Installing a curved shaft in a putter is actually a very simple process. In all honesty, you can install the shaft virtually any way you want, but there is only one best way to do so for each putter. Visual perception is a key to proper installation – in other words, if it looks “right”,it probably is “right!” That said, the vast majority of curved shafts are designed either to create offset and/or create a specific lie angle when properly installed in a putter. Before we start, there are three different types of bends that need to be discussed.
The simplest one to explain is the single bend shaft. It is designed primarily for a putter which hosel bore is 90 degrees. The Rules of Golfstipulate that the lie must diverge from the vertical by at least 10 degrees. Most single bend putter shafts diverge by close to 18 degrees to create a 72 degree lie angle. Installation is as follows: the shaft as it exits the head will come straight up, then curve back toward the heel. The next type of curved shaft is the double bend. It is designed strictly to create an offset to the putter. The putter that will use a double bend shaft will already have the lie angle bored into it, but with the offset, the hands are pressed forward. To install the bend properly, the shaft will first come straight out of the hosel, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again.
The most confusing bent shaft is a compound double bent shaft. Some will also consider this to be a triple bend shaft. It is designed to create both the lie angle and the offset of the putter whose bore is 90 degrees. This is one example of a shaft that is designed only for right handed golfers. How the bend is position is as follows: the shaft will first
come straight out of the hosel, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again, then finally back toward the heel.
This applies to both shafts with single bends as well as to those with two or more bends. To begin installation, put the shaft in the putter with the curve (or bend) aimed directly toward the target. In most cases, this should look “right.” In the cases where it may not or in the cases of actually custom fitting the putter to the player, the shaft may be rotated slightly to achieve the proper look and lie angle. Curved shaft putter assembly is fairly straightforward once you know the basics. Today’s tip should take some of the fear out of curved shaft putter assembly!
by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director