Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putter – Pros, Cons, and How to Choose

toe hang vs face balanced putters

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Feb 27, 2024

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Key Takeaways – My Answer to the Toe Hang vs Face Balanced Question

  • You need to know if you have an arc style or straight back straight through putting stroke
  • Players with a straight back straight through stroke do best with a face balanced putter
  • Golfers with a slight arc tend to thrive with a toe hang model putter
  • Face balanced or toe hang putters can be either blade or mallet style putters
  • Putter mechanics can be impacted by the model of your putter and the putter face

If the terms toe hang and face balanced seem foreign, you are in the right place. Putter fitting sounds much more confusing than it is. In fact, some of these parameters, like the amount of toe hang or whether or not a putter is face balanced, are actually quite simple.

I’m going to break this down for you so that you know which putter style is best for your putting stroke, and you can stop blaming the club for those missed putts. The face balanced vs toe hang putter debate is all about matching the best putter to your game.

What Is a Toe Hang Putter?

The toe hang putter means that when you hold the putter on its balance point, the toe of the putter head points down to the ground. This simply means that the toe of the putter wants to rotate a bit more than the heel.

one finger balancing a putter on the golf course

Toe hang means that you can use the head to help you square the ball up at impact. Sometimes this is referred to as a toe down putter, as the head points down to the ground when holding it in the balanced position.

  • Helps players with an arcing stroke to hit straighter putts
  • The putter head rotates to square during the stroke
  • Many blade style putters have lots of toe hang
  • If you don’t have an arced stroke, the toe balanced putter could cause the head to overcorrect

What Is A Face Balanced Putter?

A face balanced putter is one that will point straight up to the sky when held at its balance point. Essentially if you balance the putter on your finger, expect the clubface to stay totally square.

Face balanced putters help you keep the head stable and square throughout the stroke. With a straight back and straight through stroke, you will want the head to stay square the entire time. Any rotation in the head requires a correction, or the ball will not remain on a straight line.

underside photo of a face balanced putter

Face balanced putters have become extremely popular because of the modern blade style options. Let’s face it, the flat stick has always been one of the more boring golf clubs in the bag. Golfers like drivers, and they like great-looking irons, but putters aren’t always as appealing.

With these new models from brands like Odyssey and Scotty Cameron, the face balanced putters have become really popular.

  • Great for straight back and straight through putting
  • Keeps the putter head incredibly stable throughout
  • Tons of new putter options on the market that are face balanced
  • Most face balanced heads have a large sweet spot
  • It can be hard to find a blade putter with less toe hang and more of a face balanced design

Should I Use a Face Balanced or Toe Hang Putter?

Now that you have a better understanding of what a face balanced putter vs toe hang is, how will you know which one to play? Here are the steps I would take to determine which is best for you.

Step 1: Take a Video of your Putting Stroke

Make sure to check your putter grip, then take a quick video of your putting stroke. You can always have a PGA Professional help you with putter fittings, or you can do it on your own with a friend. The key here is to make sure you are taking the video down the line and not head on.

man getting video of his putter swing during a custom fitting

With a down-the-line view of your stroke, you can then determine if you have a stronger arc style stroke or a straight back and straight through.

Step 2: Analyze The Putting Stroke

Once you have the video of your putting stroke with your current putter, try to determine what type of stroke you have. I will tell you the truth here, many golfers lack consistency in their stroke, so it can be kind of difficult to tell what you are looking at.

close up of a golfer sinking a putt

If you have the ability to draw a line on the video, it helps you see how much the head moves away from the straight line.

Step 3: Choose Putter Style Based On Stroke

If you determine that your putter head moves straight down the line and then straight at the target, then face balanced is the putter for you. 

You will find that there are a number of face balanced mallet putters that you have likely seen golfers like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy using in the last few years.

When you notice that your stroke has a strong arc, you will want to look at more of a toe hang design. With the arc style stroke, you can, of course, use a face balanced putter, but the results are not going to be as consistent.

If you want to make more putts, match your stroke to the putter you choose.

FAQ – Face Balanced Putters vs Toe Balanced Putters

I know you are probably excited to get out to the practice green to see how this toe hang vs face balanced thing impacts your stroke, but here are a few things to consider before you run out there.

How Do I Choose Between a Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putter?

The more arc your stroke has, the more toe hang you will benefit from.

What is the advantage of a face balanced putter vs toe hang?

A face balanced putter stays incredibly square throughout the entire stroke. Putting is a very difficult part of the game of golf, and some players feel that a straight back and straight through stroke helps to simplify things.

Does toe hang help to release the putter?

Toe hang helps to rotate the putter to square as you come through the golf ball. The amount of toe hang can vary depending on the putter you choose.

 Is a face balanced putter best?

A face balanced putter is best for the golfer with a straight back and straight through stroke. Many golfers on the PGA and LPGA Tour use a face balanced putter.

What is the difference between toe hang vs face balanced putters?

The difference between face balanced putters vs toe balanced putters is the way the head points when it is held at its balance point.

club head angle difference toe hang and face balanced putters

You can expect a toe hang putter to rotate better and move back to square; expect face balanced putters to stay square the entire time.

Why use a toe hang putter?

If you have an arc style stroke, especially one with a bladed putter, the toe hang putter will help you get the clubface square and stop missing putts to the right of your target line.

Final Thoughts on Face Balanced vs Toe Hang Putters

I hope you now feel like toe hang putter vs face balanced putter is not nearly as complicated as you once thought. The most important thing you can do as a golfer is determine which type of putting stroke you have and then choose a putter to match.

If you are curious as to whether or not your putter head is more toe hang or face balanced, you can always read the manufacturer’s description as it is typically stated.