The putter often gets the short end of the stick for golf clubs. And it’s not just because it’s literally the shortest club in any set.
This club doesn’t have the versatility of a wedge or the power of a driver. But perhaps more than any other club, the putter determines how well you do in each round.
If you look at the stats on a bad round, you’ll probably find that you putted more than necessary. And if you look at the stats on a great round, you may have only used that club a small handful of times.
A good putter can be the difference between shooting your highest and lowest scores. Knowing how to measure the length of this club is essential for purchasing the perfect one. It isn’t a complex process, but it’s one worth taking the time to master.
Why Does Putter Length Matter?
The main reason the length of this club matters is because of how it affects your setup. The three qualities in a perfect setup for a swing are balance, center, and angle.
You want balance in your weight distribution between your feet. You want your shoulders framed perfectly equidistant on either side of the ball, and you want your body poised right over it. That’s a centered setup. Finally, you want to make sure nothing is pointed in the opposite direction so that your angle is on point.
If you have a club that is too long or too short, your balance, center, and angle will all be off. That’s going to guarantee that your puts are off every time. If your puts are off, so will your whole game, and your score will plummet.
How to Measure Putter Length Correctly
You can measure putters in different ways. It’s all going to depend on your height, what you’re looking for in a putter, and how you hold it.
The golf shaft, or hosel, is positioned on putters differently depending on the club’s heel. For this reason, there are heel-shafted putters, non-offset centered types, and offset putters.
Below, you’ll find a standard procedure that will work for measuring putters of any length.
1. Measure Your Height
You first have to know your height. A 6’4 golfer will measure the length of their putter in quite a different way than a 5’2 golfer.
Make sure you record your height in centimeters in case the putters you end up shopping for use European measurements.
2. Get Into Position
Assume the position as if you were about to put. Stand over a ball and angle your body, back slightly arched and knees bent.
3. Let Your Arms Hang
While maintaining your putting stance, let your arms hang down naturally. Try and stay relaxed. When you’ve got a natural pose, like the kind you’ll use when you’re putting, form a grip around an invisible club.
Using a tape measure, record the length from the opening in your palms to the grass. Some like to use an actual putter to measure this distance, but it’s good to get both measurements to cross-reference and compare.
5. Check Against an Actual Putter
Now that you have the distance from your hands to the floor without a putter, try your measurements while holding a real one.
Grip a putter that you already have in a loose, relaxed way. You want to measure your actual stroke’s accuracy, not for the posture you think you should have.
Average these lengths against each other to calculate the ideal length for your height and stance, and start stopping for putters.
Putter Length Guidelines
The best putter length depends on the golfer. Still, you can use the guidelines below to cross-check that your measurements are in the proper range.
5’0” to 5’2”
5’2” to 5’4”
5’4” to 5’6”
5’6” to 5’8”
5’8” to 6’0”
6’0” to 6’2”
6’2” and above
How to Know if Your Putter Is the Right Length for You
A lot goes into the perfect setup. Your setup will also change depending on the club you’re using and where you’re trying to make the ball go. A putt that attempts to skip the ball will require a much different stance than a put meant to drive straight into the hole.
But some common traits will help you determine if a putter is the correct length for all your setups.
You should be comfortable and relaxed. Don’t go rigid when gripping the shaft of the putter. If you assume an unnatural stance when measuring for a putter, you may purchase one based on the wrong specs.
What is your stroke style? Do you stand further away from the ball or closer to it? Do you cut an outside path or strike straight for the hole? Depending on how you play, your putter may need minor adjustments.
Club heads can be heavier or lighter depending on player preference. The average weight for a putter head is 350 grams, but that will change depending on how you square up the face at impact.
A rule of thumb is that heavier head weights work better on slow greens, whereas lighter heads are better on faster green speeds.
The lie angle is the measurement between the shaft and the sole of the clubhead when it touches the ground. If you had a 90-degree lie angle, the clubhead would be parallel to the grass with the shaft aligned straight up. The lie angle on most putters is around 70 degrees.
The ideal lie angle for you will depend on multiple factors that affect the shot’s trajectory. It would probably be best to seek advice from a trainer or fitter to discover your ideal lie angle.
You will need to stand over the ball in the putting position with your arms hanging down naturally. With the putter in your hands, the fitter can assess the head’s resting position on the ground.
The sole should rest flat if the lie angle is right for you. Otherwise, the toe will tip up or down if it’s off.
Toe hang is the angle the toe of the putter points when it hangs naturally. There are five primary toe hang styles, ranging from full toe hang to face ¼ toe hang.
Full means the toe of the putter is the most pointed toward the ground, and ¼, or face balanced, is when the face of the putter is pointed directly to the sky.
This all matters because it impacts how you square the clubface at impact. Scientific studies have shown that keeping the putter square to the ball as it moves forward is crucial to getting the perfect put.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Standard Putter Length?
Standard putter length varies between men’s and women’s putters. Men’s putters are typically between 34 and 35 inches. Women’s putters are usually a standard size of 33 inches.
That extra inch makes all the difference. Having to hunch over or extend up an extra inch can impact your stroke.
Also, be mindful of the width of your clubhead. According to the United States Golf Association, the distance from the heel to the toe of the putter head should not exceed 7 inches.
What Length of Putter Do I Need?
What length putter you need will depend on a few factors, including your height, the angle your spine forms when bent over the ball, and how you bend your elbows when gripping the putter.
More arch and straighter elbows mean a shorter putter. A straighter back and more bent elbows mean a longer putter. Take your measurements before you shop for your perfect putter.
Can You Extend a Putter Length?
You can extend the length of any club in your golf bag. You’ll need to take it in and have it done professionally.
They will either add an extension where the grip is or install an entirely new shaft.
What Length Putter Do Pros Use?
The standard putter length for PGA players is 33.5 inches, right in that sweet spot between standard male and female putter lengths. But pro players don’t often use PGA standard-issue putters. They can go up to 35 and below even 33, depending on their height, arch, and elbow bend.
Getting the Right Fit
More than any other club in your set, you want your putter to feel custom measured to you.
Measuring your putter isn’t tricky, but finding the right putter even when you have your measurements. You don’t want to hurry the process. Building your perfect assortment of clubs is half the battle toward playing a perfect game.
Besides your putter, your other golf equipment needs to be the right fit—including your apparel, golf bag, and more. For stylish and quality golf gear and clothing made for golfers by golfers, shop STITCH today.