Putter feel is a lot of things, and it means different things to different people. As Stan Utley writes in The Art of Putting, “(Feel is) one of those things that’s really hard to describe, but you know it when you ‘feel’ it.”
Feel is ultimately a combination of audio and tactile feedback—the merging of sound and touch into a single impression.
It’s easy to overlook the role of sound as a component of feel. As reported in Golf Digest, Phil Mickelson recently swapped out the insert in his Odyssey putter for the sake of audio feedback. He had switched to a softer ball, which he said wasn’t making enough sound at impact. He said: “I switched back to a harder insert to get back that sound I like…It’s impossible to overstate how important sound is to your feel on the green.”
Like sound, your tactile preferences are also very personal. Some golfers like a really soft or springy putter, others prefer a clicky or firm sensation upon impact. What you want to look for in touch is a sensation that feels rewarding to you when you hit the sweet spot. Does it hit just the right “note” in your hands?
Ultimately, there is no right feel in general, just a right feel for you. The important thing is to not get so dazzled by a putter’s looks or marketing hype that you overlook the importance of feel when purchasing a putter.