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Wooden putters are making a comeback in golf; there’s no getting away from it. While they were a staple during Tom Morris’ era, the cost-effectiveness of metals seemingly drove manufacturers away from the production of wooden clubs.
But thanks to a new generation of club manufacturers, custom-made wooden putters are once again on the rise.
Therefore, this article takes a closer look at what you can expect from a wooden putter and introduces you to three brands that are well worth considering if you’re in the market for a unique and fully-customized wooden putter this season.
Are Wooden Putters Good?
Although you don’t see them a great deal anymore, wooden putters can be a great addition to your bag. Not only can they feel great and aid your putting stroke, but wooden putters look absolutely stunning and serve as a real statement piece when you add one to your bag.
As various high-end manufacturers have entered the market in recent times, it’s fair to say that wooden putters are enjoying a renaissance. Most putter heads are made from a hardwood like beech and deliver a unique but game-enhancing product.
One of the reasons that metal replaced wood as the de-facto material for putters and other golf clubs is that the former is easier to mass-produce. After all, hand-curating a wooden putter isn’t something you can do in a matter of seconds.
But we’re here to make the case that wooden putters still have significant value in the modern game. In the sections that follow, we take a closer look at wooden putters and introduce you to some prominent brands that are well worth thinking about.
Are Wood Putters Legal?
As stipulated by the USGA, wooden putters are 100% legal. As is the case with all putters, you just need to be aware of the length of the club and the size of the club face, as these are the things that contribute to the legality of a club.
Provided the manufacturer that you choose has adhered to the USGA specs when putting the putter together, the fact that it’s wooden makes no difference at all. Therefore, you can use a wood putter in club competitions, as well as in your weekly games with your buddies.
The fact that they are completely legal is another reason why you should think about adding a wooden putter to your bag this season. They’re not overly prevalent in the modern game, but we think there’s definitely a place for them in the age of mass-produced products.
Now that we’ve established the legality of these unique clubs let’s take a look at the different types of wooden putters you can opt for, as well as some of the brands you need to think about.
New Custom-Made Wood Putters?
Custom-made wooden putters are hand-crafted by technicians to deliver a golf club that is unique, legal, and aesthetically stunning. Opting for a customized wooden putter will ensure you have a club like no other in your bag and will give you that statement piece that you’ve always been thinking about.
You can buy mallet, blade, and other types of wooden putters, and they’re typically made from matured hardwood. This ensures their durability and means you don’t need to worry about the club deteriorating in quality, provided you look after it over time.
There are several brands and models to choose from, and some of the best wooden putter manufacturers include:
- Ember Wood putters
- Louisville Golf wood putters
- Custom Bradley putters
In the next sections, we take a deep dive into each of these brands and explain what you can expect from their current ranges of wood putters.
Ember Wood Putters
Ember’s exotic collection of wood putters puts them at the forefront of the industry. We absolutely love their unique designs, and their attention to detail and craftsmanship are second to none.
Presently, Ember manufactures wood putters in five unique styles:
Something that we love about Ember is that you can customize the entire process of building your dream putter. First up, you can choose from twenty different wood types, ranging from wenge to zebrawood.
Once you’re happy with your choice of wood, you can then reach out to the Ember team and ask them to personalize your club with a huge selection of memorabilia, from your company’s logo to your initials and birthday.
You can also add a unique grip and headcover to ensure your putter is uniquely yours and the focus of your playing partners’ attention.
Ember’s wood putters begin from $275 fully customized, but you will need to pay extra for certain additions and personalizations.
Louisville Golf Wood Putters
Just like Ember, Lousiville’s wooden putters are hand-crafted to exceptionally high standards. But one thing we’ve noticed about Louisville is that they’re very much focused on vintage putters that draw on designs from days gone by.
For instance, some of the most popular Louisville wooden golf putters Louisville wooden golf putters include:
- Calamity Jane – $225
- Willie Dunn – $225
- Alex Smith – $205
- Amby-Dec Putter – $235
- Hollow Back Putter – $225
For instance, Bobby Jones putted with his original Calamity Jane putter in the 1923 US Open. This is indicative of Louisville’s approach to golf equipment, as they take a unique model from history and replicate it with the finest materials available.
The Louisville shafts are hand-crafted from US hickory and personalized to extremely high standards. Overall, we love the selection of putters available at Louisville, and you should check out their current stock if you’re on the lookout for a vintage wooden putter to add to the bag.
Custom Bradley Putters
The Bradley Putter Company is all about customization. These putters are beautifully hand-crafted by Bradley Converse in Grants Pass, OR. You can check out his Instagram page to gain some inspiration for your designs – he’s worked on some truly stunning projects!
You can choose the shape, shaft, and grip of your putter, and you can also provide specific details to Bradley about the eventual design and style. The most popular shapes include King, Luna, and Mid Mallet, but you can discuss your preferences with Bradley directly.
As for pricing, it’s difficult to indicate precisely how much it will cost to build a Bradley putter, as every project he undertakes is unique. However, he suggests budgeting up to $750 for the entire build process from start to finish.
Ultimately, custom Bradley putters provide you with complete control of the entire design process. And although they’re a little on the expensive side, they’re a great choice if you want a one-of-a-kind putter designed exclusively for you.
What are Wooden Shaft Putters?
Wooden shaft putters are those that typically have a wooden shaft and a metal face. These were common when the sport was transitioning from wooden putter heads to metal, but some golfers preferred to keep the feel of the wooden shaft.
Most wooden shafts are made from high-quality materials like hickory. One of the reasons that they became less popular over the years is that the materials are more expensive than steel and graphite, and wooden shafts are much more difficult to mass-produce than metal.
As well as looking great, wooden shaft putters feel awesome and have a lot of weight to them, which some players really like.
Overall, if you’re looking for a slightly different putter to add to the bag this season but don’t want to go with a 100% wooden short stick, consider a putter with a wooden shaft and metal face instead.
Old Vintage Wooden Putters – Are they Worth Much?
Vintage wooden putters aren’t worth a great deal of money in today’s market. For instance, when you search the listings on eBay, you will find putters listed for sale for between $10 and $50, depending on the brand and condition of the club.
Of course, vintage and original wooden putters with an interesting story behind them will be worth considerably more, as is the case with all antiques. You should also be mindful of the condition in which your putter is before selling it.
If you’re in the market for a wooden putter, you can pick up a vintage model for a fraction of the price of those that are currently being created and marketed by some of the manufacturers already introduced in this article.
But if you’re keen to sell an old wooden putter that you’ve had lying around in the garage for some time, you’re unlikely to get a significant amount of money for it online.
Although wooden putters are largely a thing of the past in golf, they have reemerged in the marketplace in recent times. Bespoke manufacturers hand-craft wooden putters to exceptionally high standards, making them an attractive proposition for recreational golfers.
So, if you’re planning to buy a new putter this season, there’s no reason not to consider a wooden putter from a brand like Lousiville or Ember, and you can customize your short stick in any way that you choose.