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The Short Answer to Better Putting

Boo Weekley is a fairly big dude on the PGA Tour at six-feet tall and 210 pounds. Yet his putter’s length is two inches shorter than the “standard” putter that your local golf shop is trying to sell you.

Indeed, Weekley’s putter is a 33-inch Never Compromise Exchange Series 7 model, while the majority of putters on the retail rack are 35 inches long, which is still considered the standard for men.

PutterZone.com fields a lot of reader inquiries into the subject of putter length. It’s clearly on many people’s minds as more and more golfers embrace the concept of custom fitting.

Just yesterday on the practice green, I saw a man standing bolt upright while putting, as if his putter were a pogo stick. This guy measured about five-feet seven-inches tall. No doubt, he’d been sold a 35-inch putter by someone who should know better. In other words, while this guy was about five inches shorter than Boo Weekley, his putter was two inches longer than Weekley’s. Something is definitely wrong with this picture.

The truth is that the “standard” of 35 inches for men was established simply because it allowed a putter to peek out of a golf bag at the point of purchase, which is how clubs were originally presented at retail. The result today is that many recreational golfers are playing with putters that are simply too long for their physiques, specifically in terms of achieving a proper putting setup.

Word is definitely getting out that there’s an accepted shift toward 34 inches average for men and 33 inches average for women. But this shift has yet to make a big dent at the retail level, both in terms of stock putters and those who are selling them.

None of this means that you should automatically use a 33-inch putter just like Boo Weekley. But you sure might want to explore a 34-inch putter, or even a 33-inch putter, if you have a 35-inch putter that’s interfering with a proper setup.

So what’s a proper setup? That’s a subject for another day, and one that some would say is open to debate or interpretation. For now, let’s just agree that if you’re of average or shorter (or perhaps even taller) height, you really should question the “standard” and investigate the subject of setup before making an expensive putter purchase.

Some men might simply have a hard time walking out of a golf shop with a comparatively short 33-inch putter. It might not be the most macho feeling—but you’ll feel pretty macho when you sink that last putt for the low score of the day, right?

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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