Face Balanced Putter vs Toe Hang Putter: Choosing Your Ideal Golf Ally

Choosing the right putter for your golf game is essential to improving your performance on the greens. The debate between face balanced and toe hang putters centers on the putter head’s orientation during your stroke. A face balanced putter remains level with the ground when balanced on the shaft, which is beneficial if your stroke is straight back and straight through. The design helps to minimize twisting, thus promoting a square putter face at impact, ideal for those with less wrist action.

In contrast, a toe hang putter tips downward when balanced, indicating a tendency for the toe to “hang” during your stroke. This design matches well with an arced putting stroke, where the putter moves inside on the back swing and inside on the follow through, resembling more of a gate pattern. The weight distribution in a toe hang putter aids in the natural opening and closing of the putter face relative to the arc, thus fitting players who employ substantial wrist action in their strokes. Understanding your putting style will guide you in selecting the type that enhances your control and accuracy on the greens.

Understanding Putter Dynamics

To enhance your golf game, it’s crucial to choose a putter that complements your putting stroke and personal preference. This involves understanding various elements such as putter head design, weight distribution, alignment, grip, and how these factors converge to impact your play.

Putter Head Design and Stroke Type

The design of the putter head is intimately connected with your stroke type. If you employ a straight back and through stroke, a face balanced putter is conducive as it resists rotation during the stroke. However, for a stroke with an arc, a toe hang putter promotes a natural flow, aiding in the closing of the putter face through ball contact.

  • Face Balanced Putter: Ideal for straight strokes with minimal face rotation.
  • Toe Hang Putter: Suited for arced strokes, requiring additional rotation.

Weight Distribution and Stability

Stability in a putter is largely influenced by the weight distribution within the putter head. Putter manufacturers often add weights to the heel and toe or use materials with different densities to alter the center of gravity. A putter that is well-weighted offers better distance control and a consistent roll.

  • Face Balanced Putters: Often have weight distributed evenly or towards the face for a stable, balanced feel.
  • Toe Hang Putters: Weight is strategically placed to allow the toe of the putter to fall naturally into an arced stroke.

Alignment and Accuracy

Alignment aids on a putter can significantly enhance accuracy. A clear visual path from the putter to the golf ball ensures the sweet spot is aligned with your intended target. Face balanced putters frequently feature distinct alignment markers, reflecting their design for precision in straight putting strokes.

  • Accurate Alignment: Leveraging markers for improved visual aiming.
  • Sweet Spot: Ensuring consistent contact for reliable ball roll.

Grip and Putter Fitting

The grip size and shape influence the delicacy and control of your putting stroke. A perfect fit in the grip can prevent unnecessary wrist movement, thus enhancing stability. During a putter fitting, aspects like grip size, lie angle, and head shape are tailored to your physical attributes and personal preferences.

  • Grip Size: Choose a grip that allows for comfortable, natural hand placement.
  • Putter Fitting: Customize aspects to align with your specific putting style and physique.

Choosing the Right Putter for Your Game

Finding the right putter is a synergy of design, personal preference, and putting stroke type. While face balanced putters are often seen as modern mallets with a straight putting path, toe hang putters—likewise available in various head shapes—tend to support golfers with a pronounced arc motion.

  • Straight Stroke Players: Face balanced designs are typically the preferred choice.
  • Arc Stroke Players: Greater toe hang can cater to your natural rotation.

Selecting the proper flat stick can make all the difference on the greens, turning near-misses into confident strokes that lead to lower scores.

Top Putter Models and Golfers’ Preferences

Choosing the right putter can significantly impact your game on the greens, whether you’re a PGA professional or an amateur golfer. Your decision might be influenced by what pros use, the features of popular models, performance feedback, and the frequency of certain questions that arise when golfers are experimenting to find their best match.

Professional Golfers and Putter Selection

Many professional golfers tailor their putter choice to their unique stroke. Rory McIlroy and Jason Day have been spotted using the TaylorMade Spider X, known for its stability in an arced stroke. Tiger Woods, famous for his precision, has historically favored a Scotty Cameron putter, exhibiting his preference for consistency that complements a slight arc to straight back and through stroke.

Popular Putter Models and Their Features

Scotty Cameron Phantom X and Odyssey putters are among the top choices for players seeking a face balanced design that supports a straight back and through stroke. On the other hand, putters like the Ping series offer variations with toe hang for those with a stronger arcing stroke. Here are some notable models:

  • Mallet Putters: Support alignment and forgiveness (e.g., TaylorMade Spider EX).
  • Blade Putters: Offer a greater feel and are often preferred for a smooth, arced stroke.

Feedback and Performance on Greens

You’ll find that feedback from the putter can be a crucial factor in your putting performance. Face balanced putters tend to provide a more consistent feedback loop, which is ideal especially on practice greens. Toe-hang putters, conversely, might offer more nuanced feedback that allows for adjustments mid-round based on the day’s conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions and Experimenting

Golfers regularly ask whether beginners should start with a face balanced or toe hang putter. The answer depends on your natural putting stroke. Experimenting with both styles on a practice green is advised to determine which fits your technique best. FAQs also cover the differences in putter mechanics between full swing vs. putting techniques and the pros and cons of each putter type.


Ultimately, the best putter for your game aligns with your stroke’s natural arc and the level of precision you’re comfortable with. While PGA Tour players may influence trends, your personal experience and comfort with a putter are what will drive your success on the greens.