What putting stroke do you operate with?
Holding the answer to this question simplifies finding your next putter. While I utilize a slight arc stroke and prefer minor toe hang, players with straight strokes excel with a face balanced putter for limited rotation.
In this post, I reveal the 7 best face balanced putters for 2023 to keep your putts on line. You will notice the mallet-style putter is the most common head design in this category, as the face balanced blade style putters are rare to find these days.
Table of Contents
- Pros and Cons of Face Balanced Putters
- What to Look for In a Good Face Balanced Putter
- 7 Top Face Balanced Putters
- 1. Odyssey White Hot OG Seven – Best Overall Face-Balanced Putter
- 2. Wilson Infinite Buckingham – Best Budget Face Balanced Mallet Putter
- 3. TaylorMade Spider Tour Black 3 – Best Forgiving Face balanced Flat Stick
- 4. Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 11 – Best Face Balanced Putter For Accuracy
- 5. Cobra King Vintage Nova – Best for Clean Roll
- 6. Ping Tomcat 14 – Best for Feel
- 7. Mizuno M-Craft III – Best Milled Face Balanced Putter
Pros and Cons of Face Balanced Putters
- Easier to keep square through the stroke
- Promotes greater accuracy
- Restricts face twisting during the stroke
- Highly forgiving
- Produces clean roll
- Not suited to extreme arched strokes
- The oversize profile mallets may not appeal to everyone
What to Look for In a Good Face Balanced Putter
Middle CG Position
Although face-balanced putters are best suited to straight strokes, Phil Kenyon explains how the center of gravity (CG) position impacts rotation. The further back and low you move CG, the more likely a clubface is to twist during the stroke and follow through.
Therefore, a face balanced putter with CG closer toward the heel may perform best for slight arc strokes. This is because the putter face opens on the backstroke and is not entirely square to the line as straight-stroke golfers would prefer.
Therefore, if you demand a true face balanced putter, I suggest searching for options with a centered CG that keeps the head square and stable throughout.
Double Bend or Center Shaft Hosel
Putter manufacturers typically employ four-hosel designs to cater to golfers with varying strokes. However, face balanced putters are often found with a double bend or center shaft hosel, which induces face balance and best suits straight strokes.
When you utilize a short hosel or plumber’s hosel, it prompts the blade open on the backstroke to adapt to an arched stroke. This hosel makes it challenging for straight-stroke putters to square the putter face at contact.
Most face balanced putters feature sizeable clubhead profiles, which produce exceptional forgiveness across the face. I suggest searching for a mallet putter with perimeter weighting to enhance stability, improve MOI and boost speed and forward roll.
When manufacturers employ perimeter weighting, it helps you square the putter face at contact to produce an accurate putt. Plus, the added support around the clubface preserves ball speed and topspin across a wider area of the putter.
Without the assistance of perimeter weighting, you will lose ball speed, spin, and accuracy on off-center strikes.
Shaft length is the final factor to consider, as it impacts your posture, stroke path, and angle of attack. Most stock putter shafts are 34 inches which suits the average golfer. However, taller golfers may prefer the extra inch found on a 35-inch putter shaft.
Conversely, golfers with a shorter stature may stroke the ball better with a reduced 33-inch shaft. The predominant point is that you must be able to set up and stroke your ball easily for a smooth rolling putt. If your golf shaft is too long or short, it may prompt you to stroke the ball erratically, sending you left and right of the target.
7 Top Face Balanced Putters
1. Odyssey White Hot OG Seven – Best Overall Face-Balanced Putter
- Enhanced MOI
- Exceptional feedback
- Adjustable weights
- Clean milled finish
- Produces a smooth roll
- Moderately expensive
- The pistol grip may increase wrist action
In order to beat the best face balanced putters, a flat stick must produce a soft feel, muted acoustics, high MOI, and a pure roll. In my experience, the Odyssey White Hot OG Seven putter thrives in all these fields and delivers superb distance control and accuracy on the green.
To begin with, the two-part urethane White Hot Insert softened every touch for exceptional feedback on the dancefloor. This aided my performance on long putts to better gauge the power required for each strike.
Despite the White-Hot insert, Odyssey engineered expertly milled the rest of the face ensuring a rich, clean finish. In addition, the OG Seven possesses a 15 and 10-gram weight which is adjustable to achieve your preferred swing mass.
Next, the winged mallet-style putter contains perimeter weighting, which maximizes stability and MOI to keep your putter square to the target. Finally, the Odyssey White OG Seven putters are equipped with a Pistol size DRX grip, which may increase wrist movement for some golfers.
2. Wilson Infinite Buckingham – Best Budget Face Balanced Mallet Putter
- Affordable price point
- Double-milled face enhances friction
- Generates a clean roll
- Provides a soft feel
- Advanced alignment aid
- The flange is not the prettiest putter head.
- Not as cheap as their Harmonized putters, but for excellent reason.
With costs rising at every turn, our wallets could use a break in the form of an affordable, quality putter. Fortunately, the Wilson Infinite Buckingham tackles these challenges with a doubled-milled face, enhanced forgiveness, and a consistently smooth roll.
I enjoyed greater friction at impact because of the double-milled face, which prompted a clean, consistent roll with limited skidding. Plus, I appreciated the soft feel on all strikes, which enhanced my feedback for greater distance control on long-range efforts.
Wilson added a robust alignment aid, using perpendicular sight lines to better frame your ball at address. I felt this improved my awareness of my clubface aim, which helped me start my ball on the intended line for enhanced accuracy.
The Infinite Buckingham also features a glare-resistant finish that prevents distractions at address. Lastly, this putter included an oversized grip which limited wrist action during the stroke to keep the putter face square to the line.
3. TaylorMade Spider Tour Black 3 – Best Forgiving Face balanced Flat Stick
- Exceptional forgiveness
- Boosts friction
- Generates a pure roll
- Maximum MOI
- Glare resistant finish
- Underwhelming alignment aid
- Some golfers may prefer a thicker grip, although it worked for me.
Leniency is vital for the average golfer to deliver improved accuracy and speed control on the putting surface. I found the TaylorMade Spider Tour Black 3 offered superior forgiveness thanks to its high MOI design, consistent roll, and enhanced feedback at contact.
The companionship of a 6061 aluminum core and 304 stainless steel frame gifted me exceptional MOI and perimeter weighting. This increased the stability of the putter head at contact to preserve spin and velocity on off-center hits.
Added to its forgiveness was welcomed feedback, which made the strength of lag putts easier to gauge. Plus, the Pure Roll Insert elevated friction to preserve spin and ball speed across the clubface. As a result, I generated a clean roll with limited skidding.
I also appreciated the black finish, which eliminated the glare factor at address to keep me focused on putts. TaylorMade employed a SuperStroke GTR 1.0, a thicker grip to minimize wrist movement. Finally, the double bend hosel is the only option for a face-balanced setup.
4. Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 11 – Best Face Balanced Putter For Accuracy
- Boosts accuracy
- High MOI
- Prompts optimal forward roll on all strikes
- Soft feel
- Enhances friction
- I struggled with glare on occasion
- It may feel ultra soft for some golfers
Cleveland has the ability to craft smooth rolling, soft feeling, accurate putters for less than their competitors. It appears they have done it again, this time with the Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 11, which is the most accurate of the face balanced mallet putters this year.
Naturally, the Speed Optimized Face technology takes all the glory and deserves it for the forgiveness it provides. However, for me, it is all about perimeter weighting. The winged mallet design boosts stability and keeps the putter face square to the line at contact for supreme accuracy on the dancefloor.
Next, the Diamond CNC Milling pattern produced a delicate feel on all putts and increased friction for optimal forward roll. I understand some players may find the sensation excessively muted and prefer the consistency of a face insert, but I like it pure.
Cleveland opted for a single bend hosel, which works best for golfers with a straight back stroke. Furthermore, the stock grip is a Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft oversized, an excellent option for restricting wrist movement in your backswing and forward stroke.
5. Cobra King Vintage Nova – Best for Clean Roll
Classic blade shape is constructed using 304 Stainless Steel and features a single sightline to improve alignment at address. Aluminum face insert utilizes 4 descending lofts to ensure the most consistent and accurate roll for every style of putting stroke.
- Generates a clean, consistent roll
- Enhances friction across the putter face
- Stable design
- Wide grip restricts wrist action
- Glare resistant finish
- Moderately expensive
- The adjustable weights are sold separately
When your golf ball skids off the putter face, it loses forward roll and distance control. In my experience, the Cobra King Vintage Nova putter eradicates this challenge by prompting a clean roll across the putter face to increase your chance of draining a putt.
I generated a clean and consistent roll with the Vintage Nova thanks to its advanced SIK Face Insert, powered by Descending Loft Technology (DLT). 4 descending loft angles are featured to help every attack angle produce sufficient friction to maximize ball speed and topspin.
The engineers played out of their boots by stabilizing the putter head thanks to its classic Fang design and adjustable weight setup. The fangs stabilized the putter from the heel and the toe to balance the face on mishits, while the weighting complimented my stroke requirements.
Cobra employed a single-bend hosel for the King Vintage Nova to reinforce face balancing with an oversized SuperStroke Traxion Tour 2.0 as the grip of choice.
6. Ping Tomcat 14 – Best for Feel
- Smooth feel
- Enhances friction on all shots
- Boosts ball speed and topspin across the putter face
- Advanced alignment aid
- Maximum Forgiveness
- Not the most attractive design
Hot off the press is the Ping Tomcat 14, the brand’s highly forgiving and accurate mallet putter for 2023. A firm, milled face and mallet design combine with a runway-style alignment aid to keep you straight and close on every putt.
In addition to enhancing friction, the solid face produces a smooth feel and amplified acoustics for improved feedback. This helped me identify how hard I needed to strike each ball for superior distance judgment, giving me a greater chance of getting down in two on long putts.
Next, the balanced mallet head features perimeter weighting, which did wonders for stability and helped me keep the putter face square at contact. In addition, this allowed me to maintain ball speed and spin on all strikes for supreme forward roll and accuracy.
In addition, Ping engineers pushed the CG back and low to boost spin and accuracy forgiveness across the putter face.
7. Mizuno M-Craft III – Best Milled Face Balanced Putter
- Produces a soft feel
- Increases friction
- Promotes a clean, smooth roll
- Adjustable weight system
- Glare resistant
- No shaft options for shorter golfers
Topping off our list of the best face balanced putters for 2023 is the Mizuno M-Craft III. In my experience, this expertly crafted flat stick takes the cake for the best-milled, face balanced putter in 2023. It offers a buttery-soft feel, clean roll, and glare resistance
Mizuno engineers constructed the M-Craft III from 1025 mild carbon steel for a durable and soft putter face. Every time I stroked the ball, it exuded a pleasant, smooth feeling for exceptional feedback on the dancefloor. Plus, it increased friction off the putter face to preserve ball zip and spin.
I also appreciated the forgiveness provided by this mid-mallet putter, which helped me produce satisfactory speed and accuracy. I generated a clean roll on all shots for optimal distance control on short and long-range strikes.
Mizuno constructed the M-Craft III with adjustable weights, which enable golfers to alter the swing weight setup of the putter. Finally, the grip of choice is a standard pistol grip which may cause some players to produce excess wrist action.