Understanding the Types of Putter Necks: Plumbers, Slant, Single Bend, Double Bend, and MorePublished on 05/19/2023 · 6 min readNot sure what putter neck fits your stroke? Golf Expert Jay Anderson explains the different types of putter necks so you can find the best one for your game.
Photo by David Tett
One would think putting is the easiest part of golf because it requires the least amount of physical effort and it deals with the closest proximity to the hole, but it can sometimes cause the most heartbreak, especially in high-pressure situations. While most of us may not experience that on the world stage, it can still be brutal when it happens during your usual Saturday morning Nassau.
A significant part of making sure you don’t experience that heartbreak is making sure the type of putter you use fits the putting stroke you employ on the greens. There are many different variations a putter can have in attributes such as head shape, loft, length, or grip style. In this article, we’ll narrow our focus to one of the key elements that determines whether or not you have the right putter for your game, and that is the kind of putter neck you use.
Also referred to as a putter hosel, there are several different types that range from slant neck to double-bend and everything in between. Determining which hosel type is best for you is closely tied to the kind of putting stroke you consistently use. That is the case whether it is a straight-back, straight-through stroke, a stroke with a slight arc, or even one with a strong arc.
A good way of telling what putter is suited to which stroke is to check the amount of toe hang, also called “toe flow”, on the putter. You can check this by balancing the putter horizontally on your fingertips, and seeing how far down the toe of the putter head hangs. We’ll discuss how much toe hang is good for which stroke throughout the article.
Because the type of putting stroke and putter neck are closely intertwined, it could just as easily mean that your stroke might improve with a different hosel, or that you might need to change your stroke to suit the putter neck you’ve chosen.
Types of Putter Neck
Plumber’s Neck Hosel
The plumber's neck hosel, generally seen on blade-style putters, is perhaps the most conventional putter type that you will see used across all skill levels of golfers. This is largely due to it being suited to a putting stroke with a slight arc to it, as well as a good amount of offset. These characteristics give it a wide range of appeal, and it has become the default putter neck style for most golfers who are just starting out. Toe hang on this kind of putter neck usually ranges from 30 to 45 degrees, allowing for some toe flow and, therefore, face rotation (since the two are closely linked) during the stroke, making it the perfect middle ground to start experimenting with different putting strokes.
As seen here, this putter with the Plumber’s neck hosel makes the toe hang down in such a manner that the leading edge of the club forms a 30° angle with the horizontal. This is the angle we refer to when discussing amounts of toe hang.
The double-bend hosel, also called a double-bend shaft and typically found in mallet putters, looks exactly as its name suggests. The shaft is inserted directly into the clubhead and has two distinct bends in its profile. This in turn aligns the shaft axis to the center of the clubhead with minimal offset, making this neck ideal for a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke. The majority of these putter necks are found on face-balanced putters, which are called such because when checked for toe hang, there isn’t any. When balanced horizontally, the clubface points straight up at the sky, which keeps face rotation throughout the stroke to a bare minimum. These types of putters usually have a high moment of inertia (MOI), which reduces the amount of unintentional twisting during the stroke, and therefore maximizes forgiveness.
A close cousin of the double-bend shaft, the single-bend employs only one bend in its shaft which is fixed directly to the clubhead, typically in the heel portion. Usually, this bend manipulates the shaft axis into an alignment with the putter head that gives it a toe flow which is similar to that of the plumber’s neck hosel.
Heel-shafted putters are where you’ll usually find the most toe hang, and therefore toe flow. As its name implies, these putter necks are inserted in the clubhead through the heel—either directly or via a hosel—with only a little hosel offset. These putter necks harken back to the days of classic putters where players wanted the sensation of the putter face opening and closing like a door during their stroke because it created an abundance of toe flow.
Most suited for those with a strong arc to their putting stroke, toe hang measurements on heel-shafted putters will usually be somewhere around the 60-degree range. However, this can even go all the way up to 90 degrees, with the toe pointing straight down at the ground, i.e. a full toe hang.
The center-shafted putter is another type of putter that is built as its name describes. The neck on these putters is aligned with the center of the putter head, but unlike the double-bend putter neck, there are no bends to the shaft, and zero offset. Center-shafted putters are also usually found on face-balanced putters, encouraging a straight-back, straight-through stroke.
In my opinion, these putters are the best kind for a beginner golfer because of the immediate visual feedback you’ll get simply from the shaft “covering” the heel portion of the putter head during the stroke. It’s essentially an in-stroke training aid because if the heel portion stays covered, this means that the face angle remains exactly square in relation to the arc of the putting stroke. SeeMore putters has employed this strategy by placing a red dot on the visually obscured portion of the clubhead. Keep the red dot covered, and you’ll have a consistent stroke each and every time—just ask two-time Major Champion Zach Johnson.
Slant Neck Hosel
Finally, there is the slant neck putter which has a neck length that can range from barely even there to longer than the traditional plumber’s neck hosel. These days, manufacturers are offering this option on more and more mallet putters. It combines the ease of alignment and stability of a mallet head, with the feel and toe flow of putters that offer more face rotation during the stroke. This unique combination has even made its way to the upper echelons of the game. A perfect example I like to use is premier American star Justin Thomas, with his trusty Scotty Cameron X5.5 putter.
So there you have it, a basic rundown of all the different styles of putter neck. Which one is the best, you wonder? That answer is entirely up to you and your preferences, your comfortable level with them, and of course, your performance. Perhaps the best way of figuring out which one is right for you is to go out and try them. After all, neck type is only one component out of many features of the putters on the market these days.
When you do decide on a specific putter, we here at Curated will be more than happy to assist you in your new putter purchase. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or any of our many other well-qualified Experts. Happy golfing!