Should You Cut Down a Putter Shaft?
Yes, there are some good reasons why cutting down a putter shaft can be beneficial to your game. When you cut down a putter shaft, you can benefit from better control, more consistent swing weight, and improve the contact that the putter makes with the ball.
How to Cut Down a Putter Shaft
You can either seek the assistance of the staff at a golf shop or cut down the putter shaft on your own. If you prefer the DIY way using a minimum of tools, you must have the following things handy before you begin the cutting process.
- A utility knife
- A double-sided tape
- 100ml solvent
- A marker pen
- Piece of cloth
- A bucket
- A metal pipe cutter
- A new putter grip
The following steps help you to cut down a putter shaft without damaging the golf club.
- Cut off the existing old grip of the putter. To do this, you might want to clamp the putter on to a vice for safety.
- Insert the utility knife into the grip at the bottom and start the cutting process by cutting it straight through to peel off the old grip tape. Remember to position the knife away from you.
- Pull out all the leftover double-sided tape present on the grip area. As mentioned above, keep the knife away from you if you’re using it.
- Clean the shaft thoroughly before you cut down the putter to the required size. Take some solvent in the cloth and wipe the shaft clean outside and inside the slit as well.
- Measure the overall length of the shaft and make a mark at the point where the shaft is of your desired length using the marker pen.
- Cut the shaft at a length of 0.75 inches shorter than the above marking with the help of the pipe cutter. This loss of shaft size will be compensated by the extra grip length.
- The pipe cutter performs the role of getting the shaft clamped against a blade followed by scoring and cutting the shaft when the cutter is turned around it. Remember to keep the shaft as tight as possible as you rotate the cutter. Continue with the rotating and cutting until the excess portion falls off completely.
- Wind the double-sided tape around the putter shaft. The winding style depends on whether you’re using a one-inch narrow tape or a 3 to 4 inch wide tape. If you opt for a narrow tape, wind the tape downwards on the shaft in a spiral pattern with no overlapping and even spacing.
- Ensure that there is a gap between each tape winding so that there is uniform grip thickness. Fold the leftover tape into the shaft end for sealing it. If you prefer a wide tape, stick one length of the tape vertically on the shaft of the putter and fold it around to cover the shaft fully.
- Take off the back-side of the tape that is around the shaft. Pour some solvent into the new grip.
- Remember to keep your finger above the hole at the butt end of the grip to prevent the solvent from leaking. The solvent helps in slipping the grip above the double-sided tape and activating the adhesive present in the tape.
- Cover both ends of the grip with your fingers and swirl it horizontally and vertically. The swirling action ensures that the solvent washes the inside of the grip completely.
- Tip some solvent from the grip on to the tape covering the shaft. Keep the bucket under the shaft when you do this so that you avoid messing up the floor with the solvent dripping off the shaft.
- Place the toe end of your putter against a wall and position its flat front side such that it’s at right angles to the face of the putter.
- Slip the grip above the putter shaft and ensure that it’s pushed fully. To do this, keep the grip’s butt end on the ground and hold the putter head with your hands to push it down the grip as firmly as you can so that it is seated firmly on the shaft. This must be done very quickly.
- Keep the putter upright and check the alignment of the flat front face of the attached grip. The grip should be installed in such a way that it’s square to the putter head.
- If the face of the putter is not at right angles to the grip at its front end, turn the grip to either the right or to the left until you get the alignment right.
- Make sure that the grip is straight down the shaft throughout its length without any twist.
- Allow the putter to dry for at least four hours in warm weather.
Determine the Tip Thickness of the Shaft
- Clean the shaft tip thoroughly and ensure that it’s free of all debris. You can remove any debris that is stuck by cleaning it with coarse sandpaper or a damp paper towel.
- Insert the shaft end into the hosel of the clubhead and push it as much as you can without using any force.
- Make a marking on the shaft at the point where the shaft goes in without applying force. You can also use masking tape for this purpose.
- Take the shaft out of the clubhead. If your golf club has a steel shaft, scrape the shaft coating downwards starting from the marked point. If you have a graphite shaft, you can scrape off the coating with a utility knife.
- Keep the shaft tip on each slot of a shaft tip identification gauge until you find the hole that fits the tip perfectly.
- Note the reading next to the slot to determine the thickness of the shaft tip.
Seeking the Assistance of a Golf Fitter
If you’re not much of a DIY person or just worried about damaging your putter by cutting down its shaft, you can always head to a nearby golf store for help. Most golf stores have trained staff who would be glad to offer their assistance in sizing your putter according to your preferences.
Benefits of Shortening a Golf Putter Shaft
- You have long arms and short legs. In this case, the standard size often tends to be too long for you.
- You want to decrease the head weight because, the shorter your putter is, the more the head weight decreases. This helps to keep the swing weight constant.
- Your putter size is longer than your floor to wrist measurement, which should be almost the overall length of your putter.
- You feel comfortable using a putter that has almost the same weight as other golf clubs in your golf bag.
- You get better control over your putter and also improve the contact that the putter makes with the golf ball.
- You experience natural movements and improvements to your game using a short putter with a large grip or a fat grip.
Can you Cut Down a Counter-Balanced Putter?
Yes, you can cut down a counter-balanced putter. However it’s recommended that you don’t cut more than 4 inches of the shaft as it can negatively affect the balance of the putter.
Please consider the following points before cutting your counter balanced putter:
- Depending on how much you cut the putter, you may have a problem balancing it correctly. While cutting down an inch may not pose a problem, balancing might be tough if you cut down by about five inches and if the counterweight is in the shaft butt.
- You will have to make further adjustments to the putter by taking off the old weight, adding a new one and fitting the grip on.
- If your putter has a fairly heavy head, cutting down a little on its size will not affect the swing weight. You might be able to use the club effectively by cutting it to the requirement and fitting a normal grip.
- However, if you cut down a bit too much, the swing weight tends to get affected and you may not be able to render a proper swinging action.
- You will experience more weight in your hands when you cut down the putter by a few inches.
- While delivering a stroke, your cut-down putter may get caught in your jacket with almost every stroke and prevent you from swinging it freely.
What Happens When You Cut Down a Putter?
There are great reasons to cut down a putter, but you must also be aware of the potential disadvantages.
- For short players, cutting down the length helps them to do the putting with their shoulders instead of using their body or hands. This assists in saving several three-putts during the game.
- Cutting down their putters have helped short golfers who are looking for ways to minimize their tendency of choking down during a game.
- Putting in a game is often easier with short putters for most players as they help in better playing from all angles.
- When you cut down a putter, the original lie angle of the golf club doesn’t get affected much if the loft is less and no change has been made to the neck or hosel. For every half an inch reduction in putter length, the lie angle changes by 0.75 degrees.
- Short putters are handy for golfers who tend to place their grip at the very edge of the golf club or prefer using a straight-back-straight through stroke during a game.
- The shorter length of the putter will result in the swing weight getting reduced drastically. Hence, you will often have to put in more weights in the club sole.
- Changing the size will, in turn, affect how you set up the ball. Shortening the putter helps only golfers who position themselves in such a way that their eyes are lined over the ball top.
- The heft of the putter will decrease if it’s trimmed at the shaft end. This will, in turn, make the putter lighter and affect the moment of inertia of the golf club.
How Much Does it Cost to Cut Down a Putter?
Most golf stores are ready to offer their assistance in cutting a putter or any golf club for a nominal fee. On average, the cost for this service is around $3 (USD). Some stores charge a lesser amount of $2 (USD).
If you have the required tools at home, you can try cutting down the putter to the required size on your own.
Cutting Putter Down from 35 to 33 inches
The following is a list of experiences of golfers who cut down the size of their putter from 35 to 33 inches.
- They tend to lose some swing weight while the head also feels lighter. Putting some tungsten powder into the shaft or adding some lead tape can help in restoring the lost weight.
- They experience a better feel during putting and are able to keep the ball behind their stance with their eye-line behind the ball.
- They have felt that their shoulder sockets are relaxed and they’re able to place their arms straighter and hanging downward than when they used a putter of the standard size. This allows them to swing their hands back and forth freely with a pendulum-like movement.
- They feel that they have to hold the putter very close to the grip.
- They were able to pull putts when they held their hands down on the putter towards the clubhead.
- They have been able to control their strokes better with counterweights added to the head of the cut-down putter.
- They have had to change their posture from leaning forward to straight or vice versa depending on their height.
Cutting Putter Down from 35 to 34 inches
Many players have experienced one or more of the following situations after they shortened their putter shaft size from 35 inches to 34 inches.
- They’re able to retain a balanced posture and find it easy to maintain steady arms throughout the stroke.
- They were able to become more consistent and repeat their strokes more easily because the putter grip felt more natural and comfortable.
- They have better control over the putter along with good arm hang and the desired swing weight.
- They do not have to grip down on the putter as they would do with a standard 35 inch one.
Effects of Cutting 1 inch off the Putter
Most of the effects of cutting 1 inch off the putter are the same as highlighted above when shortening their shaft length to 34 inches. Apart from these, some golfers have been able to be more accurate with their shots than when they use a standard putter. Also, they achieve better contact quality that helps them to hit the ball farther than they would otherwise do.
Some players have also been able to use the cut-down putter comfortably without having to add more weight to the putter head.
Effects of Cutting 2 inches off the Putter
The effects of cutting down the putter size by 2 inches are more or less similar to those mentioned when the size of the putter is reduced from 35 inches to 34 inches.
Many players have also found it easier to putt with a putter that has been cut down by 2 inches. Others will need to add extra weight to the clubhead to swing their putter correctly.
Cutting down your putter is something that you must do after a lot of analysis. You might want to discuss with fellow players to understand the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
It’s also worth remembering that you may have to make additional modifications like adding extra weights to get the right swing.