Determine the Correct Putter Length for Better Aim and Scoring

Having the right length putter is one of the most important factors in establishing proper putting fundamentals. The length of your putter affects your setup posture, eye position over the ball, alignment, backswing, and follow through. Using a putter that matches your physical attributes is key for consistent aim and an efficient, accurate stroke.

Most putters off the rack are 35 inches, the standard length used by professional golfers. However, this length is often too long for the average male amateur golfer, leading to setup issues that can undermine scoring. Thankfully, determining your ideal putter length is easy to do at home following a few simple steps.

How Putter Length Impacts Proper Setup and Aim

man in brown shorts and black nike shoes playing golf during daytime

Putter length has a direct effect on your posture, ball position, and eye alignment when you address the ball. It also influences the arc and control of your stroke. Let’s examine how both excessively long and short putter lengths can negatively impact your setup and putting performance:

Problems with Too Long a Putter

  • Promotes stooping over and rounding of the shoulders at address
  • Makes it hard to get eyes directly over ball for straight on aim
  • Requires gripping down on the shaft which can hinder pendulum motion
  • Leads to arcs that are too steep with less control over path and face
  • Can cause deceleration through impact affecting distance control
  • Produces tentative, choppy strokes from poor body connection

Issues with Too Short a Putter

  • Makes adopting proper posture difficult leading to excessive knee bend
  • Encourages standing too tall, making it hard to get eyes over the ball
  • Reduces stability from not enough counterweight at the grip end
  • Restricts backswing length limiting potential power generation
  • May lead to wrist breakdown from overcompensation

The proper putter length lets you assume an athletic posture with eyes directly over the ball at address. This promotes proper alignment with your eyes, shoulders, hips and feet all on the intended start line.

With the right length putter, your arms hang comfortably from the shoulders without strain. This allows your torso to stay steady as your shoulders and arms control the pendulum motion of the stroke. The putter travels straight back and straight through along the target line for consistent direction.

Step-by-Step Process to Measure Your Ideal Putter Length

Figuring out the optimum putter length for your body doesn’t require complex formulas. You can easily measure your ideal putter length at home in 3 simple steps:

Step 1 – Adopt Your Putting Stance

Assume your normal putting stance with your feet about shoulder width apart and knees slightly flexed. Bend forward from the hips with a straight back to achieve a comfortable, athletic posture. Avoid rounding your upper back or bending excessively from the waist. Remain loose with your arms hanging vertically.

Step 2 – Grip Putter and Check Arm Position

Hold your putter out in front of you with a mid-range grip pressure. Your arms should hang vertically from the shoulders without strain or hyperextension of the elbows. Check that your wrists remain neutral without flexing upwards or downwards.

Step 3 – Set Putter Head on Ground

Rest the putter head on the ground in front of your toes without altering your stance or arm position. Check eye position to ensure your eyes are situated just inside the ball. If needed, make minor adjustments to your posture so your eyes are not past the ball at address.

The point where the end of the putter shaft touches the ground with you at proper address position is your ideal length. Mark this point on the shaft with tape to use as an easy reference.

Putter Length Guidelines Based on Height

Your exact ideal putter length will vary based on your posture, arm length and hand position on the grip. However, your general height provides a good starting point for determining approximate proper putter length:

  • If you are 5’ 3” to 5’ 8”, a putter of 32-34 inches is likely to fit your stance.
  • For heights 5’ 9” to 6’ 1”, a putter length of 34-36 inches often works well.
  • If over 6’ 2” tall, a 35-37 inch putter will typically match your body position best.

Keep in mind these are just general guidelines. Be sure to go through the measurement process to dial in your optimum length. Individual arm length, flexibility and grip type (overlap, interlock or ten finger) impact ideal putter length.

Matching Putter Style to Your Measured Length

The putter length guidelines here apply foremost to standard length putters. Belly and long putters will be significantly longer based on where along the shaft they are anchored against the body.

Belly putters are typically 41-45 inches in length, as they are anchored in the belly area. Long putters are 48+ inches, anchoring higher in the chest. Switching from a belly putter to a shorter, standard length model requires some adjustment to avoid posture and grip issues.

If you want to transition your belly putter to a more standard 34-36” length, maintain a upright posture and use a split grip position. This will help ingrain a more compact stroke without the belly anchor. Expect your feel and stroke arc to be different during the initial adjustment phase.

Key Takeaways – Proper Putter Fit Matters

Matching your putter length to your physical attributes and putting style is essential for improving both alignment and stroke technique. The correct putter length lets you establish proper posture, ball position, and eye alignment over the ball at address. This consistent setup is vital for accurate aim and a pendulum stroke that rolls the ball on the intended line.

With a properly fit putter, your body moves as one synchronized unit. Your eyes can focus more on the ball and line rather than technical adjustments during the stroke. Sinking more putts is about having the confidence you are aimed correctly and the touch to match. Both elements benefit greatly from using a putter sized to match your specs.

So don’t just grab any putter off the rack. Take a few minutes to measure your ideal length following the simple steps outlined. Dialing in the right putter fit will lead to better fundamentals and lower scores on the greens. Proper aim and setup position are critical. Get matched to your optimal putter length and experience the difference it can make in your putting.

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