Counterbalanced Putters: The Pros and Cons

So what exactly is a counterbalanced putter? Basically, it has extra weight in the grip end of the shaft to counterbalance the weight of the putter head itself. This evens out the weight between your hands and the clubhead.

The benefits are pretty noticeable too! With a counterbalanced putter, your stroke feels much more pendulum-like, with minimal wrist breaking. It really promotes a smooth, steady motion that’s easy to repeat over and over. You feel extremely balanced and stable since the putter isn’t head-heavy.

This extra stability is perfect if you struggle with your putter face rotating open or closed during the stroke. Keeping the face square becomes effortless! You’ll drain a heck of a lot more 5-10 footers, I guarantee it.

Now, counterbalanced putters are especially useful for certain types of players:

  • Golfers who have a dominant hand that causes face rotation or manipulation. The even weight distribution nullifies this.
  • Players with tempo issues or rapid acceleration in their putting stroke. The counterbalance smooths out the entire motion.
  • Anyone who struggles with consistency in distance control, often leaving putts short or long. The pendulum-like feel improves distance judgment.
  • Golfers who battle the yips or putting jitters under pressure. The stability helps calm nerves.

How do Counterbalanced putters differ?

Weight Distribution – A counterbalanced putter has additional weight in the grip end to counterbalance the clubhead. This evens out the weight between your hands and the clubhead. A standard putter is head-heavy without counterbalancing.

Stroke Type – The counterbalanced design promotes a smooth, pendulum-like stroke with minimal wrist breaking. Standard putters allow for more wrist action and manipulation during the stroke.

Stability – With the even weight distribution, a counterbalanced putter offers extremely high stability and balance. It resists twisting and manipulation through impact. A standard putter with a head-heavy design is more prone to face rotation and instability.

Repeatability – Counterbalanced putters enhance consistency in path, face angle and distance control. The stability and smooth stroke make it easier to replicate the same motion. Standard putters are more subject to face and path manipulation.

Pros of Counterbalanced Putters

I know what you’re thinking – counterbalanced putters. But hear me out, folks. This ain’t your grandpa’s putter. The genius of the counterbalanced design is that it has additional weight in the grip end to offset the weight of the clubhead. This evens out the weight distribution so the putter doesn’t feel head-heavy when you address the ball.

And this is a total game-changer! It gives you incredible stability and balance because the putter isn’t trying to twist and turn during your stroke. You can just swing the flat stick free and easy like a pendulum. No tension, no torque, no headaches!

Your distance control will get dialed in too. Without extra weight messing with your feel, you’ll start hitting lag putts pure and rolling them right into the sweet spot of the cup with the perfect pace. No more embarrassingly short 3-footers!

Plus, any issues with your putter face rotating open or closed go right out the window. The even balance keeps the face dead square to your swing path. So if shaky hands and twitchy strokes have ruined one too many rounds for you, give a counterbalanced putter a shot. Trust me, your confidence on the greens will go through the roof. You’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t make the switch years ago! Pros love them too.

Cons of Counterbalanced Putters

I should probably mention a few cons about counterbalanced putters as well- in the interest of fairness.

First off, the feel will be completely different from your normal putter. It’s incredibly stable and balanced, but ‘soft’ feel players may think it feels too rigid or mechanical.

That buttery smooth pendulum stroke isn’t for everyone either. If you rely on manipulating the face using lots of wrist action, a counterbalanced putter might feel too restrictive. You gotta be willing to adapt to that pendulum rhythm.

There’s also the weight – counterbalanced putters are heavier than standard putters. So if you have any wrist or arm issues, wielding it hundreds of times per round could take a toll. Those things aren’t fun to walk 18 holes with. And because the weight is distributed so differently, it may mess with the ‘touch’ you’ve developed on speed control. You have to adjust to how far the ball rolls out. Distance judgement can be thrown off at first.

Finally, they ain’t cheap! Getting custom fit for a quality counterbalanced putter means breaking out at least a few Benjamins. For us average joes counting every penny, that’s no small investment.

Counterbalanced Putter Grips

The grip on a counterbalanced putter is a key component that differs from a standard putter grip. Here are some key things to know about counterbalanced putter grips:

  • Added Weight – Counterbalanced grips have additional weight, usually in the form of a tungsten or steel insert, at the very top of the grip. This extra weight provides the counterbalance to the putter head.
  • Oversize – Counterbalanced grips run very thick and oversized, sometimes up to 1.5 inches in diameter. This allows for adding the internal weight. It also quiets the hands during the stroke.
  • Non-Tapered – Normal putter grips taper down in size towards the bottom. Counterbalanced grips are non-tapered and remain thick throughout for optimal stability.
  • Materials – Rubber, cord and paddle-style grips are common. Rubber provides tackiness and vibration dampening. Cord and paddle offer more texture and no-slip traction.
  • Cost – Due to specialized construction and materials, counterbalanced grips run $30-50, notably higher than traditional putter grips.

FAQs on Counterbalanced Putters

Will a Counterbalanced Putter benefit my game?

Who it helps:

  • Golfers who struggle with putter face rotation and keeping the face square through impact. The counterbalance promotes face stability.
  • Players who have issues with distance control or pace judgement. Counterbalanced putters improve rhythm and smoothness.
  • Golfers with tempo inconsistency or rapid acceleration/deceleration. The pendulum-like stroke enhances timing.
  • Anyone prone to the yips or putting jitters due to the stability benefits.

Who it may not help:

  • Golfers who rely on manipulation and wrist action in their putting stroke. Counterbalanced putters minimize wrist breaks.
  • Players accustomed to the feel of a head-heavy putter. The balance takes adjustment.
  • Those who prefer lighter putters. Counterbalanced models are heavier.
  • Golfers not willing to practice and adjust to the pendulum-like rhythm.

How do you know if a putter is counterbalanced?

  • Thick, non-tapered grip
  • Heavy feel in hands, light feel in head
  • Balance point near middle of shaft
  • Smooth, pendulum-like swing
  • Counterbalance stated in specifications
  • Grip visibly heavier than head

How do you putt with a counterbalanced putter?

Grip the club lightly, letting the counterbalanced design provide stability. Focus on making a smooth, pendulum-like stroke, letting the putter swing freely with your shoulders. Avoid manipulating the face or breaking the wrists. Allow the counterbalanced weight to square the face naturally.

What is the ideal putting length?

The ideal putter length depends on your height and stance but generally ranges from 32-36 inches. When gripped, the end of the putter’s grip should reach the belt buckle or mid-torso area. The goal is to position the ‘balance point’ of a putter near the center of your stance for maximum pendulum effect during the stroke.

My Final Thoughts on Counterbalanced putters

In conclusion, counterbalanced putters aren’t for every golfer, but can be game-changing for certain players. The counterweighting eliminates common putting faults like face manipulation, tempo inconsistencies, and distance control issues. By achieving a true balance point, counterbalanced putters promote smoother, more rhythmic strokes and impressive stability. Players struggling with consistency and touch on the greens should certainly test this technology. Of course, proper fitting is key to optimize the benefits. With practice, many golfers find the pendulum motion translates to noticeably fewer putts and lower scores. For certain stroke types, counterbalancing could unlock a golfer’s full putting potential so why not give it a go?

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