Six Putters that Will Improve Your Stroke

February 19, 2007

Some days you drain everything, while other rounds you can’t even kick it in. Sure, green conditions affect makes and misses. More often, though, inconsistencies stem from operator error. Read on to learn how these flatsticks use multi-material heads, interchangeable weights and bold alignment graphics to help you pour them in one on top of the other.

Aerta Sports Monster

Seventy percent of the hollow head’s weight is above the ball’s equator. The mallet has a 270-gram stainless-steel top (silver) welded to an 80-gram aluminum sole (red). This reduces skid up to 50 percent so putts roll sooner with overspin. A grooved face also reduces skid.
We found The ball seems to stick to the face; putts track beautifully to the hole. $200; 866-TRUROLL or

Callaway I-Trax

The aluminum I-Trax has two removable topline plates–chevrons (pictured) or straight lines. Select the strip that’s best for you. A pair of brass face weights (each one is 18 grams) plus a 12-gram aluminum sole weight help the head resist twisting.

We found The choice of topline is a bonus; it’s like having two blades in one. $289; 800-588-9836 or

Heavy Putter Your big muscles control the stroke because the Heavy is roughly two pounds! A milled stainless-steel head (25 percent heavier than usual) and weighty grip end (to raise balance point) boost stability.

We found Get the Heavy in motion and it almost swings itself—it’s terrific for handsy players. But we’re still skittish on quick downhillers. $239; 888-PUTTER4 or

Nickent Pipe

The bright white tube has the same diameter as the ball. A soft polymer face insert and 35-gram tungsten back weight improve roll and limit twist.

We found The long white pipe isn’t pretty until it points the way to lower scores. It’s so easy to track the stroke—and where the clubhead is pointing—even on the backswing. #199; 888-NICKENT or

Seemore Money

A red-and white alignment stripe ensures dead-on aim. (You’re good when the three lines are hidden from view.) The red oval plate behind the stainless face lets you adjust headweight to 340 or 360 grams.

We found The stripe is a terrific aid to set up square. Extra mass behind the face helps the head swing back and through. $199; 888-SINKMOR or

Zen Tour Works Mallet

Two brass screws in the rear and one tungsten-copper sole screw shift weight low and back. The hole can be used as a teaching tool-roll a ball from it to check swing path and strike a putt to reveal face angle.

We found The Zen is a superb preround practice aid. Fix faults with it, then go play a round. $249; 866-PLAYZEN or

Blade tips from the Top 100 Teachers

• “Don’t buy a putter off the shelf. The pros don’t—they’re fitted to the correct length, lie, weight and loft. It’s the most valuable club in your bag, so make sure it’s set up just for you.” —Todd Sones

• “The No. 1 mistake people make is to buy a putter that’s too long, then cut it down and lose weight.” —Scott Sackett

• “Try it outside on a putting green. Even take it out for a round if they’ll let you. Lastly, get it fit—get the right length and make sure the putter is soled property on the ground.” —Mike Perpich

• “It should match the type of stroke—heel-shafted for an arcing stroke and face-balanced for straight and through pendulum stroke. Lines are helpful if you have trouble lining up the head. A bigger grip takes the hands out of the stroke. Heavier is better than less loft.” —Don Hurter

• “Base your fitting on aim—where you perceive the target to be and how much loft is on the putter. Consider the hosel configuration—the more gooseneck the more you’ll tend to aim left; the more mallet the more to the right you’ll aim.” —Lard Small

“The putter needs to be pleasing to your eye; the feel suits you; the lie angle is correct, and you have the proper grip size.” —Gerald McCullagh

• “A shoulder-driven stroke needs a face-balanced putter. A hands-and-aim stroke, however, requires a non-face-balanced putter.” —Glenn Deck

“Putters should be fitted like a set of clubs. grip size and head style have a direct effect on the feel.” —Rick Martino

“Offset shafts allow you to keep your hands ahead for better acceleration.” —Rick Barry

• “Take five new-to-you putters plus your current favorite, along with your usual ball, and go to a nicely mowed, relatively smooth putting green. Select a spot that’s three feet from the hole and a relatively straight putt. Starting with your current putter, try all of the putters at three feet. Then move out to six feet and test the putters that are still under consideration—by now, you’ve probably narrowed down to two or three candidates. Keep the ones you like best, and hit 25- to 30-foot putts to see the roll, distance and feel. Hit 12- to 15- footers to make your final selection.” —Ed Ibarguen