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How Long of a Putter Should I Use?

by Clint Hale
    Of all the tools in your golf bag, your putter is unique and must become a trusted friend on the greens.

    Of all the tools in your golf bag, your putter is unique and must become a trusted friend on the greens.

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

    Among the most important aspects of golf is the short game, most notably the putting game. But some golfers are led astray not by technique but by an improperly fitted putter. Fortunately, the formula for selecting the right-sized putter is relatively simple for those with a traditional putting stroke.

    Formula

    Determining the proper length of a putter's frame is fairly simple for those with a traditional putting stroke. Assume a regular putting stance, with the arms hanging down naturally toward the ground. While in that position, have someone measure the distance from the ground to the top of the hand. This is the preferred length of the putting shaft.

    Purchasing

    Once this length has been determined, a golfer can either purchase a putter that fits that measurement or have one made. Retailers offer in-store and online options, and you can get custom-made putters through both.

    Range of Putters

    According to Golfsmith, most of today's putters range in length from 32 to 52 inches. The retailer says, "the goal should be to find a putter that fits your putting stroke rather than changing your stroke to fit the putter."

    PGA Standards

    For benchmark purposes, the average length of PGA Tour professionals' putters is 34 inches.

    Putter Sizing Tips

    While holding a putter naturally, if there is more than 1 inch of putter grip visible above the hands, the putter is too long and should be trimmed down.

    Special Putters

    While most golfers prefer a traditional putting stroke and putter, some opt for special clubs, including belly and long putters, which are made for those seeking stability. The belly putter lines up against the stomach to keep the end fixed at one point. Long putters are used almost like a broom, with a different grip and stroke, and have a much longer shaft. Belly and long putters aren't as readily available as traditional models, but golf retailers carry a wide array of them.

    About the Author

    Clint Hale has worked for a number of media outlets since 2004, including the "San Antonio Express-News" (for whom he covered golf, football and general features) and various websites. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas.

    Photo Credits

    • Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images