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Putter Loft

The Importance of Putter Loft

To putt better than ever you need the right putter loft. Otherwise, you might have a perfect stroke and start line but your equipment might be making the game even harder. 

While most golfers focus on their drivers loft and irons lie angle, few people think about loft in a putter. But it’s one of the most important parts of rolling the rock and is a simple fix too. Paired with a good putting grip and the right putter for your stroke, you can 10X your confidence on the greens. 

Putter Loft 101 

While a putter is commonly referred to as a flat stick, it’s not 100% flat (aka 0 degrees). Your putter needs some loft to get the ball rolling smoothly to the hole. 

But it’s a fine balance as too much or little loft can lead to a lot of problems on the green. 

Key Takeaways

  • Putters tend to have 2–4 degrees of loft.
  • If you forward press you need to have more putter loft as you reduce loft with this trigger motion.
  • If your putter has too much or too little of loft it will negatively affect the roll and likely miss a lot more putts. 

Keep reading to learn more about putter loft so you can dial your flat stick to match your stroke.

Normal Putter Loft (Dynamic Loft) 

If you’re like most golfers I’m sure you’ve asked, “What is a normal putter loft?”

This is a good question because it’s one of the most important metrics when it comes to hitting consistent putts. While most golfers know the loft of their woods and wedge, very few know their putter loft. 

A normal putter loft is between 2–4 degrees (this is known as dynamic or static loft).

Putter Loft

While it doesn’t sound like much, it’s important to remember that putting is very different from the full swing. Since you’re only hitting putts up to 100 feet (at the longest) you don’t need much loft.

But at the same time you do need enough loft or else you will make very poor contact with the ball and drive it downward into the green. It’s a fine balance between less loft vs. more loft.

Let me explain…

Too Little Loft

If your putter has too little of loft (1-1.5 degrees) will push the ball down into the ground. This will cause the ball to pop up and bounce as it begins rolling to the hole.

Not enough loft is a bad choice for everyday golfers as it makes the putter less forgiving as well. It’s better to err on the side of too much loft vs. not enough on your putter’s loft.

Best Putter for Beginners

Too Much Loft 

You can have issues with too much loft too as the ball will not have the right amount of spin. These putts tend to get airborne off the face and it’s not ideal for a smooth roll.

This will negatively affect your distance control (aka lag putting) and lead to a lot longer second putts. Not to mention there isn’t much worse than leaving a putt short all day. 

Adjusted Loft (Effective Loft) 

There is something known as “effective loft” which is another important number with putting. Effective loft is essentially how much loft you have at impact.

Like hitting driver and fairway woods, you can add or remove loft due to your swing or grip.

For example, some golfers add loft to their driver (it may start at 9 degrees but at impact it’s 10 degrees) due to swing or setup changes. The same goes with putting – players might add or remove loft due to different mechanical issues in their stroke.

In general, pros are trying to have an effective launch of about 3–4 degrees at impact. They can track this type of data using Trackman or other high-end launch monitors. 

Unfortunately for us mere mortals who don’t want to spend $20,000 (or more) on a monitor it’s not always easy to measure effective loft. A lot of times you might need to do a custom fitting and/or putting less to learn your effective loft.

But you can measure your putter loft at a golf store with the help of a club fitter and something we encourage you to do asap. 

Forward Press 

As mentioned above, the stated loft vs. effective loft can change due to mechanical and stroke changes. Perhaps the best example of this is a slight forward press with your putter. A forward press is when you move the handle slightly ahead of the face to start your backstroke. 

While a lot of PGA and LIV golfers forward press putters Phil Mickelson is typically the person that comes to mind the most. He’s always had his hands forward and acted as his trigger to start the backstroke. I like a small amount of forward press myself as it helps initiate the backstroke and gets the hands in a good position at impact.

Forward Press Putting

But less is more when it comes to pressing your hands forward … too many golfers forward press too much and negatively impacts their effective loft. This might take a 4-degree putter to a 1.5 degrees or less. So if you do have a forward press motion, make sure your putter has enough loft as you are removing some loft during the stroke. 

Your Putter Matters 

It’s also important to note that every putter is slightly different in terms of loft and lie angle.

These metrics are not quite as standardized as driver loft which has pretty much the same options despite a ton of different manufacturers. While you can choose different putter lengths (32–36 inches), you don’t have the option to buy a 2 or 3 or 4 degree putter with brands.

This is where things can get tricky, especially if you switch brands and/or buy a used putter. For example, you might have an Odyssey putter now that is 4 degrees but want to switch to a Scotty Cameron. You decide to buy it used and it might be 2 or 3 degrees… This is why it’s a good idea to have a professional measure your putter and check out specs on any new putters. 

Plus, different types of putters have different amounts of loft. For example, center shaft putters have minimal loft (around two degrees) and are a terrible choice if you like to forward press the club. While long putters like the TaylorMade Spider GTX Armlock (in 40 or 42 inches) has five degrees of loft. 

FAQs About Putting 

Do you have more questions about finding the right putter and/or tweaking your putter? If so, keep reading our most commonly asked questions below. 

What does loft on a putter mean? 

Loft is a part of every golf club; from putters to wedges/irons to fairway woods and driver. All clubs need some loft but putters have the least amount of loft of any club in the bag. Putters tend to have 2–4 degrees of loft while lob or sand wedges have the most amount of loft (56 degrees or more). 

What degree is a Scotty Cameron putter? 

After browsing Scotty Cameron’s website and looking at different styles (blades and mallet putters) it looks like 3.5 degrees is their standard loft. Their lie angle is 70-degrees for the same putters I checked out as well. 

Can you adjust the loft and lie on a putter? 

Yes, you can adjust the loft and lie of a putter. I recently got fitted for a new putter and loved it during the fitting but hated it when I was on the course. It occurred to me that we got the right head and loft but didn’t get the lie angle checked.

So I went back to the club fitter and took my old putter and got the lie angle the same in both clubs. It made a huge difference immediately just as it can with your full swing too. Depending on if you like the toe or heel up (or totally flat) and how you like your hands, the lie angle is a big part of putting. 

Do pro golfers use different lofts?

Yes, they can even change the amount of loft depending on the golf course conditions. 

As Golf.com noted, “Players tend to find themselves with putts that are resting in small indentations on the green. An aggressive putting stroke is usually key, but some players have found adding loft can lift the ball out of an indentation and get it rolling on its intended line.”

So if you play on Poa annua greens you might benefit from having more loft. But if you’re playing fast greens that are smooth you might need less loft. 

Click here to learn more about the different types of grass in golf. 

How much loft is on Jordan Spieth’s putter?

Jordan Spieth is one of the best putters in golf and putts cross handed (aka left-hand low) maybe better than anyone.

According to this Twitter post, his trusty Scotty Cameron putter has four degrees of loft with a 71-degree lie angle. It makes sense that Jordan Spieth has a putter with slightly more loft as he also has a noticeable forward press to begin his putting motion. 

Does lie adjustment affect loft? 

Lie angles play a bigger role in higher lofted clubs (like wedges) than with driver or putter. But if something feels off with a new putter it’s not a bad idea to compare your lie angle with your new putter. If there is a huge change in terms of degrees a fitter can make a quick change and get you rolling the rock better than ever. 

My Experience

Having the right amount of loft with your putter is key to playing your best golf. But unfortunately, it’s a lot harder to determine the loft of your putter vs. your driver (as you can’t easily adjust it like a driver). Could you imagine how cool that would be with putting? 

Since it’s not something you can easily measure and/or adjust on your own, I highly recommend checking with a local club fitter. It’s not a big deal if you buy a putter new (as you can check the specs online) but it’s essential if you buy a used putter. Otherwise, the previous owner(s) might have adjusted it without you realizing it. 

You can always get a custom fitting with a putter to check your loft and try out other putters as well. Just make sure that you love your putter – it really sets you up for success and has such a big impact on your game. 

Putting Tips

Final Thoughts on Total Loft on Your Putter

As you can tell, the wrong putter loft can accidentally wreak havoc on your game. ‘

While most putters have between 2–4 degrees of loft, players can change the loft during their stroke. The ideal putter loft depends on your motion, putter style, and other factors.

The average loft of a putter (static loft) is 2–4 degrees. While center shaft styles are more of a lower lofted putter style.

If you forward press the putter you remove the loft (usually about one-degree) and need to have a more dynamic loft. But if you’re the type of golfer that has a slight cupping motion at impact you might need less loft as you’re adding loft during the stroke. 

If you’re having issues on the greens start by getting your putter loft checked before anything else. This will make it easy to see if a simple loft change is needed (don’t worry you can always get it bent back as well). 

Don’t forget, a higher loft is better than not enough loft on your putter.

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