Types of Putters Explained — (Golf Instructor’s Advice)

Different Types of Putters from Tell Me More Golf Instructors

As the leader of the Golf Instructor Team here at Tell Me More Golf, I will be breaking down the different types of golf putters so that you can be confident that you’re making the right choice.

The golf putter holds a special place in the golfer’s bag. When you’re on the green, it’s the putter that determines whether you conquer the hole or add strokes to your scorecard. 

Putters come in many varieties from many different manufacturers, so understanding what type of putter is right for your golf game is crucial. 

Different Types Of Golf Putters

Blade Putters

Blade putters are the classic type of putter that most people will recognize. With their thin, rectangular clubhead design, they epitomize simplicity and elegance.

These putters have been around for decades and are favored by golfers who appreciate tradition.

The blade putter design offers minimal forgiveness compared to some other types of putters, but rewards golfers with consistency and precision. If you have a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke and appreciate the aesthetics of golf’s heritage, a blade putter might be your ideal choice.

Mallet Putters

Mallet putters are the modern approach to putter design.

They feature larger, more complex clubhead designs with varying shapes and alignment aids.

Mallet putters are known for their high levels of forgiveness, making them popular among golfers who want assistance with alignment and distance control, and especially among beginners.

The unique clubhead designs of mallet putters redistribute weight to the perimeter, increasing stability and reducing the impact of off-center hits. These putters are excellent for those who struggle with consistently striking the center of the clubface or prefer added confidence during putts.

Center-Shafted Putters

Center-shafted putters have a distinctive design where the shaft enters the putter head at the center. This unique configuration encourages a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke, making them ideal for golfers who prefer this style.

Center-shafted putters have a different balance and feel compared to more traditional putter styles, and are generally most suited to golfers looking for more clubface rotation.

Face-Balanced Putters

Face-Balanced putters are known for their clubhead balance, where the face remains square to the target throughout the stroke. This design promotes stability during the stroke. Golfers who keep a consistent straight-back, straight-through stroke gravitate toward these putters as they offer a consistent face angle.


Types Of Putter Heads

Anser-Style Heads

The Anser-style head design is arguably the most iconic and versatile putter head shape in golf.

It features a rounded back with a flatter, squared-off front, creating a balanced look.

Anser-style heads are favored by golfers of all skill levels for their versatility and timeless classic look.

Toe-Weighted Heads

Toe-weighted putter heads shift the balance of weight toward the toe, which promotes an arc putting stroke. The toe-weighted design helps the putter release smoothly through impact, making it easier for golfers to maintain consistent alignment and control.

Face-Balanced Heads

Face-balanced putter heads are designed to suit golfers with a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke.

The balance of these putters ensures that the face remains square to the target from start to finish. Golfers who prefer minimal face rotation and seek a stable path to the hole often gravitate toward face-balanced putters.

Milled Putter Heads

Milled putters are a premium choice for many golfers. The term “milled” refers to the process of precisely cutting or milling the putter head from a solid piece of metal. This meticulous manufacturing method allows for tight tolerances and exceptional consistency in putter design. Most famously, Scotty Cameron putters are milled.

Milled putters feature a soft, responsive feel that is favorable to many golfers.

Their precision manufacturing style makes them extremely consistent and precise, with a premium look and feel.

Insert Putter Heads

Insert putters are characterized by the presence of an insert in the face of the putter, usually made of a softer material like elastomer or thermoplastic urethane. The purpose of the insert is to alter the feel and performance of the putter. Odyssey White-Hot putters are a popular example of Insert putter design.

Insert putters are known for their responsive and softer feel. Inserts also provide the option for sound control upon impact, which can be a nice customizable feature.


Putter Styles

Putters come in several different styling options, which mostly comes down to which manufacturer you are buying from.

Traditional style putters capture the essence of the game’s history. They often feature classic finishes like chrome or brass and boast timeless designs.

Modern putter designs blend innovation and performance. They incorporate high-tech materials like stainless steel and feature contemporary designs with enhanced alignment aids. There are also custom options for putter design, which allow golfers to express their individuality. They offer personalization options like custom names, logos, and color schemes.

At the end of the day, choosing a putter design really comes down to personal preference. While it may not be scientifically proven, having a club with a design that you like in your hand improves your confidence level, which can certainly improve your putts.

Putter Design Rules

Putter design rules are established and enforced by golf’s governing bodies, primarily the United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A (formerly known as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews). The primary goal of these regulations is to maintain fairness and integrity in the game while preventing any technological advantages.

Length Rules/Limitations

The USGA and R&A stipulate that the maximum length for any golf club, including putter length, is 48 inches (121.92 cm).

This rule ensures that putters do not become excessively long, which could potentially provide an unfair advantage in terms of leverage during putting strokes.

Shaft Attachments

The USGA’s rules dictate that a putter’s shaft must attach to the clubhead at the heel of the club, and the R&A’s rules are very similar. This rule is in place to prevent unconventional shaft configurations that might offer an unfair advantage or drastically alter the dynamics of the putting stroke.

Clubhead Design

The USGA and R&A have regulations regarding the design of the clubhead, including dimensions, curvature, and face markings.

For example, they define limits on clubhead dimensions to prevent excessively large or unconventional shapes.

These design rules aim to maintain the integrity of the club’s performance and prevent any clubhead designs that might offer an unfair advantage. Having a much larger head, for example, could give an unfair advantage by providing a larger sweet spot.

Grip Specifications

The USGA and R&A regulate the size and shape of putter grips. For instance, they specify that putter grips must have a circular cross-section and must not be molded with irregularities. These grip specifications are in place to ensure that the grip does not provide an unfair advantage in terms of shape or size.


Putter Grips

Putter grips may not seem like a crucial detail, but choosing the right putter grip for you can be complicated.

Grips come in a variety of materials, styles, and sizes.

Grip Materials

  • Rubber
    Rubber grips are one of the most popular choices for putter grips. They provide a comfortable, tacky feel that many golfers prefer. Rubber grips come in various textures, from traditional to more modern patterns, catering to different preferences.
  • Polyurethane (PU)
    PU grips offer a softer feel compared to rubber. They provide a cushioned touch and can help reduce vibrations during the putting stroke. PU grips are often chosen for their enhanced comfort.
  • Thermoplastic Urethane (TPU)
    TPU grips combine the benefits of both rubber and PU grips. They offer a comfortable, soft feel while maintaining a tacky texture for improved grip.
  • Leather
    Leather grips are a traditional choice, known for their classic look and premium feel. They may require more maintenance than synthetic grips, as leather can wear over time and may need periodic cleaning and conditioning.
  • Corded Grips
    Corded grips feature a cord or fabric material woven into the grip’s surface. This design enhances traction and is particularly useful in wet conditions or for golfers with a tendency to sweat.

Grip Sizes

  • Standard
    Standard-sized grips are suitable for most golfers and offer a balanced feel. They typically have a circumference of around 0.58 inches.
  • Oversized
    Oversized or jumbo grips have a larger circumference, providing more surface area for the hands to grip. They can be beneficial for golfers who prefer a more relaxed grip or have larger hands.
  • Midsized
    Midsize grips fall between standard and oversized grips in terms of circumference. They offer a compromise between control and comfort.
  • Tapered
    Some putter grips are designed with a taper, meaning they are thicker at the top and gradually become thinner toward the bottom. Tapered grips can promote a smoother putting stroke.

Grip Styles

  • Pistol Grips
    Pistol grips have a tapered, ergonomic shape resembling the grip of a pistol. They often feature a flat front and are popular among golfers who use a traditional, conventional putting stroke.
  • Round Grips
    Round grips maintain a consistent circumference throughout their length. They are suitable for golfers who prefer a symmetrical feel in their hands.
  • Counterbalance Grips
    Counterbalance putter grips have extra weight in the grip end to promote stability during the putting stroke. They are often used with counterbalanced putters to help control the club’s swing weight.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of putters are there?

There are many types of putters, including blade putters, mallet putters, counterbalanced putters, and more. Each type has its own design and characteristics.

What style putter does Tiger Woods use?

Tiger Woods has used various putters throughout his career. He’s known for switching between different styles and brands to find the one that suits his game at any given time.

What does strong arc putter mean?

A strong arc putter refers to a putter design that is best suited for golfers with an arcing putting stroke. It typically has a toe-weighted balance and is well-suited for those who have a noticeable arc in their putting motion.

What is a number 4 putter?

A number 4 is not a classification of putter officially. However, number 4 putters are colloquially known to be blade style putters that favor a slight arc in the stroke.

What is a face balanced putter?

A face-balanced putter is a putter design where the face of the putter is parallel to the ground when the putter is balanced on a finger. This design is often preferred by golfers with a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke.

What does a putter look like?

Putters come in various shapes and sizes, but they typically have a flat clubhead with a face designed for rolling the ball. The shaft of a putter is shorter than that of other clubs, and the grip can vary in size, style, and material.



The putter is truly one of the most crucial golf clubs in any bag. With plenty of variation in styles, grips, and materials, and great options from respected brands such as Scotty Cameron, Ping, Callaway, and Taylormade, it can be difficult to choose the best putter for you. With this buying guide, curated by our team at Tell Me More Golf, you should be well equipped to find your perfect putter.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
Our golf instructor team brings it all to you, so enjoy!

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