Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putters: How to Match Your Style

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Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putters; an age-old debate in the golfing world, but how do you know which one is the perfect fit for your style? As a seasoned golf professional, I've had the hands-on experience to know the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of each type. Throughout my career, I've used several putters frequently and can help you make an informed choice. In this blog post, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of these putters, their characteristics, pros and cons, and most importantly, how to match them with your unique playing style. It’s not as complex as it might sound. Grab your golf cap, let’s go on this enlightening tour together!

Understanding the Basics: Face Balanced and Toe Hang Putters

When playing golf, the type of putter you use can significantly impact your performance. Understanding and distinguishing between face balanced and toe hang putters is crucial for any golfer. Whether you're a professional or an amateur, having this knowledge will help you select the best putter for your playing style.

Definition of Face Balanced Putters

Face balanced putters are designed with the center of gravity directly below the shaft axis, which means when you balance the putter on your finger, the face points towards the sky. These putters are best suited for golfers who prefer a straight-back-straight-through putting stroke. They are designed to minimize rotation and keep the face square through the stroke. Top golf brands like Scotty Cameron and Odyssey feature excellent face balanced putters in their collections.

What are Toe Hang Putters

In contrast, toe hang putters hang down when balanced on your finger, indicating that the weight is distributed towards the toe. These putters are ideal for golfers who have an arced stroke as they naturally rotate during the stroke. Brands like Taylormade and Ping have a wide variety of high-performing toe hang putters. The Taylormade Spider is synonymous with the toe hang design, making it a popular choice among professionals.

The Craftsmanship: Construction and Design

Delving into the craftsmanship aspect of these golfing essentials, we will look at how the Face Balanced and Toe Hang putters are made, and what influences their design. The intricacies of their construction not only impact their functionality, but also largely define the unique gaming experience they offer to users.

The Making of Face Balanced Putters

Face Balanced putters have a distinct construction that lends them their characteristic balance. The center of gravity is located below the axis of the shaft, such that when you balance the putter on your finger, the face looks upwards. The putter's unique design puts the majority of the weight straight below the shaft, which, coupled with a larger putter face, allows for a straight back and forth putting stroke. This results in a superior level of stability that benefits players with a 'square to square' putting stroke. This article from My Golf Spy elaborates on the making of face balanced putters in more detail.

Understanding the Design of Toe Hang Putters

Toe Hang putters, on the other hand, have a construction that creates an aligned angle between the axis of the shaft and the face of the putter. This allows the toe of the putter to hang down when balanced on your finger. The design of toe hang putters creates a gravitational pull that helps close the face of the putter through the stroke. This benefits golfers who have an "inside to square to inside" stroke as it allows for a natural arc swing. This blog post from Golficity is a valuable additional resource to look into the design of toe hang putters further.

Delving into the craftsmanship of Face Balanced and Toe Hang putters allows us to appreciate not only the function they serve but also the precision and expertise that goes into their making.

The Pro and Cons: Face Balanced Putters vs Toe Hang Putters

In every golfer's journey, there's always a debate between using face balanced putters and toe hang putters. Both options have distinctive attributes that offer notable advantages and downsides. As such, an understanding of these differences will significantly impact your putting game.

The Advantages of Face Balanced Putters

Face balanced putters, named for their perfect balance when laid on a finger or across a golf club, offer some compelling rewards. Their design, where the face is directly up when balanced, makes them excellent for players who have a straight back and straight through stroke. Additionally, they tend to foster consistent loft and alignment at impact, which usually translates to more accurate puts. For insight on what professionals think of face balanced putters, you might want to check out Golf Digest's take on face balanced putters.

The Downsides of Face Balanced Putters

But it's not all roses. Face balanced putters do have some downsides. The most notable is that they may not offer the needed maneuverability for golfers with an arced putting stroke. This limitation can be a significant problem for golfers who prefer to swing with their shoulders. Next, for long putts, these putters might not supply the requisite feel and touch— a critical factor in controlling distance. Read more about the issues of using face balanced putters on the Modern Golf blog.

Benefits of Using Toe Hang Putters

On the other end of the spectrum, toe hang putters provide several unique benefits. They are especially suited for golfers who have a strong arc in their stroke, offering simpler maneuverability and alignment to these players. Furthermore, their design allows for greater feel, making long-distance putts more manageable.

Disadvantages of Using Toe Hang Putters

However, like their counterparts, toe hang putters have their share of drawbacks. They are not well-suited for golfers who prefer a straight back and straight through stroke as they tend to open and close during the stroke. Moreover, their greater feel doesn't necessarily translate into greater accuracy, especially on short putts.

In the end, the choice between a face balanced and toe hang putter is highly individualized and depends on your putting stroke. The key is experimenting, observing your stroke, and making the choice that best fits your golf game.

Matching Playing Styles with the Right Putter

In the world of golf, matching your playing style with the right putter can significantly improve your stroke performance. The mechanics of your stroke and your personal playing style will largely determine whether a face balanced or a toe hang putter is the better fit for you. Understanding the distinct differences between these two types of putters and their respective benefits for different playing styles can be instrumental in enhancing your game on the green.

What kind of Golfer would benefit from Face Balanced Putters

Face Balanced putters are popular for their stable strokes and straightforward swing path. If your putting stroke is straight back and straight through, where the putter face remains aimed at the target and doesn't open or close during the stroke, then a Face Balanced putter might be ideal for you.

These types of putters are designed to resist twisting and maintain their balance, making them perfect for golfers who have a tendency to hit putts off-center. Their larger sweet spot and forgiveness in terms of accuracy can also be quite beneficial for beginners. offers great insight into the best face balanced putters on the market.

Ideal Playing styles for Toe Hang Putters

Conversely, Toe Hang Putters are typically much better suited for golfers with an arc in their strokes. If your putting stroke runs inside-to-inside, or 'opens' on the backstroke and 'closes' on the forward stroke in a slight arc, you might find significant advantage in using the Toe Hang Putter.

It is worth pointing out that golfers with consistent stroke paths and a reliable impact on the ball might benefit more from the toe hang putter. This type of putter allows them to have more control over their strokes, and execute more complex and skilled putts. For an in-depth comparison between the performance of Face Balanced and Toe Hang putters, check out this analysis by Golf Monthly.

Making The Choice: Face Balanced or Toe Hang Putter?

Once you've understood the dynamics of both face balanced and toe hang putters, and have identified your style of playing, it's time to make the all-important choice. This decision doesn't merely bank on selecting a type of putter that catches your fancy, it’s a careful analysis of various factors that coincide with your golfing style, ability, and the courses you play.

Key Factors to Consider when Choosing a Putter

When faced with choosing between a face balanced and a toe hang putter, there are a few essential factors to consider. These include head weight, moment of inertia (MOI), the length of the shaft, grip, and balance point. A putter that feels comfortable and improves consistency is what you need. Understand how different weights influence your stroke. A heavier putter head usually smoothes out the putting stroke, but if it's too heavy, it could undermine touch and feel on longer putts (GolfSpan).

Learning to read greens and understand how different putter balances perform on fast or slow greens is a skill every golfer should master. You should also consider the type of green you usually play on. A toe hang putter works better on slow greens, while face balanced putters are more suited for fast greens (PluggedInGolf).

Your personal style, the Ultimate Decider

In golf, since a unique putting stroke characterizes every player, the ultimate decision often comes down to personal style. A golfer with a straight back to straight through stroke might find more success with a face balanced putter, as it reduces the opening and closing of the putter face, thus keeping it more square to the target line. On the other hand, golfers who have a tendency for an "inside-to-inside" stroke or an "arc" stroke might show improvement with a toe hang putter.

Before making a final call, always remember to get your putter fitting done. Your personal style and comfort play a vital role in the performance on the golf course. And fitting acts as the final seal, making sure that your putter is suited for you and your style of play.


In closing, choosing between a face balanced and a toe hang putter boils down to understanding your personal style and the peculiarities of both. Both have unique attributes that can either enhance or undermine your performance. A face balanced putter is ideal for golfers with a straight back and forth stroke due to its tendency to stay in line, while a toe hang putter suits players with an arching putting stroke because of its 'opening-closing' nature. The craftsmanship, design, and advantages or downsides of each putter play equally significant roles in aiding your selection process. Therefore, take time to assess these factors, and be guided by your playing style, to determine the best pick. Finally, our selection of top-rated face balanced and toe hang putters may provide a helpful starting point. Golf is a game of precision and preference – finding the perfect harmony between your putter and your playing style will significantly enhance your game. Return for more insightful content on "Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putters" to help you stay at the peak of your game.

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