If there is ever a topic I’m an expert on, this could be the one. Putting is absolutely the worst part of my golf game, and I’ve tried out numerous putters and putter types over the years hoping for improvement. The results have been mixed, but in this process, I’ve identified a certain type of putter that works best not only for me but for bad putters in general.
The best putters for bad putters are center shafted, face-balanced putters. This combination for a putter allows the golfer to perform a pendulum putting stroke, where the putter moves straight back and then straight through. The face-balanced putter head will ensure the club face remains square throughout the stroke.
Keep scrolling to learn more about why the center shafted, face-balanced putters are optimal for bad putters. Also, at the end of the post, I’ll provide a Top 5 list of the putters I’d recommend to a bad putter.
What Is A Face-Balanced Putter?
There are two common putter types on the market today: toe-hang and face-balanced. According to GolfWRX, a face-balanced putter is one in which, the axis of the shaft and the putters center of gravity, are perfectly aligned.
To determine the difference between the two, simply lay a putter on a table with just the clubhead hanging off. If the clubface is pointing straight to the sky, the putter is face-balanced. If the clubhead is pointing anywhere else, it’s a toe-hang putter.
The toe-hang putter is better for a putting stroke with a good amount of arc. This simply means the putter travels inside on the way back and on the way through. Putting this way usually involves the putter face opening a bit on the way back, which will then require it to be closed prior to impact. This is not the ideal putting stroke for bad putters.
The face-balanced putter is more conducive to a pendulum putting stroke which, for the most part, has the putter traveling straight back and straight through. It should feel like the face isn’t opening at all with this type of putting stroke. In my opinion, this is the optimal putting stroke for a bad putter. The more simple we can make the motion, the better.
What Is A Center Shafted Putter?
A center shafted putter is one in which the shaft bisects the middle of the putter head. All other putter types on the market, regardless of neck type, have the shaft of the putter connecting at the heel of the putter head. The center shafted putter promotes a straight back and straight through putting stroke, especially when combined with the face-balanced putter head. In addition, a center shafted putter is easier to align, which allows the golfer to be confident the ball will go where aimed.
The majority of players on the PGA Tour don’t use a center shafted putter. Instead, they opt for the heel shafted variety. This fact should not deter a bad putter from using a center shafted putter. We all know PGA Tour players are the best golfers in the world and possess next level talent. These guys could literally make any type of putter work. Plus, they have unlimited time to practice with it. For players like us, who are mostly weekend golfers, we only have a certain amount of time to allocate to practice. Mastering a pendulum putting stroke with a center shafted putter is easier and will require less time than mastering a more arcing putting stroke with a heel shafted putter.
Zach Johnson is one player on the PGA Tour who uses a center shafted putter, and he’s has had great success with it. Both of his major victories, the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship, were won using a center shafted, face-balanced SeeMore putter.
Are All Center Shafted Putters Face-Balanced?
This answer may surprise you. No, not all center shafted putters are face-balanced. These putters are seen more on the PGA and Euro tours than at your local golf store. Some of the pros don’t like the centered shaft obscuring the ball when lining up the putt, so they’ll have the shaft adjusted slightly more towards the heel side. With this adjustment, the weight of the clubhead moves towards the toe which makes the putter more toe hang instead of face-balanced.
Again, these are PROS. This is definitely not a change a bad putter should make. For bad putters, it’s imperative the putter be centered shafted and face-balanced. This provides the highest likelihood of consistently producing a straight back and straight through putting stroke. Remember, simplifying the putting stroke is the ultimate goal. The combination of a center shafted, face-balanced putter with a straight back and straight through stroke is about as simplified as we can make putting.
Top 5 Putters For Bad Putters
1. Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 10.5C Putter
The Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft Premier 10.5 C is the best center shafted, face-balanced putter on the market, when price is factored in. The gray satin finish delivers a premium look, for half the price of the higher-end putters. Cleveland has implemented Speed Optimized Face Technology on this putter face which enables better distance control even on mishits.
- Ball rolls smooth off face
- Superb distance control, even with mishits
- Price ($179.99)
- “Soft” in putter title is a bit misleading. It’s more of a smooth feeling off the face, not exactly “soft”.
|Length||33″, 34″, 35″|
|Head weight||365 grams|
|Grip Type||Huntington Beach Soft Oversized|
2. Bettenardi Inovai 6.0 Center Putter
The Bettenardi Inovai 6.0 Center Putter is the Rolls Royce of center shafted, face-balanced putters. The price tag is hefty, but if your budget allows, it’s worth picking up. With this putter, Bettenardi has introduced a new Roll Control Face that was engineered specifically to add more topspin at impact, which allows for a more true roll.
The look of the Inovai 6.0 is stunning. The body of the putter head is a Stealth Black anodized 6061 Military Grade Aluminum while the front piece of the putter head is a Diamond Blast finished 303 Stainless Steel. It absolutely looks the part of a high-end putter.
- Clean sight lines at setup
- Perfectly balanced and weighted
- Right amount of topspin produced at impact
- Very forgiving
- Price ($400)
|Loft||1° – 5°|
|Lie||67° – 73°|
|Length||33″ – 38″ (includes half sizes)|
|Head weight||358 grams|
|Grip Type||Standard or Jumbo|
3. PING DS72 C Putter
The newly released PING DS72 C Putter has to be included on this list. This is a sharp-looking putter with a similar black and gray color scheme to that of the Inovai 6.0. PING has added tungsten weights to the toe and heel for improved balance and accuracy. The DS72 C is also equipped with a shallow milled face which produces a firmer strike for a consistent ball speed. If you don’t want to spend the $400 on the Bettenardi, this is a perfect alternative. You get the same high-end look and a comparable performance while saving about $120.
- Firmer feel
- Maximum forgiveness
- High-end look
- Price ($279.99)
|Length||33″ – 36″|
|Head weight||370 grams|
|Grip Type||PING PP60 Pistol Putter Grip – Midsize|
4. PING 2021 Tyne C Putter
The Ping 2021 Tyne C Putter is another great center shafted, face-balanced putter option. This putter offers both consistency and predictability, both qualities we have come to expect from Ping. Maximum forgiveness was a specific focus for PING in this putter’s construction. This was achieved by implementing their new Dual-Durometer Insert, which helps with the accuracy of short putts and distance control on the lag putts.
- Soft feel, consistent roll
- Clean look and feel
- Price ($279.99)
- Finish durability
|Length||33″ – 36″|
|Head weight||365 grams|
|Grip Type||PING PP58 Mid Pistol Putter Grip – Standard|
5. Tour Edge Bazooka Pro #4 Putter
This is certainly the most budget-friendly putter on the list. The Tour Edge Bazooka Pro #4 putter comes in at a whopping $59.99. There are no bells and whistles with this putter, but at this price point, we shouldn’t expect any. The main benefit of this putter is it meets our criteria of being center shafted and face-balanced while providing a consistent roll.
This is a great entry-level putter you can game while deciding if the center shafted, face-balanced putter is right for you. If you have issues using this one, you’d likely experience the same issues with the higher-end putters. Focus on the technique.
- Price ($59.99)
- Soft feel off the face
- Jumbo grip
- Not the same face technology as the higher-end putters
- Basic looking putter
|Length||33″ – 35″|
|Head weight||Not Listed By Manufacturer|
|Grip Type||Tour Edge Jumbo Putter Grip|
The final takeaway here should be to give the center shafted, face-balanced putter a try. For a bad putter, this is the optimal putter type to use. Taking the putter straight back and straight through is easier to repeat than an arcing putting stroke. There are not a whole lot of new options outside of the putters I’ve listed above. If you’re not interested in those, I’d recommend going on a reselling site to check out other makes and models from previous years. Good luck!