results on the course. Ranges also don't take into account trees, water hazards, rough and fairways whereas practice greens look and feel exactly like the golf course greens. So here's a tutorial for you to use with your new putter.
In this guide, I present you the best putters for beginners and I hope it helps you get results for less money.
Best Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach Putters
The Huntington Beach range is just simply stellar for the price. I own 3 of them in the same range ad have become addicted to buying them - they're just THAT attractive when i pick them up. Pick one that suits your eye because whatever suits your eye is already 80% the club you're gonna select.
What putter should you avoid totally?
Please avoid this club if you're looking for a decent putter to improve your game.
This is a great putter for mini-golf, offices and beating up home invaders. It's not however a suitable putter for beginners on the golf course.
There are numerous sites advocating for it but I don't care what the reviews say and I don't care if it's a top seller. This club won't help you improve your golf one iota. I won't allow any future beginner golfing buddies to be taken advantage of.
It's basically a lump of metal that's been stuck onto a stick and marketed as a "two-way putter". AVOID
How to be a better putter with almost no practice
While I believe a great driver you can hit straight and consistently is the biggest asset you can have, the quickest win thereafter will be from being able to two-putt every single green.
Think about it. Let's say you hit the driver well and get around or on the green in 2 or 3 shots. Then if you three-putt 4 or 5 times on the green per round as well as once or twice from around the green BUT then you learn to two-putt from wherever, you're going to save between 5 and 6 shots a round!
Two hours per week is all it takes
Take your putter and 5 - 10 balls. Putt from one hole on the green to another hole on the green 20 to 30 feet away. Putt them until every single one is within 2 feet every time. When you can do that every putt, move onto step 2...
Take the 5 to 10 balls and scatter them in a circle around a hole, 3 feet from the hole. Putt from 3 feet until you can hole all of the balls. Then do it again at another hole until you can make all the 3 footers. Once you can do that, go home. Do not leave until you sink every ball without missing around five different holes.
The Best Putters for Beginners
- Odyssey Hot Pro 2.0 putters (best putter dollar for dollar)
- Cleveland Huntington Beach putters (best budget friendly modern putter for beginners)
- Odyssey Two Ball Triple Track putter (best top end putter for alignment)
- Wilson Infinite Putters (Sleeper pick)
- Ping Sigma 2 Anser (best quality blade putter)
Choose the one that suits your eye
Without a doubt, the Odyssey White Hot putter insert is simply the best on the market. Odyssey is #1 on Tour and #1 in golf. There are pretenders to the crown but the true king of putter face inserts is Jon Snow...I mean Odyssey.
Whether you like the blade, the mallet or the oversized heads, each model in this range gives you the same White Hot insert and trusted Odyssey putting technology. And with that you get consistent lag distance control, soft feeling club face and superb alignment on the rear of the club.
The consistency of the strike with Odyssey putters is only matched by other large brands that cost you three or four times the price. I've used every Odyssey iteration since this line and can safely say for this price, I'd use this putter if I were a new golfer.
What about the latest models?
The models featured here are a couple years older than the brand new O-Works putters that have been released by Odyssey. The O-Works do cost a lot of money though. And the most ironic part? The professionals take their modern Odyssey sponsored putters into the Tour van, to INSERT THE WHITE HOT INSERTS that are in these putters I am featuring here! They prefer these to the modern ones!
But with the price and performance in mind, the White Hot Pro 2.0 range are simply the best putters for beginners all the way through to low handicappers.
Myriad styles with top quality milled steel faces
Cleveland have made a superb set of putters in this range. I personally own THREE, yes 3 putters from this range. They are all unique yet have common features. They're all very high quality, well weighted and have milled steel faces.
In contrast to the Odyssey putters above with the insert, the ball comes off the steel face of the Cleveland with. totally different feel. Inserts make for a very soft feel like you're hitting something with a marshmallow or pool noodle. Okay it's not that extreme but it gets the point across, because when you hit it with a steel putter, you notice a much firmer 'hit'.
This is preference you should work out for yourself by hitting a few with inserts and a few with steel or metal faces. I prefer the milled face on the Clevelands because it feels like I have more consistent roll on the ball. The insert can sometimes disguise poor strikes.
The Huntington putters come in a wide range of head shapes. You get mallets, fang-style, blade and there are also center shafted models. My top tip for picking a putter is to go with what you like the look of. That's 80% of the battle won and it's very easy to find one model in the Huntington Beach range to suit your eye, I am sure.
Easiest to align
With putting, we often find the most difficult part is starting the ball on the right line. Now, it's not that difficult to do, but what is difficult is to know when we adjust the putter face just before we hit the ball.
With an extended back, the two-ball, triple track alignment system is perfect to keep everything going where you want it. This is a great putter for those who struggle with aligning their eyes, the putter face and their mind to their target.
This was a surprise club because you don't expect much when it comes to Wilson for putters. Their drivers and irons of late have been great but with the price on the putter being so much lower than everyone else, I expected less than nothing.
But then I putted with it and when I bought a new putter, it was in the top three options. By top three, I don't mean they only had three putters in the store. I preferred this over Taylormades, Scotty Camerons, Pings, Odysseys. The weighting is very nice and the stroke on the ball is as good as an Odyssey or Cleveland putter.
I cannot fault this putter at all for this price.
PING is and has been the most famous name in putters. Their blade putters have always been sensational in feel and consistency. If you're a blade putter fan, literally anything in the PING range will suit you.
Keep in mind though that this style of putter is best suited to players who have a slight arc in their stroke. It's quite difficult to stroke these blades straight back and through, which is easier to do with mallet style putters, especially center shafted ones.
They have expanded into all sorts of shapes and sizes and they are all in fact exception. The balance, the craftsmanship and the feel of the PING blade is much like Mizuno in irons. Nothing feels like a Mizuno they say. That's similar to a PING blade putter.
A PING putter is not merely something to plug the hole. If you invest in one of these for your game, you won't replace. A putter is a very personal thing and once you find the one that suits you, hold onto it. Once people try PING putters, they very very rarely move onto another brand. Choose wisely.
What length of putters are available?
Standard length putters
Most standard length putters are 33" to 36" in length and those lengths fit most golfers in good putting posture.
What length is right for me?
The PGA suggest "What you want to do is get into a correct address position. When you tilt from your hips, you want your eyes over the ball, hands under your shoulders, elbows bent but touching your rib cage, and hips over your heels. The putter needs to fit this set-up. If you grip a "standard" length putter and find you're gripping down the shaft, you will need a shorter putter. If you grip beyond the end of the putter, you will need a longer putter. Now with the correct length putter in your hands, the shaft would be in line with your forearms. I have found that most golfers play with too long of a putter."
Broom and belly putters
Up until recently you could use a putter that was much longer than standard length and anchor it on your body for more stability. The two designs were broom handle and belly putters and while they're still permitted, you're not allowed to let them touch anything other than your arms and hands. I don't recommend these putters for beginners.
The broom handle was normally anchored to your chest with one hand and swung with the other hand and the belly putter was stuck into your abdomen with both hands on the grip swinging the putter like normal.
Under rule 14-b enforced in 2016, all anchoring of putters to your body was banned. Pros who relied on this method of putting lost their advantage while celebrating the New Year as midnight struck on 1 January 2016.
What design of putters are available?
The traditional Anser design
This is the most traditional putter. A classic. Ping are the most famous for this putter with their Ping Anser model first introduced in 1966 by Karsten Solheim. All manufacturers now produce at least one model in this style.
The general concept is a very square club head with an offset similar to beginner irons that ensure your hands are ahead of the ball throughout the stroke.
Generally these have always been considered the best putters for beginners. But nowadays people have become aware of the advantages of mallets and are embracing them whole-heartedly with lots of success.
The mallet putter is a relatively modern creation that makes it easier to align your putts. The extended piece behind the club face helps to line your putt up with your eyes over the ball thanks to long lines and contrasting colors used by the manufacturers.
Mallets are also well-known for producing decent distances on mishit putts due to the additional weight behind more of the club face. A traditional Answer style putter lacks that property.
Mallets are fantastic for getting the ball rolling because of the additional weight. Combined with an offset shaft to keep your hands ahead of the ball, this is a lethal combination for beginners.
The NASA Space Craft
There are some weird and wonderful putters out there.
Some guys like to have a show stopper on the practice greens to make heads turn. And in fact some the majority of the putters are actually very good and are used by the Tour players. It does remind me of Formula 1 car racing though.
Yeah, Mercedes has a fancy carbon fiber car that goes 400 mph but they're not selling them - it's all hype. They're focused more on the businessman who wants a C class. That's kind of like these putters we see the pros using that look like they're from outer space.