Editor's note: Each week, Megan Padua, a teaching professional at Maidstone Club (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Belfair Plantation (Bluffton, S.C.), and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, offers tips and advice for women golfers.
By Megan Padua
Many golfers get club fittings, but most of them focus on their drivers or irons. Even though the putter is the most important club in your bag, the majority of consumers purchase them directly off of the shelf. Some golfers don't want to invest in a putter that is custom fitted because it's a bit more expensive, however, many golfers buy six or seven others in their quest to find one that "works."
What is "standard length"?
The standard length of a putter in the golf industry is 35 inches, and it will most likely not be right for you. This length is generally right for someone who is roughly six feet tall, or six feet two inches.
Can I cut my putter down?
If you cut down your putter, the weight of the club will also change. Take your putter and grip down on the shaft, near the head (see image, below). Does the clubhead feel just was heavy? No. The shorter you hold the putter, the lighter the head will feel. There are things you can do to improve the weight of the putter, but a custom-fit putter that is built specifically for you is always the best option.
Why is this important?
A putter of the correct length will allow you to get into the proper setup, and it won't force you to adjust your setup. A putter that is balanced with the correct head weight will optimize speed control. A beginner student that I fitted for a putter told me, "I can finally feel the 'tic, toc' that everyone is talking about." She was commenting on the sensation of letting the club swing naturally, like a pendulum.
Everyone has their own unique length due to preferences and body composition. The best way to get fit is to see a PGA or LPGA professional that is a certified putter fitter.