A center shafted golf putter is a model that has been growing significantly in popularity over the last several years.
When it comes to the putting green, golfers want clubs that are simple, reliable, and easy to use.
The center shafted putter can be all of these things.
However, the center shafted putter is not for everyone.
Depending on the type of putting stroke you have, there could be better options out there for you.
In this guide, we will explain how to use a center shafted putter, the different types of center shafted putters, and some tips to know if this is the right golf club for you.
Table Of Contents
What Is A Center Shafted Putter?
A center shafted putter is very simply a putter that has a shaft attached to the center of the clubhead.
The center shafted putter is unique because all other golf clubs are attached to the heel.
Most traditional putters are also attached to the heel.
The center shafted putter stands out because it is a big jump from the traditional clubs used in this game.
The center shafted putter can come in many different designs, from mallets to blades and some non-traditional club head styles as well.
In the past, it would be hard to find more than one or two center shafted putters.
In today’s golf world, almost all manufacturers have one or more putters that they offer in the center shafted design.
If you have played with a traditional putter (with the shaft in the heel) your entire life, it may be time to consider a new option.
What Is The Purpose Of A Center Shafted Putter?
To understand why center shafted putters were first created, you need to have a general understanding of the fundamentals of putting.
Just like in the larger golf game (driving, fairways, irons, etc.), consistency in putting is critical.
If your stroke changes from one hole to the next, how will you ever make a putt?
Each time you step up to a putt, you are dealing with a different angle, a different slope, a different wind direction, a different lie, etc.
When you put a different putting stroke on the ball every time, you have no chance of becoming a great putter.
So keeping the same stroke (or as close as you can come) from one hole to the next is imperative.
The problem many golfers have with this is that putters are light, and they are generally rather small.
When it comes to swinging this object the same way every time, it becomes difficult.
When a putter shaft is in the heel of the club, it leaves a lot of room for the face of the putter to swing back and forth.
When the shaft is directly in the center of the club, there is much more stability.
With a center shafted putter, things are balanced.
The clubhead stays much more stable, and you can learn to repeat your stroke much easier.
You may be wondering why everybody doesn’t switch to a center shafted putter and start using it today.
Choosing the right putter is all about matching the club to your putting stroke.
If you don’t have the right putting stroke for a center shafted putter, you will not benefit.
Who Should Use A Center Shafted Putter?
In golf, there are two main types of putting strokes.
You can break each of these two putting strokes down into several other variations, but for this argument, there are two.
The first type of putting stroke is a straight back and straight through stroke.
The golfer who uses a straight back and straight through approach will try and keep the putter on the same line for the entire swing.
The club will not waiver on the backswing, at impact, or as you proceed through the ball and towards the hole.
The second type of putting stroke is an arc.
With an arc type stroke, the club will move in sort of a semi-circle.
When you swing the club back, it will go towards the inside, closer to a right-handed golfers’ right foot.
As you, the golfer swings through the ball, the arc will complete itself and more towards the golfer’s left foot.
The arc stroke can vary as far as the angle of the arc.
It is generally accepted that an arc stroke is hard to repeat with a center shafted putter.
The way that the club is setup makes it very difficult for this arc to occur and then even more difficult to be repeated.
However, if you are a golfer who uses the straight back and straight through putting stroke, the center shafted putter was made for you.
So now that you understand who this is for, you may be starting to ask why.
Why would a golfer use a center shafted putter?
We will get to that next.
Advantages To A Center Shafted Putter
The biggest advantage of the center shafted putter is that it is very stable.
When you hit a putt, you may not realize how much the putter head wobbles at impact.
This wobble can make a world of difference when it comes to both distance and direction on your putts.
A slight turn of the club head can make you miss just an inch to the left but come up three feet short.
For any golfer that has stood over a three-foot putt for par, you can understand that three feet and three inches make a big difference.
When you work to get yourself on a putting green, you should have ultimate confidence in your putter.
The stability that the center shafted putter provides will make things easier and therefore lead to more confidence.
Another great advantage of the center shafted putter is that they are easy to line up.
Since this putter will be staying on the same line on the way back and on the way through, you can use the alignment lines to visualize the ball going towards your target.
With an arc putting stroke, you need a bit more imagination when it comes to visualization.
Ultimately you are simplifying your putting game; this is a good thing.
Disadvantages To A Center Shafted Putter
If you have a straight back and straight through putting stroke, there are not too many disadvantages to a center shafted putter.
However, there are a few things to be aware of.
For starters, many of the designs on the center shafted putter are both large and loud!
If you are not into a putter that looks like a small rocket ship attached to a shaft, you may have a hard time finding a model you like.
Luckily, companies like Odyssey are making a more standard looking center shafted putter.
The Odyssey Stroke Lab Versa is a typical mallet putter that has a center shaft.
Another disadvantage to the center shafted putter is that if you decide to change your putting stroke, you may have to change your putter.
Many heel-shafted putters will work for both straight back straight through and arc putting strokes.
If you are new to the game and not sure what type of putting stroke you will have, you may want a heel-shafted club.
If, however, you have been playing golf for the last fifteen years and you know exactly what you need on the putting green, then the center shafted is an excellent choice.
Tips To Help You Putt With A Center Shafted Putter
If you have a center shafted putter or you are now sold on getting one, we have a few tips to help you become an even better putter.
One of the essential tips for using a center shafted putter is to work on your alignment.
If you can get your alignment down, you can use that alignment to help your stroke.
Think about it, if your putter is aligned correctly and your face is square, you can just swing back and through.
If, however, your face is a little open and you are not aligned with how you should be, then you may not even swing the putter on the correct path.
Another tip for using a center shafted putter is to practice your putting with a metronome.
A metronome will help you keep your putting stroke consistent.
Even if you are swinging back on the proper lines, the speed at which you swing could significantly impact the distance of your putt.
If you practice with a metronome and can start to hear that tick-tock noise while you are on the golf course, it will make a significant impact in your putting game.
Can Center Shafted Putters Be Offset?
Yes, center shafted putters can be offset as well as straight neck.
You will have to test out a few different center shafted putters to help determine which one is going to work correctly for you.
Traditional people who are left eye dominant like the non-offset putter.
People who like to putt with a slight forward press of their hands will enjoy the offset putter.
Do I Need To Be Left Eye Dominant To Use A Center, Shafted Putter?
You do not need to be left eye dominant (for a righty) to use a center shafted putter.
However, if you are left-eye dominant, you may find that the center shafted putter does make a big difference in your game.
With the left eye dominance, you can set up with your head and eyes directly over the ball and have the best vision to help you line up and stay on track.
Are Center Shafted Putters Legal?
Center shafted putters are entirely legal.
They just need to be manufactured by a company that has the club tested by the USGA.
If you buy a center shafted putter from any of the major manufacturers, there is no question that it will be a legal golf club.
Putter length is the biggest issue when it comes to legality.
Putters need to stay within a specific range of lengths to be legal for tournament play.
Who Makes The Best Center Shafted Putters?
Who makes the best center shafted putters is really a matter of preference.
Each of these companies will make a center shafted model.
Most of them choose one of their higher-performing designs and simply move the weighting around a bit to turn it into a center shafted putter.
If you are thinking of upgrading to a center shafted putter check out our list of the top fifteen center shafted putters on the market.
Do I Need A Special Headcover For A Center Shafted Putter?
If you purchase a center shafted putter, it will very likely come with a headcover.
Most new golf putters come with a headcover included with the price of the putter.
If, however, you do not get a headcover, you will need a special one to work with the center shafted golf club.
With the shaft being in the center, the traditional putter cover will not fit around the shaft.
Do Any Professional Golfers Use Center Shafted Putters?
Golfers tend to change their equipment quite often.
If a professional is using a center shafted putter today, it does not necessarily mean that they will use one next week.
However, in the last few years, Zach Johnson tends to use the center shafted putter quite a bit.
Why Don’t More People Use A Center Shafted Putter?
With all this talk about the stability and the ease of use, you may be wondering why more people don’t use center shafted putters.
The main reason behind this seems to be a tradition.
People are just not used to looking down and seeing a shaft in the center of the club as opposed to the heel.
The heel-shafted putter will look precisely like the other models in the golf bag, and it can be more visually appealing to a golf purist.
If you are staying away from the center shafted putter because you are worried about how it will look compared to your other clubs, we suggest at least giving it a try.
Until you put a center shafted putter in your hands, you will not know if it is the right club for you or not.
Should I Switch To The Center Shafted Putter?
If your putting stroke is not broken, don’t try and fix it.
If it is broken, we don’t see any reason not to try out a new putter style to see if it could work for you.
If you take the club straight back and straight through when you swing, you will like the results you get with the center shafted design.
If you have trouble with alignment and you want to simplify your putting routine and game, this could be an excellent idea for you.
Center shafted putters are no more expensive than a heel-shafted putter, and there are many models to choose from.
Try and purchase a club that is visually appealing to you and something that feels good as well.
Feeling and visualization are two critical factors that separate good and bad putters.