If getting better at putting is your goal (and, as a beginner, it should be), it goes without saying that having the right putter will be crucial to helping you achieve that objective.
But all putters are not created equal. Just as with drivers and irons, some putters will be more effective than others for beginner golfers.
This article will lay out which putter features determine whether a specific model is right for you as a beginner. And, based on those features, I’ll make recommendations for the specific models I feel you should consider.
In a hurry? Check out our top pick for the best putter for beginners.
Odyssey 2-Ball Triple Track Putter
- Extremely forgiving
- 2-Ball alignment aid
- Triple Track alignment aid
- High MOI for stability through impact
Even beginner golfers appreciate the importance of putting to their overall scores. But they may not yet fully appreciate just how important it really is.
The statistics don’t lie. Putting strokes account for about 40% (or more) of all the strokes you take on the course. So, for beginners who are currently posting scores over 100, you may be surprised to learn that 40 to 50 of them take place on the greens! No other type of shot even comes close to this, and consequently, nothing represents a better immediate target for beginners to focus on as a way to knock strokes off their scorecards.
ALSO READ: What’s my golf handicap
With hundreds of putter models to choose from, selecting the best one for you can be an extremely challenging task. You can use this guide to help narrow the field. Each of the models recommended below has been chosen because of a specific feature set that will make you better and more consistent on the greens.
Read on to learn which are the best putters for beginners.
Summary of Recommendations – Best Putter For Beginners
|1st Place – Overall Winner||Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball||5 ☆|
|2nd Place||TaylorMade Spider X||4.7 ☆|
|3rd Place||Odyssey TEN Series||4.5 ☆|
|4th Place||TaylorMade TP Black Copper Ardmore 3||4.3 ☆|
|5th Place||Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft #11*||4.2 ☆|
|Winner – Best Model for Women||Odyssey White Hot OG Ladies Putter||5 ☆|
*Winner – Best “Value” Putter
Recommendations of Best Putters For Beginners
Later in this article, I’ll provide more detail about the types of features that should be present in any putter selected by a beginner or high handicapper. Read that section to understand how specific putter design elements can improve your consistency and help you to sink more putts.
There is one specific feature, however, that needs to be emphasized and prioritized for beginners. It is something called “Moment of Inertia,” or MOI.
I’ll get into MOI in more detail later, but put simply, MOI is a calculation that reflects the capability of a putter face to resist the tendency to twist when the ball is struck on some spot other than the center of the club face.
Whenever such a mishit occurs, the face “torques” open or closed and the result is a loss of accuracy and distance control.
But a putter designed with a high MOI rating will compensate for that mishit and will maintain a higher level of face stability.
The result: Even putts that don’t hit the sweet spot on the putter face will still be more accurate – in both distance and direction — than they would otherwise be without that high MOI.
And because beginners and high handicappers tend to miss the sweet spot much more frequently than more skilled golfers, MOI becomes an extremely important feature for you.
Consequently, all the putter models that I recommend below for beginners have high MOI ratings.
Quick Answers – Best Putter for Beginners
1st Place – Overall Winner: Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball (5☆)
Why is the Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball putter the Overall Winner in our rankings?
There is no better alignment system on the market. The unique 2-Ball design is not new for Odyssey. In fact, they originally introduced the first 2-Ball model way back in 2001.
Its continual popularity through the years ensured that Odyssey almost always offered a 2-Ball model whenever they came out with a new putter line.
As you can see from the photo, the design incorporates two white disks that mimic golf balls (the circumference is exactly the same), so that when the putter is placed down behind your actual ball, it gives the appearance of three golf balls lined up in a row.
Why is that important? It provides perhaps the most effective alignment aid ever offered on a putter. Get those “three” golf balls lined up perfectly, and you get an instant confidence boost, knowing that you are aimed perfectly down your target line.
But Odyssey has doubled down on alignment with the new “Triple Track” version of the 2-Ball putter. In addition to the two white discs, they have added Triple Track lines which are prominently featured through the discs to help improve your putting accuracy even more.
The Triple Track lines use “Vernier Hyper Acuity,” which is the same visual technology used to land planes on aircraft carriers, to really improve your alignment for better putting accuracy.
And finally, as discussed above, the Triple Track 2-Ball putter has a high MOI rating ensuring that this putter will remain stable through impact even when off-center hits occur.
The combination of these three things – the 2-Ball alignment aid, the Triple Track alignment aid, and the high MOI – are what landed the Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball putter in our Winners Circle.
Note: If alignment is a big issue for you, as it is for many beginners, Callaway (which owns Odyssey) has also come out with a Triple Track golf ball. The three lines on the ball provide an excellent way to line the ball up to your target.
But if you really want to lock in your alignment like a marksman, use the Triple Track ball in combination with this Triple Track putter.
First, line up your ball with the two white disks on the putter, and then line up the Triple Track lines on the putter with the Triple Track lines on the ball. It’ll make you feel like you can’t miss!
|Mallet||3°||RH/LH||33”, 34”, 35”||70°|
2nd Place – TaylorMade Spider X (4.7☆)
The TaylorMade Spider X is a remarkably stable putter, with an extremely high MOI rating. If you watch the PGA on television, you’ve no doubt seen this putter in the hands of several big-name players: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and others.
Even the pros recognize the advantage that they get from a high MOI putter, which should clue in beginners that this should be a high priority criterion in their putter selection.
A few of the key features:
· ADVANCED SHAPING
A modern mallet putter designed for high MOI forgiveness, stability, and a more consistent roll.
· PURE ROLL
Based on robot testing of TaylorMade’s Pure Roll groove vs. a solid face design, the Pure Roll insert increases topspin and improves forward roll for better distance control.
· PU FOAM
Vibration damping PU foam embedded between the body and frame enhance sound and feel.
Bottom line: Golfers of all skill levels can benefit from the features and performance of the TaylorMade Spider X, but it is an ideal putter for beginners and high handicappers. Its very high MOI means that you won’t get penalized nearly as much when you miss the sweet spot.
The face remains very stable ensuring better accuracy and distance control. It also has a beautiful feel off the club face, due to its innovative face insert and the PU foam inside the head.
It shouldn’t be surprising to see another Odyssey putter in our recommendations list. Odyssey models have led the professional Tours in usage and popularity for years, and the general golfing public has made them their #1 favorite as well. Why? Odyssey’s emphasis on alignment, high MOI, and exceptional feel give golfers more confidence and consistency on the greens.
The new Odyssey Ten putters are actually a line of putters (see photo above) that offers several alignment options. They are loaded with tons of “tech”, and they showcase an exceptional alignment system, a Tour proven, multi-material Stroke Lab shaft, and the Microhinge Star Insert for a more consistent roll.
- These new shapes are sleeker, more forgiving, and you can now choose from several options in 2-Ball or Triple Track to help improve your alignment.
- The Odyssey Ten models feature a new Stroke Lab shaft. This shaft is seven grams lighter and more stable than its predecessor.
- Odyssey’s famous Microhinge Star Insert is used on the Odyssey Ten models. This insert gives a great feel and promotes immediate forward roll on the ball, a key to stopping the ball from hopping after impact. Result: improved speed and control.
4th Place – TaylorMade TP Black Copper Ardmore 3 (4.3☆)
If there was an award for the best-looking putter, the TaylorMade TP Black Copper Ardmore 3 would be in the running. This model has gone through a special plating and hand-polishing process to produce a darker finish with copper accents along the edges, which gives it an almost antique appearance. The result is an absolutely stunning look that will definitely get noticed by your playing partners.
But the Ardmore 3 also has all the tech and important features to improve your putting.
· Unique triple-plating process results in a dark, rustic finish.
· A polymer insert for a beautiful, soft feel.
· It features 45° angled grooves, which are designed to provide the optimal forward roll on the ball.
· The mallet design has a high MOI rating that gives you added stability and lets you get away with the occasional mishit.
· For alignment, it features a simple white sight line which, against the black background, offers a great visual when it comes to lining the ball up on the proper target line.
Bottom line: The TaylorMade TP Black Copper Ardmore 3 putter offers a great combination of looks and performance that would make it an excellent choice for beginners and high handicappers.
5th Place – Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft #11 (4.2☆)
In addition to being one of the best-looking mallet putters on the market, the Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft #11 is also one of the best performers. And for those who appreciate value in their golf equipment purchases, this putter will be a lot more friendly to your wallet than many other putters on the market. As a result, we’ve designated it as the winner, among our recommendations, of the title “Best Value Putter.”
Some of the features that make the Huntington Beach #11 a top choice for beginners:
· Speed Optimized Face Technology maintains ball speed across the entire face, even on off-center strikes, to ensure consistent speed and distance control.
· Precision-milled face with a diamond CNC milling pattern increases friction for pure roll and softer feel.
· Made from soft 304 stainless steel for a softer, yet crisp feel for the right balanced between softness and feedback.
Bottom line: This is one of the best premium, value-for-money mallet putters on the market. Beginners and high handicappers should definitely give it some serious consideration.
|Mallet||3°||RH/LH||33”, 34”, 35”||70°|
Overall Winner – Best Putter for Women: Odyssey White Hot OG Ladies Putter (5☆)
The Odyssey White Hot Pro V-Line for Ladies would be an ideal selection for our women beginners and high handicappers.
It features the world-famous “White Hot” face insert (the same one employed by many versions of both men’s and women’s Odyssey putters), which has attracted golfers for many years due to its consistent sound, feel and performance across the entire striking surface.
The mallet design incorporates a high Moment of Inertia so golfers can miss the sweet spot on the putter face, but still sink a lot of those putts.
A laser milling process achieves extremely tight tolerances for more consistency and performance.
· Modified Hi-Def alignment system for players seeking a high MOI mallet
· Chrome finish for a sleek, unique look
· Highly stable mallet shape
What Features Should You Look For in the Best Putters for Beginners?
In the descriptions of the recommended putters above, you probably noticed some recurring themes. While there are many putter features that designers incorporate into their models, there are two that stand out in importance for beginners:
The first is the one that we previewed earlier in the article, which is referred to as Moment of Inertia, or MOI.
The second is having a strong, visually effective alignment system. Those two things are featured as key components on each recommended putter.
If a putter model doesn’t include both MOI and alignment as key design elements, then that putter was eliminated from consideration as one of our recommendations.
Let’s look at why these two features are of such importance to beginners.
Moment of Inertia
MOI is a general principle of physics that applies to an object’s resistance to a change in rotation direction. When used in the context of golf, it’s simply a measure of a club head’s resistance to twisting at impact.
Let’s try to simplify it with an analogy. If you were to lightly grasp the center point of a pencil between your thumb and forefinger and ask someone to then tap on either end of the pencil, you’d see that the pencil would torque (or twist) one way when tapped on the eraser end, and the opposite way when tapped on the other end.
That is exactly what happens when any golf club (drivers, irons and, yes, even putters) strikes a ball somewhere other than dead center. If the impact happens to hit the sweet spot, there will be no twisting of the club head. It will remain stable.
But when the ball is struck away from the center point of the club face, it will twist either open or closed, in just the same way that the pencil reacted to being struck on either end.
When these types of mishits happen, there is a natural loss of accuracy and distance that occurs. If the ball is struck out toward the toe, for example, even just a little bit, the face will twist or deflect open, and putts will go a shorter distance than desired and will go offline to the right.
The same occurs result from heel hits – putts that go shorter than intended and offline to the left.
But what if putter designers could engineer into the club a way to lessen this twisting effect that occurs with mishits? Well, that’s precisely what they do when they incorporate a high Moment of Inertia into the putter head.
By increasing the size of the head, and by re-allocating weight to specific areas, they increase the putter’s MOI. That, in effect, provides more forgiveness when you don’t hit a perfect putt.
With a higher MOI rating, the putter head stays much more stable through impact, twisting significantly less on those toe and heel mishits. Result: better distance control and more accuracy.
A note about putter size and shape and how it affects its MOI
Because mallet style putters are larger in size than blade putters, the designers of such putters are better able to strategically re-locate weight around the head. This makes it far easier to increase the club’s MOI. If you were to look at a listing of all the MOI ratings for putters, you’d see that the vast majority of the ones with the highest MOI’s are mallet putters.
That is why all the putters that I have recommended for beginners are mallet style. The higher MOI in a mallet design will make you a better putter.
Hopefully, this clears up some of the mystery around MOI. Because beginners and high handicappers tend to mishit putts much more frequently than more skilled golfers, the importance of beginners using high MOI putters can’t be overstated.
The Importance of a Good Alignment System
In addition to frequently missing the sweet spot on their putts, another common putting problem that beginners struggle with is aligning their putter properly and precisely to their intended target line.
How important is it to get alignment right? Consider this. An error of just 1° in aiming your putter face translates into 2.1 inches off-target at 10 feet! That’s an amazing statistic, and you can see why so many makeable putts are missed when the margin for error is so small.
The importance of aiming correctly to putting success is critical. In fact, Dr. Jim Suttie, co-author of The LAWs of the Golf Swing maintains that nine out of ten putting errors are the result of aiming your putter face incorrectly.
So, if correctly aiming your putter is so vital, beginners should look for putters that feature very clear and effective alignment markings on the top of the putter.
These alignment markings come in lots of different styles. Some markings may be more effective than others, but the key is that you find one that appeals to your eye and that makes it easier for you to get the face lined up correctly.
Once again, as with MOI ratings, all the models that I have selected as recommended putter options for beginners make use of very prominent alignment markings. Models that don’t prioritize alignment as a primary design feature did not make our cut.
The style of the putter you select is a very personal decision. Putters come in all shapes and sizes, and you should be able to find one that appeals to your eye.
But what should be non-negotiable for beginners is choosing a putter that has a high Moment of Inertia and very effective alignment markings. Those are the two most important factors that will make you better on the greens.
Our winner: The winner of our analysis of the best putter for beginners and high handicappers is the Odyssey Triple Track 2-Ball. It has an extremely high MOI and perhaps the best alignment system of any putter on the market. You wouldn’t go wrong with any of the recommended choices, but the Triple Track 2-Ball comes out on top.