How to Use Center Shafted Putters (Center Vs Offset Vs Heel)

golfer using center shafted putter


What is a center shafted putter?

A center shafted putter is a golf putter with a hosel that connects to center of the head. Sometimes the hosel is located right at the centre, where other clubs have it located closer to the heel. Most center shafted putters are face balanced.


What is the purpose of a center shafted putter?

Putters are for making short, slow and precise golf strokes, to roll the golf ball as close to the hole as possible. In this regard, a center shafted putter is no different than other type of putter.

Center shafted putters are for golfers who want to switch up and improve their game. They’re an off shoot putter similar to other designs like the heel and offset shafted putters.

While heel shafted putters are more common, many people have begun to swear by center shafted putters. It’s because switching to center shafted putters has drastically improved certain golfers putting scores.


Why should you use a center shafted putter?

Golfers tend to stick to using heel shafted putters because they’re generally considered to be the best option for putting. This isn’t always the case. If you’ve never used a center shafted putter before, you should consider giving it a shot because it might suit you better than a heel shafted putter.

If you’re using a putter that suits you and your style better, you will sink more putts. Your golfing will undoubtedly improve.


Should you use a center shafted putter?

Yes, you should use a center shafted putter if you’re left eye dominant. Another benefit is that this putter can increase your line of sight and improve putting accuracy.

Golfers should always choose a putter that suits their form and putting style. A good rule of thumb is this; if you keep your eyes above the ball, take your club straight back and then swing straight through the ball, a center shafted putter is a good fit for you.

This is because golfers who do this usually want to keep their club head square from the beginning to the end of their stroke. It’s easier to keep your club from moving left or right when you swing straight through the ball if you’re using a center shafted putter.


Can center shafted putters help you?

Yes, center shafted putters can definitely help you improve your game. However, they can only help you if they suit your form and your putting style.

Golfers who tried using center shafted putters and realized they golf better using them typically have a straight back form and have a straight through stroke which is commonly referred to as “SBST”. Their form and stroke are suited to center shafted putters.

What are the advantages of using a center shafted putter?

The main and obvious advantage of using a center shafted putter is that you’ll make more putts. Once again though, this is only true if using a center shafted putter suits you and your play style. Here are the most commonly cited advantages of using a center shafted putter.


  1. Center shafted putters give SBST (straight back, straight through) golfers an edge.

If you golf with a straight back and your strokes go straight through the ball, using a center shafted putter will almost guarantee you play better and sink more putts. They suit your form better than heel shafted putters and using them will let you putt more naturally.

  1. Center shafted putters are easier to line up.

This is also a matter of preference and it’s up to you to determine for yourself. It’s commonly said that if you’re left eye dominant, centre shafted putters make it easier for you to line up your shots.

The interesting thing is some golfers who are right eye dominant claim that switching to a center shafted putters also made it easier for them to line up their putts.

You need to try a center shafted putter yourself to find out if this is the case for you.

  1. Center shafted putters make it easier to control the distance your golf ball travels.

Center shafted putters are special because the hosel bore is right behind the area that hits the ball. This reduces twist and gets the ball rolling immediately after you putt. It also does not cause unnecessary bouncing or skipping of the ball.

  1. Center shafted putters are almost always face balanced.

While not all center shafted putters are face balanced, the vast majority of them are. Face balanced putters are considered to be the best choice for the straight back, straight through crowd. Using a center shafted putter that is face balanced is a double advantage for an SBST golfer.


How to Putt with a Center Shafted Putter

As you already know, it takes a certain type of golfer to make full use of the center shafted putters potential.

While you can putt using a center shafted putter if you have an arc to your stroke, it’s pretty much universally agreed you should have straight back form and use a straight through stroke when using a center shafted putter.

Here are the steps that explain how to putt with a center shafted putter:
Note: that this list assumes you’re right handed!

  1. Hold your left arm right in front of you, flush with your shoulder.
  2. Point your index finger out and thumb up like you’re doing finger guns.
  3. Bend your wrist so that you’re pointing your index finger to the ground.
  4. Hold that wrist angle and place your hand around your club’s putter grip.
  5. The club handle should run across the palm of your hand, not your fingers.
  6. Put your right hand naturally on the grip below the left.

Using this grip, maintain your straight back form, keep your eyes above the ball then take your club and swing straight through the golf ball!

Is a Center Shafted Putter better for you?

Do you have straight back form and have a straight through stroke when putting? Yes? Then a center shafted putter is better for you and will improve your game!

Are you left eye dominant? Yes? Then give center shafted putters a shot! You might just make more putts!


What does a Center Shafted Putter Do

A center shafted putter is used for the same function as any other putter. It’s for you to make short, slow and deliberate strokes to get the golf ball into the hole from a short distance away.

It’s how you use the center shafted putter and whether it’s suited for you that matters. You could say the function of center shafted putters is to give a leg up to golfers who golf straight back and have straight through strokes.


Center Shafted Putters Vs Heel Shafted Putters

You already know a center shafted putter has a centered shaft insert position. What about a heel shafted putter?

  • Heel shafted putters are putters where the shaft is attached at the end or very near the heel of the club head.

  • Center shafted putters are better suited for SBST golfers while hell shafted putters are more suited to those with a bit of an arc in their putting stroke.

  • Center shafted putters give a more consistent and truer roll than heel shafted putters. However, heel shafted putters are easier to find and more widely available.
  • It’s a matter of personal preference, but heel shafted putters are considered to be better looking than their center shafted counterparts.


Center Shafted Putters Vs Offset Shafted putters

Center shafted putters are centered. What about offset shafted putters?

  • Offset shafted putters are putters where the club head is set back when compared to the longest part of the shaft.

  • Center shafted putters are going to be better for SBST golfers while offset shafted putters are going to be better for players that know exactly what the nuances of their form and stroke are.

  • Players who choose exactly how to offset their putters need to know exactly how they putt.


Using Center Shafted Putters when Left Eye Dominant

You will need to check which of your eyes your dominant eye is:

  1. With both eyes open, point at something far away with your index finger.
  2. Close one of your eyes and then the other.
  3. If the finger moves, the eye you closed is the dominant eye.

If you’re left eye dominant you would be better off using a putter with none or almost no offset. You should go with the center shafted putter.

Remember that your eye dominance is most important, not your hand dominance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or left hand dominant. You’ll putt the ball better using a center shafted putter if you are left eye dominant.


Using Center Shafted Putters with Toe Hang

Toe hang is a quality of toe-balanced putters. The face of a club with toe-balanced putter will hang towards the ground when the shaft of the putter is balanced lengthwise across a golfer’s finger. Hence “toe hang”.

Rule of thumb: “Toe hang” putters are good for strokes with rounded arcs. “Face balanced” are for straight back form, straight through strokes.

If you are a SBST golfer, you should get a center shafted putter with no toe hang that is face balanced. While the majority of center shafted putters are face balanced, some do have toe hang. If you have a bit of an arc in your stroke this is good for you but if you’re a pure SBST golfer than steer clear.


What are the Best Center Shafted Putters?

So now you want to get yourself a center shafted putter. What’s the best one you can possibly get? You should get a putter made of high-quality materials, from a well-regarded manufacturer and that’s got a solid fan base of golfers who can attest to the putter’s quality.

Here are three options:

  1. Ping Sigma G Kinloch C Putter: This center shafted putter is excellent for SBST golfers, has great distance control and is quite forgiving on your mishits. This putter is also not too expensive although pretty much no one would call it cheap.

  2. Odyssey O-Works R-Line CS Putter: This is one of the best center shafted putters you can get at its price. This putter is reasonably priced, has great optics, is pretty much perfectly balanced, is plentiful with consistency and holds the line well. There’s pretty much nothing going against this one.

  3. Bettinardi Studio Stock #28 Center Shaft Putter: This putter has outstanding distance control with plenty of consistency, is on the soft side and while suiting SBST players best, is forgiving on those with arcing strokes as well. This putter also has a beautiful finish and has some good options for length, lies and loft. The only downside to this putter is the high price.


Are Center Shafted Putters Legal?

Center shafted putters have been legal around the world since the United States Golf Association and Britain’s Royal & Ancient Club standardized the rules of golf back in 1951.Center shafted putters were banned in Great Britain before 1951 and were originally banned back in 1909.


Are Center Shafted Putters Face Balanced?

Most center shafted putters are face balanced but not all. The center shafted putters that are face balanced have equal amounts of weight in the head’s heel and toe.

How do you know if a putter is face balanced? You test it! Here’s how:

  1. Balance the putter on your finger at about 6 inches from the club head.
  2. Look at the club face. If it stays horizontal, this mean it is face balanced.


Can you Bend a Center Shafted Putter?

Yes, you can bend center shafted putters without ruining the face balance. However, an appropriate amount of caution should be taken; if you’re careless or too rough you might snap off the shaft.

As an example, you can bend a SeeMore Giant Putter using a putter loft and lie machine as well as a “Z” bending bar. Let’s say you want to bend the putter because it’s too straight and it’s at about 72’. Take it slow and only go to about 67’ or 68’.


Who are the pros that use center shafted putters?

While a heel shafted putters are definitely more famous there are a number of pro golfers and champions who use center shafted putters. Maybe you should try some of their putters? Here are five pro golfers who use center shafted putters!

Zach Johnson: Zachary Harris Johnson is an American pro with 12 victories on the PGA tour under his belt. This includes two major championships; the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship.  Zach famously used a SeeMore FGP Putter to win the 2015 Open Championship as well as the 2007 Masters.

Luke Donald: Luke Campbell Donald is an English pro who was World Number One. He was PGA Player of the Year in 2011 and became the number one golfer on the Official Golf World Ranking by winning BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club. Luke is known to use the Odyssey Works #7 CS.

Padraig Harrington: Padraig Peter Harrington is an Irish pro who has won three major championships. Those being the Open Championship 2007, The Open Championship 2008 and the PGA Championship 2008. Padraig famously used a Wilson Infinite South Side Center Shafted Mallet to gain one of his major victories.

Ted Potter Jr.: Ted Potter Jr. is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour as well as another American pro who is known to use center shafted putters. He’s notable for being a left-handed player even though he’s naturally right-handed. In 2018, Ted won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with the Odyssey White Hot No.2, a center shafted putter.

Stewart Cink: Another American, Stewart Ernest Cink is a pro golfer who famously won the 2009 Open Championship by beating Tom Watson in a four-hole aggregate play off. Stewart has used a variety of putters while playing and has used center shafted putters in the past.


Which Center Shafted Putter Covers should you use?

If you want your center shafted putter cover to last a long time, you should invest in a putter cover to protect it. This is difficult for golfers who use center shafted putters because the majority of covers on the market are made for heel shafted putters. Center shafted putter covers usually need to be custom ordered and custom made.

Here are a few covers that can be used on your center shafted putter:

  1. Craftsman Golf Mid-Mallet Putter Cover:
    The dual magnetic strap mallet cover fits center shafted models in right or left hand. It will fit most modern-day mid-mallet putters.

  2. Craftsman Mallet Putter Cover:
    This one will fit most modern-day mallet putters. Its dual magnetic strap will fit center shafted putters in right or left hand.

  3. Craftsman Large Mallet Putter Cover:
    This one’s dual magnetic strip will fit center shafted putters in right or left hand. It’s made for modern-day large mallet putters.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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