Let’s face it, from the scintillating, vast array of golf clubs to choose from, the putter is by far the least sexy. The majority of golfers, even the highly skilled, will size themselves a state-of-the-art set of clubs and grab a cheap putter.
This may be partly due to the putter’s lack of versatility. But, ironically, a good putter (along with good technique) can make or break a round.
With it being the club that actually sinks the ball, you’d think we would give it more attention. Look at your putting stats on a bad round. Almost certainly, you putted more than necessary. And if you look at the stats on a great round, you may have only used that club a small handful of times.
Today we’ll take a look at how you can find the right length putter for you according to your height, and talk about how you can use it to upgrade your golf game.
Ways to Measure a Putter
You can measure putters in different ways. Key factors to consider in how you measure a putter is your height, your grip, and ultimately what you’re looking for from the club.
Some popular putters include heel-shafted, non-offset, and offset putters. Each is created for a certain type of golfer. We’ll explain a little bit more about that below.
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Why Putter Length Matters
The length of the putter is crucial because it affects your setup. A good setup is usually marked by good balance, a strong center of gravity, and a good approach angle.
At the setup, balance your weight between both feet. You should feel even on both feet. One foot shouldn’t have more weight than another.
To center your weight, place the ball in the middle of your body.
Your approach angle should be a few feet behind the ball.
An ill fitting putter will make executing these steps correctly extremely difficult, which is why it’s critical you get one that is sized properly. Below we’ll explain how to measure a putter according to your height. But beware – if your height is the only thing you base your putter length off, you may choose a bad club. The ideal putter matches your height, and also matches your needs for how you set up and stroke when you’re putting.
Measuring a Putter by Height
1. Measure Your Height
You’ll choose a putter differently based on your height, so have this exact measurement handy.
2. Get Into Position
Setup as if you were about to putt. This will help you know exactly how long you need the putter to be. Bend your knees, arch your back, and tilt your head as if you’re looking towards the hole.
3. Let Your Arms Hang
Keep your arms fully extended. Relax. Now, pretend you’re holding a club.
Record the length from the center of your hands down to the floor.
5. Check Against an Actual Putter
It’s helpful to measure the actual distance and then check it against a putter. Sometimes you’ll want something slightly longer or shorter than the actual measurement dictates.
Grab a ball and take a stroke. What’s the angle like? How does the weight feel? Is the putter too powerful? Too weak? These are good questions to ask as you’re measuring. Your future self will thank you.
Putter Length Guidelines
Here’s a quick measurement table for recommended putter length by height(standard).
|5’0” to 5’2”||32.5 inches|
|5’2” to 5’4”||33 inches|
|5’4” to 5’6”||33.5 inches|
|5’6” to 5’8”||34 inches|
|5’8” to 6’0”||34.5 inches|
|6’0” to 6’2”||35 inches|
|6’2” and above||36 inches|
Measuring a Putter by Personal Preference
Different shots call for different setups, and some putters are better suited to certain setups. While you’re deciding on a putter, consider the factors below. The ideal putter will meet your own personal criteria for how you putt and what you need the club to do. Check out the following qualities and characteristics below to choose the best putter for you.
The rule of thumb for stance is that you should be relaxed. If you’re rigid or stiff in any way, you’ll likely go home with a putter that costs way too much for something that doesn’t even match your regular stance. If you need some help with proper putting technique, check out our post about the best lag putting drills.
Know your stroke style. Your proximity to the ball when you hit, your preferred putt paths, even how hard you hit it all affect the type of putter you will need.
Take note of how you make contact with the ball. How hard you hit is important, but also how you square the clubhead at impact are correlated to head weight. A standard putter head is 350g, but you may want something different depending on whether you play faster or slower greens more often.
Toe hang is the angle the toe of the putter points when it hangs naturally. There are five primary toe hang styles, ranging from full toe hang to face ¼ toe hang.
Full means the toe of the putter is pointed towards the ground. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a face balanced putter is when the face of the putter is pointed directly to the sky.
Toe hang affects how you square the club head to the ball at impact which affects your putting success overall.
The lie angle measures the distance between the shaft and the sole of the clubhead when it touches the ground. Most putters have a lie angle of about 70 degrees.
Your optimal lie angle will depend on how you swing, in other words a variety of factors that affect shot trajectory. Meet with a gears professional to discover which lie angle is best for your game.
Can You Extend a Putter Length?
You can extend the length of any club. You’ll need to take it in and have it done professionally. In this case you’ll either get a grip extension or have a new shaft implanted.
What Length Putter Do Pros Use?
While the standard length for PGA standard issue putters in 33.5 inches, Pro players don’t often use them. Players will tout anything from 35 in putters to sticks below 33, depending on their physique and personal preferences.
Measure by Both Height and Preference for Best Results
Ultimately, you’re best off if you consider your height, playing habits, and personal preferences when choosing a putter. Attention to detail on the course, good coaching, and accurate measurements can go a long way to matching you with the perfect putter to take you to the next level.