Today, the putter manufacturing process can not be imagined without cutting-edge technology and high-quality materials, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, and other alloy metals.
In addition, companies in this business are constantly testing new innovative ways to manufacture putters, as they look to stand out in the market and provide an even softer feel, more forgiveness, and better performance on the green.
So, it’s easy to forget that putters can also be made of wood.
Many younger golfers are probably not even aware of this as the times when wooden putters were the staple on the golf course are long gone.
However, you can still occasionally see some golfers using this type of putter and they are still in production at some companies.
While a lot of golfers would probably be open to giving them a go, there is a concern about the question are wood putters legal.
Are Wood Putters Legal?
Even though many golfers may not be aware of this, wooden putters are perfectly legal. So, there’s nothing stopping you from using them on the golf course.
USGA and other golf governing organizations place no restrictions on the material putters are made of.
So, putters can be made out of anything, including wood.
Still, wood putters have to adhere to other standards prescribed by golfing organizations.
This means that they must be at least 18 inches long, measured from the top of the grip, down the shaft to the sole of the club head.
Also, the club head, measured from the outer end of the putter’s heel and the toe, can’t be wider than 7 inches.
The height of the head shouldn’t exceed 2.5 inches.
Some other rules include that the lie angle can’t be over 80 degrees and the club head face shouldn’t have sharp edges or raised lips.
Why Are Wood Putters so Rare Today?
As said above, golfers today overwhelmingly use putters made of materials other than wood.
While wood putters are still produced by some companies and you can purchase and use them, they’re still far away from truly making a comeback.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
Making a wood putter is rather tricky. Wood that is not stabilized will likely dent and fail.
Plus, alloy metals, such as stainless steel and carbon steel, make it easier for engineers and designers to shift the weight along the putter’s shaft and head to make it easier to swing and more forgiving.
Wood heads are typically too light and getting the weight right is difficult, especially if you want to maintain the stylish look of the club head and the entire putter.
Probably the main reason why metal putters have taken over is that they’re much simpler and cheaper when it comes to mass production.
A lot of work when producing a wooden putter has to be done by hand which takes a lot of time and makes manufacturing costs for each piece much higher.
So, the retail price of wood putters you can find on the market today is probably higher than you might have expected and is pretty much similar, if not higher, than what you have to pay for metal putters.
You can hardly find a new wooden putter for less than $200 and some of them are priced at $500 and more.
If you opt for a wood putter, then be prepared to invest more time and money in its maintenance than if you had a metal putter.
Wood is much more sensitive than metal so you have to take particularly good care of your putter if you want it to last longer.
Many experts recommend drying off your putter after each time you use it as moisture can damage the wood.
Plus, you will occasionally have to reapply wax to keep the outer layer of putter protection in good condition, Also, you’ll have to refurbish your wood putter from time to time.
Benefits of Wood Putters
Even though they are not that often seen on the courses, wood putters still can have value in the modern game.
This is why several established manufacturers are rolling back the clock and adding wood putters to their offer.
Companies such as Greenwood, Ember, Louisville Golf, and Bradley have all come out with their version of unique, aesthetically pleasing, and masterfully crafted wood putters.
Below are some of the main reasons why you may decide to give wood putters a try.
Golf is a game of tradition and nothing is more traditional than going back to the roots and using a wood putter.
Adding a wood putter to your club bag is not only a classy move but also pays homage to the history of the sport and all the greats that used to play with similar putters.
if you want to stand out on the golf course, having a wood putter in your club bag is probably one of the best ways to do it.
There will hardly be any other player on the course playing with a wood putter, so it’s certain to draw attention and make for a great conversation piece.
Plus, wood putters are known for their stylish and classy design, so those who appreciate aesthetics will certainly be pleased.
Most companies that sell wood putters offer a high level of customization for their customers.
As wood putters are not typically mass-produced, this means that you can order one and have a big say in how it will look and feel. First of all, you can select the type of wood.
Often you can choose from up to twenty different types of wood, from zebrawood to wenge.
Plus, you can select the shade and color of the wood according to your personal preference.
Additionally, most manufacturers can personalize the putter for you, including engraving different logos, important dates, or initials.
Nowadays, wooden putters are extremely rare on golf courses, even though they’re perfectly legal and you can freely use them on all levels of the game.
Less maintenance, lower price, and the unwillingness of most golfers to experiment are the main reason why metal putters dominate the courses these days.
However, wooden putters are certainly worth a try and they’re slowly reemerging as this niche movement within golf continues to grow.
Modern wood putters are mostly hand-produced and manufacturers craft them to exceptionally high standards to provide a feel and usability that will not be too far off the regular putter.
All this makes them attractive propositions, especially for recreational golfers.