blade vs mallet putter

Golf equipment technology is ever-evolving yet two fundamental putter designs remain constant – blades and mallets. Over the years, we’ve witnessed groundbreaking innovations in both categories, from classic designs like the Odyssey 2-Ball and PING Anser to head-scratching marvels like PING’s Doc 17 and TaylorMade Truss. However, a burning question lingers: is there a significant statistical performance difference between blades and mallets?

Putting: The Scorecard Savior

Putting accounts for a staggering 40% of your overall score, making it a crucial aspect of the game. While looks and feel undoubtedly play a role in putter selection, it’s the underlying technology and how it complements your stroke that ultimately determines performance on the greens.

Decoding Putter Performance

Myth-Busting: Looks Don’t Matter

In our decade-long putter testing at the MGS Golf Lab, we’ve found zero correlation between visual cues and actual performance. Looks, as appealing as they may be, don’t necessarily translate to better scores.

The Distance Factor

To evaluate putter performance, we focused on three key distances: 5 feet, 10 feet, and 20 feet. By breaking it down this way, we aimed to determine which putter style excelled at each range.

The Battle of the Putters

Five-Foot Putts: The Mallet Advantage

After hitting 23,000 putts from 5 feet with both mallet and blade putters, our data revealed that mallets emerged victorious. If you struggle with those crucial five-footers, a mallet-style putter might be the solution.

Ten-Foot Putts: The Blade Strikes Back

Moving to the 10-foot range, we once again calculated 23,000 putts for each style. This time, blades proved to be the superior choice, arguably the most crucial distance for scoring.

Twenty-Foot Putts: The Blade Reigns Supreme

Lastly, we examined the 20-foot putts, and blades were the clear winner. From long-range, blade-style putters demonstrated more consistent and effective performance.

The Fitting Factor

The Shocking Statistic

Our testing revealed a startling fact: 80% of golfers are not properly fitted for their stroke type. This highlights the importance of getting fitted for a putter, as it can definitively help lower your scores.

Fitting Tips

When getting fitted for a putter, keep these tips in mind:

  • Putt from 5, 10, and 20 feet
  • Hit an equal number of putts from each distance
  • Compare the performance difference with your current putter

Blade Putters: Tradition Meets Innovation

The Scotty Cameron Legacy

For years, Scotty Cameron putters have been among the most sought-after blade putters, epitomizing the classic look and feel that many golfers crave. However, challenges are emerging with increasing regularity.

The COBRA 3D-printed Putter

The COBRA putter is a remarkable blend of tradition and cutting-edge technology. As the first 3D-printed putter, it features an SIK face with descending-loft technology, ensuring consistent launch angles regardless of impact location.

Evnroll ER2: Groove Technology

The Evnroll ER2 putter boasts face-groove technology, which allows the ball to travel the same distance even on off-center strikes. The V-type grooves help redirect the ball back toward the center, almost like cheating!

Mallet Putters: The Technological Marvels

The Odyssey 2-Ball Triple Track

The Odyssey 2-Ball Triple Track is a prime example of modern mallet putter innovation. Although unconventional in appearance, the three lines on top of the putter serve a purpose, proven to work effectively in our testing. This putter ranks among the best we’ve ever tested.

The PXG Battle Ready Bat Attack

The PXG Battle Ready Bat Attack is a high-MOI masterpiece crafted entirely from aerospace-grade aluminum and featuring tungsten weights in the “bat wing” design. Our testers praised its excellent performance and stability.

Mallet Putters: Beyond Aesthetics

Mallet putters are no longer just about their non-traditional aesthetics. They offer an arsenal of technology to improve performance and make the game more enjoyable. If you’ve overlooked mallet putters due to their looks, it’s time to reconsider.

The Best of the Best

Top Blade Putter: Cleveland HB Soft Milled 1

In our testing, the HB Soft Milled 1 received the award for the Best Blade Putter of 2023.

Top Mallet Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Rossie S

In the mallet category, the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Rossie S emerged as the winner of our Best Mallet Putters of 2023 testing.

Source: MrShortGame Golf

Conclusion: Finding Your Perfect Fit

The Right Putter for You

The right putter for you depends on matching your stroke with the right putter. Mallets were the winners for five-foot putts, while blade putters excelled from 10 and 20 feet. You may know exactly which style you need, or you might want to carry both to be ready for every distance.

Get Fitted, Improve Your Game

Whatever you do, get properly fitted. It could be an instant improvement to your game, and with the right putter in your hands, you’ll be well on your way to lower scores and more enjoyment on the greens.

FAQs about blade vs mallet putter

Do pros use mallet or blade putters?

Both mallet and blade putters are widely used on the PGA Tour, as professionals tend to choose putters based on personal preference, stroke type, and performance rather than adhering to a specific style.

How do you know if you need a mallet putter?

A mallet putter can be beneficial if you struggle with five-foot putts or if you prefer a putter with a higher moment of inertia (MOI) for increased forgiveness on off-center strikes. However, the best way to determine the right putter for you is through a professional fitting.

Does the PGA Tour use blade or mallet putters more frequently?

While there is no definitive data on the overall usage of blade versus mallet putters on the PGA Tour, both styles are widely represented among professional golfers. The choice often comes down to individual preference, stroke mechanics, and performance on the greens.

By Lana

Lana Lana has been swinging a golf club for close to 30 years. After playing Division 1 College golf, she went on to turn professional and coach hundreds of golfers to become better players. Lana lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children and continues to write, teach, and learn about golf daily. As a scratch golfer, Lana has actionable tips and advice to help you take your game to the next level without over complicating it.

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