What are the Best Mallet Putters in golf?
For a long time in golf, mallet putters came with a stigma.
The best golfers stuck to blades, and only those who struggled with putting would ever be caught using a mallet.
Thankfully, those days are behind us.
Many of the best golfers on the PGA Tour started to use mallets for their short game.
So if you like the heavy, consistent feel of a mallet, then you’re already in the right place.
We’re going to compare and review the best mallet putters on the market right now and discuss what to look for when getting one.
Let's dive right in.
Our Roundup Selection
Editors Choice: Odyssey White Hot RX
Odyssey has what is easily one of the most popular putter series in the world, and people love these putters for good reason. They really lead the way in insert innovation, and the RX insert is a step above previous models. The inserts utilize two layers. The outer is hardened, firmer than the ball itself, to produce lively putts. The inner layer is softened to provide that cushioned touch that feels great in your hands. Outside the inserts, a new, oval depression on the face helps the club grip the ball to create a better roll. There is no doubt that this is the best Odyssey putter to date.
- Price. This putter costs about half as much as anything else of comparable quality.
- Alignment. The two-ball alignment aid gives true aim on every putt.
- New Grip. A slightly thicker grip helps you relax your hands for better control.
- Fast Putts. Balls come alive with this putter and it can take time to adjust when you need slower putts.
- Light Weight. For a mallet putter, it’s very light, reducing some of the advantages many golfers look for in their mallets.
- Uses Inserts. Some players just don’t like the feel of inserts. While these are among the best inserts on the market, this putter is still unlikely to satisfy that crowd.
Best Value: TaylorMade Spider Tour
The Spider Tour has been endorsed by Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. They just so happen to have finished the 2016 tour as the best two golfers in the world.
While TaylorMade released a variant of the putter those two use, the new Spider Tour is entirely identical. There is an additional option that is subtly different and less expensive as well. This putter is built for success with a steel frame and hollow aluminum body.
It has two insert options. The Surlyn is designed for a softer feel while the milled aluminum aims for a sharp click. Any option will yield a putter built for stability, helping you to save putts even when you miss the center.
- Aesthetics. The Tour Chrome is one of the best looking putters in the business.
- Endorsement. It’s hard to beat the endorsement of the top two golfers in the world.
- Professional Quality. This isn’t based on a PGA putter. It is that very putter.
- Pro Pricing. You won’t find this putter at a bargain price. You’re paying for professional quality.
- No alignment aid. While Day and Johnson prefer it that way, you may not like that there is no alignment tool on this putter.
- Weight Adjustments. You can fine tune the weight distribution of this putter. That sounds nice, but it can become a burden for the casual golfer.
Best Seller: Scotty Cameron Futura
This putter is the essence of modern design. The aluminum face and sole combing with a stainless steel head for a powerful framework. Weights are pushed to the extremities to maximize forgiveness, and a multi material layer behind the face dampens vibrations and improves feel and speed control.
You’ll find that these techniques are common in the very best putters, but Scotty Cameron has been leading the market for a while with balance innovation. In all, the Futura is the culmination of their effort so far, and it could only be better if it did the putting for you.
- Exquisite Distance Control. Several independent reviews rate this putter the highest in this category. You’ll be nailing your distances.
- Very Forgiving Sweet Spot. You almost have to put effort into missing the center of this face.
- Counterweight. While all putters utilize counterweight, the Futura is so finely tuned that it feels like the club is swinging itself.
- Price. You’ll see this con on a few of the best putters. At $400, the Futura is a worthwhile investment, but it will still be cost prohibitive to many golfers.
- Very Big Head. While the club feels great, it looks awkward, and you’ll be hesitant to trust the head size until you give it a try.
- Heavy. This is one of the heaviest putters available and easily has the most weight on this list. That weight will be problematic for a significant number of golfers.
Worthy Competitor: Ping Vault
If you aren’t familiar with the Ping Vault, here’s a quick history lesson. In Arizona, Ping has an actual vault where they store a gold replica of every one of their putters that wins a pro tournament.
There are currently more than 1,800 gold putters at the site. That is the namesake for the Vault putter series, and it lives up to its reputation. Designed for forgiveness above all else, it uses outer weights for stability.
The milled face has a unique design element that utilizes variant depth and pitch to better propel putts that miss the sweet spot. The heavy steel sole under the aluminum body also boosts propulsion on those missed swings.
- Customization. Pick from a number of hosels and other components to get the best version of this putter for you.
- Wins. This is the winningest putter in golf. If it’s the best on the tour, it just might be the best for you as well.
- New Grip. The new pistol grip helps you have a relaxed, firm grip that promotes a relaxed, consistent stroke.
- Price. Starting at $300, this is another great club that might not be one of the best putters for beginners.
- Difficult to Buy. This may sound weird, but the prestige of the Vault limits retail options which can make it tough to try the putter before purchasing.
- No Mid-Mallet. While you can get variant designs on the Vault, they tend towards extremes. Golfers who prefer a mid-mallet might find themselves disappointed.
Worthy Competitor: Evnroll ER7
Evnroll recently made headlines in the world of golf. One of the biggest independent review and test groups (think Consumer Report but specifically for golf) rated the ER7 as the best club on the planet.
Through their exhaustive testing, the ruled that the ER7 is more than twice as effective as the second best putter you can find.
While I don’t have the means to duplicate those tests, I can say that Evnroll has some innovative features that make the ER7 exciting. The manufacturers claim that you can miss the sweet spot by a full three-quarters of an inch and not notice.
They channeled the face to narrow towards the heel and toe. This improves contact on off-center putts and guides the ball back toward the target. An upward flowing shape adds to the forgiveness by supplying an additional dimension of guidance.
- Thorough Testing. This is the best tested putter the world has seen so far.
- Extremely Consistent Distances. Many testers were completely unable to identify when they missed the sweet spot. Distance consistency never faltered.
- Aiming. The guiding designs help the ball to go true to your aim. While I can’t say it’s the best, I certainly can’t claim there is a better putter for aim.
- Brand New Series. The ER7 doesn’t have the extensive player testing of more established lines. It’s new, and it may not live up to the hype.
- Pricey. At close to $350, you have to seriously commit to this putter.
- Excessive Alignment. Many pros are ditching alignment aids altogether, claiming they are a distraction. The ER7 has aids in triplicate. If distraction is an issue, it’ll be amplified here.
Understanding Putter Design
If you just want to know which putters are best, skip ahead. If you want to understand why, then take a minute to learn a few basics about design.
You might find it enlightening, and hopefully this information can help you find the perfect putter, even if it isn’t one of the ones I recommend.
Balance is a big issue in putter design.
The main idea is that you want as few axis of movement as possible in a putting stroke. In simpler terms, you want your putting stroke to only go back and forth without any extra swinging.
This is why you’re taught to keep your wrists locked and swing from the shoulders. A constant swing stems from more than your technique. You also need a putter that doesn’t push or pull your motion in bad directions. This is what we refer to when we discuss putter balance. A good putter will help you keep a true motion.
In mallet putters this is taken to extremes. Weights are put on the toe and heel, and sometimes the material design and distribution compliments this, which can help you greatly when just starting out.
The result is a heightened sense of balance that improves consistency and even helps the club face be more forgiving.
Face design is not unique to mallet putters, but since they often have larger faces, design elements can be more defined. In high-end putters, you’ll usually see some type of grooving or patterning.
This is designed to help the club grip the ball and get it rolling. The sooner a ball enters a good roll after being struck, the more consistent your putting will be.
Modern putters push the limits of face design but creating curves in the face, using varying depths in the etching and a large number of other tricks, all designed to improve the roll.
The grip of the putter is as important as anything else. As mallet putters tend to be much heavier than other styles, grip design demands more attention. In general, a grip should aid you in holding the club firmly without unnecessary tension.
In many cases, grips are widened to make it harder to clamp down on the club. While you’ll see a number of subtle variations in materials and etching on club grips, there will be a lot of similarities among the best putters.
Mostly, manufacturers are trying to find the most relaxed feel for the largest number of golfers.
In the end, grip, more than any other design element, is something you have to determine through trying the club.
I’ve stalled enough. It’s time to give you what you want. All five of these putters are spectacular, and you can carry them in your bag with pride.
While no one putter will be the universal best for every player, mallet putters tend to cater to golfers with less confidence on the green. For that reason, the best putter for high handicappers and struggling short gamers is the one I have to favor, and that is the Evnroll ER7.
We’ll see how well received it is over the course of the year, but there’s strong evidence that this putter can do more than the others to shave strokes off of your game. If you’re going to invest in your equipment, then that has to be the bottom line.