By Mark Wehrman EBS Contributor

When most golfers think about club fitting, the putter usually doesn’t come in to mind. Understandable, I mean, how much difference can the putter length actually make?

The answer is a lot! Putting allows for the most feel during any golf game. Just because you’re used to something, doesn’t mean that it provides the feel needed to produce the best swing or stroke.

Let’s start with some facts. Most putters sold off of the rack are 35 inches in length. It may be hard to believe, but the reason for the standard length is that all golf bags are 34 inches tall. This is just one example of how equipment manufacturers are making and designing clubs with sales as their first priority, not fit.

Now, the numbers change a bit for ladies’ equipment. Most ladies’ putters bought off the rack are going to measure 34 inches in length, because ladies’ bags are 33 inches tall.

Bottom line, most people are using putters that are too long for them.

Very few men will need a 35-inch putter and very few women will need a 34-inch putter. Even if you’re on the taller side—over 6 feet for men and over 5 feet 8 inches for women—it still doesn’t mean you’ll need a longer putter.

For example, I’m 6 feet 2 inches tall and use a 34-inch putter. Because I have long arms and bend a good amount from the waist at the address position, a 34-inch putter fits me best.

So, how do you know what length putter you need?

When testing your putter to see if it fits you properly, take these factors into consideration:

1. Your overall height
2. Arm length
3. Distance from your finger tips to the ground when you bend over in your putting posture

Considering these factors, a proper fit would allow for your arms to be slightly bent, but for the most part hanging comfortably underneath your chin. You don’t want to be reaching for the ball, and make sure the sole of the putter head is resting flat on the putting surface.

When taking your grip, with your arms hanging in this position, your hands should meet in between the top and bottom of the putter grip. Lastly, if the butt end of your putter is even close to touching your belly or chest, your putter is too long for you and needs to be cut down.

Remember, putting equates to almost half of the shots you take in a given round. The importance of putting is often overlooked but the statistics prove its importance.

Here at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course we sell putter grips and, if needed, we have the tools to add or subtract length to your putter. For any questions or if you want to see if your putter fits, call the Pro Shop at (406) 995-5780.

Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.