2011 Buyer's Guide Putters

Find the flatstick that works for you

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Wilson
Vizor
Alignment All-StarKey Feature: I-Lock optic system that lets you know when you're perfectly aligned with your eyes directly over the ball. (An indicator line turns white or red.)
What We Like: It was very easy to know when we were properly aligned, and that gave us confidence to make a good stroke.
Who It's For: Golfers who push or pull putts because of bad alignment.
Specs: Available in 33-, 34- and 35-inch lengths. Left-handed models available only in 33 and 34 inches. Mallet only.
wilson.com | $150
   


How To Find It

Usually when you think of clubfitting, irons, woods, balls and maybe wedges come to mind. But putters? Is it really necessary to get custom-fit for a putter when, in fact, all that matters is how a putter looks and feels to the user?

You bet. Putter-fitting is very important. And while there's some merit in having a putter that looks and feels right, having a putter that performs right is so much more important. So how do you know which flatstick is right for you?

It's not that hard, really. Start by assessing your putting needs. Do you have the occasional yips? Do your putts miss short most of the time? A heavier putter will help with that. If you ram the ball past the hole, look for a lighter one. Do you push or pull your putts? Try one that's heavy on alignment aids. Chances are you're not standing over the ball correctly.

Next, assess your stroke. Do you arc it or take it straight back and through? If you arc it, try a putter that isn't face-balanced (a blade). They tend to swing more freely from open to closed. If you putt straight, a face-balanced model (a mallet) will help you stay that way.

Next, consider the putter length. The length of the putter will affect not only your stroke, but also how comfortable you are over the golf ball. If you tend to get too short and jabby in your stroke, try a longer shaft. If you tend to swing too long, try a shorter one. For regular-length putters, make sure your arms hang freely, so you can make a pendulum-like motion.

Finally, move on to the actual putterhead design and hosel configuration. This really comes down to a matter of personal taste, but you'll find that some putters have softer/firmer feels (inserts and soft stainless steel will produce a softer feel), some work better with putting the correct end-over-end roll with your stroke and so on. Some, as mentioned above, also have aggressive alignment aids (mallets mostly) that make it easier for you to aim. Either way, the trick is to not get stuck in your so-called "comfort zone" and be willing to try a different-style putter if, in fact, it's better designed for your putting stroke.

—Staff Report






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