A putter is the most important golf club in your bag, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Without the proper head shape, grip, alignment lines, and even loft and lie, a putter that is not a fit for your game won’t give you the results you need on the course.

With golfers changing out their drivers and irons every 3-5 years, is it necessary to do this with the putter?

No, it’s not. However, there are times when a putter change makes sense. I’ll show you exactly when and how often you should change your putter.

How many years does a putter last?

A putter lasts longer than any other club in your bag. The speed at which your clubhead is moving when you strike the putter makes it easier to ensure longevity in your putter. Most golfers will replace a putter only when an issue in their golf game or new technology or putter designs have been released that could improve their ability.

It’s acceptable to keep a putter in play for ten years or more; of course, you will need to consider golf grip replacement and maybe even refurbishing the putter head.

Keeping a headcover on your putter at all times can help to ensure that it stays in good condition. If there are imperfections on the face of the putter, it can impact overall playability.

image of how to know it's time to change the putter - AEC Info

How to know it’s time to change the putter

If you have had your putter for a while and think it may be time for a change, here are some things I would consider.

Consistency in your putting game

How accurate are you with your putter? Do you play one round and have 25 putts, and the next round have 40 putts? Take a look at your overall putting game and consider how good you are at putting.

Of course, your putting stroke and overall ability are going to play into this, but so do the clubs that you have in your bag. Some putters are easier to square up at impact. In addition, if you have the right feel, you may get better at distance control.

Take a hard look at your accuracy and consistency the next time you play a round of golf and see if it’s as good as it could be.

Alignment considerations

Golf putter alignment technology has come a long way. If you have an older putter, you may have a small alignment line, and the coloring of the club head does nothing to help with contrast or lining the putter up to the hole.

Proper alignment is a really important part of the game. If you can’t get the putter lined up to the target, even if you return the putter at impact with a square face, it won’t go toward the hole.

Imperfections on the putter face

If you have had your current putter for a while, it probably has a few knicks and scratches. These are typically not a problem; honestly, your putter probably has little character because of it.

However, there are times when imperfections or indentations on the face of the putter will require you to replace the clubhead or have it repaired.

Most putters have a face pattern or groove situation. If these are damaged, it impacts the role of the ball. Over the course of a golf round, you may only miss by an inch or two here and there, but that could be anywhere from 1-4 strokes.

New technology on the market

Golf technology changes fast. Putters typically change about every two to three years, where you really see a difference in the design of putters or the functionality they have to offer.

A custom putter fitting can show you what is out there and if a new putter makes sense for you. I wouldn’t worry about upgrading just because a new model came out. However, there are exceptions.

If you prefer a blade style putter and struggle with forgiveness, if a high MOI blade style putter is released, it’s probably a good idea to give it a try.

Putter fitting and launch monitor data

Launch monitor data is available for putters. When you shop for a custom fit putter, you will use your current putter on a launch monitor to see how effective the club is for you.

One of the most important things to look for is consistency. The more consistent you can be with your golf putter, the better it is to keep it in the bag. If you have yet to use your current putter with a launch monitor, I suggest doing so.

Be sure to check out our very popular post on Putter length to determine what length putter is best for your frame and size. 

Looks and feel

If you don’t enjoy the look and feel of your putter, it’s time for a replacement. Feel is so important when it comes to distance control and accuracy of your putting stroke. If you want the golf ball to roll on the proper path, you have to like the way your putter looks and feels.

How often to regrip a putter?

Even if it’s not time to replace your putter, you should consider regripping the putter fairly often. It’s easy to see the physical ware on the putter grip and know it’s time to replace it. This probably happens once a year or once every other year.

The more golf you play, the more often you must re-grip a putter grip. Consider a new grip when you make the change; golf grip technology also changes from year to year.

Should I have my putter refurbished?

Putter refurbishing is offered by independent contractors and putter manufacturers like PING. If you have a classic model and the putter still works well for your golf game, it’s worth keeping it in the bag and having it refurbished.

For a lower-end putter that has been through the better part of its life, it’s probably time to replace it. Golf putters from PING, Scotty Cameron, Odyssey, and EvnRoll are often good options to replace.

Do I need to change the putter shaft?

If you don’t want to purchase an entirely new putter, you can consider changing the shaft. Putter shaft technology has changed quite a bit, and there are options for both graphite and steel putter shafts. Putter shaft changes are minimal when it comes to the overall impact of feel, but your performance can change considerably.

Again, a putter fitting with launch monitor data will be your best way to determine if a new putter shaft makes sense.

Tips for taking care of your golf putter

To increase the longevity of your golf putter, you can follow these tips:

  • Always use a headcover on the putter
  • Place the putter in the front of the golf bag or in its own designated pocket or compartment
  • Dry your putter before putting it away
  • Make sure your hands are clean before playing golf to improve putter grip longevity

Final Thoughts

In the end, I would say it makes sense to look at new releases to the market at least every 5 years, but if you find that your current putter is the correct fit, look and style for your game, stick with it. The right golf putter is just as much about feeling and confidence as technology. If you want to improve accuracy, you must love the putter you are playing with.

Be sure to check out our other popular blog articles on the most important club in your golf bag including: