Find a Putter Balanced to Match Your Stroke
FIND A PUTTER BALANCED TO MATCH YOUR STROKE
by Dr. T. J. Tomasi
Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research
Before you buy a putter, you should be aware of how the head is balanced. There are three basic types – “Toe-Balanced”, “Face-Balanced” and “forty-five Degree Hangers.”
You can tell the difference by the way the putter face hangs when you balance its shaft across your finger.
You allow it to find its free-balance point by relaxing all pressure on the shaft – if the putter-face hangs perpendicular to the ground with the putter-face straight down, it’s Toe-Balanced.
If it free-balances with the putter-face running parallel to the ground, it’s Face-Balanced.
And if it free-balances so that the putter-face is hanging somewhere in-between perpendicular and parallel, it’s a forty-five Degree Hanger (some hang at exactly 45 degrees, but if it hangs anywhere in between Toe-Balanced and Face-Balanced, it is still defined as a “forty-five Degree Hanger”).
Your putting stroke dictates which type of balancing is right for you; i.e., the one which helps to stabilize the clubhead so that it doesn’t twist at impact.
If your putting stroke swings on a constant arc inside, to square, to inside (like a door as it opens and closes), then a Toe-Balanced putter is best because it allows for a slight opening of the clubface on the takeaway and helps square the face at impact.
If your putting stroke is straight back and straight through (pendulum style), then Face-Balanced putters are best.
They help maintain stability by resisting any opening or closing of the clubface through impact.
If your stroke is neither straight nor uniformly arced, then you need a forty-five Degree Hanger.
The rule of thumb is: the more a stroke tends to open and close the clubface, the more degrees (measured from horizontal) the putter-face should hang.
For example, I have a putting stroke that goes more inside the target line on the backstroke than it does on the follow-through, and I found through trial and error that I need a forty-five Degree Hanger of about 25 degrees.
To find the perfect putter will take some experimenting, but now that you know what to look for, you can begin to zero in on the putter which best matches your stroke.