Blade vs Mallet Putter: Which is Better for a Beginner?

While there are hundreds of putters on the market, there are only two main styles. In this post, we’ll compare the two styles as we look at the blade vs mallet putter, weigh up the pros and cons and help you to determine which style of putter will be best for your game.

Putting is a skill that every player must develop and is critical to your success as a golfer, and the putters that you use can be just as vital. Your skill and the style of putter can make all the difference to losing or gaining strokes on the green. If you are a beginner, the quickest way to lower your scores is to improve your short game and reduce your number of putts per round. Of course, you need to practice to achieve this result, but it is also important that you choose the correct club.

What style of putter do you currently use?

We are guessing that many golfers that are new to the game are not sure of the answer to this question. You may have borrowed a putter from a friend or a relative and never gave it much thought. Just like many other players who are new to the game, you might be unsure of how a blade and mallet putter differ. Fortunately for any golfers out there who don’t know which type of putter to pick, it’s fairly simple once you know what they have to offer and how that works with your play style.

Do not forget, during a round of golf you will hit your putter more than any other club in your bag. It is important to know how it works and if the design is helping or hurting your performance (as well as how and when different putters can be most effective). With this in mind, the decision between blades and mallets only becomes even mroe important.

Benefits of a Blade Putter

Traditional blade putter type

The blade-style putter gets its name from the shape of the head. This is what most golfers would call a “normal” putter. If you have ever played miniature golf, they most likely gave you a blade-style putter to leverage while hitting the bright-colored rubber balls through the windmill. There are many different versions of blade putters, with the primary variations being the curve of the hosel, weighting of the head, and the shape of the blade.

Ben Crenshaw famously used a traditional blade putter throughout his professional career, but the Scotty Cameron putter that Tiger Woods has used to win 15 majors would also be considered a blade. Another classic example of a good blade putter is the Ping Anser.

Blade putters are designed to work best for a player with an arc-stroke. In other words, they open the face of the putter during their backstroke and close it on the way through. If you listen to a Tiger interview on his putting, you will hear him say he focuses on releasing the toe of the putter (another way of saying closing the face) during his forward stroke. Putting with a blade-style putter can be very effective, but you do have to properly time the opening and the closing of the face.

As you can see, blade putters are certainly effective, and for the most part they can be a good choice for any golfers.

Benefits of a Mallet Putter

Mallet putter on a green

While blade putters have been part of the world of golf for hundreds of years, the mallet putter style has only become popular over the last 20 – 30 years. Generally, mallet putters will be larger than a blade and have a round or square head.

More and more players on the PGA tour have started to use mallets, with Dustin Johnson and Jason Day being the most famous to use a mallet full time. Rory is famous for switching putters but uses a mallet-style option most of the time. The Odyssey 2-ball putter was probably the first mallet putter to become extremely popular for both amateurs and professionals golfers but others came before it. Odyssey Golf is certainly incredible, so it’s worth looking into some of their options if you want a good quality golf club with an exceptional design. If you are interested in looking at a current model, the TaylorMade Spider is probably the putter that we see the most now.

The key advantage of using a mallet putter face is forgiveness. These putter heads are designed for the face to stay square longer, so your timing does not have to be as precise as it does with a blade. The other benefit of mallet putters is the size and shape of the head helps put over spin on your putts. This keeps the ball on the ground (you do no want putts to bounce) and facilitates a truer roll. They’re ideal for casual and professional golfers, with many of the players in the PGA tour preferring them to blade-style putters.

The only downside to a mallet is you will have less feel than a blade putter and a mallet can be challenging to control on faster greens, and the additional weight is something that isn’t ideal for every player. On the plus side though, the larger sweet spot for hitting is something that can’t be overlooked if you want to reduce risks during a golf game.

Which is Better for You – Mallet or Blade Putter?

Of all the skills or shots in golf, putting is the most individualistic. There are many ways to putt the golf ball well, so the key is finding what works the best for you. The “how” does not matter if you are consistently rolling the ball in to the hole.

Generally speaking, we feel that more beginners should try mallet putters over a blade putter. Mallet putters tend to be more slid and forgiving, which is something that any golfer (although particularly beginners) can benefit from. If you do not like the bulky feel of the larger mallets – some look like a spaceship – you may want to look into mid-size mallet putters instead. An example of one of these is the Odyssey Rossie II. This mid-size mallet putter provides some of the forgiveness with a little more feel and touch. It’s worth remembering that mallets have a higher weight than blades, which can have an impact on how you play.

The other question to consider – does your natural stroke have an arc or is it more straight back and straight through? Arc putters will typically do better with a blade, while straight back and straight through strokes will enjoy more success using a mallet. In this sense, the question of blade vs mullet putters can certainly come down to your putting stroke and how you naturally play.

Don’t neglect the importance of your putting stroke

Choosing the right design of club head is certainly important, but if you haven’t nailed down your putting stroke just yet, you may not see the best performance. As mentioned above, your natural stroke can make all the difference and understanding what works best for you is absolutely crucial to your decision between mallet and blade putters. Because of this, we’d encourage any beginners to look into putting stroke techniques as well as learn more about the types of club heads available.

Golf ball near cup - Blade vs Mallet Putter: Which is Better for a Beginner?

Where Should You Buy Your Putters?

If you’re hoping you find the ideal putter for your needs, you may need to look a little further than just the style of the club face and into some of the different brands. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options for you to choose from, ensuring that you’ll be able to find the ideal putter for your games and become the best golfer you can be. A Scotty Cameron or an Odyssey face balanced golf putter are often excellent choices, and it’s well worth looking into either one of these brands if you want to find a quality putter head for both blade and mallet putters.

A couple of the things that you might want to keep in mind when choosing between mallets and blades of any brand include weight distribution, face balanced putters and even the green that you’ll be playing on (since it can make a significant difference).

Blade vs Mallet Putters: Final Thoughts

When it comes to putting, there is no one size fits all. In general, it’s simply a case of which is the best putter design, but how it’s used and if it suits your unique way of playing. If you have only tried a blade golf club, we would recommend you see how a mallet feels and performs for you. You can always borrow a putter from a friend or find a used one for pretty cheap.

From our perspective, every golfer should have at least two putters. One blade head and one mallet head. As you play the game more and learn about how you perform on different greens, you may find that you want to select your putter for a specific round based on the greens. Pull out your blade putter on fast greens but try the mallet putter if they are a bit slower.

You may find that the mallet putter works better on bermuda grass, but you like the feel of the blade putter on bent grass greens. Keep in mind that there are a variety of factors to consider when golfing, from alignment to the weight of the putter heads, all of which can make a difference to your strokes.

There are some putting fundamentals you want to keep in mind (stiff wrist, head still, etc.), but feel free to tinker with your putting and putter style. Find the key to making more putts. Unlock your short game and start to shoot lower scores. Work on your stroke and find out which play style is best for you.

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