Putters are a very personal thing. I’ll say it now, and I’ll say it many more times: you need to get out there and try lots of different putters to determine what you like. I’ve used lots of different putters in the past 6 years, and I continue to learn what I like and dislike in a putter.
And the great thing is that you might realize that you are like me: you like lots of different styles of putters. Personally, I switch between a two ball Odyssey putter (mallet with an insert) and a milled Odyssey blade. Those are two completely different styles of putters, but I love them equally. I change them every 6 months or so, and I always love the completely different feel compared to the previous putter.
When it comes to putters, change is often a good thing. Getting something that looks and feels different in your hands gives you new encourgement to practice your putting. Every time I change from my insert mallet to my milled blade, I can’t get enough of that feeling that I haven’t felt in half a year.
Note: all links and pictures in this article will send you to available listings on eBay for each respective putter!
So, let’s talk about the different styles of putters that you can buy.
To begin with, you can buy a mallet putter, a midmallet putter, or a blade putter.
- Mallet putters are more “face balanced” technically. They are more stable in the putting motion and are built more for a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke. Many golfers like the larger club head for more alignment tools and more stability. However, some find them too clunky and large at address.
- Mid-mallet putters are in between mallets and blades. They are typically in between toe weighted and face balanced, but learning more towards toe weighted. They are a great in-between if you don’t want a clunky mallet putter but you want a bit more size than a blade for more alignment aid.
- Blade putters, depending on their hosel style, have more toe hang, so they a favor a more arced putting stroke. It encourages you to open the face in the backstroke and close the face in the follow through. Many golfers like the compact look at address.
- Check out this article on mallet vs mid-mallet vs blade putters if you are interested.
Next, each style putter has both milled options and insert options.
- Milled putters are slightly harder at impact. They have a “click-ier” sound and feel at impact, which many people love. Completely milled putters (not just putters with only milled faces) look absolutely beautiful in my opinion, and many golfers like the increased feedback on off center strikes.
- Insert putters are softer at impact. They make a much quieter sound at impact compared to milled putters. They provide less feedback on off center strikes, but many golfers love the feeling of hardly hitting the golf ball at all. Inserts are all made differently, so these are just general rules.
- Check out this article on milled vs insert putters for more info.
So that means that there are 6 different options of putters that you can buy. A milled mallet, an insert mallet, a milled mid-mallet, an insert mid-mallet, a milled blade, and an insert blade putter. Let’s talk about the best 2018 putters for these 6 options.
Milled Mallet: Ping Vault 2.0 Ketsch
If you are someone that struggles with alignment, the Ping Vault 2.0 Ketsch is probably the best putter for you. It has one supppppper long sight line on the top of the putter, with 2 smaller lines on the toe and heel of the putter. This putter is best for a straight-back, straight-thru (SBST) putter stroke or a slight arc. It’s face balanced, looks phenomenal at address (I’ve always liked black putters personally), and will perform as well as you’d except it to.
When it comes to the size, it’s pretty clunky. Personally it wouldn’t be too appealing at address for me, but many golfers don’t mind it. What you lose in compactness, you gain in improved alignment. This 100% milled putter provides tour-quality touch and performance through Ping’s “True Roll Technology” and custom weight system. The weighting system offers three different inserts so that you can find the perfect feel and balance for you. It’s also available in three different colors by the way!
Insert Mallet: TaylorMade Spider 2018
The TaylorMade Spider putter has taken the industry by storm. With lots of PGA pros using this putter lately, many amateurs have followed suit. This TaylorMade Spider putter with their “Pure Roll insert” combines 45° grooves with a softer insert. This will maximize topspin and forward roll to make sure your putts start and stay on the right line.
This putter comes in many different hosel options and sightline options. The hosel options will determine whether the putter is face balanced or toe hang. So, you’ll have to determine which hosel type you want based on your putting stroke. The double bend shaft and the center shafts are face balanced, so they are meant for a SBST motion. This putter is by far the most popular insert mallet putter of 2018!
Milled Mid-Mallet: Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Newport 3
What a great looking mid-mallet putter the Scotty Cameron 2018 Select Newport 3 is. It’s a perfect putter for a golfer looking for more feel, balance, and alignment. The heel shafted design promotes a more arced putting stroke, as it has some toe hang to it. The milling process has more sculpted contours with an updated vibration dampener system.
This putter provides a great sense of feedback, and it’s a great in between of chunky mallets and compact blades. Scotty Cameron doesn’t release putters unless they are pleased with the appearance, technology, and feel of a putter. So rest assured that this putter has undergone hundreds of hours of tour-quality testing.
Insert Mid-Mallet: TaylorMade TP Collection Balboa
This classic mid-mallet design looks very similar to a blade with an elongated flange. This provides toe weighting (best for arced putting strokes) but with a tad longer alignment sight lines.
This putter is brand new to the TaylorMade TP collection series. The Balboa model is a heel-shafted blade with an extended flange for a sleek, rounded design. It has a half-shaft of offset and more toe hang (63°) than any putter in the TP Collection Overall, Balboa presents a classic model with incredible feel on the green.
Milled Blade: Cleveland Huntington Beach
Normally I put a Scotty Cameron putter in this category, but the Cleveland Huntington Beach putters are a great substitute at a much lower price point. It’s available in 9 different styles, with the standard #1 style being my personal favorite. For the price, it’s the best value milled blade that you can find.
This putter feels great at impact, provides a lot of feedback, and looks great over the ball. For a milled blade, this is the best value option of 2018.
Insert Blade: Odyssey O-Works Red/Black
If you want the compact look of a blade with an insert, check out the Odyssey O-Works Red/Black series of putters. The #1 wide model is a great blade with a slightly elongated flange.
The O-Works putters have what they call “Microhinge Insert Technology” that has created a new way to roll. Their Microhinge Insert Technology provides lots of topspin at impact regardless of your putting stroke. The putter face provides great feel at impact due to the insert. The new shape of the hinges and urethane together encourage a much truer roll.