Measuring the length of a putter involves far more than just taking out a tape measure, starting at the grip, and picking a random spot at the bottom of your putter head. With golf being a game of inches, and putting a skill of centimeters, you need to be precise. Knowing how to measure putter length and pick the right length for you are two major components of shaving strokes off your score.
How to Measure Putter Length
If you know how to measure a golf club, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean you can properly measure a putter. Since putters have various neck shapes and sizes, it’s more complicated than just grip to heel.
In general, putters are between 33 and 36 inches. To measure one, you’ll need a tape measure or yard stick. Unless you have an arm lock putter or long putter, you’ll be okay with either of these measuring tools, but a tape measure is necessary for the longer ones.
- Place your putter so that the head is flush with the ground.
- Place one end of your measuring device at the top of the grip.
- Measure downwards to the middle of the putter head.
- Take a measurement of the line from the top of your grip to the center of your putter head and that’s the length.
A couple of notes:
- When getting the putter to sit flush in step one, it’s sometime helpful to have a second person. If you are alone, find a wall so that the putter stays in place, but you are free to move and use both hands.
- You are not measuring down the shaft, but instead creating a line through the air to your putter head.
- The only time you would measure down the shaft is with a center-shaft putter.
- If you’re new to this, it’s helpful to start with a putter you know the length of, and working until you get the correct number.
Why You Should Know How to Measure a Putter
If you do a putter fitting with a professional, it will cost time and money—more time and money than necessary. Most putter fittings take more than an hour, and afterwards you’ll end up purchasing from a small group of putters they have in stock.
The alternative requires a bit of work on your end, but offers so much freedom. We want to give you the tools to fit yourself for a putter. This is how you save that time and money we’re talking about and get the putter you’ll be most comfortable with into your hands. Let’s look at some of the ancillary benefits:
- More putter choices—You can shop anywhere, and from any one of the countless brands that exist.
- Can research casually—There is no pressure to buy on a schedule, look into putters and the correct length when you want to.
- Can wait to decide—After a professional fitting, there’s pressure to buy then and there. When you’re doing it on your own, you can think through things after trying a few style and length options.
- Do not have to pay for the services of someone—This one speaks for itself. Save some money, or take the extra cash and level up to a more expensive model or brand.
Benefits of a Proper Length Putter
You need a putter you are comfortable at address with, when your eyes are directly above the ball. Golfers are all different heights, yet putters have a small height range. You need to be comfortable and consistent with your stance, while maintaining this head position. If you can do that, even if you need to choke up or down, the putter is a good length.
When it comes to choosing a putter, you need to experiment a little. There is no perfect equation, but we do have the option to cut a club.
When this happens, it needs to be done by a professional. On a less expensive putter, you don’t want to compromise anything and will likely need a professional grip replacement. With a more expensive putter that has interchangeable weights, a professional capable of cutting the club could also swap the weights, should it need to be done.
This is more of an outlier of an example, but shows the danger of a putter that is too tall. If length alone is the issue, you may be unable to get your eyes of the ball and struggle to make a consistent stroke. At its extreme, you can get your eyes over the ball, but the putter sticks into your stomach or chest. This isn’t necessarily bad for your putting accuracy, but is a form of anchoring, which is illegal.
Putters only need to be 18 inches tall, there is no maximum. If you’re over six feet tall, it makes no sense to have a 30-inch putter. If the putter is so short you are falling over, there will be too much strain on your back, and not enough of an emphasis on your arms which allows for consistency.