A lot of guides lump high handicappers and beginners into the same group for putting but I know there's a big difference.
As a high handicapper, you've played more golf than new players and have significantly more experience on the greens. I trust that you know a bit more about your preferences so I made this guide especially for you.
I know in my heart of hearts that with the right putter that gets you aligned easily, has the right balance and gives great feedback to your hands, you will make more putts and be more confident on the greens.
You'll drop that old junky putter you've got like first period math. Your handicap will plummet as well, let's not forget that.
You know, people have always told me a new club won't make miracles. But what I've personally found, and you might be the same, is once I lose confidence with a club, I just can't play with it anymore. And it can happen poof just like that. One bad round after using a club for two years and it's like my putter and I are divorced. Sometimes the driver too!
And you know what? I replace those clubs immediately and boom, I can play again (for another year or two). Perhaps I'm strange but I'm sure you, as a sportsman, at some point have experienced something similar.
So to help you have more fun and get confident on the greens, I've found you some putters and combining them with a bit of practice on the greens, you can easily shave off 3 or 4 shots a round by avoiding the three-putt but also by making more short putts!
Also check out my guide on step by step putting to jam more putts in the back of the jar.
Truth be told, whichever you prefer! This is a KEY CONCEPT: You must LOVE looking down at all your clubs, especially the putter. That is 80% of the battle won. Tiger Woods works on looks alone, and then only tests the clubs he likes the look of first.
There is no right or wrong answer here. The best putters for high handicappers and any golfer are whatever you want them to be. Once you get a feeling and positive vibe about a putter, you will generally play nicely with it. I like smaller rounded mallet putters and I love classic blade putters with very little offset.
Go with your gut.
I've included multiple shapes in the products below. I genuinely believe they are the most beneficial to a high handicap golfer I play golf with multiple high handicappers and all these putters are ones that my friends game.
Are you spending the majority of your time on the range? Are you reading all the golf magazine instruction sections looking for that thing to take you closer to mid handicap heaven? I know I did, but nothing got me quick wins like learning to putt.
While I believe a great driver you can hit straight and consistently is the biggest asset you can have, the quickest win after that 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 on most holes. Three putting can happen up to 5 or 6 times a round and when it does it destroys your score. Imagine if you could just two putt every green you hit and make all those 5 foot putts you leave yourself after chipping!
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 3 feet of the hole every time. When they are, move onto step 2...
Take the 5 to 10 balls and scatter them in a 3 foot circle around a 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.
Next time, move the circle to 4 feet and 5 feet eventually. You'll become a machine! Scroll to the bottom of this page for the best putting tutorial ever made. Yes, I made it and it shows you how to teach yourself how to putt.
The two-ball putter has been around for 20 years. Nothing has changed with the design of the alignment and that's because it works. They tried the three-ball but that was overkill.
Odyssey are always making more durable, more responsive inserts into the face of the putter. The insert produces less bouncing and skipping after the contact on the greens. It lasts an eternity whereas their previous inserts used to wear out after a lot of use.
The contrast between the black and white two balls is what makes this putter so easy to align. Pick your line, aline the putter to it and go. But they went one step further and have now printed red and blue tracks to make it even easier. This is not just a gimmick. People have been drawing these lines on themselves. BIG MISTAKE!
Taking into account the angle of the back of the putter, and the center line on the back vs the front, everyone screws it up when they draw it themselves. Callaway and Odyssey did it for us now, so you can trust that it's actually straight.
My brother in law is a 22 handicapper and after i gave him one of the older models of this putter, he instantly threw his old blade away. He loved that blade by the way. But this one is just so easy to align and get a decent roll, especially on slower greens.
I find the rear of the putter doesn't feel like it sits flat on the ground which is what has stopped me buying one of these putters. It's purely a feel thing, but remember, go with what YOUR eye likes.
This is Cleveland's best range of putters so far. 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.
Milled steel faces mean the ball comes off steel of the Cleveland with a totally different feel to an insert putter. Inserts make for a very soft feel as if 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 all about your preference in terms of "feel".
This is preference you should work out for yourself by hitting a few with inserts and a few with steel or metal faces from your friends' bags or in the shop. 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.
The gooseneck shaft on this putter and long extended back and square shape makes it a close contender against the Odyssey Stroke Lab putters, looks-wise. But it also performs well with a solid weight and face that allow for pure strikes and even rolls of the ball.
In fact, it was in my top 3 putters when purchasing a new one recently. I went with a Cleveland myself, but Wilson was a close runner-up. I was as surprised as you may be.
For this price, there is not much wrong with this putter. The alignment aids on the back contrast white against black. This contrast is what makes alignment easier in any golf club. The look and feel of this putter is not budget at all.
The black finish is very high end and the steel milled face performs as well as many mid-range putters out there for $200 more expensive. You can be sure with this putter, you will not be disappointed.
My best golfing buddy, Didi uses this putter and I've seen countless high handicappers dropping their scores into the mid handicap range using the White Hot Pro 2.0 Rossie.
It's a mallet but it's very compact with alignment aids on the back - three lines on the top line and 2 lines on the back, giving two different alignmnt aids for added accuracy.
But the most attractive part of this putter is the insert. They make newer ones which don't wear out as much but these older ones are the ones the professionals go to the Tour van for. They actually take their modern putter from Odyssey and tell them to replace the new insert with these old white inserts.
Of course, the pro's practice all day so the insert wears out in the sweet spot for them. They have to replace them alot. But that tells you about the quality of the insert and for such a low price, this is top bang for buck. There are a few head shapes in this model and is a great introduction to high-end manufacturer putters.
The Spider has become one of the most successful putters on tour and most popular at the local club too. It's easy to align, very stable on the stroke and helps get the ball started with a gentle stroke instead of a slap like with a blade style putter.
If you tend to push the ball to the right, this is a great putter. This putter also has an insert with some lines recessed into it for a more even roll that is consistent and stops the ball back spinning and skidding. It's an incredibly stale putter and will produce the same roll time and time again if your stroke complies with you.
You can always go for the latest update to this model with the mini, but if you're looking for a great, classic, guaranteed to function putter, this is a no brainer instead of dishing out double the dosh for similar results.
I first encountered this putter playing with a high handicapper subscriber from my Youtube channel. I gave him some short game assistance after the round, and got to try his Ping 2 Sigma Platinum Fetch. I know PING make amazing putters, but this one was far and away the best one I have tried in recent years.
It does have a face insert that has a texture on the surface similar to a milled steel putter. The feel off this insert is less marshmallow, more soft steel feel.
The head does not feel as heavy as most of the mallet putters out there and the big hole in the middle acts as an alignment aid. But what sets it apart from other putters with round/ball shaped alignment aids, is that the other models all have steel where the round alignment aid is.
Because the PING has just a hole, it allows the weight to be distributed elsewhere and it makes for a freer, easier swing of the putter, with less of a "Thor's Hammer" blow on the ball. A lot of weighty mallet putters can be hard to control for distance on faster greens but the PING Fetch acts with the feel of a blade.
The sound is far softer and the feel is much improved over other mallet models in this category. Bonus feature: The hole in the middle is perfect for placing over the ball and picking up like a boss.
This video was as comprehensive as I could get to show everyone how to TEACH THEMSELVES to putt better. There is no magic formula, but there are some things you can experiment with yourself to get the feeling of what a good putt feels like.
You can use the drills in the video to learn feel, roll and holding the ball on a line. I promise, it's worth your time.
Odyssey continues to dominate in the putter realm and without any hesitation, you can't go wrong with the Rossie 2.0 if you're on a budget and if you want to splurge, there are tons of brands out there like Odyssey, Scotty Cameron and EVNROLL.
The abovementioned putters are the ones that got me excited because they present top quality putting without destroying your bank account. You will find you can use these putters for a very very long time, but if you want to, you can upgrade into the future.