Today, we are going to discuss one of the odd ducks of the golf world. If you’ve been looking at golf clubs lately, you might have noticed that nearly all of them have something in common: The shaft always attaches at one corner of the head. Of course, it’s easy to forget about this since the vast majority of clubs look this way. We can look at the world’s oldest known golf club set (from the 17th century) and see that all of the clubs are constructed in this way.
However, some companies make clubs with the shaft located directly in the center of the head. A good example of this would be the old Bullseye putter, which is still popular in some circles. This design is most commonly seen on putters. In this article, we will look at seven of the best center-shafted putters that we could find.
Here is our list of what we believe to be the seven best center-shafted putters. As perfection is largely a question of preference, we will refrain from judging anyone putter as “the best.” Instead, we will show you the features of each product and let you decide for yourself. These clubs are presented in no particular order.
The Normal One
|Odyssey Golf 2019 Stroke Lab Putter|
The Gentle Spider
|TaylorMade Golf 2018 Spider Putters|
|Cleveland Golf 2019 Huntington Beach SOFT Putter #11 Center Shaft|
The Feather Club
|Wilson Staff Men's South Side Infinite Golf Putter|
|Ray Cook Golf- Silver Ray SR500 Center Shafted Putter|
The Italian Sports Car
|Bettinardi Golf 2018-2019 Inovai 5.0 Center Shaft Putter|
Hard to Miss
|Tour Edge Backdraft GT+ OS-11 Putter|
We like the grip options, as every player is different. What we don’t particularly like is this bottom surface. It has these two star-shaped rough spots on either side, and these can cause it to hang up on the turf below. It’s also a somewhat heavy club, although the good balance does help to deal with that problem.
One of the unfortunate things about a center-shafted putter is the fact that it tends to be less forgiving than other clubs. Thus, a club like this requires a higher degree of skill to use properly, but this putter makes an effort to change that situation.
This club also tends to fly straighter due to its excellent aerodynamics. The bottom is made to slide smoothly across the turf like a well-designed boat going across the water. Still, this is a big and heavy club, and all those cavities make it a pain to clean this thing. We are also a little concerned about the shaft, as it may not consist of a solid piece.
One little problem is that this club is especially unforgiving. You really need to hit the ball with the center of the face to achieve the kind of laser-straight accuracy that you want from a club like this. It also doesn’t help that the guideline is located behind the shaft, making it harder to use.
This one might be the lightest and fastest option on our list. The head is only about as big as it needs to be, so it’s a good choice for those short putts. In spite of its lightness, this whole club is made of milled steel that should last a long time. Three different guidelines give you some extra options for its use, but this is a straightforward model with no advanced or experimental features.
Like the spider putter, this one is designed to increase MOI and forgiveness with a surly face cover. The only bad thing we can say is that the shape is somewhat awkward to carry around the course, and thus, it has trouble fitting in a standard carry bag. Also, the shaft is way off-center, making it debatable as to whether this is a true center-shaft model or not.
This one is visually appealing on several levels. Its sleek design makes you think of something a lot more high-tech than a putter, and this shape provides great aerodynamics at an exceptionally low weight. We like the bright white color in a way, as it contrasts with the green grass and provides extra visual acuity. However, that color will likely turn to yellow as the club ages, taking some of the swag out of its look.
We have now taken a detailed look at the various center-shafted putters. Obviously, you can learn more by doing some additional research and looking at other models. Let’s look a little more closely at this subject, with an eye toward helping you to become a better-informed player.
Why Use A Center-Shafter Putter?
The center-shafted putter is popular with some golfers for several reasons. Perhaps the main reason is the fact that it provides a straight line between the shaft of the club and the sweet spot in the middle of the face. This means you can get a straighter putt with less effort.
Why does the placement of the shaft make a difference? Well, the difference is in the user rather than the club. When you use a center-shafted putter, you have to line up your body in a different way to see the ball. This design forces you to look straight down, which in turn forces you to maintain a very straight body posture. In short, it puts your body and your vision in line with the ball, ensuring a straighter putt.
To get a better idea of what this concept means, take a look at this study. Golfers were tested on the accuracy of their putts. At the same time, researchers looked at body coordination and point-of-focus for all the test subjects. It was found that those who focused their attention mainly on the ball showed better performance than those who focused on the target or those who maintained normal vision. More importantly, it shows us the importance of body alignment and coordination.
The center-shafted club helps some golfers to align themselves better. For instance, let’s look at one of the world’s most successful golfers, one Payne Stewart. Fans will not have forgotten the impressive 20-foot putt that he made on hole 72 of the 1999 U.S. Open. He made this amazing shot using a center-shafted putter much like those described above. It should be noted that Payne Stewart is a somewhat tall person, and this might be one reason that he prefers a center-shafted putter.
Drawbacks Of A Center-Shafted Putter
The truth is that a center-shafted club, by itself, will not give you any special advantage. As we explained above, its advantages come from the user rather than from the club itself. This isn’t just an opinion, either, as scientists have confirmed that these clubs make no difference in performance unless a person knows how to use them properly.
Just as the study we examined earlier, the one linked above was mainly looking at point-of-aim and its relation to performance. However, they threw the center-shafted club into the mix as a variable and found that it did not make any difference. Since the test subjects were unprepared for this variation, it didn’t affect the results either way. We can learn a thing or two from this example. Most of all, we see that the advantage of a center-shaft putter doesn’t come from the club: It comes from you.
If you are a shorter person, this design might not be the best for you. You can get best results from a center-shafted club by standing directly over the shaft and staring straight down at the ball. If you are particularly short, you will have to get a very short club in order to line everything up as needed. After a certain point, it’s no longer worth the loss of power that occurs from the shortening of the club.
There is another drawback to this type of putter: They are not very forgiving at all. Forgiveness in a golf club allows you to get closer to the target on missed shots, thus making the next shot easier. The center-shafter putter doesn’t do too well with this because it is meant to work on the first shot. If you miss, you could be in trouble.
To get a more exact picture, let’s look at the MOI ratings for various clubs. MOI stands for “moment of inertia.” Without getting into any of the physics involved, you can understand this subject by understanding that a higher MOI equals a more forgiving club. As you can see, the center-shafted Bullseye clubs we mentioned earlier have an MOI of about 13.17. To put it in perspective, some clubs have an MOI as high as 50.
Qualities To Look For In A Good Putter
Whether it’s a center-shafted model or a more traditional putter, there are certain qualities that you should always examine before you lay the money down. We have already talked a little bit about the importance of club length. For new players, it is very important to figure out the correct club length so that they can develop good habits from the start.
You should also look at the shape of the head. These are unconventional putters, and we have already seen that some of them have unconventional head shapes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should definitely avoid buying a strange-shaped club until you’ve had a chance to try it out and see if it’s for you.
It’s also a good idea to gravitate toward a model that has deep, circular grooves on the face. These little lines can make a bigger difference than most would think, and the pattern does apparently matter. The pattern of the grooves will mainly affect the feel of the impact, so try a few sample putts (if possible) before buying one of these clubs.
Finally, we come to the most important thing: Balance. A club like this will pretty much always have a large and bulbous head. Sometimes, they are awkwardly-shaped as well. With this being the case, such a club needs to be properly balanced in order to do its job effectively.
To test your club, you need to find its point of balance. Just try to balance the club on one finger. When that doesn’t work, keep trying at various spots on the shaft until you find the point where you can balance the entire club on one finger. Most sources seem to agree that a center-shafted golf club should be balanced in such a way that it wants to roll face-up when balanced on a finger. Much has been written about the importance of balance in golf, and a balanced club is the beginning of that.
As you can see, there is a lot of variation between the different models of the center-shaft putter. Any of these is sure to help your game in ways that are both obvious and subtle. We hope that our work has been helpful to you and that we can help you to avoid wasting your money on something that does not meet your standards. Thank you for reading and have a great day, please.