How To Align a Curved Putter Shaft

For beginning clubmakers, one of the more daunting tasks is to properly install and align a curved shaft into a putter head, but it doesn’t has to be. Curved shafts exist for only one club in the bag and that is a putter, while all other clubs are required to use straight shafts, including chippers. The purpose of a curved putter shaft is either to create an offset, a specific lie angle or even both when properly installed. Many of these shafts are for putters with a socket in the head, but there are also models where the shaft fits over a post.

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!”  Before we get started, there are three different types of bends that need to be discussed.

Single Bend
The simplest bend to explain is the single bend shaft. It is designed primarily for a putter which the hosel bore is 90 degrees or perpendicular to the ground. The Rules of Golf stipulate 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 or one that is fairly standard in the industry.

Installation is as follows: the shaft as it exits the socket or post will come straight up, then curve back toward the heel of the putter or back toward the player. The rear view look like the shaft is straight when in fact the shaft is curved back.  If you incorrectly install the shaft, it will be apparent the face angle is either open or closed at address.

An example is True Temper’ Stepless Single Bend shaft.

Double Bend
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 the socket or built into the post, but with the offset, the hands are pressed forward.  Often times the double bend shaft is used instead of a straight shaft.

To install the bends properly, the shaft will first come straight out of the socket or the post as in this case, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again.  From the front view it will look as the shaft is straight.  If you are a little off in the alignment it won’t be as critical as the other two bends and the lie will remain the same.  The most significant parameter that will change is the amount of offset the putter will have.  An example is Apollo’s Double Bend shaft.

Triple (Compound Double) Bend
The most confusing of the bent shafts is the compound double bend shaft or also considered 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 where a shaft can be designed only for right or left handed  putter, but not both.

To install the bent shaft properly,  the shaft will first come up straight out of the socket or post, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again, then finally back toward the heel.

If the shaft is installed incorrectly, the portion of the shaft above the bends will not be parallel to the face creating a face angle that will not be square to the target.

Examples are Apollo’s Triple Bend, True Temper’s Stepless Double Bend and UST’s Frequency Filtered curved shafts.

Proprietary Bends
Some name brand putters may take a single or a compound double bend shaft and install it slightly different.  The most famous of all is the shaft found in the old Odyssey 3 ball putter. That is, instead of the the post being perpendicular the ground, it was angled intentionally toward the toe to create a face balanced situation in concert with their proprietary bent shaft.

Shaft manufacturers like True Temper may have hundreds if not over a 1000 shafts they have made with a proprietary bend for a particular putter head. Almost all of those were only available to the that manufacturer and not available for resale by any of the component companies.  In cases were the shaft breaks in one of those models, the clubmaker may advise the customer to send it back through an authorized dealer. In certain cases, the clubmaker may be able to re-create the bend with one of the shafts available through component suppliers like Hireko and make modifications with a special putter shaft bending bar.

Build with confidence
Curved shaft putter assembly is fairly straightforward once you understand the basics. Now you know the differences between single, double and triple bend shafts and their applications. Hopefully today’s tip will take all that fear out of curved shaft putter assembly!

15 comments

  1. […] you need help on how to properly align a curved putter shaft, here is a link that will […]

  2. tony penge says:

    Good explaination…..what about considerations for a belly and chest-high putter?

  3. Jeff Summitt says:

    Tony:

    The exact same principles apply, albeit at a longer length.

  4. Marty says:

    Thank you very much. You made it look simple.

  5. Pat says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m sure you could install a double bend shaft in your sleep but was wondering what you thought of placing the head/shaft assembly into a golf club gauge to get the shaft line parallel to the putter face line.

    Thanks!
    -pat

  6. Jeff Summitt says:

    Pat,

    As long as it allows you (or someone else)the ability to align the shaft properly, I would have no qualms using such a device. But it needs to be fool-proof, otherwise it is no different from the eye-balling technique.

  7. Pat says:

    Thanks Jeff, I supposed even a golf gauge is not fool proof since you probably have to trust the maker’s loft spec too. OK, here comes the really dumb question. Do you use both eyes open to sight it in or just one (dominant eye)? Told you it was dumb.

    Thanks,
    -pat

  8. Jeff Summitt says:

    Pat,

    Actually good question as looking down with one eye vs. both can shift the perspective. If you are right-handed, then you are probably right-eyed dominate. If that is the case, then closing your left eye may take out any error.

  9. Pat says:

    Actually, I think eye dominance and hand dexterity are independent (at least for me). But I get your message.

    Thanks,
    -pat

  10. Lee Collinson says:

    Hi Jeff, I have an Odyssey Dual Force Rossie II with no port that needs a new shaft, which shaft would you recommend? Standard double or compound double? Would it also work with a single bend if I didn’t want the shaft offset from the face?
    Kindest regards
    Lee

  11. Jeff Summitt says:

    Lee:

    Those took a compound double bend shaft, but unfortunately we don’t have a replacement shaft as it requires a proprietary bend.

  12. Tom says:

    Jeff, do you have a single bend for a scotty Cameron select golo? I think their single bend requires offset and the true temper single bend doesn’t have an offset.

  13. Jeff Summitt says:

    Tom,

    If the hosel (or socket) is bored at 90 degrees and the shaft that comes out has a 0.370″ tip, then the shaft I would suggest is the Apollo AP46CP.

  14. Dim Kit says:

    Hi,

    What line one should use in order to define(or measure) the lie of a bent shaft putter?

  15. Jeff Summitt says:

    Dim,

    Use the upper portion of the shaft after the bend once the putter has been soled properly with it’s center touching the ground or base of a specification gauge.

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