When you’re deciding on a new flatstick, the most important thing you need to take into account is the way it feels, that much is certain. However, before you go on a tour and start putting until you find the perfect thing, you need to narrow down the search, and most golfers start with the budget. To help those of you working with double-digit funds, we set out to find the best cheap putters on the market at this moment and this best cheap putters review will help you narrow down your search. Let’s get started.
What to Expect From Cheaper Putters?
For the sake of full coverage, we decided to include not only those flatsticks fresh out of the workshop, but used ones, as well. Now, if you’re shopping new putters on the cheap, you should expect somewhat of a lesser performance (clunky feel, too little or too much weight, or just paint chipping off). On the flipside, this is just the worst-case scenario; most of the time people are happy with cheaper alternatives.
However, another option, as mentioned, is getting a used putter – high-end putter at only a fraction of its price (doesn’t hold up for Scotties, though, since those puppies hold value long after they’re unpacked).
The dangers include the usual stuff when buying used things – risky warranty, damage that you can only detect on closer inspection (which you couldn’t do because someone’s about to outbid you), the works. Still, there’s a handy rule of thumb to apply here – as long as it hasn’t got a bald face (smooth and shiny spot), you’re mostly in the clear.
On that note, here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice – if you happen to find a good deal on a putter (from a previous owner, say), always check with the manufacturer, especially if it’s a recently discontinued model. Sometimes, they’ll have leftover stock they’re selling for next to nothing, and it can be cheaper than what you initially found.
Speaking in more specific terms, most manufacturers will have a trade-in program or good deals on restoration works for your putter. Callaway is especially known for their Callaway Pre-Owned site, where you can get their clubs, restored and with a 1-year warranty.
Best Cheap Putters Comparison Table
Best Cheap Putters Review
To save you the trouble, we did the legwork and prepared reviews of the 7 best cheap putters (both new and used) for you to peruse at leisure. We hope you enjoy the read!
The Pinemeadow PGX SL is one of those putters that won’t even make a dent in the proverbial bank, let alone break it.
All jokes aside, the PGX SL makes a really nice entry putter, at worst, and a great choice for anyone trying to pinch a penny.
The PGX SL is one of the heavier options at Pinemeadow, but at 380 grams, it doesn’t really qualify as a heavy. Still, it’s rather well-balanced and keeps the hands stable, which is especially useful on faster greens.
Another great feature about this putter is the tweaked 2-ball alignment system (traditional 2-ball, but with a sightline going through the middle). This covers the consistency at aligning the putt, while the consistency in making it is accounted for by the aptly named Consistent Face Technology Insert.
If you’re a budget-golfer looking for a cheap new putter (as in, not used), then you might want to check out Ray Cook putters, specifically the mallet Silver Ray SR500.
If you need a point of reference, it’s like a cheap version of the TaylorMade Spider Tour, but with more in the way of optics.
The 360-gram head on the SR500 does a great job of promoting stability and helping you sink more lag putts, or at least get them within the tap-in zone. The feel is excellent for the price – soft with a decent amount of feedback.
It’s worth noting that the SR500 comes in three different flavours – Black (good on slow greens), Green (for fast greens), and Red (faster greens).
Wilson Staff is known for making rather affordable (talk about understating) putters, and the Harmonized M2 is just the perfect example (as is the entire Harmonized Series, for that matter).
The M2 features a semi-mallet head, which makes it better suited to straight-back-straight-through strokes.
With that said, if you prefer a full mallet, the manufacturer does carry one in traditional or counterbalanced – M5 and M5 CB, respectively (or, if you’re more of a blade putter, you might check out the M1).
There are a few things the majority of golfers will like about the M2 (besides the price tag) – the stainless steel head is coupled with a matching shaft, which allows a decent amount of feedback to your hands. Moreover, the head features a polymer insert, which softens up the face, allowing for a semi-firm feel.
The Tour Edge Backdraft GT+ OS-3 and its ladies-oriented counterpart, the OS-3 Pink (apparently, the OEMs didn’t get the memo that women like other colours, as well) are excellent choices for any golfer looking for a cheap mallet putter.
Other than being incredibly… affordable, the OS-3 has another defining feature – increased Moment of Inertia (MOI), which accounts for an increase in forgiveness.
Couple this with the confidence-instilling white head (stands out rather well on the green and makes aligning the putt that much easier), and you’ve got a nice beginner’s flatsick on your hands.
Of course, the OS-3 is far from perfect, and some of you might feel that the head is just too light. On the flipside, they still haven’t made lead tape illegal (wink wink). Just make sure you don’t apply it during the round.
Best Used Putters on the Cheap
The Tracy II is (was) one of the best-selling Yes! putters, and have (had) been for a long time.
The reason we’re mixing past and present tense is that Tracy is only available as a used putter, which, on the one hand, means it’s much less costly than if it were fresh from the workshop (not that it was costly even when brand was new).
On the other hand, however, actually getting one is a bit tougher, since you have to find something with the least amount of wear.
Now, as to its features, one of the, if not the single major selling point of this flatstick is the way it rolls the ball, which is attributable to the C-grooves. The grooves were a real game-changer when introduced and they gave Tracy excellent consistency no matter what part of the face you hit the ball with.
The feel on this classic Anser-style blade is a bit of an acquired taste, to be honest – a bit firm and clunky, but it more than makes up for it with distance control.
Cleveland is probably not best known for their putters, but when they make one, they hit the mark, and the Cleveland Classic #1 pretty much fits the bill. It’s been very popular since its inception and has done much to influence the new Huntington Beach Collection.
The #1 is a classic Anser-style blade, and it’s made from 17.4 stainless steel (so, at least the head and shaft should last long, even if the grip falls apart). It’s a bit light compared to today’s flatsticks (340 grams), but it more than makes up for it in stability.
On that note, it has a plumber’s neck and the weight is distributed more to the heel and toe region, which makes it a bit more forgiving.
The face is, however, softened up by milling, which makes it surprisingly soft for a stainless steel putter, especially at the price range (the Classic was cheap even when it first came out).
Old but gold, the Ping Anser 4 is an excellent choice for any golfer looking for a cheap blade putter. You can choose from two flavours – the traditional stainless steel (great and long lasting) and BeCu combo (beryllium-copper alloy gives a more sensitive response).
Nowadays, though, you’ll rarely see a BeCu head in any club, not just flatsticks, as beryllium dust has been shown to be bad for the lungs (kind of like asbestos).
The Anser 4 is popular, partly, thanks to its short neck hosel, which does kill the feel a bit, but on the flipside, it helps with controlling the putt.
Moreover, it allows you to have a more balanced feel when you’re standing over the ball, which helps not only with executing the stroke, but also aligning it in the first place.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the best cheap putters are fairly easy to come by, provided you’re willing to spend enough time digging around. As to whether they’re cheaper in the long run, or, put differently, whether they’ll last as long as more expensive ones, it’s of little import (of course, unless the head flies off the hosel the first time you putt).
The thing is, whether you pay 40 or 400 bucks for a putter, it doesn’t matter one iota if it helps you 3-putt less – it’s as simple as that. That said, buying a used putter and one still coming off the production line are two completely different experiences.
In the former case, you’re often buying the proverbial cat, though, to be fair, the cat has been photographed extensively and you can take it out of the bag before committing fully.
On the flipside, the latter case is much like buying margarine when you wanted butter – it’s close, but there’s a little aftertaste. Until then, keep calm and sink the putt.