Selecting a new putter for your golf game provides you with a number of options. Putters are about more than just sleek lines and eye-catching designs. Blade and mallet putters are the two most common styles, and each has its own design and benefits that makes it best for a particular style of putting stroke.
A blade putter has a simpler design than a mallet putter. Unless you're a new golfer who purchased a mallet putter as your first putter, it's highly likely that you have used a blade putter at some point in your life. This putter gets its name because it has a straight, blade-style clubhead attached to the end of the shaft. The shaft attaches either to the heel of the blade or closer to the center of the blade.
Mallet putters have more elaborate designs and are notable for their large clubheads. Although the clubface of a mallet putter is square like a blade putter, mallet putters have large clubheads that come in various shapes, such as square, semi-circle or even more abstract designs. Much of the weight of a mallet putter is away from the clubface, providing golfers with a different feel while putting.
If you're trying to decide between buying a mallet putter or a blade putter, much of the choice should be based on how the putter feels and performs in your hands. One of the key characteristics of a putter is its feel; it should be easy for you to swing so that you can concentrate on the putt itself, rather than the putter. Mallet putters often have more forgiveness in their clubfaces, due to the placement of weights. Despite their larger size, mallet putters are often about the same weight as blade putters.
Each style of putter is more suitable for certain styles of putting strokes. If your putting stroke is straight back and straight ahead, a mallet putter is ideal because of the club's center of gravity, which is toward the back of the club. With this design, it's easier to keep the clubface square. If you have an inside-outside-inside arc in your putting stroke, a blade putter is better because this putter is easier to twist slightly during the stroke.