Jeff Summitt Examines The New Putter Accessory Of The Year
One of the newest products we introduced this year is an “add-on” piece that can convert not only one of Hireko’s putters, but virtually any putter with a 0.370″ parallel bore and 90° socket into an entirely different putter regardless of the manufacturer.
These precision cast, stainless steel adapters have an attractive neutral bead blast finish and there are three styles to choose from. Their inexpensive price tag and ease of installation will make these adapters a staple in every clubmaking shop. Let me explain the benefits and differences amongst the choices.
Long or “broomstick” putters are designed to be approximately 46″ to 52″ and have the end of the grip anchored to your sternum, Adam’s apple or chin. With the belly length putters garnering much more attention today, few manufacturers actually make dedicated broomstick putters. Typically a long putter’s head weight will be required to be heavier than a normal putter. This helps to offset the heavier weight of the grip(s) and creates the pendulum motion used with this type of putter. With the emergence of heavier putter heads (400+ grams) on the market today, there is a larger selection available as candidates to make a long putter, but with one exception and that is achieving the proper lie angle.
In the vast majority of cases it is impossible to bend the hosel without breaking from a standard lie (70-72°) to a lie that is better suited to a long putter (79°). In addition, many of the popular mallet putters heavy enough to make a long putter do not have a hosel to bend at all. Now, try to find a long bent putter shaft that will accommodate the lie angle. Better yet, try to bend one of the long reinforced tip “ski-pole” putter shafts. Chances are neither of these two things is going to happen.
So what is the solution? Hireko developed a simple yet specialized adapter that can convert the lie angle of a putter with a 90° socket to 79° for use as a long or broomstick putter. The male post is designed to fit the inside diameter of the Apollo 53″ long putter shaft. These weigh 20g each and help increase the putter’s head weight. Plus these will work for either a RH or LH putter.
If you want to experiment with a broomstick model, but eventually decide it is not right for you, the hosel adapter can easily be removed and no harm or ill-effects have been made to the original putter. The Acer CB3, CB5 and the Bionik 209 all make good candidates from our offerings, along with this adapter to make your broomstick putter.
Unlike the Long / Broomstick putter adapter, these two adapters (Slant & Plumber’s Neck) will take a right-handed putter that requires a compound double bend shaft and be able to use any straight .370″ shaft in its place and create the same lie angle as a regular putter (@ 72°). Some clubmaker’s have a difficult time aligning the compound double bend shafts. By installing one of these adapters into putter with a 90° socket, the clubmakers can easily install a straight shaft.
If the golfer wants to increase the weight of the putter, these two adapters will add 44g to the head. While it might sound like a lot, you might be surprised by the feel. In addition, extremely oversized putter grips are en vogue. These weigh in the neighborhood of 200g which counter-balances the putter and can make the heavy feel too light without the addition of extra head weight. Both overall weight of the putter and the head weight have an effect on the consistency, direction and distance the ball comes off the face.
The slant neck adapter most closely resembled the offset created by the Apollo compound double bend shaft. In fact in many putters we have tested these with, the slant adapter comes closest to aligning the shaft with the leading edge of the putter’s face for ease in alignment.
This is more like the popular hosel configuration made popular with the Ping® Anser putter. The Plumber’s
Neck actually creates an offset where the hands are slightly forward of the putter.
Directions: Simply test fit stem into the putter’s socket as it should be a tight fit. If it is loose, this could affect the lie and/or loft, shim with shafting beads to help center the adapter into the hosel. If it does not fit, lightly hand sand stem until it does fit snug. If you want to speed up the process, you can apply quick setting epoxy to stem, seat it fully into the socket, align the adapter and allow the epoxy to harden. Lastly, install the new shaft – it’s that simple!