Some golfers keep the same putter in their bag for years, while other golfers aren’t as comfortable with their putter and enjoy experimenting with new equipment to improve their short game. Many golfers adding new putters to their arsenal have opted to try mallet putters, which have larger heads than traditional blade putters. Understanding the design and advantages of each type of putter will help you decide which one is right for your game.
A blade putter has a head that is relatively shallow when compared to a mallet putter with a flat back. Mallet putters have large club faces that are much deeper from front to back than blade putters. Some mallet putters have rounded backs, while others are more rectangular in shape. Some mallet putters are considered to be “two ball” putters because of two white circles at the top of the face that serve as alignment aids. Many other mallet putters have cut-outs, large lines or other tools that can help you with lining up putts.
A mallet putter is designed to have more mass at the back of the clubface and at the heel and toe. This gives the putter greater stability through impact. This essentially increases the “sweet spot” on the club by increasing the moment of inertia. This means that the reduction in ball speed when the ball is hit too close to the heel or toe of the club is minimized and distance control is increased. Many newer blade putters have adapted this technology by moving more weight to the back of the putter as well as adding weight to the heel and the toe.
Moving the weight to the back of the club helps mallet putters reduce skidding that occurs when the ball starts down the green with backspin. Mallet putters also have the center of gravity lower than most blade putters. This reduces the effect of an off-center shot putting unwanted sideways spin on the ball, giving it a smoother roll with less skidding.
Blade putters naturally fit a putting style where the club is pulled back and follows through on an arc. The weight distribution of the mallet putter means that it is more suited for golfers whose putting strokes are square, meaning they pull the club straight back and follow through in a line with the hole.
- The Complete Golfer’s Handbook; Gary Player
- Golf Digest: Mass Hysteria
- Golf Digest: Mallet vs. Blade Putters
- Golf Digest: Move to Mallets
- GolfTipsMag.com: 2012 Buyer’s Guide Putters
- GoflDigest.com: 2010 Hot List Tips - Mallet Putters
Richard Manfredi has more than a decade of professional writing experience, both in the media and at a corporate level. Since 2003, he has worked in the public relations industry, creating and executing campaigns for technology and entertainment companies. Manfredi is also a journalist who has worked for the "Orange County Register," as well as several online publications.