Most golf equipment companies make three styles of putters — standard, belly putter and the long putter. The putter’s length is important; it affects the distance and directional control of the ball, according to Ralph Maltby, golf equipment expert. To help select the correct length, retailers provide sizing guidelines that match your height to a putter length. These are, however, just guidelines and a good place to start. Although your height is a key factor, your stance, posture and anchor point — with belly or long putters — should also be considered.
Standard Putter Sizing Guidelines
If you’re 6 feet or taller, use a 34 1/2-inch putter, and if you’re 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 tall, use a 34-inch putter. Golfers who are 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10 should use a 33 1/2-inch putter and a 33-inch putter if you’re 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 8 tall. If you’re 5 feet 3 to 5 feet 4 tall, a 32 1/2-inch putter is the correct size and a 32-inch putter fits a golfer who is 5 feet 1 to 5 feet 2. Guidelines recommend a 31 1/2-inch putter if you’re 4 feet 11 to 5 feet tall, and a 31-inch putter should be used by golfers shorter than 4 feet 11.
Belly Putter Sizing Guidelines
Belly putters are usually between 39 and 43 inches but can be slightly shorter or longer for very short or very tall golfers. If you’re 6 feet 2 or taller, use a belly putter with a shaft length between 45 and 47 inches. Use a 41- to 44-inch putter if you’re 5 feet 9 to 6 feet 1 tall. If you’re 5 feet 8 or shorter, the correct length is between 38 1/2 inches and 40 inches.
Long Putter Sizing Guidelines
Long putters are usually between 46 and 53 inches, but can be more or less for very short or very tall golfers. If you’re 6 feet 2 or taller, use a 54-inch putter, and if you’re 6 feet 1 to 6 feet 2 tall, use a 53-inch putter. Guidelines recommend a 52-inch putter if you’re 6 feet to 6 feet 1 tall and a 51-inch putter if you’re 5 feet 11 to 6 feet tall. If you’re 5 feet 10 to 5 feet 11, use a 50-inch putter and a 49-inch putter if you’re 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10 tall. A 48-inch putter is a good size if you’re 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 9 tall, and if you’re 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 8 tall, use a 47-inch putter. A golfer who is 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 7 tall should use a 46-inch putter, and if you’re shorter than 5 feet 6, use a 45-inch putter.
Basic DIY Sizing
The correct length putter is one that allows you to stand in a comfortable putting stance with your eyes directly over the ball. To see if your standard putter is the correct length, take your normal stance and grip your club. If your hands are down the shaft, the putter is too long, and if your hands are beyond the end, it’s too short. For a belly putter, take your stance with a standard putter and have an assistant measure from the butt end of the putter to your desired anchor point. Add this distance to the shaft’s length to get the correct belly putter length. For a long putter, take a comfortable, more upright stance, and have an assistant measure from your anchor point to the ball.