What are the Best Putters for Beginners in 2018?
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
It’s REALLY hard to find the perfect putter that’s just right for a beginning player.
Or is it?
Well, it turns out, you can dramatically increase your chances of finding the right putter by regarding one simple truth…
…consulting with reputable sources and relying on experienced players before making a decision.
In order to help you with that, I’ve rounded up the best putters for beginners to get you off to a fun-filled start on your golfing journey.
We’ll get into the details in a minute, but these are the putters you’ll want to remember:
Our Roundup Selection
Editors Choice: Two-Way Putter
This might sound like a style, but it is a specific putter from a specific brand, and it’s the all-around best. The Two-Way is impressive on a few levels. For starters, you can get one for less than $30, which is almost unheard of when shopping for good clubs.
On the surface it looks simple, and that simplicity will help your game by removing unnecessary distractions. Under the surface, unique engineering gives it a great balance and feel. This is an easy choice to start learning the game, and there are no clear weaknesses to what it offers your stroke.
- Affordable. You can’t pay less for quality equipment.
- Ambidextrous. You may not need it, but it’s a nice bonus for a few golfers.
- Universal. Literally anyone can reasonably use this putter. This makes it great as a standard for office equipment, loaners or sharing.
- Short Length. It’s fine for most, but if you’re even a little on the tall side it’s not an ideal choice.
- Heavy. While it isn’t the heaviest putter, it can feel weighty for some new golfers.
- No Advanced Play. This putter will get you started, but you’ll eventually graduate to something that caters to your specific style.
Best Value: Wilson Harmonized Square Heel/Toe Golf Putter
Wilson has their hand in every sport, and this is a great addition to the game of golf. This blade edge putter is another bargain option, costing considerably less month than everything that will follow.
Despite the low cost, it is still made of excellent quality. The advanced design leans heavily on one of the more forgiving putter faces in golf. It will help you achieve a stable putt with a soft touch and good rolls.
The grip is widened to teach better habits to new players, and the microinjection polymer gives it a very active face that helps with putt speed. Overall, this is a putter that compensates for the most common problems that face new golfers, and it will help save strokes from the get go.
- Pace Control. The active face will help you get used to faster putts and teach good habits.
- Aesthetics. The putter works well, but it looks great too.
- Cost Effectiveness. This is on a very short list of putters that manage such great quality at such a low price.
- Lose Head. The head is prone to coming a little loose on the shaft. It’s easily fixed, but still frustrating.
- Noisy. If you’re practicing with this putter indoors, the “click” of each stroke will be noticeable.
- Light Feel. It’s on the lighter side, and it can be problematic for newer players who need a heavier option.
Best Seller: Odyssey Men’s White Hot Pro 1 Putter
Odyssey’s White Hot Pro series makes every great putter list in one variant or another. The line is well established and highly esteemed throughout the golfing world. The White Hot Pro 1 Putter is not designed exclusively with new players in mind, but it tends to do very well with this group.
It has adjustable weight that lets you get the perfect feel. It is an impressive combination of tough and soft. One of the great appeals for first-timers is the lack of glare, which saves you from a distraction you may not yet appreciate.
Most importantly, the White Hot Pro 1 uses a patented insert design that has a feel that is perfectly suited for helping players develop their stroke.
- Excellent Quality. This club is made as well as professional equipment, even if its specific design is better for amateurs.
- Fast Putts. This club will help you with putt speed, which is a struggle for many beginners.
- Cover Included. This might feel like a small bonus, but you’re spending a little more money for this club, and you want to protect it. Most putters don’t come with a cover.
- Price. You’re dropping some money on a sport that is still new to you. It’s worth the price, but you might have reservations anyway.
- The Insert. It’s great for those who like it, but it narrows the niche of appeal. If you don’t struggle with speed, this putter isn’t for you.
- Too Many Options. You can customize a number of features on this putter, and until you know what you need, this can be burdensome.
Worthy Competitor: TaylorMade Ghost Manta Putter
There was no doubt that TaylorMade would find a place on this list. For beginners, the Ghost Manta Putter feels like an easy option. It’s make with an entirely solid aluminum body. The head itself features tungsten sole weights putting it in the heavier category of putters.
On top of that, the large face is another of the most forgiving in all of golf. Overall, this is a club that will help you build your stroke from the ground up, and it’s weight, alignment and design are all intended to teach you while you practice.
- Easy Alignment. You can save a little time on the greens because it is easy to aim with this putter.
- Accurate. The squaring and alignment will do the obvious and help you put the ball exactly where you want it.
- Smooth Stroke. The weight and feel of this putter will promote smooth motion from day one, and you’ll thank yourself for that later.
- Inconsistent Speeds. Partly a product of the weight, it can be hard for beginners to control speed with this putter.
- Too Much Swing. You have to swing this putter a little to get it moving, and that teaches bad habits.
- Price. While it’s technically in the mid-tier of pricing, it barely keeps from falling into a more expensive category.
Worthy Competitor: Cleveland Golf Men’s Smart Square Heel Shafted Mallet Putter
Despite the long name, Cleveland Golf earned their spot on this list with this putter. It’s a little light for a mallet putter (but still in the heavy category), and it has a few things going for it. I’ve mentioned forgiving faces before, but this takes it to a new level. From heel to toe, the entire face feels like one sweet spot.
While this might make technically advanced golfers cringe, it’s amazing for new players. On top of that, it has an advanced alignment design that makes it extremely easy to square and align putts.
There is no doubt it will save you considerable time on the green. This club would be a contender for the top spot, but it’s price is a little prohibitive. While clubs can certainly get much more expensive, for a brand new golfer, this might feel like a little too much investment.
- Teaches Aiming. This putter is designed for learning, and it will quickly show you the value of proper technique and how to use it.
- Textured Inserts. The inserts for this putter have a great touch that will help you in the early stages of your game.
- Play Time. Many newcomers struggle to get off the green. This will help you putt faster and help your golf etiquette.
- Heavy. While it’s light for a mallet putter, it’s still too heavy for many beginners.
- Heel Drag. When this drags on the ground, it is incredibly frustrating. Your height and natural stroke will determine if its a problem for you.
- Long. It’s unusual to have to ding a putter for being too long, but the shaft on this putter will be prohibitive to many golfers.
The Basics of Putter Design
Before we can dive into which putters are best, we need to build a little context. Golf has been a popular sport for a long time, and generations of engineers have tweaked and added to technology to bring us modern putters.
There are a lot of elements that go into the process, but, thankfully, we can summarize the most important concepts pretty easily. If you’re new to the sport, you only need a little working knowledge of how the length, weight, face and loft affect a putter.
This is the most intuitive starting point. For the most part, putters are standardized for people between 5’9” and 6’2”. If you don’t fall into this category, there’s no need to panic, but you will want to look for a putter that caters to your dimensions.
In general, the putter should enable you to stand directly over your ball without strain or hunching. This is important for lining up your shots, but you don’t want strain or tension that can interrupt your putting stroke.
Recommended Read: Read our article on the best golf clubs for women to discover both great putters as well as the best golf driver for women.
There is a second style of putters: belly putters. These are designed to be much longer and promote a different approach to putting technique in general. While they have a great place in the world of golf, I decided to leave them to their own review. If you want a belly putter, check back in for my review of those options later.
The other obvious design factor is weight. But, while there are some general guidelines for choosing a putter with the right length, weight is a bit more ambiguous. How heavy you want your putter will be more a matter of your natural stroke and preference than a single, one-size-fits-all option.
If you have trouble getting your balls to roll well, you might consider a heavier putter. If consistent aim is your struggle, a lighter option could help. When given the chance, you always want to try a putter at the shop before purchasing (feel free to order online cheaper later). Still, there is a tidbit that helps with the shopping process.
In general, there are three types of putter heads: blade, mallet and blade edge. A blade putter is often double sided. These are usually the middleweight option, and they’re a great starting point to test your preference.
Blade edges are often the lightest option, and it’s common for them to have inserts that help with getting better roll speeds and responses off of the club face.
Mallets are intended to be a heavier approach to putting. The extra weight and design can help produce a more consistent stroke, but they it may come at the cost of making consistent aiming a little more challenging. In any choice, there will be a trade-off, but if you know your problem, you can select a style that is best suited for correcting it.
The face is probably the most important part of a putter, but many new players fail to realize the differences. The face of the club is what comes into contact with the ball, and it determines how the ball will roll off of a stroke. Advanced club faces have a range of responsiveness built into them to enable professional golfers to choose from more options when putting.
While that sounds nice, it can be devastating to new golfers. A beginner’s putter should have a face with as much consistency as possible, giving you a better chance to learn good technique. The best options are forgiving all the way to the heel and toe of the putter.
Even though consistency is a universal desire for new golfers, there are still a lot of options for face design. Textured faces grip the ball better to help with a good roll, while smooth faces develop control for those who naturally get that roll. Inserts are very common, and they change the sweet spot and responsiveness of faces. With so much out there, your only real option is to get your hands on some putters and find the feel that is best.
The loft of a club is a measure of its angle from the vertical. Most players know that this is important with wedges, but loft selection matters for every club. For putters, the angles are usually between five degrees on either side of vertical. This isn’t much, but the loft angle will impact how the ball leaves the club.
A steeper angle will launch the ball off of the green a little to aid with rolling the putt. This can hurt your aiming, so a shallower angle can correct aiming at the cost of rolling. Once again, you need a little trial and error to see where to start, and your preferences are likely to change as your game grows and evolves.
All five of these putters are excellent, and each serves its niche better than the competition. In terms of being the most all around and cost-effective choice, the clear winner is the Two-Way Putter.
It isn’t the best in any one category, but it’s close in all of them. If you really don’t know where to start, or if you need to serve more than one golfer with a single putter, there is no second choice.
It has a great length, average weight, near-vertical loft with a forgiving face. Start with this putter, and save the more expensive options for when you know your own stroke better.