What Putter Length Do You Need?
Players need a putter that offers the best control of direction and distance. The length of the putter that you need depends on your height. Often, short golfers fare well with short putters ranging from 33 and 34 inches in length. Tall players that are 6ft or taller, should use 35 inch putters.
However, some golfers find the reverse to be true. This is why it’s important to test both short and long putters to see which length works best for you.
To determine the correct length of your putter, position yourself in the putting stance or address position and hang your arms freely by the side.
Request someone to take the measurement from just above your hands to the ground. This measurement represents the size of the putter that you will need.
How to Tell If Your Putter Length is Too Long
As a rule, if you find yourself placing your hands quite down the putter shaft when you’re in the putting stance, it’s a sign that you have a putter that is too long for you. The following are some tips that golfers have for you to determine if your putter length is too long.
- Your elbows tend to be crooked and your arc will become flatter when you place your hands over the putter shaft.
- The putter head will get positioned away from you causing the toe of the putter to be off the ground. This makes you aim towards the left of the target.
- Your eyes will be to the inside of the golf ball and inclined towards the heel side rather than have your eye line above the putting target line.
- You will be positioning yourself away from the ball more than the actual required distance.
It’s worth noting that there are tall players who opt for long putters and choking down on the shaft rather than buy short putters of that size. However, tall golfers with long arms are more comfortable with putters that are longer than the standard size.
Some golfers are slightly shorter than 6’3” and prefer using a 32.5” putter while there are 6’1” and 6’6” players who use putters with lengths 34.5” and 35.5” respectively.
On the other hand, some players are 5’11” tall and prefer playing with a 28” putter while bending over too much.
Similarly, while some 6’ golfers use 34” putters, there are others of the same height who use slightly longer putters.
Some golfers use a 33” putter and choke down at 31”. A few 5’10” players prefer putters of size between 33” and 33.5”.
How to Tell if Your Putter Length is Too Short
Just as is the case with long putters, there are some giveaway signs that indicate the putter you’re using is too short for you. Here are some of those indicators that are worth checking out based on players’ experiences.
- Your hands tend to be at least partly beyond the end of the shaft of the putter.
- Your eyes will make contact outside of the golf ball rather than be over it.
- You will be closer to the ball than necessary resulting in the putter heel getting lifted and causing you to aim towards the right of the target.
Although short putters are best suited for short players, some tall players are also comfortable with putters of less than the standard size.
There are players of 5’9” height who have better control with 33” and 34” putters that are shorter than standard size putters by just one or two inches.
On the other hand, some of them opt for these putters and choke down by a couple of inches. Having said that, there are 5’10” players who fare well with their 31.5” putters.
At the same time, there are 6’1” and 6’6” tall golfers who are equally comfortable with putters of 34” size. Some 6’1” and 6’ players feel that they perform best using a 33” putter or slightly shorter ones at 32” and 32.5”.
However a few golfers that I meet have extended the size of their putters and flattened their lies accordingly.
There are 6’2”, 6’3” and even 6’6” golfers who are comfortable with their 33” putters because they find their arms are positioned naturally with these shorter putters.
Long Vs Short Putters
When it comes to the correct length of golf putters, it’s very true that no one size fits all. Both long and short putters have their pros and cons on the golf course.
Advantages of a Short Putter:
- Short putters have helped some tall players fare better and deliver better putts per round and per GIR.
- A short putter is easy for golfers who are struggling to keep on a straight line as well as have their eyes over the ball.
- A short putter is beneficial for players with long arms because it helps to hang their arms quite freely. This results in getting rid of the tension present in the stroke and hitting shots as far as possible.
- A short putter helps in shoulder rotation to a certain extent and increases the consistency of impact positioning on the clubface while preventing movement of players’ elbows and wrists.
- A short putter is ideal for short golfers because they will not have to bend forward too much to use the same.
Disadvantages of a Short Putter:
- A short putter can cause a backache for tall players because they have to bend forward to hit the ball.
- A short putter tends to be heavy at the head and result in pulled putts.
- A short putter may make players have their eyes outside of the ball.
- A short putter makes it difficult for some golfers in controlling the distance when they use it for long putts.
Advantages of a Long Putter:
- A long putter is easy to anchor against the body and produce a pendulum stroke because the wrist action over the golfclub tends to be minimized.
- A long putter makes the golfer retain an upright posture that in turn assists them in visualizing the line to the hole better than the short putter.
- A long putter allows long hitters to do better with putting strokes compared to a normal putter.
- A long putter does away with the need for bending forward and hence produces less strain on a golfer’s back. As a result, it’s a good choice for those who practice for long hours.
- A long putter is useful for those who are trying to hit sidesaddle shots by putting from just one side and draining a few putts.
- A long putter helps in keeping unwanted up and down movement of the club at bay.
Disadvantages of a Long Putter:
- A long putter is not very beneficial for skilled putters as it works better for those who are less skilled.
- A long putter is not advantageous for golfers who would like to putt from a distance of over 10 feet. This makes it challenging to use for medium putts and long putts.
- A long putter can cause players to push their aim to the left of the target rather than on it.
- A long putter often renders a lesser feel and is more difficult to control when compared to a standard size putter.
Using a Short Putter for a Tall Player
As said above, the general logic followed is that tall players tend to be better at their game with long putters. However, as always, there are exceptions to this.
There are instances where tall golfers prefer using short putters to achieve the best results. While some of them don’t necessarily opt for short putters, they tend to choke down an inch or two on their long putters. This gives them the same effect of using a short putter.
Some 6’2” players have felt that their shoulders, arms and hands move in unison when they use a 32.5” putter. As a result, they’re able to achieve good acceleration through the ball.
On the other hand, other golfers of the same height and short arms who prefer a stance with a bend from their hips in comparison to an upward stance opt for a 33” putter. This helps to keep their arms straight and they putt better than with an elbow bend.
Few 6’1” and 6’2” tall players who have used both a 34” putter and a 35” find that they play better with the 34” putters and deliver better shots with short putters. In fact, they do well with 33.5” putters also.
There are those who go down a little more and opt for a 32.5” putter as it allows them to remain closer to the ball as well as have their eyes directly over the ball. Furthermore, short putters also prevent them from scuffing behind the ball.
There are 6’5” golfers who use 35” putters because this allows their arms and hands to hang freely and stay comfortable without any tension. This will help in rotating their body instead of hand/wrist and arm rotation. This gives them better control over their club than when they use long putters.
However, not all tall players are at ease using short putters. One common problem they tend to experience is backache, even after playing for a short time on the practice green.
33 inch Putter
To know if a 33-inch putter is too short for you, you must analyze the positions of your eye and body with respect to the golf ball.
If you notice that your eyes tend to remain away from the line of target and you’re standing very near to the ball, a 33-inch putter is likely to be too short for you.
Another way to check if a putter of this size is too short is to determine how effectively you’re able to control your distance when delivering long putts. If your putter is too short, you will have difficulty in doing the same.
This putter is generally short for male players who are taller than 5’9” and are not able to hang their arms freely by the side when in position.
35 inch Putter
A 35-inch putter is a standard size one and is ideal for players who are 6’ or taller.
If you find that your eyes are positioned to the inside of the ball or the distance between you and the ball and you is considerably high, you’re most likely using a putter that is longer than you actually need.
Furthermore, you will notice that the toe of the putter will be off the ground and give you a flatter arc. As a result, the shots will get deflected to the left of the target.
31” Vs 32” Putter
- A few golfers between 5’4” and 5’7” tall are able to make more putts as well as retain an upright posture with a narrow stance when they use a 32-inch putter when compared with a 31-inch putter.
- Players who are 6’ tall and have long arms are able to use a 32-inch putter better than a 31-inch putter.
33” Vs 34” Putter
- A 33” putter is harder to swing than a 34” putter because it has a comparatively heavier swing weight.
- A 33” putter renders players with more control over the club and helps them to locate the hole better when compared to a 34” putter.
- A 33” putter is beneficial when playing a game on soft greens while a 34” putter is a good choice for fast greens.
34” Vs 35” Putter
- Players who tend to choke down on their putters find it easier to do this with a 35” putter in contrast to a 34” putter.
- Some golfers find it easy to achieve their strokes and consistency when they use a 34” putter over a 35” putter because of the comfortable grip.
- Some players experience natural arm position and control over the club along with preferred swing weight when they opt for a 34” putter instead of a 35” putter.
- A 34-inch putter is often ideal for golfers whose heights range between 5’10” and 5’11” whilst a 35-inch putter works well for taller players.
- Should you Measure your Putter Length? Read my answer