Understanding Putter Length – How to Measure Putter Length?

It needs to be said enough that the correct putter length literally places you in the most favorable position during address. This means you can line up those putts with more accuracy and improve your putting performance.

Eyes straight over the golf ball, hands below the shoulders, and elbows on the ribs – now that’s what the perfect address position looks like. And this can only be achieved if the length of your putter is just about right!

When too long, you’ll end up missing the putt to the left. And when too short, you miss to the right. It is a problem indeed, but one that comes with a solution.

Relevant to the problem at hand, I’d also like to bring your attention to choosing and using a putter that actually improves feel and roll with confidence-boosting aesthetics. So if you’re on the hunt for a highly forgiving design like this, do check out my best putters 2022 recommendations

What Really is A Golf Putter?

What Really is A Golf Putter?

This golf club comes to the rescue when you want to hit low-speed, short strokes to sink the golf ball into the nearest hole. A putter is nothing like woods and irons. First of all, putters have a flat clubhead with a low, flat profile and low loft. Along with that, features like alignment or positional guides, non-circular grips, and bent shafts are only found on putters and no other golf clubs.

Shots with a putter are taken from close distances, meaning a short distance from the cup. Generally, this could be the putting green and sometimes also roughs and fringes close to the green that are suited for putting.

In my whole professional career as a Tour player, I can say for certain that the putter is a very useful and specialized tool specifically crafted for that ONE job that cannot be accomplished by any other golf club. The putter comes the closest to being an indispensable club and almost every single golfer carries it.

So What Does A Putter Do?

The flat clubface of a traditional putter gets the golf ball to roll forward, and not lift the ball off the ground in order to take flight. And roll forward to sink into the cup hole.

You now also have heavy putters that literally pave the way for a more solid, condensed putting stroke.

Does Putter Length Actually Matter? Why?

Yes, putter length matters a great deal. And here’s why?

Putter length decides the fate of your putting stroke. So that means if the length is incorrect, your swing arc would be a mess and so will the trajectory of the golf ball. In turn, that takes the ball off-target. But wait, let me be more specific.

Putter length has a direct impact on the lie angle at the time of addressing the golf ball. The lie angle of all your golf clubs, not just the putter, must be proper. Otherwise, trajectory suffers big time (it goes offline). When not flat or square during address, the loft of the putter pushes the ball off the mark. And this is not because you’re aiming wrong or offline but because the lie and loft angles are totally off.

When Putter Length Is Too Long

You end up with a too upright lie angle (marked by the heel on the ground and toe in the air), the putter will target left.

When Putter Length Is Too Short

This means the heel up and the toe down. In that case, the putter aims right of the target.

Hence, the importance of getting a correct putter length which lets the head be flat against the turf when addressing the golf ball.

But Then How to Measure Proper Putter Length?

How to Measure Proper Putter Length?

Let’s not undermine the fact that your putter’s one of the most used clubs during your round of golf. Nearly 50-percent of your scores depend on how you putt. So, no doubt, it’s a highly valuable golf club, thus players don’t mind paying big bucks for it.

But you’re not compelled to spend that kind of money if you don’t want to. Top brands are always offering both affordable and high-end putters. For example, these TaylorMade putters that add superb consistency to your every putting stroke, no matter the price.

Okay, moving on, since you’re going to be spending some money on this most important golf club, it better fit you right. Because a putter that’s too long or if you’re bending over a little too much with your hands very low during setup, the putter toe is only going to stick up and hover off the ground.

So here’s how to measure putter length the right way…

1. Correct Setup Position

Your eyes should be over the golf ball’s inside edge with your arms and hands directly under your shoulders and your hips over your heels.

2. Measure the Distance

Point A is the crease of your wrist till the ground. And point B starts from the ground till the ball’s inside edge.

3. Do the Math

‘A’ measurement squared + ‘B’ measurement squared = ‘C’ length of the putter

This particular putter length measurement is known as the Tri-Fit method. And you need a professional or experienced instructor to do the fitting for you. Because only a skilled instructor will be able to guide you to get into the proper set-up position to then measure the putter length correctly.

Putter Length Based On Height

Let’s start with a simple measurement from your hands in the address position to the floor. Have someone else take the measurement for you.

  • Get into that address position. No need for a putter, just imagine that you’re stroking a putt. Take your normal putting posture very naturally without making any unnecessary adjustments.
  • Then have someone measure the distance from your wrist (top of the hands) to the floor.
  • This measurement can be anywhere between 32 inches and 36 inches depending on YOUR posture and height. Consider this your normal or standard putter length.

Now, based on your height, these are the standard putter length fitting chart.

Your HeightPutter Length
Above 6’4”36 inches
6’2” to 6’4”35.5. inches
6’0” to 6’2”35 inches
5’8” to 6’0”34.5 inches
5’6” to 5’8”34 inches
5’4” to 5’6”33.5 inches
5’2” to 5’4”33 inches
5’0” to 5’2”32.5 inches
Below 5 feet32 inches or shorter

Putter Length Fitting Explained

Take it from someone who has played golf for the most part of his life, putter fitting is the most important (yet somehow it’s the most neglected). In your 18-hole round of golf, how many putts do you hit? Keep a track of that because if it’s over 30, then you need to learn how to putt better and improve your overall golf scores.

Making par through an excellent putt is the right way to go about instead of with a long, straight drive. The face of a putter plus/minus 1 degree misses putts at 7 feet. But once you’re properly fitted to your putter, you can then get on with reading greens rather than worrying about whether or not you did something wrong.

Custom fitting of a putter consists of length, loft angle, lie angle, grip size, putter material, head shape/style, offset, and toe hang. All these factors, when done right, roll that golf ball straighter consistently, minus the possibility of it bouncing or skidding off your target line.

When a putter is custom-fitted for a golfer, these are the components that matter the most…

  • What you want to achieve as a golfer, your goals and all, are taken into consideration by the professional club fitter.
  • How your current putter performs. 10 different parameters of your putting stroke are measured and evaluated (using a software).
  • The variables tested include lie angle, loft angle, head shape, putter material, grip, weight, offset, and toe hang.
  • The testing of the putters is done through Balance Certified weights that boost stroke path and impact consistency.
  • And finally, the professional fitter offers his/her recommendations based on the results to either re-fit your current putter or buy a new, more suitable one altogether.

When the fitter actually sees what your current putting stroke looks like and does, only then can he/she provide the most appropriate and beneficial combination of all the different specifications that lead to max. putting consistency.

Putter Length Explained

In the case of putter fitting, it’s the length that’s the most crucial aspect. The measurement here does not include the distance between your wrist to the floor (this is an outdated method indeed). Rather the correct measurement involves fitting the putter to your dynamic swing, and not your static measurements.

You cannot and should not neglect getting the right length of putter as this length itself is what allows you to adopt the correct putting approach based on your body.

So when the putter length’s too long, you end up in a “shrugged” position that tends to manipulate the clubhead. While a putter too short causes you to hunch over and maybe even top the ball (low-face contact), welcoming all kinds of unwanted control and distance problems.

The goal, however, is to get into a comfortable position at address. So choose a putter length that lets you do that. It should be long enough for hitting a solid strike yet short enough for controlling the head.

What is the Right Putter Length For You? (Adjusting Based On Setup Posture)

You have to take into account your height AND posture of course. Both factors are equally important and not just either of them. Your posture is just as influential as your height, and vice versa.

There are golfers who tend to stand a bit taller at the time of address while some bend over more. And this, obviously, matters when choosing the correct putter length FOR YOU. So if you stand up taller, you’d benefit more from a longer putter. As for those who hunch over, their setup posture demands a shorter putter.

Another thing that plays a major role is your sight. Meaning do you prefer looking over the golf ball directly during address? If that’s the case, then a shorter length of putter is perfect for you. Or is your gaze directed slightly inside the golf ball? If yes, choose a longer length. The point is to get the lie angle to be flat and to feel comfortable over your putts.

How to Find Out If Your Putter Length Is Correct For You?

The length of a putter decides how consistent factors such as distance control and speed are. So here are ways to find out if the putter length is right for you…

1. Your Stance

A simple, straightforward trick – if you drop a golf ball, when you’ve taken your putting stance, right from your eyes to the one on the ground and they collide, you’re most likely to produce that perfect pendulum-like swing.

But then if you have an extremely bent stance, you’re using a too short putter. On the other hand, if your hands go beyond the grip bottom in order to get into the ideal position, the putter’s too long.

2. Your Putting Stroke

What’s your putting stroke like? More round or down the line?

What your putting stroke is will have an effect on the stance as well. So be sure to purchase or re-fit a putter based on your height and then practice as much as you can with the traditional swing. Because that’s sure to make you feel comfortable, thus instill more confidence.

3. Your Height

You already know by now that your height decides your putter length. And when measured right, you’re sure to feel very, very comfortable in the traditional stance. But then it’s not the only factor that matters of course, setup posture does too along with your putting stroke (as discussed earlier). But height is a very reliable starting point indeed.

Generally, the putter length for men is 34-35 inches. As for the average putter length on Tour, that’s 33.5 inches. And that’s not because Tour players are shorter. Rather it’s because even taller golfers realize just how important it is to keep their eyes directed over the golf ball at address.

As for the standard putter length for women, it’s 33 inches. But many of them slash it down further in order to get the right size. Maybe someday we’ll have readymade putters that are 31-32 inches in length for all golfers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Putter Length

What is the Standard Putter Length?

The standard or average putter length in golf is between 33 inches and 35 inches based on the average male height of 5’9”. 34 or 34.5 inches to be more precise.

Can You Extend Putter Length?

Of course you can extend your putter length, and the length of other golf clubs as well as a matter of fact. Although the process isn’t as straightforward as, for example, re-gripping your clubs. What happens instead is the professional club fitter adds either a new shaft or an extension.

In most scenarios, a putter extension (or shaft plug), epoxy, and new grip are required for the job. And lucky for all of us, putter shafts, in comparison to driver shafts, are way more affordable.

Should I Buy A 34-inch or 35-inch Putter?

It might help to know that the majority of golfers using 35-inch putters are taller than 6 feet (even 36 inches in case you’re very tall), or they have a posture that’s more upright. As for those between 5’9″ and 5’11”, a 34-inch putter is just perfect.

Are Putter Fittings Really Worth It?

If you’re a golfer who prioritizes upgrading or evolving his/her golfing skills, then a professional putter fitting is nothing but highly beneficial. When you get properly fitted, the expert really knows how to get the optimal putter length, weight, head, and grip for YOUR game.

But then if you’re only just starting to play golf or are an average player, there’s no need for any putter fittings. For you then, a comprehensive, instructional article like this should suffice.

Can Tall Golfers Use A Short Putter?

It may sound counterintuitive but there are plenty of tall golfers actually benefitting from using a short putter (33 inches in length or shorter even). The thing is that the putter shaft length depends on your setup posture at address (bent-over or upright).

For instance, a tall golfer who has long arms automatically prefers the bent-over setup for looking straight down toward the golf ball, so he/she will surely appreciate a short putter.

How Tall Should You Be to Use A 35-inch Putter?

35 inches for putter length is quite long indeed for the most part of golfers. So if your height is below 6 feet or if your arms are not disproportionately shorter, 35 inches is not going to do your putting game any good. This means those taller than 6 feet should be using a 35-inch putter.

Time for the Round-Up!

Putting, to me and I’m hoping to most golfers out there, seems like a very personal and subjective experience. Your putter should make you feel comfortable and confident. It allows you to sense the depth and pace, detect that shot line, and decides whether or not your putting stroke is going to be a successful shot.

The correct putter length makes sure you’re not thrown off your desired putting line. The standard putter length is between 33 inches and 35 inches. But if this range seems too long or short, adjust accordingly based on your height, setup posture at address, and the type of putting stroke you prefer.

Photo of author

Jim Furyk

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

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