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Choosing the Right Putter Shaft

Cropped photo of two golfers comparing putters.

Putter shafts are an often-overlooked aspect of a putter for newer golfers, and this is because shafts don’t affect the putting game in the same way that they affect your other clubs. While shaft flex is typically one of the primary specs considered in driver or iron shafts, for example, flex has little variation or impact regarding putters.

Instead, putter shaft selection is focused largely on two factors: placement and length. Here we’ll explain those two factors and what you need to know while choosing the right putter shaft.

Choosing the Right Putter Shaft Placement

There are two general shaft placement positions: Center-shaft and heel shaft. These describe the position of the shaft relative to the head. Center-shafted putters position the shaft over the center of the putter head, whereas heel-shafted putters sit at the heel.

Choosing the Right Putter Shaft Placement,  Putter vs Putter

Center-Shafted Putters

Putters with a shaft positioned close to the center are better for golfers with a square-to-square putting stroke. This fact is because it reduces twisting throughout the stroke and provides stability in a straight line. This can make things difficult for those with more arced putting strokes, as reducing twist makes it harder for them to control the angle of the putter face at the point of contact. Center shafts are generally only present on mallet-style putters, as this combination is considered the perfect fit for square-to-square putting strokes. 

Heel-Shafted Putters

By far the more common position, heel-shafted putters connect the shaft near the heel of the putter head. This allows for more face rotation throughout the stroke, making it easier to putt well with various stroke arcs. The reason this shaft position is more common is that most putters have at least a small arc in their stroke.

Other Options

Outside of true center-shafted putters and heel-shafted putters lies a wide variety of options that position the shaft somewhere in between. These are meant to provide some of the benefits of both or to meet the needs of putters that have a slight arc in their stroke. This increasing level of variety is why it is important to get fitted for a putter since trying out multiple shaft placements and lengths in a controlled environment is the only real way to determine what is best for you.

Choosing the Right Putter Length

Putter length is important because it has a significant impact on your putting stance and posture. The goal with putter length is to comfortably stand with your eye over the ball or just inside of the ball while keeping a straight back.

The three most popular putter lengths are 33, 34, and 35 inches. As a general rule of thumb, 34 inches is the standard length that fits most golfers between 5’8 and 6 feet tall. Shorter golfers may want to consider the shorter 33-inch shaft, and taller ones may be better suited by a 35 or longer.

Want the Best Putter for You? Get Fitted

While these more general descriptions of what placement and length are helpful when shopping around or finding a few putters of interest, the only way to get the perfect putter is to get fitted. This step will allow you to isolate each variable and try a few different options in a controlled environment, with an expert there to monitor what brings you the best result.

Finding the right shaft position isn’t as simple as looking at your stroke and picking a putter that looks just about right. A fitting will allow you to see how a different shaft position will affect putters with similar heads, so you know that it’s the shaft position that is helping or hurting your putt.

Proper putter length can vary based on stance width and posture when putting. The best way to pick the perfect length is to take a measurement of your height and the distance between your wrist and the floor when standing up straight with arms hanging naturally at your side (not intentionally trying to straighten or stretch them downward). A professional fitting you for a putter would do a calculation with these two measurements to fit you correctly, but if you aren’t being fitted, the wrist-to-floor measurement should get you a general sense of what your putter length should be. After making this calculation, you should still take several practice putts with different lengths to help narrow down what works best for you, depending on your stance and posture.

To see what a high-quality putter fitting looks like, check out the one we did with PING’s Putting Lab:

Worldwide Golf Shops Has the Putter Shafts for You

By now, you should have an answer to the question, “What kind of putter should I use?” The next logical step is purchasing a good quality putter. Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to beginners and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele. Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of all of the following:

At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!

Trevor Cigich

Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing |  Worldwide Golf Shops

I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.

For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.