If you’re someone that has a fairly straight putting stroke then you’ll most likely want to play a face-balanced putter. This post will talk about our favorites from different price ranges, so you can pick the putter that’ll be perfect for your game.
When we were trying out all the putters we ranked them all based on how comfortable they were to swing, how good the distance control was, and also how much they cost. We tried the best we could to find a cheaper option as well as a more expensive one. Continue reading for the full details of each putter.
What Is A Face-Balanced Putter?
A face-balanced putter is one where the face of the putter points toward the sky when you rest it on your finder. This is opposed to a toe-balanced putter, which is one where the toe points down when you rest it on your finder.
The first reason face-balanced putters point towards the sky is that they have more weight towards the back of the putter. These are typically the larger putters (mallet-style) but they can also look like a traditional blade (they’re just a little bit wider).
The thinner and more traditional-looking putters (blade style) are normally toe-balanced. This is one of the ways to normally tell the difference. The picture above shows you an example of a face-balanced vs toe-balanced putter.
The second reason face-balanced putters point up and down is because of the shaft design. With a lot of face-balanced putters, there will be no hosel. This means that the shaft goes straight into the putter’s head. It’s not always the case but it is more often than not. The picture above will give you a better idea.
If you don’t swing the putter back and through straight then you’ll want to get a toe-hang putter. We have a separate article on that and I think one of those will perform a lot better for you.
RELATED: Our Top 3 Favorite Toe Hang Putters
What Is The Advantage Of A Face-Balanced Putter?
The main benefit of a face-balanced putter is that the face won’t open as much on the way back and close as much through contact. This type of putter is suited for someone with a fairly straight putting stroke.
The majority of “weekend golfers” probably don’t have a lot of ark in their putting stroke. That’s why a face-balanced putter would perform better on the green. If you take the putter straight back and straight through then this type of putter will roll a lot straighter.
Some golfers do have an arc in their putting stroke, and if that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t play a face-balanced putter. Toe-balanced putters tend to open more on the backswing and close more on the downswing. If you have a straight putting stroke then you’ll most likely miss a lot of shots left or right.
The Pinemeadow PGX is a cheap face-balanced putter that’s perfect for the beginner golfer or someone who just wants to try this style. It’s probably not going to last 5+ years but I was really surprised by how nice it felt on the green.
If you’re fairly new to golf or you just don’t get out much, there’s really no reason to spend a bunch of money on a putter. I can guarantee that an expensive putter won’t help a high handicapper sink more putts.
The PGX is 34 inches long, which is the standard putter length for most people. The grip that comes with it is actually quite nice, and it’s somewhere between a standard and jumbo-sized grip. For the majority of golfers, I’d recommend using the bigger grip because it’ll stop you from using too much wrist movement.
The overall weight and balance of the PGX are also really nice. It’s not going to be quite as good as my other two picks, but since it’s a fraction of the price, I’m fine with that.
This type of putter should give you a lot more control and improve consistency on faster greens. There’s a bit more weight compared to a blade putter and I’ve noticed it really does help (as long as it works I don’t really care).
One thing I really like about this putter is the alignment aid. Most of the traditional putters out there don’t have a whole lot of alignment help and it makes it so much harder for most people. Once I switched to something that had a long line that I could aim with, that’s when my putting got more consistent.
One thing I will say about the PGX is that some people have had issues with the face popping off. I haven’t had that issue yet but it’s kind of expected for something under 50 bucks.
- The price
- Alignment aid
- Pretty good grip
- The face can pop off
- A slightly bigger grip would be better
If you’re someone who golfs a lot but doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a putter, this could be the one for you. It’s not as nice as the Odyssey but it’s way cheaper and is the one I ended up going with.
What I like about this putter (other than the price) is that it comes in a few different designs. Not all of them are face balanced, so that’s something to keep in mind. These are the face-balanced options:
- Buckingham (my choice)
- South Side
I really like this putter because the weight and balance are perfect and the ball has a nice roll. What I did notice was that the ball came off the face faster than before, which for me, took a bit of time to get used to.
The grip that comes with this putter is a jumbo grip from Wilson. It’s actually really nice and is somewhere between a standard and jumbo-sized grip. I think the average golfer would benefit a lot from a grip like this because it is bigger.
The one downside to this putter is alignment help. If you’re someone who needs a lot of help lining everything up then this might not be the choice for you. I have the hang of things now but that wasn’t always the case.
- The price for the value is tough to beat
- The stock grip is really nice
- The balance is perfect for me
- The alignment aids aren’t the best
- The ball comes off the face pretty fast (some people might like this)
Odyssey Stroke Lab
My favorite face-balanced putter is the Odyssey Stroke Lab Versa. The main reason I like it so much is that it’s 90% as good as the Taylormade Spider (probably the most popular putter) but it’s around 100 bucks cheaper. That extra $100 wasn’t worth it in my books.
What I like about this putter is that it comes in a variety of design options and you can pick between a couple of grips. Not all the design options are face-balanced but my favorite is the 2-ball fang putter. Here are the other face-balanced options:
- Double Wide
- 2-Ball Fang
- V-Line CS
For the grip, you have the option of an oversized or pistol grip. Both of these are larger than your standard grip but I prefer the oversized one myself. I think the majority of “weekend” players would as well because it stops you from using too much wrist action.
This putter is also on the firmer side and one of the key differences is that the Spider felt a bit more solid coming off the face. I don’t know what you prefer but I do like a slightly softer feeling putter (the Spider was a touch softer). The Stroke Lab was still really good though.
Other than that, everything else was pretty much the same as the Spider. The weight and balance were solid, the grip was nice, and the ball rolled smoothly along the green without a whole lot of jump. That’s all I can really ask for in a putter.
- Cheaper than the Spider
- Good feel and control
- The stock grip is good
- It’s not quite as soft as the Spider
- It’s the most expensive putter on this list
Which Putter Is Right For You?
Now that you know a bit more about each putter, the choice is really up to you and how much you want to spend. All three putters are excellent and I’d have no issue adding any of them to my bag.
If you’re a beginner or high handicap golfer, you don’t get out much, or just want to try a mallet-style putter, go with the Pinemeadow PGX. It’s extremely cheap and even though it’s not the highest quality, it does perform really well.
If you’re a mid handicapper or want something you can use for a long time, I’d recommend the Odyssey Stroke Lab. It’s my favorite putter overall when you take into account performance, quality, and price.
If you absolutely have to have a soft-feeling putter and have the money to spend, go with the Spider. It’s not worth the extra $100 to me but for you, it might be. Still, one of the best putters I’ve tried.
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