Watch the game’s best players in action, and you’ll struggle to find one who doesn’t have a pre-shot routine of some kind.
Why? Well, they’ll tell you that having a consistent drill ahead of each shot helps them to focus, and that when the pressure is on or the nerves are jangling, a structured routine keeps them in the moment.
Some critics argue that having a good pre-shot routine only make you good at… well, pre-shot routines.
However, whilst such drills won’t rid your game of certain shots – like the wild slice or duck hook – it’s widely accepted that they have certain benefits, and that golfers of all levels should have a pre-shot routine of their own.
These drills needn’t take long. In fact, they probably shouldn’t exceed more than 15 to 20 seconds, and once you have a drill that you’re comfortable with, it needs to be your ‘go to’ before each shot. Stick with it and use it for each club in the bag.
Here’s everything you need to include in a pre-shot routine.
Stage 1: Think
Observe the professionals closely and you’ll note how there are several distinct stages to their pre-shot routine.
It starts with the ‘thinking’ stage. The player will decide which shot to play and what club to hit, taking into account what’s in front of them and what the wind might be doing.
Employing this strategy will, in theory, allow you to focus on playing the shot when you step forward.
You might want to start considering the above a few yards back from your ball, perhaps by your golf bag. Doing so will help you to cover each stage properly.
Stage 2: Feel
So, you’ve decided on hitting driver.
When you take a couple of steps forward, you’ve put the thinking part to bed. Now you’re going to get a feel for the shot you’re about to play.
It’s not uncommon for club golfers and high handicappers to take a good few mighty swipes at this stage, but the better players tend to rehearse a certain move.
The idea is to build that confidence for the shot you’re about to play. It might be you have a move that helps you to play a cut, or a position you like to feel in your backswing. Crucially, you’re not doing any more thinking at this stage – rather, you’re visualising the perfect shot, whether that’s a soft fade or a slinging draw.
At this point, we should advise you to begin your pre-shot routine, especially steps 1 and 2, while playing partners are playing their shots, rather than waiting until it’s your turn to play.
Stage 3: Play
With all your prep work done, the final stage is the execution of the shot itself.
Many amateur golfers and high handicap golfers will twitch about too much at this point, spending too long focusing on the ball and not the target.
Ideally, you don’t want too many swing thoughts running through your head. Just check your set-up, take a couple of looks, and pull the trigger.
Not everyone has the same pre-shot routine, but most Tour professionals would have a variation of the above, where they do their thinking before stepping forward.
They may have a trigger word, a point at which they know they’re ready to play the shot.
It takes time to perfect pre-shot routines – they’re not just cobbled together in a hurry, or at least they shouldn’t be.
To find a pre-shot routine that works for you, it’s generally recommended that you rehearse it on the driving range before taking it to the course.
Keep using it on the range when you’re practising, too, so that it becomes second nature.
Stick with it
Finally, once you’re comfortable with your pre-shot routine, don’t be afraid to put it into action.
Better players and professionals have a very structured routine that they use on every shot.
Amateur golfers may start off with one, but they tend to flit between the full version and something different, often ending the round without even using one.
Regardless of what level you play at, a pre-shot routine can help you to focus. The professionals have one, so why shouldn’t you?
The Surrey/Berkshire border is a heathland hotbed and home to many of the UK’s best golf courses.
In fact, scroll through most rankings, and you’ll find more ‘top 100’ golf courses in Surrey than any other English county.
Sunningdale tops most lists as, despite having a Berkshire postal address, it’s affiliated to the Surrey Golf Union.
We’re going by postcode here, which gives us extra wiggle room to include one or two other beautiful Surrey tracks – all of which are well worth playing when you’re in the Home Counties area.
1. St George’s Hill (red and blue)
This Harry Colt classic opened for play in 1913, and many consider its mesmerising design to be his greatest work.
Colt fans will appreciate the many trademark bunkers that are often deceiving on the eye, especially when lined by swathes of gorgeous heather. And with the magnificent pines that line the undulating fairways, this is as close to heathland perfection as you can get.
Visitors are advised to leave plenty of time before teeing off to enjoy the view from the clubhouse – it whets the appetite more than most. When you get going, you won’t play a single ‘weak’ hole.
Looking back and you’ll struggle to select a favourite, although the par-3s are truly wonderful.
The short 8th might just edge it, though, challenging golfers to play across a valley, up and over heather and sand.
2. Wentworth (West)
Surrey’s most famous golf course needs no introduction.
There was a time when Wentworth hosted three professional tournaments every year, hence why so many golf fans have such fond memories of this Colt treasure. Many of us grew up watching the likes of Seve, Bernhard Langer, and Nick Faldo compete here in the Suntory World Match Play Championship.
Now, the West Course is home to the PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event – therefore, visitors can expect a stern test.
Over the years, it’s undergone several changes, and these haven’t all been well received. In fact, despite numerous multi-million-pound alterations, the course has rather fallen from favour.
Even so, it’s still a very special place, and when you sweep down the narrow roads into the sumptuous Wentworth estate, you know you’re in for a treat.
3. Walton Heath (Old)
It’s getting on for 120 years since this classic heathland opened for play with a match between the greats Taylor, Vardon, and Braid.
Since 1904, Walton Heath has had many other famous members on its books, including Winston Churchill and legendary cricketer W.G Grace, and several prestigious events have only elevated its status.
As well as the Old Course hosting 23 World Match Play Championships, it’s here where a star-studded US side trounced GB&I 18½ – 9½. It’s 40 years since that Ryder Cup, and today Walton Heath stages US Open qualifying.
This wonderful course demands precise ball striking and a surgeon’s touch around the greens, which Eddie Pepperell displayed en route to winning the British Masters here in 2018.
Not many people get to play Queenwood – it’s reserved for a rather small membership.
In fact, if you were lucky enough to play here, you’d likely find yourself rubbing shoulders with celebrities, high rollers, and Tour players – all of whom no doubt make full use of its world-class practice facilities.
This exclusive club opened for play 20 years ago. David McLay-Kidd designed the course, and, by all accounts, it’s rather special.
The landing areas are relatively generous, and the large greens are immaculate – although much can be said of the entire course. Queenwood is the definition of ‘millionaire’s golf’, and if you ever get the chance to play it – maybe Hugh Grant will invite you – then you should jump at the chance.
5. Hankley Common
Situated on a Site of Special Scientific Interest, this gem is a must-visit if you want to say you’ve played Surrey’s best golf courses.
Its life began in 1897 with nine holes before, in 1922, James Braid advised on an additional nine. Then, in the early 1930s, Colt made further alterations. Improvements continue to this day, even though it’s hard to find a fault in this course.
The fairways are lined with heather, birches, oaks, and pines, and the putting surfaces are slick and true. Meanwhile, the free-draining turf gives Hankley a certain links-like feel. If you’re greedy, you could argue that there’s room on this majestic piece of land for another 18, but let’s just be thankful for this tremendous design.
6. Walton Heath (New)
James Braid was the club professional at Walton Heath from 1904 to 1950, and it’s a place that had a special place in the Scot’s heart.
You’ll see why when you tee up here – it’s bursting with character. Both the Old and New courses are intertwined, and they boast many of the same qualities. However, in the eyes of many, the latter course edges it because of the slightly sterner test it provides.
After a gentle start, the New becomes progressively more challenging, and in truth, neither course could be considered straightforward.
The heather is ever-present and features some intimidating par-4s, including the 5th, which can only be described as a bit of a brute.
For the best experience, treat yourself to a 36-hole day and make your own comparisons.
Worplesdon is another classic heathland that may be overshadowed by one or two others on the famous ‘Surrey Sandbelt’. That said, anyone in this part of the world will tell you how good it is – and plenty more golfers who have travelled from further afield.
This course has been made even stronger over the last decade, too. One significant design change has been the complete renovation of its 80 bunkers, which has re-established large heather areas, as well as bunker lines and drainage.
Heather and pine characterise the course, which has a wonderful natural feel. If you could only play one course for the rest of your life, this is the sort of place you’d choose.
As well as oozing a certain charm, the club always offers a warm welcome.
The youngest of the ‘W trio’ – Woking and Worpleson being the other two nearby – West Hill offers a strong test from start to finish.
An old-fashioned beauty, it looks every bit as glorious from the train (you’ll wish you were out there as you commute in and out of London) as it does when you pull into the small car park, at which point you know you’re somewhere special.
If you’re anticipating a few ups and downs, as the name would suggest, don’t be deterred – it’s a very pleasant walk.
The real test comes in keeping out of the heather and away from Brookwood stream, which lurks on a few holes.
Majestic specimen trees also line most of the holes. Not only do they frame the fairways beautifully, but they also serve as a constant reminder that you must remain accurate.
Nearby Woking, designed by Tom Dunn, is the oldest of the trio of ‘Ws’, dating back to 1893.
More recently, Tim Lobb created a thrilling new 16th hole, which plays across a pond to a treacherous green framed by towering pines.
This is no time to be indecisive with your club selection, but by the time you reach this point of the course, you’ll be only too aware of how important strategy is.
It’s not just the golf course that will live long in the memory – the pavilion clubhouse, painted white and green, has a unique look and charisma. Be sure to sit on the terrace afterwards and discuss what you’d have done differently.
You might wish you’d left the driver in the boot of your car, as the heather is particularly nasty.
The late, great Peter Alliss was a huge fan of Hindhead, and many fancy it should occupy a higher position than it does on some of the existing top 100 lists.
Its location is a dream for golfers and golf course architects, with the Devil’s Punchbowl – a large hollow of dry sandy heath – to the west of the course and Surrey’s second-highest hill – Gibbet Hill – looking down on it.
It sounds perfect, and the design takes full advantage of the natural topography, with the front nine sweeping through the valleys and the back nine providing a test of your hillside golf.
Take the tee shot on 17, for example, a right to left sloping fairway, which is one of the toughest to find. Whilst the front nine might be the most dramatic, Hindhead is a joy throughout and one to add to your list of Surrey ‘must plays’.
11. Wentworth (East)
Although the West course may grab the most headlines, the East is immensely enjoyable, too. In fact, many consider the East to be superior in terms of course architecture – and it’s certainly a little friendlier for the average player.
The East was the first course Colt built at Wentworth, and two years after it was born, it hosted the second unofficial match between the American and British professionals. This 1926 contest is widely recognised as a precursor to the Ryder Cup.
To score well here (as is the case with most Colt layouts), you’ll need to be creative and find the right spots on the fairway from which to attack the greens, as the putting surfaces are anything but simple.
However, with a handful of short par-4s, the East always offers hope that you can steal back a shot or two.
12. New Zealand
Famous amateur golfer Samuel Mure Ferguson was responsible for designing this terrific layout in Addlestone.
It might not get the same recognition as some of its high-profile neighbours, but that won’t bother any of its members one bit.
By today’s standards, it’s not a long course – a fraction over 6,000 yards – but ignore the par-68, for six of its holes are more than 400 yards long.
It’s short in comparison to the many championship courses in the area it may be. But it’s accuracy that you require, not brute strength, unless you stray into the heather.
Playing here is a real treat, and the trees that line the fairways give each hole an individual feel. The same can be said of many courses, but it’s particularly evident at New Zealand.
Ask someone who’s visited this delightful Colt layout for their thoughts, and it’s quite possible they’ll mention the food – the famous Tandridge roast is something else.
It would be unfair to dwell on the food, as good as it is, for the course is every bit as delicious.
Golf at Tandridge is a game of two halves, with the flatter front nine a strategic test and the latter more dramatic.
A special mention must be given to the par-3 13th, which tops 220 yards and kicks off a rollercoaster final six holes. You’ll come to a spectacular climax on 18, where you tee off from a tee complex in the trees on the top of a hill.
If you really want to enjoy the roast that’s waiting for you, don’t go right.
14. The Addington
When you tee up at The Addington, you’re just ten miles from London.
Although you’ll feel a lot further away from the hustle and bustle of city life as you negotiate the beautiful fairways, you’re never normally too far from another wonderful view of the metropolis.
For many, The Addington, is John Frederick Abercromby’s finest creation, and it remains largely unchanged since it opened for play in 1914.
It’s a delight to play all year round, and because of the sandy base it drains beautifully, making it the perfect place to enjoy a winter round.
Mature pines and birch trees are as much a feature as the sprawling heathland, making for some truly memorable holes.
15. Camberley Heath
Set in 135 acres of spectacular undulating heathland, Camberley Heath may be a wonderful place to enjoy a stroll, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Many a shot will strike fear into the casual golfer, whose eyes are often drawn to the towering pines and thick heather. In short, you need to be fairly precise to score well here, and it demands commitment on every shot.
It’s another Colt masterpiece and another visual delight, with its par-3s one of the many highlights.
At just 162 yards from the tips, the 2nd offers proof that the shorter one-shotters are often the most memorable. The large sloping, tiered green is protected by two deep bunkers, and it’s every bit as daunting as a 220-yarder.
A ‘good shoulder turn’. It’s a term we often hear in relation to the golf swing. However, it’s not the shoulders doing the turning – rather, it’s the upper body that turns, and the ‘shoulders come along for the ride’.
That’s how strength and conditioning coach, Jamie Greaves, views it, although that’s not to underestimate the importance of the shoulders. Greaves is keen to stress that many of the best shoulder exercises for golf focus on improving external rotation.
‘A lot of issues with the golf swing I see amongst amateur golfers come from a lack of external rotation of the trail shoulder’, says Greaves, who works with a number of Tour professionals as well as club golfers.
‘I’ll see players who are really rounded through the shoulder blades. The joint itself doesn’t sit in the best position, and that restricts your range of motion, which in turn limits the power you can generate and how far you’re able to hit the ball.’
This lack of mobility is especially evident amongst senior golfers, many of whom suffer because their shoulder joint has been ‘set in its ways’ for upwards of 40 years.
‘It’s that flying right elbow’, explains Greaves. ‘It doesn’t mean senior golfers can’t play good golf, but you want to see that right elbow folding under a bit more. That’s where that external rotation comes in.’
Before you get the dumbbells out, Greaves highlights one other point.
‘From a strength and power point of view, you want your shoulders to be strong, but no more than any other part of the body – so I say the same about the legs and chest. It’s about being well-rounded.’
With that in mind, here are the best shoulder exercises for golf, moves that will help you to improve both strength and external rotation.
Should you find it difficult to picture these exercises, click the links and watch the videos for a clear explanation.
This is a great place to start, as you can use it to see how well your shoulder rotates.
Begin standing with one shoulder, wrist and elbow in a 90-degree position at shoulder height. Then, rotate the forearm behind you as much as you can to externally rotate the shoulder.
Next, rotate down as much as possible for internal rotation. It’s important not to just flick the wrist, lean from the torso, or let the shoulder ‘hike up’. Make a note of your range of motion and repeat this range of motion on the other side.
Shoulder Diamond ER
This is another of my favourite exercises – it’s a simple mobility move to increase external rotation.
Start by lying face down with your forehead resting on the floor and have both hands just in front of your head, with the arms bent at 90 degrees to form a diamond shape.
From here, keeping the elbow pressed into the floor, lift your hand up as much as possible to externally rotate the shoulder.
Be sure to pause at your end range before lowering and repeating on the other side. Continue to alternate sides, externally rotating as much as you can and ‘owning’ that end range of motion each time.
When performing this exercise, you need to ensure that you don’t lift off the floor with your torso as you move. And don’t compensate by just flicking the wrist.
To progress this exercise, raise your hands off the ground in the start position – you can use a yoga block if you want. This helps you to work in an area closer to your end range throughout the movement.
Another option is to externally rotate both shoulders at the same time, but whichever variation you use, perform controlled reps with minimal compensations, pausing at end ranges each time.
Begin by lying face down with your fingertips behind your head and your forehead on the ground.
From here, you want to draw the elbows back, and lift the hands off and hold. Straighten the arms and then bring them behind you, making sure they remain straight and that you naturally rotate them about halfway.
Place the hands on your lower back, draw the elbows back, and lift off. Straighten the arms behind you and then bring them back up to the start position.
As you perform this motion, it’s crucial that you keep the rest of the body flat to the floor. The higher you move the hands up your back, the more challenging the internal lift off becomes, so be sure to pick a suitable level.
Finally, go slow and controlled, and feel the motion through the shoulders.
Start seated with your back supported on a bench and holding the dumbbells in the top part of a bicep curl position.
Then, rotate the dumbbells out before pressing overhead. Reverse the process, lowering the weights down slowly and under control.
You want the entire motion to happen at the shoulders, so try not to let the elbows drop too much as you rotate, and make sure to lock the arms out overhead as you press.
It’s also important that you ensure the dumbbells don’t drift out to the side, you don’t arch excessively through the spine as you press, and that you don’t dip the head forward as you rotate the dumbbells.
Stay strong in your original starting position and rotate and press with intent on every rep.
For more golf exercises and advice on how you can improve your game, visit jggolffitness.co.uk.
As satisfying as it is to smash a huge drive down the centre of the fairway, it’s your wedges that save you shots – they’re your scoring clubs. This part of the bag often gets overlooked, especially by club golfers – many of whom pitch and chip with the same sand wedge until the face is totally worn.
Of course, that’s not you! You’re in the market for new wedges, and you understand the importance of having every distance covered from 130 yards and in.
The question is, what are the best golf wedges in 2021? Well, there are numerous options on the market for a wide range of golfers. So, if you’re looking for a new ‘wedge system’, here are the best options available.
1. Titleist Vokey SM8, RRP £160.00
This is not just one of the best wedges on the market, but arguably the best looking with its five eye-catching finishes.
According to Titleist, the SM8 is the most accurate and forgiving Vokey wedge to date, and its forgiveness has been achieved by shifting the CG forwards so it ‘hovers’ in front of the wedge face.
As a result, it produces a slightly more solid feel and improved ball flight. In addition, golfers should find that they get more consistent results because the club face wants to square up more at impact.
The patented Spin Milled grooves remain, and, as you’d expect from Vokey, you’re guaranteed plenty of spin and control around the greens.
2. Callaway Jaws Mack Daddy 5, RRP £149.00
The name offers you a clue as to what they’re all about. Groove Technology works with extremely sharp radius edges so that golfers can attack the flag with precision control.
Masters craftsman Roger Cleveland has precisely shaped each wedge with 8620 Mild Carbon Steel to deliver an incredibly soft feel, whilst optimisation head progression ensures a seamless transition into your iron set.
As a result, there’s a more traditionally shaped lob to sand wedge, whilst the gap through to pitching wedge is more compact.
3. Wilson Staff Model, RRP £130.00
Constructed with soft-forged 8620 steel and machine-engraved scorelines for Tour-calibre spin and control, Wilson’s Staff Model wedge helps accomplished golfers be more attacking with their wedges.
In addition, the higher density pattern on the face provides more consistent contact with the ball, giving golfers maximum control.
4. Cleveland RTX ZipCore, RRP £139.00
Providing plenty of versatility, feel, and spin control, this is Cleveland’s better player wedge.
The key piece of technology is a unique core at the heart of the muscleback design that’s four times lower density than the steel head it sits within. As a result, it’s helped make the sweet spot better aligned with the impact location.
Thanks to a new heat treatment process, the wedge also boasts greater durability, which boosts the lifespan of the grooves. Therefore, you’ll be able to chip aggressively time and again without worrying about experiencing a drop-off in performance.
5. Mizuno T20, RRP £140.00
Mizuno has a fine reputation when it comes to manufacturing premium irons, and its wedges are mightily impressive.
With its classic teardrop profile made from 1025E carbon steel, the T20 delivers a wonderfully soft feel around the greens.
Each head features precise CNC-milled grooves and is mechanically milled to the highest possible tolerances after Grain Flow Forging. This feature ensures a perfectly flat striking face and helps golfers achieve high levels of consistency.
6. TaylorMade Milled Grind 2, RRP £149.00
TaylorMade’s MG 2 wedge is quite unlike many other models on the market, but it’s popular on Tour, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, and Rory McIlroy all opting for it.
This wedge features a patented Raw Face design, so while the rest of the wedge has either a satin chrome or matte black finish, the face is left untouched – hence the raw face. The purpose? TaylorMade says it gives players the opportunity to create bundles of extra spin.
7. Cobra King Snakebite, RRP £109.00
More ‘bite’, that’s what we’re talking about here. This has been achieved by creating a sharper and more accurate groove for increased ball spin.
On the 48-54° lofts, where you’d be using the club with a square or de-lofted face on approach shots, the grooves are a conventional length across the face but are narrower and deeper to optimise spin.
Meanwhile, on the 56°, 58°, and 60° wedges, the grooves are full face and are wider and shallower than the lower lofts to create more spin on the wedges you’d be using with an open blade around the green.
In addition, each wedge has an electronically enabled sensor built-in to the top of every grip. The system is powered by Arccos and can be paired to your smartphone via a free Arccos smartphone app.
So, come the end of your round, you can review your performance data and learn more about your short game.
8. Ping Glide 3.0, RRP £130.00
The clean, rounded head profile will appeal to many golfers, as will the tapered hosel and the slight extra offset, which frames the ball nicely.
Constructed from 431 stainless steel, these wedges deliver a remarkably soft and responsive feel. In addition, the patented precision wheel cut grooves with a sharper edge radius increases interaction with the ball at impact, which creates greater friction for improved spin and trajectory control.
Meanwhile, the HydroPearl Chrome 2.0 finish repels water from the surface, reduces friction through the grass, and provides better contact and control with the ball in wet conditions.
9. Cleveland CBX 2, RRP £119.00
In the CBX 2, Cleveland is also responsible for one of the most forgiving wedges on the market.
A Hollow-Cavity design with a hollow camber along the side of the heel and a heavy weight at the toe improves forgiveness, while
Rotex Face Technology has been used to create sharp grooves.
As a result, it delivers plenty of reaction off the face, and with its impressive forgiveness levels, that’s two big boxes ticked. Looks-wise, its chunkier appearance won’t necessarily appeal to everyone, but for a cleaner look, it does offer the RTX ZipCore.
10. Callaway Mack Daddy CB, RRP £119.00
If you’re a game improver, these wedges are definitely worth considering. This is because a deep cavity, along with a slightly larger club head, will help you achieve greater consistency.
High handicappers and beginners have more margin for error with the strike, which is usually the priority.
This is not to say they don’t offer any spin, however, because, with Callaway’s Jaws Groove Technology, they do offer a fair bit of bite when the ball is struck crisply.
The golf laser rangefinder market has grown rapidly in recent years, with both established and new brands introducing plenty of cutting-edge design features.
This growth is because we demand accurate yardages to the pin, and having a pinpoint number gives us the confidence to take on shots, as well as stay away from danger. In short, they save shots!
There have been advancements in ergonomics, too, because it’s important for these units to be simple to use as well as comfortable. Small details are crucial, especially given the premium price that’s attached to a number of these lasers.
Prices range from around £100 to over £500, so you need to assess which features are important and whether or not you’d get full use of the technology on offer.
For some, front, middle and back yardages are sufficient; for others, it’s important not to leave any stone unturned in getting a precise measurement. Plus, golfers want all the extras – and there are a fair few of those.
With the above in mind, here are the best golf laser rangefinders on the market in 2021.
1. EasyGreen 1300, RRP £179.99
The range on this laser? 1,300 yards, of course. However, its most impressive feature is its TOUR level Slope-Switch Technology, which gives users compensated distance based on the holes incline/decline.
Meanwhile, Pin-Tracking with Vibration Technology leaves golfers in no doubt as to when they’ve locked onto the flag. With fully waterproof housing, you needn’t worry about this superb piece of kit getting damaged, either.
2. Volvik V1, RRP £199.00
There’s a lot to like about this unit, with the 6x magnification one of its most impressive qualities – it offers a beautiful clear view of the target.
With Priority First Goal, you’re also able to pinpoint hazards, too – because, let’s face it, staying clear of hazards can make a real difference over the course of a round.
The slope adjustment feature gives you all the help you need in selecting the right club, too.
3. Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized, RRP £499.99
The price may raise a few eyebrows, but a good number of us wouldn’t think twice about spending this much on a new driver – so why not spend it on a device that can save you a bunch of shots?
This laser is one of the most cutting-edge rangefinders on the market. The key talking point is the stabilisation feature, which is said to remove up to 80 per cent of unwanted vibration to make the flag easier to pick out.
As you’d expect, it also has a slope mode, and the display is crystal clear. It’s also fully waterproof, a benefit few brands can offer.
4. Nikon Coolshot 20 GII, RRP £179.00
One of this rangefinder’s main benefits is that it can measure continuously for up to eight seconds when scanning the terrain. This means that if your hands are a little shaky, you can still be sure of getting the correct distance.
In addition, think about those times when you’re on the tee eyeing up hazards. This feature helps you to highlight these and even judge when the fairway runs out.
Looks-wise, the white and black colouring is sure to appeal to many golfers. It might not have the same number of features as some lasers, such as slope mode, but it’s perfect for quick use.
5. Shot Scope Pro L1, RRP £199.99
The sporty and ergonomic design looks great, and the device, which is also much lighter than most other models, is designed to sit comfortably in the hand.
It’s Shot Scope’s first-ever laser rangefinder, and there’s a lot to like about it, aside from the modern design.
Standout features include:
Adaptive Slope Technology, which displays the angle of slope adjustment and a recalculated distance, accurate to just 3.6 inches.
Target Lock Vibration, which gives you a clear indication of when you’re dialled in on your intended target.
6. Garmin Approach Z82, RRP £429.99
The Z82 is at the upper end of the price band due to the attention to detail involved in its features.
When looking through the viewfinder, you’ll have access to a full-colour 2D Course View mapping, which is displayed on the left-hand side. This shows you the distances to hazards and the green.
Meanwhile, the flag finder feature locks on the flag and gives precise distances to the pin. There’s also a ‘plays like’ distance feature that accounts for slopes and a Pin Pointer feature that points to the middle of the green on blind shots.
Finally, the unit allows you to keep score and measure shot distances to participate in weekly leaderboards, plus you can review your stats in the Garmin Golf app.
7. GolfBuddy Aim L10V, RRP £269.99
GolfBuddy’s most advanced laser features a unique audio option, which means the user gets spoken confirmation of distances – so it really is like having your own caddie on the golf course.
It’s not gimmicky, and plenty of other features make this device one of the best lasers on the market. For starters, there’s Slope Technology, as well as Pin Finder with Vibration Mode.
Meanwhile, the display offers superb clarity, while the wide LCD screen allows you to view every detail with precision.
8. GolfBuddy Laser 1, RRP £199.00
Golfers who don’t want to pay the big bucks for the all-singing, all-dancing lasers may lean more towards a device such GolfBuddy’s Laser 1.
It offers 6x magnification and a wide LCD screen for improved visibility of measurements, as well as a pin finder with vibration.
It’s also water-resistant, and the automatic shut-off after 10 seconds when it’s left unattended will prevent you from running out of charge mid-round.
9. Motocaddy Pro 3000, RRP £269.99
Motocaddy’s move into the laser market is interesting and, given the innovation behind its market-leading electric trolleys, its laser was always going to be high spec.
As well as Slope Compensation Mode and Pin Lock, this device offers wonderful clear views of the course, with 7x magnification and an adjustable eyepiece for the optimum viewing experience.
Meanwhile, it’s compact and lightweight, whilst the textured grip means it sits comfortably in the users’ hands.
10. Bushnell Tour V5 Shift, RRP £359.00
This golf laser rangefinder pretty much has it all. PinSeeker with visual JOLT technology gives the user confidence that they have locked onto the flag, whilst a new and improved slope algorithm and Slope-Switch technology allows golfers to turn the slope function on or off.
As a result, you’re guaranteed even more precise yardages, and these are returned rapidly with the Fast Focus system. The Bite magnetic mount is also a nice touch, as it allows the device to be secured to a golf buggy without the need for any aftermarket accessories.
11. Bushnell Tour V5 Slim Edition, RRP £299.00
The Slim Edition is exactly that – slimmer than its big brother. This is because Bushnell has moved the battery housing to the back of the unit and slimmed down the outer casing.
As a result, Bushnell says it has created a laser that fits snugly into the hands with ‘the minimum of interference when acquiring a target’.
In summary, it has the same features as the standard model, only a more ergonomic shape, which will probably make it easier for more golfers to use.
12. Bushnell Hybrid, RRP £399.00
Bushnell’s hybrid combines laser and GPS yardages.
The laser function, which is powered by a CR2 battery, gives precise distances to the flag, while on the side, a GPS display – powered by a USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery – delivers front, middle, and back yardages.
As with the V5, you get PinSeeker with JOLT Technology, too, so you receive short, vibrating bursts to isolate the target and lock onto the flag.
13. Zoom Focus X, RRP £219.99
Zoom might be a lesser-known brand, but its Focus X is proving to be a popular device, and it packs quite a punch for its relatively modest price.
Slope Compensation gets a big tick, as does the 6x magnification optics and eyepiece adjuster, which offers maximum comfort.
The unit vibrates when the flag has been picked out from the background, and it will display the yardage to the nearest 0.1 of a yard for an extra level of accuracy.
There’s much to consider before buying a new putter, as it’s arguably the most important club in your bag.
Choosing one that suits your stroke is the key to holing more putts and, ultimately, shooting lower scores.
As with every other club in your bag, a custom fitting is the best way forward. At the very least, you’d want a qualified PGA professional to look at your putting stroke, as some putters will suit you more than others.
Then, of course, there’s the look and feel of your flat stick. You want to be confident when you’re standing over a putt, as though you can roll the ball consistently and out of the centre of the face. Of course, we don’t always do that, not even the pros, so when you don’t quite find the middle, you want an element of forgiveness.
The head design is another key factor to consider. You might be a traditionalist in search of a new blade, or you might need more help stabilising your stroke or prefer a model that makes alignment easier, in which case a mallet putter might suit you better.
There are hundreds of models out there, and new putters are constantly being added to existing lines.
We look at the best golf putters on the market in 2021, and many of the putters mentioned are one of a number in the range. So, whilst you may not like a certain head shape, for example, there’s sure to be one in the line-up that suits your eye and putting stroke.
1. Axis 1 Rose, RRP £449
The Axis 1 putter is designed in such a way that it won’t naturally open during the putting stroke.
This feature is made possible by pushing the weight forward with a heel counterweight. The CG is positioned precisely on the centre of the putter face and aligns perfectly with the axis of the shaft.
As a result, users should find their putting performance improve as it helps the stroke to remain on line time after time.
The hosel design may be a little unusual, but it’s a beautiful-looking putter and one Justin Rose has enjoyed great success with in the past, as well as numerous other Tour pros.
2. TaylorMade Spider EX, RRP £299.00
TaylorMade’s Spider family is a hugely popular line, and the EX is sure to be another hit.
The new True Path system on the top of the head makes it easier to align, with three reflective white dots between the dual rail also helping golfers to line up the ball.
As well as alignment assistance, the putter features an aluminium frame and carbon composite head that increases the MOI for a more consistent roll. Users should find that this offers more forgiveness across the face, which is always welcome when you don’t quite deliver a centred strike.
3. Cobra King Vintage Stingray Single, RRP £199.00
The King Vintage series will appeal to those golfers who favour a more traditional look.
Cobra engineers worked alongside SIK Golf and Bryson DeChambeau to design a putter face that improves ball roll. It features an aluminium insert with four descending lofts on the face to produce the most consistent roll trajectory for different putting strokes and angles of attack.
The Stingray is an oversize mallet putter, but with multiple shapes, hosels, and an adjustable weighting system, you have various options for different putting strokes. And, of course, with Cobra you can monitor your performance thanks to the tracking system embedded in the grips.
4. Ping 2021 Anser 4, RRP £250.00
There are a dozen models in Ping’s 2021 range, comprising mallets, mid-mallets, and blades. All these models have been designed with improved forgiveness in mind.
One of the key technologies is a new dual-durometer Pebax face insert, the front layer of which is softer for precision on close-range putts, while the rear layer is firmer to aid speed and distance control.
The face also features uniform grooves, which Ping says provides more consistent distance control across the face. The putters come with a dark, stealth PVD finish which boosts their premium looks.
5. Odyssey White Hot OG #5, RRP £239.00
White Hot is one of the most iconic putters of all time, with the classic line proving extremely popular on Tour and with golfers of all abilities for the last two decades.
This is largely down to the insert used, which provides exceptional feel. For 2021, the original White Hot formulation, feel, sound, and performance are all back in one two-part urethane insert. Combined with a rich silver PVD finish with fine milling on the surfaces, Odyssey has another beautiful range on its hands. The line-up includes the #1, #1WS, 2Ball, #5, and #7 models, as well as the much-loved Rossie.
6. Odyssey 2-Ball Ten, RRP £299.00
Featuring Odyssey’s famous 2-Ball alignment, it should come as no surprise that the new 2-Ball Ten is still aimed at those players who tend to push or pull their putts.
It features a White Hot Microhinge face insert, which promotes immediate forward roll for improved speed and control – so you should see the ball ‘hugging’ the ground when you putt; in other words, less ‘skidding’.
In addition, the shaft has been made stiffer and more stable – it’s seven grams lighter than its predecessor – to aid tempo and improve consistency in the putting stroke.
7. Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2, RRP £380.00
Nothing quite turns your head like a new Scotty Cameron putter.
The Newport 2 was first released in 1997, and it’s been a favourite with many of the world’s best putters.
The latest model is a fraction sleeker than the 2018 model, and with input from Tour players, it’s been made thinner to sit a touch flatter on the ground.
Meanwhile, heavier tungsten weights have been added to the heel and toe to aid stability on off-centre strikes. ‘Classic, industrial with elegance,’ is how the master putter maker describes them, and it’s hard to disagree.
8. Mizuno M.Craft IV, RRP £269.00
There are three mid-mallet models in the extended line-up for 2021, and each has been CNC-milled to create the most precise shape and alignment.
This model is a slant neck-deep square back putter with moderate toe-hang to suit players with a moderate putting arc.
Forged from premium 1025 mild carbon steel and available in three striking finishes, the M.Craft putters are certainly eye-catching.
Designed for stability, the head has been designed to promote a fluid, rhythmical putting stroke, while additional weights can be interchanged to allow the user to fine-tune the feel.
9. Wilson Staff Infinite Bucktown, RRP £109.00
Wilson Staff’s Infinite putter range offers a range of different head shapes and styles.
The main talking point is Counterbalance Technology, which sees additional weight placed in the grip end of the club and head; this brings the point of balance closer to the hands, which makes it easier to control the swing and helps the stroke to be more consistent.
In addition, the oversized 104-gram Infinite grip works by softening the hand action and eradicates unwanted wrist movement.
Meanwhile, the dark anti-glare finish contributes towards a premium look, which isn’t reflected in the competitive price.
10. Evnroll ER11V Putter, RRP £369.00
Evnroll putters ooze quality, and it’s no different with the new V Series range. The ER11V is the flagship model, a high-performance mallet offering forgiveness and stability in a clean and compact look.
Evnroll’s Sweet Face Technology is behind the unique mill pattern, which delivers uniform performance across the entire hitting area.
So, the ER11V could be a game-changer for golfers who struggle with consistent roll and pace control.
11. Bettinardi Studio Stock 18, RRP £399.00
Those in search of a new blade putter would be well advised to try this beautiful handcrafted offering from Bettinardi.
Developed with input from some of the world’s best players, the Roll Control Face gives players exceptional feel and optimal audible feedback, while the asymmetrical design groove profile promotes more topspin at impact and shortens the distance the ball takes to get into a true roll with each putt.
With the Diamond Blast finish, which gives the putter its clean appearance, and red and back paint scheme, you have one of the most aesthetically pleasing blades on the market, too.
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