You don’t often hear many golfers of any skill level talk about the loft of the putter, mainly due to the fact that they don’t even know that the putter should actually have loft, let alone how much is right for them. Putting is about feel, touch, seeing the line, reading the putt correctly, and being consistent. If you set up the same each time and your stroke is reasonably repeatable then loft (and lie) are very important
Recently I did a putter fit for one of my clients at The Sydney Putting Studio. He has the exact same putter as me although his putter had only 1 degree of loft. Putters will vary based on manufacturing inconsistencies, although the high-end putters tend to be pretty consistent. As for my student, he tends to play the ball a little back in his stance and he has forward shaft lean (de-loft) at impact. At impact he actually had negative loft. In his case I changed his ball position only slightly. For him to achieve a perfect roll, he needs the putter to have around 4-5 degrees of loft. This, coupled with the set-up changes, helped us achieve perfect roll using a slow motion camera. Knowing his history and where he will get back to over time with his set up, I personally want to err on the side of “extra loft” which is why having a coach who also knows the importance of putter fitting is key to putting consistently well.
Next time you are in the market for a new putter, don’t just try a few and go by look alone. Let your local PGA Pro fit you correctly, The length, lie, loft, weight, shape, shaft position, grip thickness all needed to be considered