From the Heavy Putter to Today
There are heavy putters, and then there’s the Heavy Putter. Heavy Putter is the name of a line of putters, and it was once the name of the company that introduced those putters around 2005. And “heavy putter” has also come to be used as a generic term for a genre of putters that are, well, heavier than typical putters.
Today, the company has a different name, its line of Heavy Putters still exists, but this genre of putter is more commonly referred to as counterbalanced putters or counterweighted putters. (Counterbalanced and counterweighted are interchangeable terms when applied to putters, but counterbalanced is the more commonly used term.)
And counterbalanced putters grew in popularity following the decision by the USGA and R&A to ban anchored putting strokes.
The Heavy Putter Line of Putters
The putter that goes by the name Heavy Putter was originally introduced to the golf market in 2005. And its name told you everything you needed to know about it: it really was heavy. The original mallet-style Heavy Putter had a clubhead that was approximately twice as heavy as the clubheads on other putters on the market at that time.
The original Heavy Putter also included extra weight placed in the grip end of the shaft. And that is what “counterbalancing” (or “counterweighting”) is: More weight in the putter head, but also additional weight in the grip-end of the shaft to balance out the headweight.
The end result is a putter whose overall weight is much heavier than that of a standard putter, but whose swingweight—how heavy the putter feels during the swing—is still comfortable to the golfer.
The Heavy Putter Company is Now Boccieri Golf
In 2006, the company named Heavy Putter changed its name to Boccieri Golf, after putter designer and company founder Stephen Boccieri. The company makes a range of Heavy Putters today, from the original mallet style to heel-toe head styles to blade-styles, and with different shaft and grip options.
The counterbalanced weighting properties (and heavier overall weight) remain the foundation of Heavy Putter design.
“Because of its heavier, overall weight, the body instinctively activates its larger, more stable muscles to perform the putting stroke, promoting a consistent, pendulum stroke,” the company states in explaining the Heavy Putter design.
Counterbalanced Putters Today
Today the putter market includes many counterbalanced designs, all with heavier-than-traditional putter heads and with extra weight added at the grip end.
What’s the point? Famous putter designer Scotty Cameron, whose putters for Titleist include counterbalanced designs, explains:
“The added weight in the shaft is counterbalanced with the same amount of additional weight of the putter head. Each of these features is designed to improve the stability of the putting stroke by helping the player concentrate on a motion that uses the big muscles of the shoulders, rather than the small muscles (and nerves) of the hands and wrists. The feel is like anchoring, but without actually anchoring.”
Cameron’s reference to anchoring is key. For golfers who like using traditional putters, counterbalanced putters do not appear to offer any advantage. But for golfers who struggle with traditional putters, and especially those that are yippy, counterbalanced putters are definitely worth trying. All that extra weight can help take the hands out of the putting stroke and help produce a smoother, pendulum stroke.
Counterweighted putters are also considered an option for golfers who gave up an anchored putting stroke following the USGA/R&A decision to ban such strokes in 2016. Many counterbalanced, heavy putters are made with longer shafts, helping mimic the feel of belly putters and long putters, but without the need to anchor.