A-Z Putting (B): Blade v Mallet

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Blades were always used by the best players on Tour. Not anymore though

The best putters in the business all used to use blades. Fact. Loren Roberts, Steve Stricker, Brad Faxon and of course Tiger Woods were all great at holing out, they also all used blades too.

Today things are not so clear-cut; Justin Rose, DJ, Jason Day, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas all use more stable, high-MOI mallet putters, and all are in and around the world's top 10.

There's no doubt mallet and MOI-style putters improve stability over blades; it's because their centre of gravity is pulled further back from the face, like a forgiving driver.

Blades have an average MOI (resistance to twisting) rating of between 3 – 5,000 g/cm2, whereas stability mallets are more like 7 – 9,000 g/cm2. And that means golfers stand a better chance of holing out with MOI models when putts are hit off-centre.

But the tour switch from blade to mallet isn't down to improved forgiveness alone. It's been made possible by brands using a small slant hosel on mallet and MOI models, much like what used to be seen on traditional blades. This hosel allows the traditionally face-balanced mallet some toe hang, so suiting the many players who like to see some arc in their stroke.

It means forgiveness is out there, regardless of stroke shape... and that could be ominous for the blade.