Putters are an essential tool in any golfers club bag. You can play a round of golf properly without a decent putter. And having just any putter will not do.
Since they directly contribute to your final score, you have to absolutely ensure that you have the best tool for the job in your hand. Now, here comes the hard part: you cant just browse reviews and buy the top rated model.
The choice of putter design is intrinsically linked to your play style, specifically how you stroke the ball. There are several major designs of putters based around this principle. Mallet putters are one such class of putters.
We will look at what makes them special and also try to help you figure out if these are the kind of putters you need. And if they are, we also have a shortlist of some of the best mallet putters to give you a couple of solid buying options. They include:
Our Best Mallet Putters
Putter Buying Guide: What Not To Do
Don’t ever just go by the reviews. That is a bit of solid advice for golf clubs in general anyway. Golf clubs are not like baseball bats. You just cant buy them off the shelf and expect to hit balls with ease. The margins of error are very fine in golf. It is after all, the game of long shots. Each golfer has unique traits and characteristics.
A club that works fantastically for one player might end up as a total dud in the hands of another. And in the case of putters, this effect gets dialed up by a factor of 100.
Picture this: other clubs are generally about getting a ball to land in a specific area, within a few square yards or square feet. A putter is all about rolling the golf ball into a tiny cup. There is more finesse involved. You definitely have to try before you buy any putter.
Putters: The Importance of Figuring Out Your Stroke
In the case of most other clubs like drivers and irons, you can get away with just swinging them around and figuring out if you like the feel and impact. But in the case of putters, you have to understand your individual stroke type to figure out a suitable type of putter.
You can check out a few videos to get a good idea yourself. Like this one here for example:
There are 3 major types of stroke that most golfers naturally deviate towards. We will examine them briefly in the next section. But to figure out which one you have, get the advice of a local pro or your clubfitter.
The Main Types of Putting Strokes
There are two main styles of putting, with a third one that slots somewhere in between the first two. They are:
- Straight Back Straight Through (SBST): The putter face starts facing straight at the beginning of the back swing, and stroke moves along in a straight line, through the impact and into the follow through. The stroke is like the motion of a pendulum, so it is also called a pendulum stroke.
- Arc Stroke: most people have a slight arc when they swing the putter. The stroke starts with face slightly closed during the initial back-swing, then opens up straight to hit the ball and then closes in the follow through. The whole action is like a gate swinging open and close. The degree of arc varies from golfer to golfer.
- Inside Down The Line (IDTL): This stroke is like a cross between the other two strokes. It starts off like an arc stroke during the approach, but once the putter face opens up to hit the ball, follow through goes straight through.
Golfers with Arcing strokes will do better with putters that have better toe hang. SBST and IDTL strokes will find more consistent results with putters that are more face balanced. Confused? In the next section we will briefly analyze the weight balancing techniques used in putters.
Face Balanced vs Toe Balanced
Putters have their clubheads weighted differently to handle different strokes. There are two main types of putters, based on where the clubhead weight is concentrated:
Face balanced putters have more mass concentrated centrally, behind the club face. If you were to balance the club by its handle on your finger, the face would invariably point towards the sky.
Mallet putters are predominantly face balanced. Such putters are more suited for strokes that follow a straight line during and after the ball impact. They also tend to be more forgiving with larger sweet spots on the face of the putters.
Toe balanced putters, as their name suggests, have most of the mass shifted to the toe of the clubhead. Such putters will balance on your finger with the their toes generally pointed towards the ground.
They come in different degrees of toe hang, suited to appropriate degrees of arc strokes. If you have a strong arc stroke, you will need a putter with extreme toe hang, like a blade putter.
A Short Guide to Mallet Putters
As already mentioned, these are predominantly face balanced putters. If you have a straighter stroke action, these are the best putters for you. They got their name because of a close resemblance to mallets used in the game of Croquet, long sticks with a big solid lump of a clubhead at the end.
Mallet putters tend to be easy to recognize with their massive clubheads. In that respect, they are quite similar to golf drivers.
Since they have massive clubheads with a lot of room behind the clubface, these putters also tend to have elaborate visual alignment aids to help golfers eye the ball better on the approach.
Their deep heads have lower CG and higher MOI than other putters. This allows them to hit the ball with much lesser spin, and even in off center hits the ball will still roll pretty straight.
Mallet putters are very beginner friendly due to their massive clubheads and increased forgiveness levels. There are both mid size as well as larger mallet putters available.
Putter Buying Guide: Other Minor Factors
The stroke style is the most major factor in deciding the type of putter for a golfer. But other minor consideration also deserve a look into. They include:
Though grips of other golf clubs are often overlooked, putter grips are different. The way we handle putters differ quite drastically from the way we handle irons or woods, and that shows in the putter grip design as well. Texture is not an important aspect as you don’t have to swing hard with these clubs.
The main choice is between:
- Firm and Soft: soft is more comfortable for beginners, while expert players usually prefer firmer grips for more torsion control and faster swing.
- Designs: You can get either rounded or ribbed designs It is largely down to personal preference and helps players remember where to place their fingers while holding the putter.
- Grip size: again, down to personal preference. Ideally, a grip should be thick enough to barely allow the fingers in your top hand to touch the palm.
This is the part of putter where the shaft meets the head. The options are based around which part of the clubhead the shaft attaches itself to. You can have the following hosel types:
- Heel Shafted
- Center Shafted
- Hosel Offset
The choice of hosel is largely down to personal preferences and suitability with different stroke styles.
The traditional length is somewhere in the vicinity of 32-36 inches. The choice of shaft length is important for putters. The sole of a putter at approach has to be perfectly aligned with the ground. The length of the putter will affect this, depending on the height of the golfer and their putting stance.
You have to factor in these things to figure out the best shaft length for your putting style. Shafts longer than 36 inches are also available, but these are less common, especially since the USGA banned belly putting and other similar anchoring styles which commonly use longer shafts.
Best Mallet Putters Reviewed
Our shortlist has a mix of large size as well as mid sized mallet putters.
The White Hot line from Callaway includes a whole series of different putters with a face insert technology. The V-Line Fang is the large mallet version with the same soft White Hot RX insert in the clubface. The soft insert has a mesh pattern.
You get several grip option , from standard Odyssey Golf Pride to the branded SuperStroke 3.0 grip. The mallet head has a futuristic design which is quite common from the top manufacturers these days. The V Line Fang wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars style space western!
You get both right and left hand orientations, as well as shaft handles ranging in length from 33-35 inches.
- The soft insert reduces vibrations to a minimum, and the impact feel and sound is soft.
- You get good roll all across the face, there is no specific sweet spot area to aim for. Excellent forgiveness.
- The fang shape at the back of the clubhead acts as a visual alignment aid along with the lines and dots on the flange and top, providing excellent visual aid on approach.
- It may look big, but the putter still feels a bit lightweight for some users.
- And the double finned “fang” look may be too futuristic for some.
The Spider is the more sci-fi looking mallet design from the OS series of extra large putters from TaylorMade. The putter uses an aluminum face insert with an unusual vertical milled patter. The design is supposed to help reduce backspin.
Like the other putters in the OS series, the Spider also uses a red-white color scheme for the alignment aids. It is available in both hand orientations as well as shaft options ranging from 33-35 inches.
Despite their bulky appearance, TaylorMade has reduced the weight by hollowing the back of the head and replacing the metal with lightweight thermoplastic foam.
- Excellent control over longer distances, the Spider is great anywhere between 10-20 feet.
- The aluminum insert improves ball roll and gives audible and palpable feedback on misses.
- The huge size inspires confidence and makes this an easy to use putter.
- The red-white alignment aid is sharp and works very well.
- The big head seems to put off some people.
- Some players find them less effective for shorter putts.
Forget about all that faff about lightweight putters. This is a seriously heavy putter from Boccieri for all golfers looking for a comforting anchoring feel from their putter for those nervous putts.
The standard B3-M has a 475g head, and as if that was not enough they have added an extra 250g in the grip with a counterweight. Even if you get nothing else, you can be assured of extra stability and balance with this putter.
It is available in various lengths, from 34-38 inches and even a longer 40 inch version.
- Despite the added weight, it is easy to swing. Works really well on slower greens.
- The impact is quite soft and muted, with decent feedback.
- The precision built, tough-as-a-tank looks are decent, especially with the matte finish
- Predictably, the extra weight will push away a lot of players.
- The feedback could also have been better.
As the name says, this is a center shafted putters with increased MOI. There is also a heel shafted version for those who prefer such a hosel configuration. It is available in 33-35 inch shaft options.
There is a co-polymer insert in the face, though unlike other manufacturers there is not much focus on it from Cleveland. The shape is classic mallet with a 360g head.
- The insert gives a solid feel and audible pop on contact.
- The forgiveness is on the higher side, inspiring confidence in newer players.
- The big rectangular visual aids stand out and do their job well. The overall dark styling looks good.
- Some golfers find the big blocky squares distracting.
- Not light enough for some players.
For those not looking at class leading performance or the latest design technology, this simple mallet putter from Pinemeadow Golf offers a very affordable option. But the cheap price is not the only thing great about this putter.
It is also a very decent performer on the greens, especially for beginners. You don’t get much in terms of options and configurations, but this putter is still great value for money.
- Excellent pricing, the most affordable club in the list.
- With a decent amount of forgiveness, an ideal first putter for beginners.
- The clean white design stands out from the pack. The contrasting black visual aids to their job well.
- It is a budget option, not too many features.
- Not very good for slower greens.
- Not recommended for experienced players