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Blade vs. Mallet putters: What the top-50 players are using (OWGR and SG: Putting)

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“Blade versus mallet” is becoming more of a relevant argument over the past several years as more and more PGA Tour pros are opting for mallet putters with higher MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) instead of the classic Anser-style putters that most pros once employed. But, exactly how many top golfers are actually using mallets instead of blades now?

That’s what I wanted to find out. In order to do so, I simply looked up the top-50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and went through recent Getty Images (as close to August 9, 2018 as possible) to determine whether they’re currently using a blade or mallet putter. I then repeated the process with the current top-50 golfers in Strokes Gained: Putting as per PGA Tour’s website on August 9.

What’s the point of this? Well, each golfer is different and you should definitely get fit before making a putter purchase. But to me, it’s just interesting to see how many top golfers and great putters are using mallets compared to blade-style putters, and how any stigma surrounding mallet putters is all but gone. Heck, even Tiger Woods recently switched to a mallet-style putter.

Note: Using an Odyssey rep’s suggestion, I classified Phil’s Odyssey No. 9 putter as a “modified blade,” as well as a few other blade-style heads that have MOI-raising designs i.e. Patrick Cantlay’s Cameron Concept, Ricky Barnes’ and Anirban Lahiri’s No. 9-style heads, and Billy Horschel’s PXG. So these putters were included in the “blade” category. If you disagree with calling these modified blades, I understand. 

Let’s get to the numbers.

Top 50 players in the OWGR

 

Mallet (22-out-of-50): 44 percent

  • Dustin Johnson (No. 1 in the OWGR)
  • Justin Thomas (No. 2)
  • Justin Rose (No. 3)
  • Jon Rahm (No. 7)
  • Jason Day (N0. 10)
  • Henrik Stenson (No. 17)
  • Xander Schauffele (No. 19)
  • Webb Simpson (No. 20)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (No. 25)
  • Kyle Stanley (No. 26)
  • Kevin Kisner (No. 27)
  • Ian Poulter (No. 31)
  • Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 32)
  • Brian Harman (No. 33)
  • Charley Hoffman (No. 35)
  • Branden Grace (No. 36)
  • Pat Perez (No. 38)
  • Kevin Na (No. 41)
  • Daniel Berger (No. 43)
  • Ross Fisher (No. 46)
  • Luke List (No. 47)
  • Cameron Smith (No. 49)

Blade (28-out-of-50): 56 percent

  • Brooks Koepka (No. 4)
  • Rory McIlroy (No. 5)
  • Francesco Molinari (No. 6)
  • Jordan Spieth (No. 8)
  • Rickie Fowler (No. 9)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (No. 11)
  • Patrick Reed (No. 12)
  • Alex Noren (No. 13)
  • Bubba Watson (No. 14)
  • Paul Casey (No. 15)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (No. 16)
  • Marc Leishman (No. 18)
  • Phil Mickelson (No. 21)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (No. 22)
  • Sergio Garcia (No. 23)
  • Patrick Cantlay (No. 24)
  • Matt Kuchar (No. 28)
  • Tony Finau (No. 29)
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello (30)
  • Louis Oosthuizen (No. 34)
  • Satoshi Kodaira (No. 37)
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (No. 39)
  • Thorbjorn Olesen (N0. 40)
  • Byeong Hun An (No. 42)
  • Gary Woodland (No. 44)
  • Haotong Li (No. 45)
  • Si Woo Kim (No. 48)
  • Zach Johnson (N0. 50)

Top 50 players in SG: Putting

Mallet (28-out-of-50 players): 56 percent

  • Jason Day (No. 1 in SG:Putting)
  • Greg Chalmers (No. 3)
  • Daniel Summerhays (No. 5)
  • Webb Simpson (No. 6)
  • Kevin Kisner (No. 7)
  • Justin Rose (No. 8)
  • Peter Malnati (No. 9)
  • Beau Hossler (No. 10)
  • Graeme McDowell (No. 12)
  • Dustin Johnson (No. 14)
  • Seamus Power (No. 15)
  • Brian Harman (No. 16)
  • Denny McCarthy (No. 21)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (No. 22)
  • Chesson Hadley (No. 23)
  • Derek Fathauer (No. 26)
  • Ben Crane (T27)
  • Nicholas Lindheim (T27)
  • Branden Grace (No. 32)
  • Austin Cook (No. 33)
  • Brandt Snedeker (No. 35)
  • Aaron Wise (No. 36)
  • Justin Thomas (No. 37)
  • Brett Stegmaier (No. 39)
  • Tiger Woods (T44)
  • Patton Kizzire (No. 46)
  • Brandon Harkins (No. 48)
  • Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 50)

Blade (22-out-of-50 players): 44 percent

  • Phil Mickelson (No. 2)
  • Alex Noren (No. 4)
  • Emiliano Grillo (No. 11)
  • Patrick Rodgers (No. 13)
  • Johnson Wagner (No. 17)
  • Brian Gay (No. 18)
  • Michael Thompson (No. 19)
  • Whee Kim (No. 20)
  • Billy Horschel (No. 24)
  • Hunter Mahan (No. 25)
  • Wesley Bryan (No. 29)
  • Jimmy Walker (No. 30)
  • Bud Cauley (No. 31)
  • Paul Casey (No. 34)
  • Michael Kim (No. 38)
  • Matt Kuchar (No. 40)
  • Martin Laird (No. 41)
  • Dominic Bozzelli (No. 42)
  • Ricky Barnes (No. 43)
  • Anirban Lahiri (T44)
  • Russell Henley (No. 47)
  • Rickie Fowler (No. 49)

For those keeping track at home, this means that 8-of-the-top-10 in Strokes Gained: Putting are currently using mallet putters. On the flip side, 3-of-3 major champions in 2018 used blade putters to win. Again, not exactly sure what this means. But it’s interesting.

What do you take away from these results?

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Wiger Toods

    Aug 17, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Centre-shafted mid-mallets are clearly the wave of the future.

    OK, maybe not, but they should be. 🙂

  2. Benny

    Aug 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    SAM Lab is awesome but what happens is it shows all the mistakes. Which we try to correct. Some of the best putters in the world have putted great with all types. Balanced, flow, whatever gives them confidence. Cool article. They did another years back with top wedge players and what they use. Keep it up Golfwrx!

  3. Gepetto

    Aug 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    As a follow up, it would be fascinating to know how many of the top putters use a conventional, left hand low or claw grip and then to know which of these use a mallet or blade. Thanks for the great article!

  4. Commoner

    Aug 11, 2018 at 8:36 am

    A refresher course in English Composition is needed.

    • doug

      Aug 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      This is conversational english…. ya whitey racist golf ball !!!

  5. Ritch Gallagher

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    To be a little more data centric, how many of the players listed as using mallets are using the new models that have some toe hang versus face balanced. I think whatever works best is the path to follow. I have tried a variety over the years but always wind up with my 18 year old Ping B60. I also like to take my 50 plus year old Bullseye flange that I bought in high school in the sixties. It still feels great.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      does your bullseye feel great in your hands, during the stroke or at impact?

  6. Bugh

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    A putter is a man’s symbol of his gonadal weapon whipped out on the shaved green to drop that lil’ ball into da hole.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      a man and his putter shall not be parted… it’s a matter of golf and life.

  7. engineer bob

    Aug 10, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Two points about putters and putting:
    1. ‘feel’ for pros is sensing and controlling the putting stroke. Feel for the rest of us is the pleasant sensation of impact on the sweet spot, and nothing more.
    2. MOI = Moment of Inertia or Force of Resistance to motion. High MOI putters impede the putting stroke, but deaden the lousy feel of off center hits. Choose your poison.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      but a big black heavy putter will get the ball into the hole with greater force.

  8. Jeff LeFevre

    Aug 10, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Ok so were now calling Anser style putters blade putters what are we calling a wilson 8802 or similar putters?

  9. Jaap

    Aug 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Almost all my new golfino Customers end up in the mother of all mallet putters.. the odyssey rossie. What they are looking for is balance..
    what would be a more interesting test is how many out of the top 50 owgr And PG stats use bigger (super stroke) grips..

  10. joro

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    So the Companies are pushing their newest and greatest, usually Mallets. Those who use the “Blades” are using proven models, usually Ping style or my 8802 which has been in the Closet while I succumbed to the hype and the Mallet. I brought out my 8802 forged and POW, back to holing more and more “gimmees”.

    So again, either you can or you can’t. Buy what you like and what works, not what some top Pro who can put with a broom uses.

    • shawn

      Aug 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      But joro…. the pros practice their putting stroke endlessly with any putter they choose to use. Ams and rec golfers want a putter that will guide them through the putting stroke without practice… and even read the green and pot the putt too!!!

    • christian

      Aug 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Holing out gimmies doesn’t seem very impressive?

    • Justin

      Aug 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Exactly, Joro! We can make case study after case study of which type of putter is the “right” putter, depending on what criteria we choose.

  11. Leftshot

    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    This suggests we mere mortals should all be using high MOI putters, which are mostly mallets. If the players with the most skill and the most time to practice favor putters that give more forgiveness, we’d be fools to give up this added forgiveness.

    • shawn

      Aug 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      If you can consistently hit the ball on the putter sweet spot you don’t need high MOI… ever think of that?!! 😮

  12. Paul

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I was fitted after going through a SAM Putting Lab session some years back.They recommended a Bettinardi BB-27 blade which I bought. Liked the putter but struggled with it. Keep in mind I developed a mild case of the yips that would come and go. This putter was 340G in weight. Many times I would leave putts short. Finally after a number of years a friend told me I should try a center shafted mallet. There is a PGA Superstore close to me with a huge selection of putters. After hours of putting with various models, I really liked the Scotty Cameron Futura 5s. It had two 10g inserts in the bottom of the mallet. The putter was very expensive. I searched on eBay and found the same putter with two 15g inserts. It was a floor model and absolutely like brand new. Never used on the course. Also I saved over $100.00 going this route. I am happy to say I have halved the number of 3 putts on 18 holes. Normally I would 3 putt at least 6 holes on average and sometimes more. With my old putter there was never a short putt I couldn’t miss. Now I’m consistently making those 2.5 to 3 foot putts. The mallet putter made a huge difference to me. It also is face balanced. Hey I win a few bets now also. With my old putter, my friends would make side bets amongst themselves, if I was going to 3 putt a hole or not. As they say, what are friends for!!!

    • Sl

      Aug 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      So, what you’re saying is, that the science at the SAM putt lab is totally bogus and useless. I knew it! lol

      • Paul

        Aug 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        Actually the Sam Putt Lab was very useful. It showed that when I addressed the ball with my putter, I was always leaving it 2 degrees open. I automatically compensated for it by cutting across my putts even though I didn’t realize it. Also it showed that when I thought the blade was centered behind the ball it actually wasn’t. I had to adjust the line on my putter so it was actually farther to the right of the ball a little bit to be actually centered. The Sam Putt Lab was definitely worth it. The lasers they use don’t lie.

  13. ogo

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    If you pull the putter with your lead hand get a blade.
    If you push the putter with your trail hand get a mallet.
    If you can’t bend over due to back pain get a broomstick.

    • Joe Joe

      Aug 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

      What if you’re trying to keep your hands neutral and putt 100% with your shoulders?

    • JP

      Aug 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      I’m a right-hand dominant putter, and I love putting with a blade. Your canned advice doesn’t cut it.

  14. Regis

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I go back to a time where most pros were gaming bullseye putters. Those were blades. Anser style putters were ‘mallets”. Now Ansers are blades.There are Ansers with “Wings”. I gained a real mallet putter for years. My buddies called it my potato masher. That head over was the size of a briefcase

  15. Brad

    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I recently went through a Sam Putting Lab session where I was willing to accept whatever type of putter was recommended for me. Ironically I ended up with a putter style I would have never chosen for myself on my own. It’s amazing what the right fit will do for your game. Blade or Mallet, be sure to get properly fit as noted in the article.

  16. Chris Pierson

    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Andrew- Awesome study! Would love to know and see if there’s anything a bit deeper like what is the most popular mallet, most successful mallet, most popular alignment, and maybe look into grips as well. A lot of Odyssey 7’s and TMAG spiders!

  17. Getemgoose

    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I was actually doing that comparison myself a few days ago. Really cool to see the breakdown. Great article.

  18. DB

    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Very interesting. However, I suspect it really doesn’t matter that much. If you forced everyone to use a blade putter (or mallet), I suspect the same people would rise to the top in the putting stats.

  19. Shooter McGavin

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:40 am

    This kind of means nothing since a lot of mallets now are 4:30 toe hang. I’d rather see a break down of players that use face balanced vs. toe hang putters. Would be interested to see how successful the SBST stroke is on tour.

    Day, DJ, JT, Rahm, Tiger… all toe hang mallets.

  20. John Lancaster

    Aug 10, 2018 at 3:22 am

    It means Rory should get himself a “RORS” spider and green can become the new red….

  21. Brad

    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:06 am

    It simply means that we should use the putter that works best for us, whether that’s a blade, mallet, or a…wedge? Tip of the hat to you Robert Streb…

  22. The dude

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Nice article!!

  23. Jamie

    Aug 9, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Wilson 8802 or George Low Wizard 600 are BLADE putters, not all the Ping Anser knockoffs. This is how mass delusion starts.

    • shawn

      Aug 9, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Absolutely correct… and add to that the Cashin, Bullseye and Spalding T.P. Mills style putters are true BLADE putters… because they don’t have heel-toe weighting like the Anser-style putters. It’s important to make the distinction to stop the mass delusion.

    • The dude

      Aug 10, 2018 at 12:53 am

      That ship Has left the port…….Anser style is “blade”.

      • shawn

        Aug 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

        Answer style is now called a “blade” to make it sound more potent. Karsten designed the heel-toe weighted Anser for the mass market which cannot consistently hit the ball on the putter sweet spot. Maybe pros have the same problem given their search for an effective way to hold the putter grip.

        • joro

          Aug 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

          Just a little tidbit of info. I was on the first Ping staff and Karsten told me the design was as you stated. The most important thing to him in Putting was feel and should, later proven in testing . So he make the hard material head for sound and the small grip for feel, later copied by Scotty when he ditched the Platinum for steel. Tiger said the Platinum was too soft.

          Christens wife named the Putter the Answer but he had to remove a letter on the name to fit on the hosel and it became the ANSER. A great Putter. I had the first Left Handed ANSER made in Redwood City that he gave me. He was a great man and although his clubs were ugly at first, they got pretty really fast. Just a ramble on my part.

          • shawn

            Aug 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm

            Thank you, joro… for your historical insight and cogent explanation of “feel” of impact. What about the feel for the back and fore stroking of the putter? The hosel offset destroys putting feel due to added eccentricity. Why didn’t Karsten stay with the true pendulum style 1A model?

    • Suncoast9

      Aug 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Terminology has changed over the years. When I started golfing in the 60’s there were three categories for putters: blade, flanged, and mallet.
      Blade putters (such as the Bullseye) had identical faces on the front and back.
      Flanged putters had a small flare on the back, usually near the bottom. There were flanged putters long before Ping, but I can’t remember any model names. I would say the Anser fell into the flanged category.
      Mallet putters of the day were half-round in shape, with larger heads than blades and flanges, although much smaller than today’s offerings. I remember the term “potato masher” from the 70’s, but can’t recall if it was a specific model name or just a generic term for all mallets.

    • Christopher

      Aug 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      It is depressing that we’re now calling heel-toe weighted game improvement putters a blade. But Golf WRX did best of list of blades a while ago which featured cavity backs. I understand that putters like the Bullseye, Wilson 8802, the TP Mills and Tad Moore putter ranges have gone out of fashion. Even Scotty had the Circa ’62 line (and others) blade range and they were beauties, but it’s lamentable that we’re changing the meaning for no real reason.

      If a club offers any kind of perimeter weighting, it’s not a blade.

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Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)

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While cryptic, it does appear Mizuno is announcing via Twitter that its new JPX 919 Tour irons are coming on 8/29/18. One would have to assume that means they will be launched on 8/29, not actually hitting retail on 8/29, but that remains to be seen.

We recently spotted a number of new irons on the USGA conforming list, including the JPX919 Tour irons pictured above, JPX919 Forged and JPX919 Hot Metal irons from Mizuno. So it’s likely that the JPX 919 Tour Forged irons won’t be alone in the JPX 919 family when they hit retail.

The JPX 919 Tour iron specifically pictured in the Tweet above seems to be the replacement for Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons that Brooks Koepka used to win this year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Learn more about the original JPX 900 Tour design from Mizuno’s Chris Voshal on our Gear Dive podcast.

Diving a bit deeper into the picture from Mizuno’s Tweet, it appears the JPX919 Tour irons will utilize Mizuno’s familiar Grain Flow forging, and will be made from 1025E; that’s based on the hosel stamping that says “GF Forged HD 1025E.”

Stay tuned for more info from Mizuno.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the JPX919 Tour irons here.

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USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive

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Getting you in the Ryder Cup spirit a little more than a month from the competition in Paris, Callaway announced Chrome Soft European Truvis golf balls and new Chrome Soft X Truvis Stars & Stripes balls today.

The Carlsbad company is also bringing its popular Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls back to market.

The new European Truvis balls features a European-themed white, blue, and yellow design. Both Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls include a patriotic red, white, and blue pattern.

All models of these made-in-the-USA golf balls will be available at retail August 24th and will sell for $44.99.

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An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer

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I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scratch. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.

As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?

Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.

Question 2: Is there a style of putter that you like, that perhaps served as inspiration for some of your designs?

We bought and tested dozens of putters but two putters caught our eye and those putters are the Scotty Cameron Squareback and the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Notchback.

Question 3: Can you tell us a bit about the materials/components that you chose for T Squared Putters?

We use American-made 303 stainless steel in all of our putters, but we also we use 6061 aircraft aluminum for the insert on the 713i.

Question 4: How do you balance your responsibilities and commitments, with your T Squared production?

During the school year academics are my number one priority. Over the summer I have been balancing my Tsquared putters work while working on the progression of my golf game. Fortunately I have a team that is very supportive of my vision for T Squared putters.

Question 5: Any chance we will see a mallet-style putter from T Squared?

Yes, we are currently testing other mallet putters to determine the most desirable features for our mallet putter. We are anticipating a prototype soon.

Question 6: Are you a better putter now that you know so much more from the design and production side of putters?

Yes, I have an entirely different perspective when I stand over every putt.

Question 7: How do you get the word out about the quality of your putters?

We have been very active on social media. The golfers that are currently using a Tsquared putter have been spreading the word. We have also been attending local golf tournaments to establish our brand.

Question 8: Do you hope to make a career of this venture, or do you envision it as a step along the path of a 21st-century businessman?

Yes, as golf is my passion I hope to take Tsquared putters to the next level. Golf will always be a part of my life whether it is professionally or recreationally.

Question 9: Finally, what question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.

I haven’t been asked how this process has affected me as a person. As a 17 year old I have a new appreciation for patience, persistence and hard work.

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