Mallet putters surge in popularity.
The putter has been perceived as equipment’s technological holdout. For years, golfers were reluctant to embrace innovation in the club they used most. That has changed. Physics give mallets an advantage over blade-style putters in forgiveness, stability and alignment, and tour pros have made them cool. More than half of the top 50 players in the world use mallets, including three of the past five No. 1s.
The move to mallets is more than just peer pressure, says Sean Toulon, general manager for top-selling Odyssey Golf and longtime putter designer. “We’re starting to look at construction in putters through the same lens that we looked at construction in drivers,” he says. “So you’re going to start to see some products that can perform at a different level given their size.”
For example, some of the latest compact mallets offer multiple materials and internal weighting that make them as stable as larger mallets. Heel-shafted hosels also make it easier to swing some mallets in an open-close arc (like you would with a blade) without sacrificing stability and forgiveness. Plus, a putter fitting with high-tech monitors provides proof that strokes improve with mallet putters.
For all the technological upgrades, the appeal of the mallet putter might be about emotion. As Toulon says, “When golfers start seeing people making putts with funny-looking putters, they assume it’s the putter, not the person.” Here are six that might make you rethink how you roll.