If you need a center shafted putter, the chances are, you already know it.
If you putt hunched over – you might need a center shafted putter with a longer shaft.
If the weight distribution seems to send your ball askew and add to your stroke number – you might need a center shafted putter.
If you can’t seem to get your aim right in putting, whatever you do – you might…well, you know the drill.
But to say you need a center shafted putter is relatively meaningless. The golfing world is flooded with center shafted putters. Offset or no-offset? Milled or insert? Blade or mallet? Which? Which? Which is right for you? Won’t somebody make the center shafter madness stop?!
Yes. We will.
Take a breath. Put down the golf club, just for safety. And follow us – we’ve filled a bag full of the best center shafted putters on the market right now. You’re almost guaranteed to find one that addresses your needs among this collection – just choose the one that speaks most loudly to you.
In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re brand new to the game of golf, almost every element of your game is going to change. It’s going to change rapidly, and it’s going to change often.
In itself, that’s good – with early repetition and practice, you change from a golfing neophyte into someone who develops the muscle memory to swing, hit, place, and at least hopefully, putt with some consistency, so beginner’s luck evaporates and leaves a practiced intent in its place.
Why are we telling you this? Because at the beginning, your growth and change is reflected in your need for relatively fast changes of equipment. The clubs and putters that are good for you on day #1, you’ve outgrown by, say, day #20. The clubs to which you graduate on day #21 will probably last you till day #70, then you’ll need new equipment to reflect both your increased skill and your increased aspiration.
It’s like buying baby clothes. They wear them a handful of times and then need new, to reflect and contain their growth.
Golf clubs are a little more expensive than baby clothes though, and if you’re not careful, the game will tempt you into all sorts of irrational, expensive purchases to get ahead faster.
If, as a beginner, you realise you have issues with your putting game, firstly, well done on recognizing it – most beginners would just put it down to their newness. And secondly, what you probably need is the Ray Cook Silver Ray SR500 putter, or something like it that works for you.
What’s so good about the SR500?
Three main things. Firstly, it can actually help improve your putting game. Secondly, it’s not going to cost you the earth to do so. And thirdly, unlike some other highfalutin’ putters on the market, you can actually continue using it as your game improves, because if you need it at all, what it does will still be valuable to you as your overall game gets better and sharper.
How exactly does it help? The center shaft makes for easier alignment of your spine during straight-backed putts, for one thing. That means a more fluid shot and a smoother follow-through. A heavier weight in the head than is usual also helps translate your impact with the ball into directed, no-nonsense, undeviating putts – and it also brings you a degree of consistency in your putting. Just as with irons and woods, when you find a sweet spot, your shots go further, faster and more precisely, so the weighted head helps translate your putt into a fluid stroke aimed at the hole.
All that, plus it delivers at a beginner-friendly price.
It would be overstating it to say that the RS500 will be the putter you’ll need for most of your career. But because of the simplicity it deploys to correct putting errors that are probably not of your making, you might well find you’re still using it long after most of your other beginner clubs have found new homes elsewhere.
- This putter straightens the alignment of your straight-backed putts
- The heavier weight than usual in the putter’s head translates your shot into a smooth delivery
- It’s a putter priced for beginners that will long outlive the other entry-level clubs in your bag
- The corrective technology is on the basic side
If you need a little more tech than the RS500, the Stroke Lab Versa from Odyssey could well be the center shafted putter you’re looking for.
The shaft is made of graphite and steel, which means it’s on the stiffer side, for direct transmission of your intent toward the head of the club. A CNC milled face gives your stroke a boost to tackle those longer, more intimidating putts, while also ensuring a smoooooth forward roll on mid-length putts that just need to stay true.
On long putts, particularly, you’ll feel a lot more confident pulling the Stroke Lab out of your bag, because that combination of graphite and stainless steel takes no nonsense, but delivers stability, power and control. In essence, it delivers confidence that if you do your part, it will see you home.
And that’s just the start.
The real highlight of the Versa is its insert.
Odyssey has used the White Hot insert for several years to give its putters a premium center hitting area. That’s been carried through to the Versa, and it’s a joy to behold in action – especially if you’re the one putting with it! The precision, forgiveness, and the spurt of extra speed off the club face that are typical with the White Hot inset give the Versa all the tech-enabled bonuses you could need to make the most of your putting game.
If you’re putting from a medium distance, you’ll appreciate the high Moment Of Inertia the Versa’s club head has. It will stop the club twisting your hands – which means you’ll end up with putts more like they looked in your head. The weight distribution in the club means you get balanced strokes that carry your ball as far as you need, for more consistent – not to say more accurate – putting.
- The combination of graphite and stainless steel in the shaft gives you more control than standard shafts
- The White Hot insert improves precision and speed off the club face
- A high Moment Of Inertia helps give mid-range putts a greater accuracy
- The White Hot insert means re-learning what you understand will happen when you putt, and accounting for it
Sometimes as a beginner, you don’t want all the frills and precision science. You want something that will simply help you translate the putt that’s in your head to the putt that’s in your reality.
The Seemore FGP putter might well be that putter. It’s something of a putter of all trades – you can use it from all sorts of distances on the green, and it will control some of the wilder likelihoods and give you some serious, precise, on-target rolling. Aim well and it can help you putt more consistently and often, wherever on the green your ball is lying.
Certainly, if you manage to get your ball within 15 feet of the hole, bring out your Seemore, because it eats sub-15 feet putts for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The shaft of the Seemore is attached to the club head just to the right of the centerline. So you can…erm…see…more. Yeah, that’s what they did with that. You see more, so they called it the Seemore. The point about which is that, certainly within that 15 feet radius, seeing more is a ridiculous advantage. You’d never think it would be…but it is. Not having to compensate for the theoretical position of the ball does interesting things to the way your brain frames the shot, and you’re much more likely to get a smooth putt when you can see what’s what.
It’s also helped by a club head that delivers a solid, reliable contact, naturally, and the ultimate experience of using the Seemore isn’t wild or revolutionary, it’s more calm and revelatory. You see the ball, you hit the ball, there’s a good, satisfying feeling of contact, and voila – within 15 feet, you’re a lot less likely to mess up than you otherwise would be.
- This putter doesn’t reinvent physics, it simply helps by getting a couple of key things right
- Being able to see more about the ball’s position and pathway boosts golfer confidence
- A clean, solid contact means less likelihood of skipping on the way to the hole
- It feels like a lot of money for so simple an innovation
Want a putter that performs at a higher level without dragging the price to the skies?
The Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft is definitely worth investigating.
It’s available in three shaft lengths – 33, 34, and 35 inches, to accommodate golfers of several heights, and avoid the tendency of taller golfers to hunch when they putt. Standing straighter will eliminate at least one potential source of putting drama for those golfers.
The head of the Huntington Beach Soft will feel vaguely familiar to those who prefer a mallet putter, but it’s got a more modern vibe than most mallets.
The club face is equipped with a Cleveland sweet spot designed to optimize speed off the face, while establishing a consistency to the distance you get by playing your putts with it, and – and this is important – giving you a high level of forgiveness.
This is a thing – lots of golfers assume you only need forgiveness on the more dramatic shots like your drive. No. Forgiveness – the tendency of a club to reign in wilder slices and drive the ball straight – is important all the way until you hear the ball drop into the cup.
That means the Huntington Beach Soft can give you the break you need if your putts feel good on contact, but usually veer away from the target during their roll.
Talking about the targeting of your putts, the Huntington Beach Soft makes sure it’s as easy as it can be, by including a clear black target line on the club head, so you’re not guesstimating your shot, but should be able to play it with a lot more confidence than you’re used to.
Where do you stand on the whole ‘inserts’ question? If you either don’t care either way or are finding yourself not an insert fan, Cleveland’s got you covered, going for a club head that’s one solid piece, but with diamond CNC milling to soften the feel of the club, even compared to the company’s previous Huntington Beach putters.
If you’re looking for a club that offers a whole package of potential game-improvers without blowing up your bank account, the Huntington Beach Soft is a very decent attempt to give you what you need.
- A highly forgiving club face gives your putts a better chance of staying on target
- A clear black targeting line helps you aim more accurately to begin with
- The diamond CNC milling delivers a softer club feel than any previous Cleveland
- The price is not going to send you to the Emergency Room
- There’s a sense that the club is doing too much of the work for you
Stability and balance are the watchwords for the relatively new-on-the-block TaylorMade Truss Putter. It’s probably too advanced for true beginners, but if you’re a high-to-middle handicapper who needs help sinking putts, it might yet answer all your golfing prayers.
In the first place, the shaft has not one but two connection points to the head – right in the center. That immediately gives you more stability and more translated truth of intention between the move you make and the force imparted to the ball. So, score 1 for stability right away.
The Truss also has a cobalt blue Pure Roll Insert.
So…what the heck does that do, right? It’s designed to give you a better sound on contact – and you might be amazed how the repetition of a good, satisfying sound on contact boosts a golfer’s confidence (which, like actors, city traders, and writers, can have a measurable effect on future performances). But more than that, it’s designed to give your putts a better, smoother roll too, so that the confident sound is backed up by smoother putting.
So far, so psychological.
Where the trust shifts from mind games to hardcore physics is in the head of the club. There has been an increasing innovation in bigger clubs for a while now towards adding adjustable weights to the club head, so golfers can dial in to their particular strengths, and mitigate their weaknesses.
The Truss brings adjustable weight technology to the art of putting.
That’s why we say the Truss is probably not a putter for absolute beginners. But once you know enough to know what is going wrong with your putting, the TaylorMade Truss putter can help you in ways little else can do. Adjusting the weights in the club head and their relative positions will help you pre-dispose the club to your needs. Want more heft behind the contact, for faster travel? Dial it in. Need a little more loft for longer putts? Dial that in too.
The Truss would be a good option for high-to-mid handicappers needing help with their putting anyway – the 120-gram shaft comes with KBS Stepless Stability for less deflection of the ball, so it will improve the accuracy of your lines almost as a bonus. But with TaylorMade jumping on the adjustable-weight putter bandwagon and delivering a club that helps personalize your play, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas for those high-to-mid handicap frustrated putters.
- Connection of the shaft at two points gives you extra stability when taking your putts
- The club’s insert boosts not only confidence through a good sound, but also the straightness and smoothness of the ball’s roll when hit
- Adjustable weights in putting are the beginnings of a revolution in personalized putting play
- Not a putter for beginners, as the adjustable weight technology might lead to more confusion than effectiveness
Best Center Shafted Putters Buying Guide
When you’re shopping for a center shafted putter, it’s worth taking a few things into consideration.
In putting, the whole ballgame is about smoothness of stroke.
If your putter is the wrong length for your body the only way you’re going to achieve smoothness of stroke is by bending your body – hunching over if the club’s too short, or hyper-extending if it’s too long.
Neither of these are either good looks, good for your posture, or ultimately a viable way to go about delivering consistent putting. Get a putter that’s the right length for you. Normally, putters will come in a fairly short spectrum of lengths, from 33-35 inches. That might not sound like a lot, but it will be enough to make you significantly more comfortable, more at ease, and to produce considerably more fluid puts when you get to the green.
Which gang are you in? The Blades or the Mallets?
There are two main styles of putter – the blade and the mallet. Choosing the type that feels like it delivers you the most consistent putting results can be crucial if you’re trying to improve your putting and your game overall.
Blade putters have elongated faces and low profiles – they rarely go higher than the midpoint of the ball. Usually lightweight, they’re good for control when you putt on an arc.
Mallet putters are larger and heavier, but give you more distance control. If you’re more of a straight-backed, straightforward putter, go with a mallet, it understands you better than the blades will do.
It’s possible to use both sorts of putter of course, but most golfers will tend to gravitate towards one or the other as their natural inclination guides them. Ask yourself which variety suits your style of play better before you buy, and use the answer to guide your preferences.
Milled or Insert
This is one for golfers who’ve been a few times around the course, but as with blades and mallets, there’s a divide in the putting world between those who prefer putters with a face insert and those who prefer a milled face on their clubs.
A milled face means the club has a textured hitting surface, which will give you extra softness and distance control, as well as a better roll on the green.
Face inserts are usually made of some composite material and added to the center of the hitting area. The irony being they also enhance the softness of your contact and deliver distance control. So this is a question that really does come down to personal preference. Work out what yours is – ideally play a few rounds with a putter of each type – and choose according to which feels more natural to you.
Every putter is offset to some degree. It’s how you can see the line between the ball and the hole. Without any offset, you’d get visual perception errors that would mean you would almost never putt the ball without doing some complex mental offsetting to compensate.
The degree of offset you prefer will color the decision on which are the best putters for you. Like more offset? Go with a gooseneck putting shaft, which allows the face to be behind the shaft’s path to the ball. That will give you better consistency on your straight-back putting.
What price putting?
There’s no doubt putting is a crucial part of any round of golf. They’re the coup de grace, they’re how you win or lose. But how much can you afford to pay to get it right?
As one of the more important elements in actually finishing a hole, we’d say don’t skimp on your putter unless you’re brand new to the game, in which case you’ll be going through clubs at a rate of knots as you rapidly improve.
A mid-range putter shouldn’t usually break the bank, and might well give you improved performance over a pleasing length of time.
As with the absolute beginners, we’d counsel against going full-on high-end with your putter until your skills and performance level suggests it’s an investment, rather than an endearing optimism made manifest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a center shafted putter?
Center shafted putters can be useful in giving your putts extra stability, and extra clarity in terms of line of sight. They can also help you with weight distribution, which can sometimes be crucial in getting a true line and a smooth roll between the green and the hole.
What is the point of an offset putter?
People sometimes like wider offsets on their putters – to the extent of using unlikely-looking but effective gooseneck putters – because they give them a clearer view of both the ball and the pathway between where it lies and the hole. Offsets are relatively normal, though there’s no need to go with an extended offset if they don’t genuinely help you.
How do adjustable weights help with putting?
Adjustable weights help you dial in the performance options of your putter – adding weight behind the face when you need more ball speed, for instance. They allow you to customize your putter to the characteristics of your putting, so you can magnify your skills and mitigate your weaknesses, for more consistent putting.