What Length Putter Should I Use?

by Brendan O'Brien
    It's always a good idea to test as many putters as possible until you find the one that feels just right.

    It's always a good idea to test as many putters as possible until you find the one that feels just right.

    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

    The length of a putter is determined by the golfer's size, putting stroke and comfort level. While it is the shortest club in your golf bag, the putter is probably the most valuable in terms of the number of strokes for which it is responsible. The length of the putter is an important element to building a crisp and consistent putting stroke. A putter that is too short or too long can cause problems with how the arms and hands interact with the club during the back swing, contact with the ball and the follow through.

    Drop a Ball

    Items you will need

    • Putter
    • Three or four balls
    • Piece of tape

    Step 1

    Approach and address a putt like normal. Your legs should not be bent. Your arms should be bent at the elbows and a slight but comfortable bend should form at the waist toward the golf ball. Grip the putter normally and take your normal stance over the ball.

    Step 2

    Take another golf ball and let go of it from your nose. The ball should strike the ball that you were about to putt. Do this step several times to get an accurate reading. Take note of where the balls land from your nose.

    Step 3

    If the putter is too long, the ball will drop between the ball on the ground and your feet. If the putter is too short, the ball will drop outside of the ball on the ground and your feet.

    Step 4

    Choke down on the putter if the ball falls outside of the space between your feet and the addressed ball. Choke up on the putter if the ball falls inside of the space between your feet and the addressed ball.

    Step 5

    With a piece of tape, mark the top of your hands after you have determined the optimal length of the putter. This is how long your putter needs to be. This is done after repeated successful attempts to strike the ball with the ball on the ground.

    Imaginary Putter

    Step 1

    Approach and address a putt like you normally would without a putter in your hands. Your legs should not be bent. Your arms should be bent at the elbows and a slight but comfortable bend should form at the waist toward the golf ball.

    Step 2

    Relax and get comfortable over the ball on the ground. Again, do this without a putter in your hands.

    Step 3

    Have a friend place a putter in your hands naturally. Place a piece of tape on the putter at the top of your hands. This is how long your putter needs to be.

    Tips

    • Remember, these may be simple tips to get your putter length correct, but putting amounts to about 35 percent of total scores.
    • Make sure that your putter head is parallel to the ground.
    • To adjust the length, take it to a pro shop where they can easily cut down a putter or replace the putter with a longer shaft.

    Warnings

    • If you are comfortable with your putting stroke and have success with it, do not be concerned with the length of your putter.

    About the Author

    Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his career of more than 15 years. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.

    Photo Credits

    • Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images