There are a million things that go into determining whether you should use a mallet or a blade putter. These two distinct styles of putter are often the most used on the green, but determining which style will better benefit your game is a difficult question.
Although your selection may only save you a shot or two each round, it could save you countless shots per season. One or two shots quickly adds up! Consider this: How many times have you lost a match by one or two strokes? The putter you choose could be the deciding factor in your next money match. But, before deciding, let’s analyze the two styles and compare them to each other.
These putters are easily identified due to the large heads available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Mallet putters are typically found in varying semicircle and square shapes. The sweet spot on these putters is fairly large in comparison to blade putters. This provides golfers with a larger surface for successful contact with the golf ball.
One of the key differences in the design of mallet putters to other clubs is that the weight is primarily distributed away from the face. Although this may seem counterintuitive, it offers the golfer a few distinct benefits.
The weight distribution of mallet putters allows golfers more forgiveness. It also places a larger amount of force behind the swing. Another benefit this putter offers due to weight distribution is the tendency to hit the ball straighter with more consistency. This is due to the added weight naturally correcting the swing path. The shape and size of the mallet putter allow golfers to hit the golf ball on their target path more often, and the larger face means that there is a larger striking area that will result in a straight hit.
A few of the downfalls related to the mallet putter are its heavier weight, inaccuracy on speedy greens, and inefficiency when utilizing an arc-style stroke. Although these putters are helpful for golfers with a straight back and forward style stroke, they may feel inefficient for golfers trying to create a higher degree of arc in their backswing. The larger head provides the putter with a heavier weight which sometimes also leads to a difficult time judging the speed of putts. And finally, with more weight comes the chance of a *really* bad miss where the putter drags on the green before striking the ball.
The design of the blade putter is very similar to the traditional putter design and are a favorite among golf purists. Modern blade putters are slightly heavier and a little larger than the traditional version, but the modern blade putter is still much smaller in comparison to the mallet putter.
When you watch professional golf, you will notice that the majority of players utilize a blade putter. Many golfers prefer the precision, feel and control offered by this putter. The guys here at Back 2 Basics also prefer the blade! This putter is ideal for golfers with an arc swing stroke. Unfortunately, the blade putter does not offer the same forgiveness as a mallet putter. The line of alignment on a blade putter is about an inch long.
A blade putter offers golfers a few unique benefits, especially for more advanced putters. Still being the most popular style of putter on professional tours, blade putters can provide better distance control and accuracy on longer putts. Its weight distribution also yields more precision in feel. For the golfer who putts more from feel than sight, a blade putter may be the better option.
It is also very well suited for arc swing golfers. The small size of the blade putter offers golfers better control over distance and where the face strikes the back of the golf ball. Obviously much of this comes down to the skill level of the putter themselves, but blades are said to give golfers much more control and nuance with their stroke.
The mallet putter promises forgiveness, but a blade putter can not provide that benefit. Less weight distribution and a smaller face-size means that there is less of a "sweet spot" on the club face. A lighter putter with less weight distribution can also mean that overall control over the putter face may prove more difficult.
Which Putter is Right For You?
There are countless factors that come into play when deciding which putter is right for you. Both the blade and mallet putter offer their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Both putters can be used by a variety of people. However, there are a few things you can consider that may assist you in deciding whether a mallet putter or blade putter is a better choice.
Are You A Beginner?
Be honest regarding where you stand. Be honest about your skills on the putting surface. This will assist you in selecting your putter. If it’s been years since the last time you played, you probably want a more forgiving putter. A forgiving putter is going to set you up with more consistent two putts, and ensure that "misses" aren't as dramatic.
Most golf sets contain blade putters. You can use these if you’d like, but a beginner golfer would benefit from using a mallet putter. The forgiveness offered by this style putter will allow you to focus on figuring out your play style.
What Is Your Swing Style?
You may have noticed that the blade putter and the mallet putter work best when paired with a golfer that has a specific swing style. The style of each putter offers unique benefits that are particularly helpful to golfers that play a certain way.
The mallet putter is most beneficial to golfers with a straight back and straightforward swing style. This is due to the size and weight distribution of the putter. Blade putters, on the other hand, are most beneficial to golfers with an arc-style swing.
Are You Using the Incorrect Putter?
If you do not know your swing style, but you are also not a beginner, you may find yourself questioning whether you are using the incorrect style putter. If so, consider the number of putts you are successfully making. Are you more or less successful when putting?
Next, consider the accuracy of your putts. Are they coming up short? If you feel that these errors are not due to the strength and style of your swing, you may be using the incorrect putter.
If you're on the fence about upgrading your putter, then a much more cost-effective play might be to grab a putting training tool. Check out Back 2 Basics Golf's Pro Path Putting Mirror for a mirror that's proven to help even the world's best putters on the PGA tour.