Fairway woods are the most versatile golf club in the players bag. If you’re looking for the best fairway club to hone shot accuracy on the greens, or hit the golf ball further for longer, then this buying guide is here to offer advice, hints and tips on which fairway wood is best for you.
2018 Golf Putters
Almost 50% of a golfers hits are from their putter, making it the most frequently used golf club in the bag. Knowing how to use a golf putter to its most effective will stand you in good stead ahead of your next round on the greens and also help lower scores.
Face-balanced putters will point upwards if the shaft is balanced on one finger. This is because its centre of gravity is directly below the axis of the shaft, which allows the golf club head to remain in the square position throughout, whilst straightening the putting stroke during flows of motion. Face-balanced golf putters allow golfers higher performances with even higher MOI in every shot.
Did You Know: Centre of Gravity (or COG for short) was, as a theory, first introduced by mathematician Archimedes over 200 years ago.
Mid-slant putters are a favourite for golfers as they balance at around 45 degrees and tend to have full-shaft offset, which also helps to encourage less rotation for slight arc stroke types. Introduced into the game by PING, mid-slant putters soared in popularity due to the acclaim they garnered. Still popular today, mid-slant putters are always a good option for the golf course, or any player trying to hone their putting skills.
Toe-down putters are popular with golfers who have an in-to-out-to-in or very strong arc stroke type. These putters have the ability to power through the swing without over indulging and missing the hole. Interestingly, if you were to lay a toe-down putter on horizontal, the toe would point to the ground. Hence the name!
Putter shapes & how they work
The oldest golf putter still in circulation, blade putters are highly effective on the greens and used religiously by ‘old-school’ golfers who still yearn for the golden age of golf. Blade putters are, in fact, one of the best putters on the market, and come highly-recommended.
Some great blade golf putters available now which players can really benefit from having in their bag includes the Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 8.0 CB Satin Putter, a tour-driven counter balanced mallet design with single bend heel shaft, with a high contrast sight-line to focus the golfer's eyes on alignment. The Odyssey O-Works Red Tank #1 Putter, which provides you with a new way to roll the golf ball, providing all golfers with a more true roll for more consistent putting. The PING Vault 2.0 ZB Platinum Putter, ideal for custom weighting, luxury components, and quality refinements, all of which contribute to providing a Tour level feel and performance. The Wilson Staff Infinite Lake Shore Putter that has been designed to achieve great roll and performance anywhere on the golf course.
Mallets are usually chosen higher handicap golfers who aren’t exactly oozing confidence. They have a larger surface area on the crown with plenty of room for varying alignment aids. The mallet putter is normally face-balanced and peripheral weighted to offer greater forgiveness on off centre hits with a deeper profile to aid alignment.
Some of the best mallet putters include the Odyssey O-Works Black Marxman SS Putter with a truer roll for more consistent putting, the Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 RHO Satin Putter for a high contrast sight-line to focus the golfer's eyes on alignment, and the TaylorMade Tour Diamond L Neck Spider Putter with perimeter weighting for added stability and a removed sightline for clean alignment.
From oldest to newest, modern putters are peripheral weighed. They use the added weight in the heel and toe for increased MOI (moment of inertia), which measures how much the golf club head twists. The higher the MOI, the less twisting occurs on off-centre hits. This allows for straighter putts, even on the occasional miss-hit.
Groove Faces are still quite recent, and offer the feel of metal. Groove faces get the golf ball rolling immediately upon impact, and the significant rise in golfers choosing these putter faces looks set to continue due their apparent success and lack of any real drawbacks. Grooves also manage to halt skidding, sliding and back spinning of the golf ball, even reducing the risk of ‘hopping’ before the golf ball gets off on a roll down the greens. A much-respected and pivotal addition to any golfers’ club bag.
Delivering vital feedback through feel and sound, putters with a metal face design are the absolute best. They will immediately allow you hear any connection made with the golf ball upon impact, which benefits in helping know where the centre is located. Softer materials limit sound and gives less feedback.
The ever-evolving world of golf would be nowhere near as interesting without the ever-evolving golf equipment that comes with it. It’s not just the equipment that is evolving, either; technology has taken huge leaps, and Insert Technology is just one of them. From rubber to elastomers, right through to ceramic and composites and other metals, it’s this variety of material that really helps Insert Technology to chisel out the perfect performance and leave golfers feeling truly accomplished. Using lighter materials allows for more MOI to be produced, and this in turn helps to reduce hopping, skidding and other frustrating problems that occur upon impact.
Golf Putter Shaft Lengths
Standard Length Putter (33-35 inches)
Standard length putters are also the most common, and are used by many golfers. Working as an extension to the arm, these putters produce pendulum-like arcs that make it easy to hold a constant swing. Height and posture will ultimately determine the length of the putter you choose, and these aspects should be considered before a final decision is made. Selecting the right length will encourage you to get your eyes directly over the golf ball, while also remaining in a stance that’s comfortable and, above all else, practical.
Long Length Putter (48-52 inches)
The lesser used and ultimately less common putter length, longer versions can be neatly rested above the belly button, chin or chest, and can require a complete overhaul in grip. Good tactics used by golfers is to grip the golf club with the left hand and, holding the putter into the body with the right hand working as a claw in the middle section of the putter, to pull and push through the line like a pendulum. This moves the entire stroke of the Long Putter’s power into the right hand, though it’s a tough skill to master and is hard to perform when conditions are especially windy.
Some of the newest golf putters on the market today include the Titleist Scotty Cameron Futura putter range, which has been inspired by extensive research and work with Major Champion Adam Scott. M stands for MOI, and this model introduces the best MOI-enhancing traits of the original Futura X model in conjunction with design cues expressed in the Futura X7M, combining a pop-through “bar back” design with deep heel-toe weights for the optimal forgiveness and resistance to twisting at impact.