Blade vs Mallet Putter – The Endless Debate: SOLVED

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Putting. It should be so simple? Yeah right. Putting is probably one of the hardest parts of golf. Considering all that separates you from winning the hole is about 6 feet of grass, what could go wrong? Well, in my case, smashing it 7 feet straight past, followed by another two putts.

Quick Jump -

Did you know I can throw a putter a long way? 

In fact, in a contest (blade vs mallet) – The mallet wins on throwable distance for sure… 

But, when choosing the right putter for actually sinking the ball, there is an argument for both a blade putter and a mallet putter.

In this article, I’m going to show you the difference between them.

Blade vs Mallet Putter | Why Does It Matter?

When it comes to lowering your score, one of the easiest ways to achieve this is by improving your putting. After all, of all the clubs you have in your bag, the putter will always make the most strokes per round. 

Get the putter, and the putting stroke, dialed in, and you should see a vast improvement to your score.

But what is the ‘right’ putter? A mallet putter or a blade putter? Well, this is going to require some thought.

Mallet and blade putters are not created equal. Your stroke style, sense of ‘feel,’ how the weight is distributed, and even your confidence all play a big part in choosing a putter.

We wanted to get to the bottom of what’s best. Now, there will be no clear winner, and choosing the right style putter is a profoundly personal choice… But we went to the practice green, armed with a handful of golf balls and a fair helping of patience to see if we could get a good idea of what each putter style offers.

What’s the Difference Between a Mallet and Blade Putter?

The main difference is how each behaves when putting. A mallet-style putter is great for beginners or those who struggle with alignment. Blade style putters are slightly more advanced and are considered a real golf ‘players’ club.

⛳️ - What is the Most Forgiving Putter?

You’ll generally find that mallet putters are more forgiving. As the weight is spread to make them more face balanced. As a result, they are less prone to twisting during the putting stroke, ensuring that your shots will tend to be straight.

Twinned with this, you’ll find that mallet putters have a larger sweet spot, reducing the chance of mishits. When combined with the ease of alignment, it is easier to see why many opt for the mallet putter to improve their game.

So, is the blade out of the running when compared with a mallet putter? Absolutely not! Let’s dig into a rundown of both (and not the green) and see what we find…

What is a Blade Putter?

In the simplest terms, a blade-style putter is what you’d consider ‘traditional’.

 If you went back in time and bumped into St Andrew in Scotland, chances are he’d be holding a blade putter (but we’ve no idea where he got a Scotty Cameron?).

It’s a simple, narrow blade with a flat back.

It is generally attached to the shaft near the heel. You might see the odd one that is attached more towards the center of the putter face. You’ll find many different weighting options, ranging from a toe bias to a heel bias, face balanced, and everything in between.

Here’s the lowdown…

⛳️ - Putting Stroke Style

Blade putters favor those with an arced putting stroke. The putter face is easier to twist and manipulate during the stroke. 

The face will open and close slightly if you have an arc to your putting stroke. This happens subconsciously. You’ll find that those who prefer a blade rely heavily on ‘feel’ instead of the visual. Speaking of which…

⛳️ - Feel

Blade putters tend to offer a much better feel. This makes them ideal for the longer putts. You won’t need to judge your distance based on stroke length or how ‘hard’ to hit it. 

Just like rolling something underarm (or throwing your old putter overarm), you’ll be able to just ‘feel’ how hard to go to get the correct distance.

⛳️ - Alignment

This is an area where blade putters are slightly disadvantaged

Due to the thin straight back of a blade putter, there isn’t much in the way of ‘drawing a line’ back from the ball. It can be quite tricky to tell whether you have brought the putter back on the correct line. 

That said, if you have a consistent stroke, this shouldn’t matter so much.

⛳️ - Face

You’ll generally find two types of faces. A milled face is essentially a solid one-piece design. This promotes an excellent feel but can often be very unforgiving unless you find the middle. 

To counter this, you might find that the manufacturers incorporate a face insert. This insert aims to stop the face from being quite so ‘hot,’ and often, you’ll discover blade putters with an insert have a bigger sweet spot.

⛳️ - Forgiveness

The only place you’ll find forgiveness with a blade putter is if you are holding it in confession.

Gotta get that golf practice in when you can, right?

They are notoriously punishing when it comes to mishits. Fail to find the middle, and you’ll get a dull feeling ‘thunk’ followed by the prospect of another 15-foot putt.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Pros & Cons of a Blade Putter

— PROS —

— CONS —

What is a Mallet Putter?

Do you see that thing in your golf buddy’s bag, the one that looks like a spaceship with a shaft attached?

Yep, that’s a mallet putter. 

There are many different mallet style putters around. Square shapes, round and even ‘spider’ shaped! The general theme is a large protuberance (a sticky out bit) going rearward from the flat face of the putter. There are almost as many designs as there are players.

The upshot of mallet putter designs is that manufacturers have more area to ‘play jazz’ when it comes to weight distribution. As a result, they can create a more stable putter head, bigger sweet spots, and ultimately an easy to use putter. 

Let’s see what’s going down…

⛳️ - Putting Stroke Style

Mallet putters favor a much more linear and ‘square’ putting stroke. If you bring the putter back straight from the ball, it could be ideally suited as the straight line heading back from the club head makes it easy to hold your line, and it’s easy to see if you are diverging on the way through too!

⛳️ - Feel

This is an area where the mallet loses the battle. 

They tend to feel a little more ‘synthetic’ than their skinny backed blade counterparts. With a blade, you’ll be able to make an accurate guess whether you have hit it long or short, without looking. A mallet can deaden this sense of feel.

⛳️ - Alignment

Here is where a mallet truly shines. 

You have a substantial line going back from the center of your golf ball, back straight through your putter face, and beyond. 

Aside from getting down on your hands and knees with a ruler and a sharpie (and upsetting the greenkeeper), this is about as good as you are going to get when it comes to lining up your shot.

⛳️ - Face

Most Mallet putters will have some form of face insert. It would be such a shame to have such a large spaceship… sorry, club head, and a tiny hittable area. The aim is to create a large sweet spot, making the putter easy to hit well, aiding in consistency.

⛳️ - Forgiveness

Just like my relationship with the ex, mallet putters are all about forgiveness. (I’ve got a better one now, and I’m happy, yes that’s right Becky, I’m HAPPY). 

Seriously, mallet putters offer lots in the way of forgiveness. You can remove mis-hits from the equation. So unless you miss the golf ball completely (it has been done), there’s a good chance you’ll be on your way to the hole.

Pros & Cons of a mallet Putter

— PROS —

— CONS —

⛳️ Frequently Asked Questions ️

The first port of call should be to decide on what you are looking to achieve with your new putter (aside from sinking 20 footers, of course). Do you struggle with alignment, striking, distance control?

Identify the weak spot in your game and then see if there is a putter whose attributes will help to correct it. Your best bet is to create a shortlist of what matters to you, be it feel, alignment, or even budget, and work from there.
Again, this depends on what you are looking for. After spending countless rounds knocking it 10 feet past, but often coming close to the hole on the way (and setting the course swearing record), I saw that my alignment was fine, but my feel and distance was off. So I opted for a blade. However, you might have the reverse where you get the length but not the line. In this case, a mallet could be the way to go.
Some golf pros use mallet putters. However, when it comes to blade vs. mallet putters, you’ll find that the majority of pros use a blade. The reason for this is purely down to the fact that they rely heavily on feel. When you consider the practice those guys put in, alignment and a consistent stroke is second nature at the level of their game.
Mallet putters are definitely more forgiving. Larger sweet spots, more even weight distribution, face inserts, and the ability to customize your putter make them an excellent choice for players who are looking for forgiveness.
Remember that a putter is a tool. It’s who holds it that determines whether it works. Granted, you probably aren’t going to win any majors with something you ‘borrowed’ from the kid’s crazy golf club collection, but that said, you definitely don’t need to blow your budget on a really expensive putter. A high price doesn’t always equate to better results.
Putter fitting is undoubtedly an option, but unless you have an unusual body geometry or are really struggling with your putting stroke, most putters are manufactured to fit the average. Your best bet is to make sure that your putter that ‘feels’ great and gives you decent results, only if this fails should you consider fitting.
For the money, I really like the look of the Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Bird of Prey putter. If you want a new putter with a great (and slightly different) look, clever design, and that offers a really great amount of forgiveness then the Odyssey may make a top choice. One particular area where Odyssey excel is in face inserts.This should help to solve some of the problems you may normally face with mallets when it comes to a lack of feel. There isn’t much that you won’t like.
The Titleist Scotty Cameron Special Select is one of the best blades out there. I really like it. Titleist have offered a great middle ground with a new larger sweet spot. It isn’t exactly a new design, but I really like the solid milled face, and the integral tungsten weights that keep the club surprisingly stable and square on impact, ultimately giving straighter, truer shots. It would be a worthy competitor vs mallet putters.

My Conclusion

So, in the epic battle of blade vs mallet putters, there isn’t one that is the hands-down ‘best’ when actually putting.

It all depends on what you are looking for and seeing what ticks the highest number of boxes. Blade and mallet putters both have their own benefits and downfalls. Golf can be a game of trial and error. The only way you’ll truly see which offers the most help is by what is reflected in the ball after you hit it and how it helps with your game.

Your Guru Author


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