Toe-Balanced Putter: What One Is, Which Golfers Should Favor One

They are also called toe-weighted or toe-down putters

man balancing a putter on his head
No, this isn't the typical way of demonstrating a toe-balanced putter, but it works. The toe is pointing down as the putter is balanced along its shaft. FangXiaNuo/E+/Getty Images

A "toe-balanced putter" is one whose toe - when the putter is balanced along its shaft (so that it rests parallel to the ground) - angles downward or points toward the ground. Putters that display this feature will be favored by golfers - and best-suited to golfers - with a specific type of putting stroke (more on that to come).

A toe-balanced putter is also called a toe-down putter or toe-weighted putter.

Just how much the toe of a toe-balanced putter points downward when the shaft is balanced parallel to the ground is referred to as "toe hang" (or sometimes "toe droop").

Determining a Putter's Clubhead Balance

To determine if a putter is toe-balanced, balance the shaft of the putter on your index finger so that the putter rests in a position parallel to the ground. Now look at the clubface: Is the clubface angled toward the ground, the toe hanging downward? If so, the putter is toe-balanced.

If, however, the face of the putter is also parallel to the ground, then the putter is called face-balanced.

Why Toe-Balanced Putters Fit Certain Golfers

Putters that are toe-balanced have clubhead properties (for example, the shaft's entry point and the center-of-gravity location) such that they open more on the backstroke and close more on the through-stroke in the putting motion.

Therefore, toe-balanced putters are preferred by golfers who use an inside-to-inside putting stroke, also called an arcing stroke or a swinging gate stroke.

Just how pronounced the "toe-balancing" of a putter is - how much toe hang it displays - helps determine which putter best fits your stroke:

  • If you have a more pronounced arcing putting stroke, you'll want a putter with more toe hang;
  • If you have more of a subtle arc in your putting stroke, you'll want less toe hang;

    Face-balanced  putters, on the other hand, are best-suited to golfers who use a straight-back-and-through putting stroke.

    If you know the type of putting stroke you have, you can ask when shopping for a new putter about the putter head's balance position. Better yet, go for a putter fitting: The clubfitter will make sure the balance properties of the putter match your stroke.