While some golfers don’t realize it, your choice of putter shaft makes a huge difference to your putting stroke. You need to think about the material, length, and weight, as they all contribute to your putting abilities.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at everything you need to know about putter shafts, so you can make specific adjustments to your short stick that will hopefully improve your short game.
But first, let’s take a look at why the shaft is such an important part of your putter and what you can do to improve your stroke.
- Does the Shaft Matter for a Putter?
- What are the Putter Shaft Types?
- What Putter Shaft Do I Need?
- Can You Change the Shaft on a Putter?
- What Shaft Length Should I Use for a Putter?
- What Does a Graphite Shaft Do for a Putter?
- Is Putter Shaft Weight a Consideration?
- What About Putter Shaft Extensions?
Does the Shaft Matter for a Putter?
The shaft you choose on your putter makes a big difference in terms of feel and performance. Typically, most golfers prefer a stiffer shaft, as it helps to guide the ball into the hole with the expected roll on the green.
Many players think that the putter head is responsible for the feel of putts, but it’s actually the shaft that makes the biggest difference. This is because shafts are responsible for energy transfer, resulting in how well you execute your putting stroke.
Lots of golfers choose a putter based on brand and head type alone, be it a mallet or a blade, for instance. But as shaft technology is advancing, it makes sense to pay close attention to the shaft that comes with your putter as standard.
So, if you’re looking to make some adjustments, read on to find out what you need to consider when choosing the ideal shaft for your putter.
What are the Putter Shaft Types?
When it comes to putter shafts, there are two main types – steel and graphite. Thereafter, you have to think about the flex of the shaft, be it stiff, regular, extra-stiff, and so on. Let’s look at some of the features of each type of shaft.
Steel Putter Shafts
The vast majority of putter shafts are made of steel, and this has been the material of choice for putter manufacturers for a long time. Steel shafts have a solid weight, and they’re perfect for golfers of all levels of the game.
One drawback to steel putter shafts is that they offer a firm feel, which is why some people opt for graphite shafts, as we introduce below.
Graphite Putter Shafts
It’s said that graphite putter shafts offer a better feel and consistency than steel shafts, but you will find that some players have weighting issues when opting for graphite shafts.
There are also huge differences between high-end and cheap graphite shafts in terms of putter performance, which is important to consider.
Ultimately, you can decide whether you want a steel or graphite shaft on your putter based on the information above.
What Putter Shaft Do I Need?
If you’re not particularly bothered about the shaft in your putter, it’s likely that you will find a model with a steel shaft as standard. However, if you’re a beginner player, you might find that the cheapest clubs on the market come with a cheap, lightweight graphite shaft as standard.
As for lower handicappers and pro golfers, they nearly always use a putter with a steel shaft, as they prefer the additional weight and feel that is offered by this material. However, as technology advances, we’re likely to see more graphite putter shafts enter the market.
Generally speaking, we recommend looking for a putter with a stainless steel shaft, as it will be easier to get a feel for the club when you get out onto the putting surface. Graphite putter shafts take some adjusting to and often feel lightweight.
Most of the top putter manufacturers attach high-quality stainless steel shafts to their clubs, so you don’t need to worry about changing the shaft if you don’t want to.
Can You Change the Shaft on a Putter?
You can change the shaft on a putter if you like, but it’s better to buy a putter with your desired shaft already attached. Again, stainless steel is the better choice for most players, so you should think about this when looking for a new putter for the bag.
If you’re planning to change the shaft on your putter, you will need to think of the type of hosel you wish to use. You can choose from designs like plumber-neck, flare-tip, and long hosel, depending on your putting stroke.
Arguably, the hosel is more important than the material of the shaft, which is something that many club fitters will agree with.
So, if you go for a custom fitting before buying a new putter, you will have to think about the material as well as the type of hosel you would like to affix to your new shaft to ensure you get the best putter for your stroke.
What Shaft Length Should I Use for a Putter?
The standard shaft length for putters is 35 inches, so unless you go for a custom fitting, this is the length that you can expect from a shop-bought product. However, this shaft length is only really suitable for players of a “standard” height.
Here’s a handy putter length chart you can refer to when looking for the ideal shaft for your height:
|Height||Putter shaft length|
|Under 5ft||32 inches|
|5’0 – 5’2||32.5 inches|
|5’4 – 5’6||33 inches|
|5’6 – 5’8||34 inches|
|5’8 – 6’0||34.5 inches|
|6’0 – 6’2||35 inches|
|6’2 – 6’4||35.5 inches|
|Over 6’4||36 inches|
As you can see, custom putter lengths run from 32 – 36 inches, meaning there are considerable differences available. So, if you’re using a putter that is the wrong length for your height, it can have a significant impact on your stroke.
It’s for this reason that we recommend going for a custom fitting if you’re planning to change the shaft on your putter.
What Does a Graphite Shaft Do for a Putter?
Provided that the quality of the graphite is high, opting for a graphite putter shaft will provide you with a lightweight putter with a significantly different feel from a stainless steel shaft.
The roll will feel lighter, and it’s a good option for players that don’t like a heavy, weighted putter that is typical of stainless steel designs.
However, where an inferior quality graphite shaft is applied to a putter, you will find that it doesn’t perform well and is difficult to adjust to. This is common with entry-level putter brands that are marketed to beginner players.
But as more graphite options enter the market, we’re likely to see an improvement in quality, meaning more players might switch to graphite in the near future.
Is Putter Shaft Weight a Consideration?
As well as length, the weight of your putter makes a big difference in how it performs and feels. After all, the weight of a putter will determine how hard you should try and hit the ball, depending on the condition of the course.
If you regularly play golf courses with fast greens, it can be really hard to control the speed of heavy putters. Of course, most of the weight in a putter is in the head and not the shaft. But adjusting the weight of your shaft can be a smart choice if you’re looking for something with a different roll.
As a result, putter weight kits have emerged as a viable solution for players who want to adjust the weight of their clubs. They help to stabilize the club head and reduce wrist rotation, which is central to executing the perfect backswing on the green.
Ultimately, adapting the weight of your putter can make a big difference to your putting stroke and could result in lower scores as a result.
What About Putter Shaft Extensions?
Extending the shaft of your putter might be necessary if you want to use a putter that is customized to your height. As mentioned, every player is different, but using a putter that is the correct length will make a big difference to your short game.
Using a shaft extension to lengthen your putter increases the swing weight, which makes the club head feel heavier. As such, it will affect the distance of your putts, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your viewpoint.
Ultimately, if you’re planning to extend your shaft, we recommend working with a professional club fitter, as the length and weight of your putter are something that you can’t afford to get wrong!
While many golfers pay attention to the type of shaft that they include in their woods, irons, and wedges, the putter shaft is often ignored. But as explored throughout, it’s actually a super important aspect of your putter.
While you can make adjustments to your putter at home, we advise you to take your club to a professional club fitter if you want a putter that is perfectly made for your game. You will undoubtedly notice the improvement in your short game as a result.