The best putters for golfers

  • Putting can be one of the most frustrating yet rewarding parts of golf, and most of the performance comes back to the type of putter you have in your golf bag.
  • As you practice and play, you'll want a high level of feedback from your putter in order to help you feel out and correct any mistakes.
  • Our top pick, the Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3, delivers the feel every golfer needs in a classic looking putter, while still offering modern technology and materials.

The movie "Caddyshack" is a treasure trove of memorable comedic golf scenes, such as when Judge Smails is facing a critical putt on the final hole of the match.

During this high stakes moment, he decides to call on his purple velvet-wrapped Billy Baroo putter. This ancient putter has no modern materials or technologies but it gives the Judge enough confidence to make the key putt to put his team ahead — all while chanting the name of his putter and caressing it just enough to make the viewer hilariously uncomfortable.

Though the movie is a fictional take on the game of golf, one aspect rings extremely true: putting is all about confidence. For most golfers, this confidence develops over thousands of hours of practice with their favorite putter — and I'm not entirely sure the Billy Baroo is a PGA Tour favorite. 

Fortunately, if you don't have the time or desire to spend hours on the putting green, modern putters have plenty of materials and design features capable of helping you gain confidence quickly. That's why we've done the research to find the best putters currently on the market. 

Here are the best putters:

  • Best overall: Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3
  • Best mallet-style: Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball
  • Best on a budget: Pinemeadow Golf PGX putters

Updated on 12/3/2020. We updated prices, links, and formatting.

The best putter overall

The Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3 putter delivers a classic look golfers love and also offers the latest materials and technologies.

Pros: Forgiving on mis-hits, removable weights in the heel and toe for customizing the putter's feel, milled face of the putter gives you a true ball roll, new left-handed version will be available

Cons: Takes practice to dial in the desired distance consistently, top of putter may reflect sun's glare, very expensive

The Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3 putter delivers the latest materials and technology you'd expect in a high-end putter, yet it all fits into a sharp-looking design that resembles classic putters.

At the bottom of the putter, you'll find two round weights that you can swap out to give the putter a different feel. These weights, which range from 10 grams to 20 grams apiece, allow you to control the heel/toe weight of the putter. This putter provides a great toe flow in the stroke because the shaft is connected to the putter's heel with a 3/4-inch offset.

The head of the Select Newport 3 consists of stainless steel, while the putter face is made from milled aluminum. The face's material helps to give you a higher level of feedback in the putting stroke than most metal faces.

The best mallet-style putter

If you struggle to properly align your putts, the Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball putter gives you a visual clue with circles that look like golf balls printed on the mallet head.

Pros: Favorable design, marked improvement over past versions, red color gives you a clear contrast with the two white circles, the design is extremely forgiving of mis-hits

Cons: Expensive putter, some people find the red color and the two white circles on top of the blade distracting

Golfers aren't shy about providing opinions on putter designs. But when it comes to the 2-ball design of the Odyssey O-Works Red 2-Ball putter, those opinions increase quite a bit.

Some people don't like the look of the 2-ball putter design, which features two white circles about the size of golf balls directly in the center of the putter face. Other people like the way the two white circles help them visualize the path the putter should follow, moving those white circles through the white golf ball during the putting stroke.

Those who like the design and find it easier to use swear by it. The latest version of the Odyssey 2-ball putter is a high-level performer that will be a popular choice among those who like a mallet-style putter.

One of the biggest improvements in this new version of the Odyssey O-Works is the micro hinge face insert, which consists of stainless steel and delivers a high level of topspin on your putting strokes, even when you have a mis-hit. The insert also should deliver a bit more distance than you may have received in the past.

The best putter on a budget

The Pinemeadow Golf PGX putter gives you a heavy mallet-style style putter for a great price.

Pros: Great price point for a mallet style putter, extra weight gives the PGX a high-quality feel, white color of the putter head contrasts nicely with the alignment lines, no concerns with sun glare on putter head

Cons: Longevity of this putter is questionable, doesn't contain high-end materials found in more expensive putters that help with feel and vibration reduction

For some people, gaining confidence in a putter requires spending $100 or more. Oddly enough, you could hand them an inexpensive putter and it's as if their confidence disappears.

But if you are more worried about what a putter does versus what it costs, the Pinemeadow Golf PGX putter features a heavy mallet-style putter that should give you confidence. It delivers some of the same looks and putting feel that you'd find with a putter that costs two or three times more.

Certainly, the PGX doesn't have some of the high-end materials in the faceplate and in the insert behind the putter face that you'll find in the high-quality putters elsewhere on our list. But for beginners still learning how to develop a feel for putting, this one is a nice introductory putter.

You can get the PGX in both left- and right-handed versions, as well as in both men's and women's versions.

The Pinemeadow Golf PGX is a heavy putter, weighing in at 380 grams, so it will give you a solid ball strike. You can also get the women's Pinemeadow Golf PGX Putter for $40.

What to look for in a golf putter

Types of putters

Shape and weight balance play a key role in the design of a modern putter. Some putter designs aim to compensate for oddities in your putting stroke, according to The Golf Warehouse.

Different shapes of putters may help people gain more confidence in a putting stroke, too. On the other hand, some people find certain shapes distracting to the eye. GolfTec Scramble says you should try to match the type of putter you're using to your natural putting stroke path and to your personal preference on putter head shape.

  • Blade: This style of putter has been around for more than a century. It has a rectangular-ish shape. The shaft extends from the heel of the putter, while the toe of the putter can have some an upward angle or curve to it. Its design works well for a golfer with a straight putting swing path, Laser Golf Rangefinder says.
  • Heel/Toe: A heel/toe style putter, which has extra weight at either end of the rectangular putter, is an evolution of the blade-style putter. The weight distribution should help you to keep the putter online better, according to Golf Magic. With a heel/toe putter, you may have the ability to remove or add weight to the putter as well. This allows a golfer to adjust the weight of the heel/toe putter to match multiple types of swing paths.
  • Mallet: The mallet putter uses a deep shape in the back of the putter. This design creates a lower center of gravity, according to Golfalot, which reduces spin when you have an off-center ball strike. Many different shapes of mallet putters are available, including those with a rounded back or a squarish look.

Key features for putters

Although all putters have a flat area that makes contact with the ball when putting, they use different materials to generate feel when putting. When putting on especially fast greens, for example, you may want a softer material in the putter face.

However, as True Spec Golf says, the best advice is to take some time to figure out which type of material gives you the best feel when putting, as each golfer can have different needs.

  • Metal Face: The face of the putter may consist of almost any type of metal, including steel, bronze, aluminum, or titanium. A metal face will deliver a solid feel of contract. Some metal faces include a milled (or rough or grooved) surface, designed to help eliminate skidding and deliver the proper topspin on the ball.
  • Insert Face: An insert face consists of softer materials than metal. Through the insert, manufacturers can redistribute the weight across the face of the putter to help you keep the swing path on-center. An insert face should give you a softer feel in the ball-strike than you'll have with a metal face.
  • Combination Face: Some putters have an insert inside the putter, providing the benefits of that softer material, while also including a metal face that covers the softer insert. Some golfers prefer the feel of this type of putter.

Check out our other great golf gear guides

  • The best golf clubs 
  • The best golf balls
  • The best golf bags
  • The best golf gloves
  • The best golf tees

 

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