Is a Center Shafted Putter Right For You? [Our Top Picks]
Is your putting holding you back from shooting your best scores?
If so, you might need a new putter for a fresh look and more confidence. But instead of swapping your putter for another new putter with the same shaft, you might want a center shaft putter. They look drastically different from a normal heel shafted putter but can help your stroke overnight.
One of the most famous players to use this type of unconventional putter is Payne Stewart who won the 1999 U.S. Open. Other PGA players that have used them include Zach Johnson and Adam Scott.
Playing with a center shafted putter can do wonders for your game… but they aren’t for everyone. Keep reading to learn the benefits of using this type of putter and some of the best center shafted putters available.
Center Shafted Putters
So, what is the benefit of a center shafted putter? Let’s dive in with the pros and cons.
Easier to Aim
Alignment is one of the most important fundamentals in golf, especially when you’re on the greens. You can hit a perfect putt but if you aren’t lined up where you think you are, you’re going to miss. This can lead to a lot of frustration on the greens and tons of wasted shots.
Center shafted putters make it easier than ever to get the ball on the intended line. This will help you make a consistent stroke and give yourself more chances to make putts every single round.
More Consistent Roll
Another huge benefit of center shafted putters is that it’s easier to make a consistent stroke due to the weighting. Due to the design, the putter will stay more stable and have more balance throughout the stroke. Like alignment, this should make it easier to hit it in the sweet spot, get it to the hole and drain more putts.
The opposite is true with traditional heel shafted putters.
These putters can make some players feel they need to twist (open/close) the putter which relies too much on timing. This isn’t the most consistent strategy and hard to execute with every putt.
Great for Straight Back, Straight Through Putters
Do you have a more inside to outside putting stroke? Or, one that is more straight back, straight through? If you’re the latter, a center shaft putter can help you out.
Since the shaft is in the middle of the club, it has weight evenly distributed between the toe and heel. This makes it easier to take the putter straight back and straight through with minimal face rotation. But if you take the putter more on an inside path, stick with a heel shafted putter with some “toe hang” so the face gets square at impact.
Ideal for Eyes Over The Ball
There are two types of putters; people who prefer their eyes over the ball and those slightly underneath it. As Golf Digest mentioned, the former type of golfer will benefit most from this type of putter.
“Any player who positions his eyes directly over the ball. In that scenario the player is likely setting up to take the putter straight back and straight through the ball, never deviating from the target line.”
This type of putter will make it easy to have a balanced, pendulum-like stroke. Some players like seeing the entire face of the putter while standing over the ball and a center stroke makes it possible.
However, there are some disadvantages too.
Poor Hand Position
Some golfers like to let their hands “hang” at address and add a slight forward press. But as the same Golf Digest article mentioned,
“This is one reason for low usage, as many guys prefer to ‘hang’ their hands forward, even if slightly. Do this with a center-shaft in your hands and very quickly the face angle and loft changes. Most players don’t want that.”
So if you like to forward press your putter, skip a center shaft as it’ll remove loft and affect the roll of your putt.
Easier to Miss Right
Another downside to using these types of putters is that they have no offset. Which tends to lead to missing putts right (if you’re a right-handed golfer).
Best Center Shaft Putters
As you can tell, there are some great benefits when using a center shafted putter. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton available as most golfers like heel shafted putters. But we found a few great options below.
See More Putters
When it comes to the king of center shafted putters, nothing beats See More Putters. They have tons of center shafted options in blade or mallet styles.
What makes them so popular in this niche is the Rifle Scope Technology (known as RST). According to See More Putters, “The patented RST, known by a visible gun sight on the top line, allows the golfer to set up the putter perfectly each and every time in relation to the intended target line.
Simply line up the black bottom portion of the shaft between two white lines and hide the signature red dot on the heel of the top line.”
The only downside is that they’re a steep investment compared to a lot of other options and might not fit your budget.
Odyssey Tri-Hot Triple Wide CS Putter
Another high-end option for a center shaft putter is the Tri-Hot from Odyssey Golf. This blade promotes minimal swing arc and is front loaded with tungsten weighting to improve mishits.
Not to mention unlike a lot of putters, it has two 25 gram adjustable weights. This allows you to dial in your head weights and customize it with your unique putting stroke.
TaylorMade Spider GTX Silver Center
If you love the TaylorMade Spider, they now make a center shaft option as well. It has high-MOI (meaning it’s very forgiving) and a simple alignment aid to get your putts started on the high line.
This putter also features “PureRoll” technology which improves topspin and produces a more consistent putt. Paired with the advanced alignment and precision weighting, this is a great putter if you like larger, mallet styles.
Wilson Infinite Putter
If you’re looking for an affordable center shaft putter, this one from Wilson is a great option. It’s available in 34 or 35 inch lengths and has a double milled face to promote consistent contact. The new grip also promotes stable feel and is built to limit face rotation (which is great for straight back, straight through putters).
Do you have more questions about center shafted putters? Check out the answers below to putt like Tiger!
Why don’t more golfers use center shafted putters?
A few reasons… one of them is because it promotes a straight back, straight through putting stroke. A lot of players prefer to have a stroke with some arc in it and this won’t work well with a center shafted putter.
The other reason is that it’s hard to forward press and let your hands hang like you can with a center shafted putter. Doing this will have a negative impact on putter loft/lie angle with a center shaft so it’s not ideal for a majority of golfers.
Only 10% (or less) of any given field in a PGA Tour event use center shafted putters.
Are center shafted putters more accurate?
For some types of players, yes, they can help improve accuracy. Since you’re able to see the face of the putter, it’s easier to get the putt started on the correct line.
Are center shafted putters less forgiving?
There is no difference between a center shaft and heel shaft putter in terms of forgiveness. Make sure to read our best putters for beginners here.
Should I get a putter fitting?
When most golfers do a fitting they tend to think of drivers and irons. But getting a putter fitting is one of the most beneficial things you can do too. Don’t forget, nearly half of all shots during a round happen with a putter!
During a putter fitting you can figure out the right putter length, lie angle, grip size, and any issues with your stroke. This will make it easier to buy a putter with confidence and perform more consistently on the greens. Plus, it’s a fraction of the price compared to a full bag fitting.
Related: Best Putters for High Handicappers
Center shaft putters are a big change from a normal heel shafted putter but do have some benefits. However, they’re not for everyone due to the setup and look at the address.
If you’re going through a putting slump and need to mix it up, this is a great option for some types of players. Remember, center shafted putters are ideal for:
- Left eye dominant golfers
- Players with a straight back, straight through putting motion
- Players who like having their eyes over the ball and seeing the face
But if you have a lot of arc in your stroke or like to forward press, skip the center shaft putter. Also, make sure your putter length is right for you too.
Have you ever tried a center shafted putter? Did it help your performance?
Let us know in the comments below.