Putting is one of the most important skills to develop in golf, but it is often sidelined by other aspects like driving or reaching the green. Putting is the final part of every hole, and it requires the least amount of physical exertion but the greatest amount of mental focus. One of the key factors in a successful putting stroke is having the right putter and how it’ll help you improve your overall game.
As a result, golfers must pay close attention to crucial terms related to putters, like toe hang. Many golfers from different corners of the world have little knowledge about the toe hand and how it can help them become better players. In this article, we will explain what toe hang is, how it affects your putting stroke, and how to choose the right putter for your game.
What is Toe Hang in Golf Putters?
When a golf club is balanced on a horizontal axis, the toe hang describes how the face and toe of the club are positioned. The relationship between the putter’s center of gravity (CG) and the shaft axis determines how much toe hang there will be when it is balanced on a horizontal axis. More specifically, it is the angle between the putter’s shaft and the ground when the putter is balanced on its axis. This angle can help golfers understand how the putter head will rotate during the stroke and can be an essential factor when selecting a putter that complements their putting style.
When balanced, a putter with a high degree of toe hang will have its toe pointed down, and the face will typically open naturally during the stroke. On the other hand, a putter with a low toe hang will have its toe pointing upward more when it is balanced and will tend to keep its face square or slightly closed throughout the stroke.
The amount of toe hang can vary from putter to putter, and it is an important factor to consider when selecting a putter that is right for your game. The amount of toe hang that is best for you will depend on your putting style and stroke.
Types of Toe Hang
There are three primary types of toe hang, each with its characteristics and suitability for different putting strokes:
Face-balanced putters have a design that ensures the putter face remains parallel to the ground when balanced. The center of gravity is located directly below the shaft axis, resulting in minimal rotation during the stroke. Face-balanced putters are ideal for golfers with a straight-back-and-straight-through putting stroke, as they promote a more square-to-square motion.
Mid-hang putters, also known as toe-down putters, have a moderate amount of toe hang when balanced. These putters have their center of gravity slightly shifted towards the toe, causing the putter face to hang at an angle of around 45 degrees to the ground. This design promotes a moderate amount of rotation during the stroke and is suitable for golfers with a slight arc in their putting motion.
Full Toe Hang Putters:
Full toe hang putters, often referred to as toe-up putters, exhibit a significant amount of toe hang when balanced, with the toe pointing towards the ground. The center of gravity is located towards the toe of the putter, encouraging a more pronounced rotation during the stroke. Full toe hang putters are best suited for golfers with a strong arc in their putting motion.
How Toe Hang Affects the Stroke
The primary reason toe hang is essential in putter selection is its influence on the stroke. Depending on the golfer’s natural putting motion, different levels of toe hang will affect the rotation of the putter head, ultimately impacting the path of the golf ball.
For golfers with a straight-back-and-straight-through stroke, a face-balanced putter helps maintain a consistent square-to-square motion. The putter face remains square to the target line throughout the stroke, minimizing the chances of mishits and promoting greater consistency in distance and direction control.
Slight Arc Strokes:
Golfers with a slight arc in their stroke will benefit from a mid-hang putter. The moderate toe hang encourages a gentle rotation of the putter face during the stroke, allowing for a more natural flow and increased consistency in ball striking.
Strong Arc Strokes:
A full toe hang putter is best suited for golfers with a strong arc in their stroke. The significant toe hang encourages a more pronounced rotation of the putter face, enabling golfers to square the clubface at impact more consistently. This type of putter complements the natural arcing motion, helping golfers achieve a smoother stroke and improved ball contact.
Putters With Toe Hang Characteristics
In this section, we will explore some iconic putters and their toe-hang characteristics. These putters have been used by professional golfers and have a reputation for delivering excellent performance.
Scotty Cameron Newport 2:
The Scotty Cameron Newport 2, a popular blade putter, has a full toe hang design. This putter is suitable for golfers with a strong arc in their putting stroke. Tiger Woods famously used a version of this putter during his illustrious career, contributing to his incredible success on the greens.
The Ping Anser, designed by Karsten Solheim, is a classic blade putter with a mid-hang design. It caters to golfers with a slight arc in their stroke. Over the years, various versions of the Anser have been used by numerous professional golfers, including Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood.
Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball:
The Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball is a mallet putter with a face-balanced design, making it suitable for golfers with a straight-back-and-straight-through stroke. The 2-Ball alignment system, coupled with the soft White Hot insert, has made this putter a favorite among amateurs and professionals alike.
TaylorMade Spider X:
The TaylorMade Spider X is a high-MOI mallet putter with a mid-hang design. Its innovative design and advanced materials offer increased stability and forgiveness, making it suitable for golfers with a slight arc in their stroke. Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are among the professional golfers who have used the Spider X with great success.
Odyssey Stroke Lab 7:
The Stroke Lab 7 from Odyssey features a distinct mallet head design with a short slant neck hosel, which provides moderate toe hang, making it suitable for golfers with a moderate to strong arc in their putting stroke. The putter also includes the innovative Stroke Lab shaft technology, which is a combination of a graphite and steel shaft.
Additional Factors to Consider When Choosing a Putter
While toe hang is a crucial aspect of putter selection, several other factors can influence the performance and feel of a putter:
Choose the correct putter length to ensure a comfortable and natural posture over the ball. Standard putter lengths range from 32 to 36 inches, but custom lengths can be ordered based on your height and preferences.
Putter loft influences the launch angle of the ball and its initial roll. The standard loft for most putters is 3 to 4 degrees. Some golfers may require a higher or lower loft, depending on factors such as green conditions and their angle of attack.
The overall weight of a putter and the distribution of that weight can affect the feel and stability of the stroke. Heavier putters often provide more stability and smoother strokes, while lighter putters offer increased maneuverability and feel.
The grip on a putter is essential for comfort, control, and consistency. Golfers can choose from various grip sizes, shapes, and materials to suit their preferences. Some popular grip options include the SuperStroke, Golf Pride, and Lamkin grips. The grip size should match your hand size and putting stroke for optimal performance.
The Role of Custom Fitting in Putter Selection
Custom fitting is becoming increasingly popular in the golf industry, and putter fitting is no exception. A custom fitting session with a professional club fitter or golf instructor can help identify the ideal putter specifications for your game, including toe hang, length, loft, lie angle, weight, and grip.
During a custom fitting session, your stroke will be analyzed using advanced technology, such as high-speed cameras, launch monitors, and even force plates. These tools provide precise measurements and data to help the fitter recommend the perfect putter for your stroke.
Investing in a custom-fitted putter can significantly improve your putting performance, leading to increased confidence on the greens and lower scores.
How to Choose the Right Putter Based on Toe Hang
Selecting the right putter based on toe hang involves understanding your putting stroke and matching it with the appropriate putter design. Here are some steps to help you find the perfect putter for your game:
Analyze Your Putting Stroke:
First, determine whether your stroke is straight-back-and-straight-through, has a slight arc, or a strong arc. You can do this by working with a golf professional or using various training aids and video analysis tools available on the market.
Test Putters with Different Toe Hangs:
Once you have identified your putting stroke type, try putters with varying degrees of toe hang. Test face-balanced, mid-hang, and full toe hang putters to see which one feels the most comfortable and provides the best results.
Observe Consistency and Feel:
While testing different putters, pay attention to the consistency of your putts in terms of distance control and direction in putting. Also, consider the feel of the putter during the stroke. The right putter should instill confidence and feel natural in your hands.
Seek Professional Guidance:
If you’re unsure about which putter to choose, consult a golf professional or club fitter. They can provide valuable insights into your stroke and recommend the best putter based on your specific needs.
Common Putter Designs and Toe Hang
Various putter head designs are available in the market, and each has its characteristics concerning toe hang:
Blade putters are traditionally associated with full toe hang, making them ideal for golfers with a strong arc in their stroke. However, some modern blade putters feature mid-hang or even face-balanced designs.
Mallet putters are generally face-balanced, making them suitable for golfers with a straight-back-and-straight-through stroke. However, some mallet putters now offer mid-hang or full toe hang options, catering to golfers with different stroke types.
Peripheral Weighted Putters:
These putters feature additional weight on the heel and toe areas, creating a higher moment of inertia (MOI) and increased stability during the stroke. Peripheral weighted putters can be found in face-balanced, mid-hang, or full toe hang designs.
Understanding toe hang and its impact on your putting stroke can greatly influence your success on the greens. By selecting a putter with the appropriate toe hang for your stroke type, you can improve consistency, feel, and ultimately, your scores. Remember to analyze your putting stroke, test various putters, and consult with professionals if needed. With the right putter in hand, you’ll be one step closer to mastering the art of putting and lowering your scores on the course