Pick The Right Putter Hosel and You Might Never 3-Putt Again...
When selecting a new putter, there’s a lot to investigate, but most golfers forget about the hosel. This seemingly innocent design feature often has the most significant effect on how the club actually swings. Furthermore, knowing the difference between one hosel design and another can provide some insight into your stroke and what type of putter you are. Let’s examine some of the more popular hosel configurations, and try to help you become a better putter today.
"I putted with a center shafted putter for years and always assumed that I was going to have to settle with always being a bad putter. It wasn't until you fit me for a plumber's neck hosel a couple years ago, before I realized I could actually putt and I have never looked back. I just cannot believe that I had the wrong putter for all those years. I just never thought a hosel made that much of a difference, and that different putting strokes are better suited for different style hosels."
The plumber-neck is characterized by a horizontal bend just below where the end of the shaft and the hosel meet. This design, which generally provides a medium amount of offset, does a great job of keeping the hands ahead of the clubhead through impact. This tends to make the putter more forgiving and easier to use, which is the reason it’s so popular. Putters with plumber-neck hosels tend to be somewhat toe-down in their weighting scheme, which encourages a slightly inside-square-inside stroke.
The flare-tip is typically a “shaft-over” hosel, meaning the shaft covers the top of the hosel where the two connect. Putters with flare-tip hosels generally have less offset and are more blade-like in their design. These putters tend to be quite a bit toe-down in their weighting scheme and usually work best for golfers who like to rotate the blade open and shut through the stroke.
3. No Hosel
Face-balanced putters often have no hosel, but instead an S-bend shaft that goes directly into the putterhead. These putters are designed specifically for golfers who want to take the club straight back and straight through in a piston-like motion. If you typically like to rotate the clubhead during your stroke, these types of putters probably won’t work as well for you, although there are no absolutes in this regard.
4. Long Hosel
These designs are usually elongated plumber-necks and are used to create face-balancing. Although they look very similar to the standard plumber-neck design, the extra length definitely creates a different feel, which you should take into consideration before selecting a putter with this type of hosel structure. Be aware that the elongated plumber-neck design doesn’t always result in face-balancing; many, in fact, are toe-balanced.
These hosels often are plumber-necks that bend back from the shaft line. Usually, this type of putter is used to create a more substantial amount of offset, which promotes more of an upward strike into the golf ball. Another beneficial aspect of the slant-neck design is the position it places the hands in just prior to, and through, impact—just slightly in front of the golf ball.
The majority of putter models feature shafts that enter the putterhead near the heel. Some, however, feature a more centered shaft insert position. This design typically is associated with a flatter lie angle, promoting a low-hands position. Also, the center-shaft position places the swing axis closer to the golf ball, eliciting extra control and a feel many golfers prefer.