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The 10 best-looking mallet putters

February 14, 2024
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Given that most players struggling with their game on the greens would putt with the business end of a weed-wacker if it eliminated three-jacks, focusing on looks in mallets might seem something of an afterthought, a nice-to-have but not mandatory. Funny thing is, though, rare is the blobfish-looking putter going to produce results.

Golfers want to be proud to carry a putter in their bags, and there is evidence that the right look leads to more confidence. And we all know what confidence can do to our putting games. That’s why when working on Golf Digest’s Hot List, “look” is an important part of our evaluations, even in the ugly stepchild category that is mallet putters. It’s so important that, like with all categories, we ask our players to determine their “Look” scores before they’ve rolled any putts so as not to muddy the impression with results.

Mind you, that first look can go a long way toward lasting love, and in mallet putters you can see how the more predictable and simpler that appearance, the more our players wanted to use it. As one of our panelists said about a particularly comforting mallet’s appearance, “From the setup to the alignment aid, everything is clean about this putter.” Here are the cleanest looks you’ll find in the mallet putter category on this year’s Hot List, listed in alphabetical order:

Bettinardi BB Series
$450 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

The appeal of Bettinardi’s putter shaping is that the designs look like something from a simpler era. The company’s milling process, however, is built on a seamless blending of old-world vision and modern-day precision. The face’s flymill pattern creates a uniform feel, sound and control from heel to toe. The subtle sloping of the shoulders in the back flange frames a ball-width cavity and centers the putterhead’s mass to stabilize aim and stroke.

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Cobra Vintage
$250 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$250

The mission of a mallet is to minimize off-center strikes, but that fixes only part of the problem. These putters use a face design that staggers loft from top to bottom, 1 degree on the bottom of the face increasing by 1 degree three times to 4 degrees at the top of the face. In that way, when we mis-hit our putts high or low on the face, the ball still launches at the same angle, reducing skid and producing better roll.

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Edel Array
$400 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$400

One of the great mysteries of modern times is why driver fittings (the most random of strokes) are so much more popular than putter fittings (the most repeatable of strokes). Edel takes a modular approach to finding your perfect putting match. With these designs you can choose one of three shapes, and each shape accommodates four hosel choices, six alignment options and four grips. Those combine to include 300 intuitive combinations that make finding the ideal putter for your stroke not so mysterious at all.

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Evnroll NeoClassics
$400/$450 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$400/$450

We like mallet putters the way we like grandmothers: They’re so forgiving. Sometimes, though, attempts at forgiveness in a mallet go too far. These traditional shapes get it right. Unlike extreme heads that require substantial mass deep in the perimeter, these classic looks find forgiveness in a grooved face insert. The spacing and individual widths create consistent energy transfer across the face, so like grandma’s change purse full of rare silver dollars, the forgiveness is bigger than it looks.

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Odyssey Ai-One
$300 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$300

Most of us think of the putter face as a study in feel, but the engineers at Odyssey thought, Why can’t we get the face to be active and flexing on putts, too? The key was using artificial intelligence to produce the strangely bumpy back of the face. This insert uses “micro-deflections” to help mis-hits roll nearly as well as center strikes. When it comes to feel, is there anything better than fewer three putts?

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Odyssey Ai-One Milled
$450 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

To design its putter face Odyssey’s engineers looked to titanium for its light weight, strength and flexibility. They needed the face’s intricately varied indentations—designed through a range of artificial-intelligence simulations—to respond to every impact like a high-performance race car moving across an undulating road. These titanium faces have “micro-deflections” to direct energy to the ball for consistent distances.

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Ping PLD Milled
$450 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

It seems appropriate that the process for milling one of these classic, compact designs takes about the time of a round of golf. Each seems just about as intricate, with these milled designs mixing tour player insight and design-engineer smarts. The angles, curves and weight placements are designed to produce cleaner strokes and smoother roll. The deep-milled face pattern throughout is intended to provide a soft feel.

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TaylorMade Spider Tour
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

TaylorMade returns to the core shape of its Spider from five years ago, one of the most successful versions of the mallet brand that has become an icon. What’s intriguing is from that base model, the company is launching a collection of five versions that share the same concepts of high stability with clear alignment and a face with grooves to enhance initial roll. Helped by research in recent years that shows how different players respond to center-of-gravity depth, each model pushes weight selectively back or forward.

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Titleist Scotty Cameron Phantom
$450 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

Scotty Cameron putters make for an artistic and immensely practical tool. With his milled mallet line, Cameron wants us to see where we’re going through subtle aim and alignment clues. Notice how the angles and edges often point down the target line or how the shaft bends aim down the line, too. An array of dots, lines or arrows focus your eye line.

Titleist Scotty Cameron Super Select
$450 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

These traditional mallets almost clandestinely improve stability through a weight-saving sole plate and tungsten heel-and-toe sole weights. Of course, they still look like they should be displayed on velvet pillows under glass. As Cameron says, “Get the weight redistribution right without making the putter look cumbersome.” The milling pattern combines a deep mill with a second pass that trims off the peaks for softness with consistency.