How do you fix a faulty short game on the greens? One of the most common and even professionally used fixes is swapping heel and toe shafted putters with center shafted ones. But different types of center shafted clubs work for people with different issues on the putting greens.
Ray Cook Golf SR500 is the best-center shafted putter for golfers who have trouble with the shot path but have no issue with putting distance. If you want to reduce the distance of your putts, then you should choose the Wilson Infinite Putter.
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This article is your center-shafted putter buying guide, the best product roundup, and an FAQ resource, including the best golf putter.
If you don’t know what a center shafted club is, you will by the time you finish this article. Moreover, you’ll know what to look for when buying one and a few models to consider.
So let’s get started with a deep dive into its definition…
What Is A Center Shafted Putter?
A center shafted putter’s shaft connects to its head around the center, if not exactly in the middle. This produces a kind of balance that makes putting predictable.
In some cases, the shaft runs past the top of the golf club head and is planted firmly in the middle of the head. So not only are center shafted putters at the center across the putter’s length, but they are also in the middle across the putter’s height.
These putters look visibly more symmetrical than every other type of putter. As a result, many golfers worry about how it makes them look.
Ultimately, these putters’ utility isn’t for beginners only. They are allowed on the Tour, and many golfers with a straight back and thorough putting style use them in professional games.
It is often assumed that all center shafted putters are face-balanced. Some also assume that all face-balanced putters are center shafted. While there is a big overlap between these two types of putters, the two are not the same.
If you want a face-balanced putter, you can get one in center shafted as well as non-center shafted putters.
Center Shafted Putter vs. Non-Center Putters
In a center shafted putter, the shaft is connected to the middle of the putter head, while in every other type of putter, it is connected elsewhere. This design difference creates a host of short-game changes for most golfers.
|Center Shafted Putter
|Non-Center Shafted Putter
|The shaft usually goes past the top of the putter head
|The shaft can be attached to the top or go into the club head, but it connects at the toe or the heel of the putter head
|It has a balanced design
|These putters can come in a wide range of options, with some being face-balanced and others having a slight hang.
|The putter head’s center of gravity is closer to the center
|The center of gravity of these putters can vary based on design
|It looks more symmetrical
|Non-center shafted putters don’t look symmetrical.
|Preferred by swing-free putters.
|Preferred by those who swing with an arc
By now, it is clear that a center shafted putter has a great in-built balance, which is why many beginners prefer it. But it is not a beginner-only golf club.
Who Is A Center Shafted Putter For?
Center shafted putters are for people who do not have a pendulum-style swing in their putting strokes. If you like straight and through the ball, then you need a club with enough balance not to upset your stoke axis.
Center shafted putters are easier to handle unless you have a set-in-stone putting action that is antithetical to their balanced design.
Many professionals have used center shafted clubs and have cited their success. From looking at what they have in common, you can tell who these putters are for regardless of experience level.
Golfers Who Put Straight-Back-And-Through
Most pro golfers who use scented shafted putters have a straight-back-and-through putting motion.
Matt Kuchar is a great example of a top-tier golfer who often uses a center shafted putter.
Those Who Like Stable And Balanced Putters
If you can appreciate the stability offered by center-balanced putters, then you should get one.
Professionals who use these putters on the Tour are often asked about them.
Bernhard Langer has unapologetically spoken in favor of center shafted putters and credits their stability and balance for his success.
Those Who Like Predictable Putting Action
Some golfers prefer making the ball move at different distances and at different angles, even on the putting greens. But many golfers value straight-line accuracy, which center shafted putters provide.
Mark O’Meara has cited the accuracy and consistency of center shafted putters for his shift away from his non-center shafted club.
Those Who Find Alternative Putters Challenging
Very few golfers go directly for the center shafted putter simply because the straight-back-and-through action isn’t common enough to make center shafts more accessible.
A regular golf club set doesn’t contain a center shafted putter by default. Even if you’ve gone out and gotten a toe shafted or heel shafted putter, don’t beat yourself up. Experimenting is a big part of golf.
Adam Scott used different types of putters, all non-center shafted, for years before he gave the center shaft a shot. He seems pretty happy with his Scotty Cameron Xperimental Rev X11.
Bryson DeChambeau almost ruined his global ranging, racking up scores on the putting greens.
He was not using a center shafted putter until later in his career. Face rotation during putting was his greatest score maximizer. DeChambeau says that his center shafted putter helps him keep face rotation to a minimum when he’s putting.
Face-Balanced vs. Toe-Balanced
A face-balanced putter’s face points upwards when the club is balanced across its length on one’s finger. A toe-balanced putter, on the other hand, is designed with a heavier toe that faces downwards when balanced in a similar fashion.
Face-Balanced Putters Vs. Heel Balanced Putters
A heel-balanced putter’s heel points downwards when you balance the club on your finger. On the other hand, a face-balanced putter’s face points up while its heel and toe are virtually parallel to the ground.
There is no such thing as a back-balanced putter because shifting the weight to the face points downward results in farther and higher shots. That’s the kind of club you get when you ask for a “game improvement” club. Knowing what to ask at a golf store is important.
What To Look For In A Center Shafted Putter?
Since center shafted putters exist and are bought for game improvement only, you must see if yours has the right balance, shaft length, head design, material, and feel for you.
Here are the factors by which you can judge your center shafted putter’s compatibility with your style:
- Balance – Usually, the better balanced the putter is, the better it is for a straight-back-and-through golfer.
- Shaft length – Ideally, this should be according to your golf club fitting. Even if you don’t get fitted, know what works for you.
- Head design – You have to choose between mallet and blade-designed putters. The more you want to reduce the travel distance of your putts, the better off you are with a mallet. The more you want to adjust the angle of your ball, the better off you are with a blade style.
Best Center Shafted Putters
Not every golfer finds center shafted putters valuable. And even among the ones who do, you won’t see much agreement around a single putter. That’s because these clubs accommodate unconventional swings.
Different center-shafted putters suit different golfers. In this section, you will find the best center shafted putters with the broadest compatibility.
1. Scotty Cameron Newport 2
The Newport 2 has been in the market for years and has become one of the go-to choices for those who don’t want to compare too many options. However, its high demand coupled with it having come out years ago means it isn’t easy to find online.
Still, It is praised as a classic, and its blade-to-shaft connection isn’t an eye-sore. In fact, one can easily miss that it’s not a heel shafted putter when looking from a distance.
Aside from its appearance, it is admired for its balance and how it feels. Most people who’ve bought it in the past rate its precision quite highly. But before getting into the reviews, let’s go over its pros and cons.
- Sleek and Elegant design – The Newport 2’s blade has a classic and simple appearance. It doesn’t look like a gimmick.
- Great Balance – Many putters might not have the perfect balance despite having an off-heel shaft. The Newport isn’t one of them.
- Consistent across putts and putters – Because its head is precision-milled according to a well-engineered design, it has two-fold consistency. Its performance is reliably replicable from hole to hole and from one unit for Newport 2 to another.
- Not widely available – One of the greatest drawbacks of the Newport 2 is that you don’t really find it on the market anymore. It is available from resellers and at some golf stores.
- It is significantly more expensive – While this putter is reliable, consistent, and can be purchased without a second thought, it is an expensive choice. You can get a used unit to bring down the overall price, or you can get into the nitty-gritty of comparing other choices.
Before getting to the next center shafted putter, we have to go over the general feedback around this one. It has 4.4 stars out of 5 from an average of 72 verified purchases.
This is too small a review pool to go by the averages because one or two poor experiences can bring down the collective median.
So let’s get specific.
The worst reviews this product have all revolve around shipping and packaging errors. The best way to offset the risk of getting the wrong club or a club damaged while shipping it is to buy one from a physical golf shop. And while you do, make sure that you ask for the center shafted version.
2. Ray Cook Golf Sr500
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You can find the SR500 in multiple styles, each pretty forgiving close the hole and fairly inexpensive. It is pretty easy to align for intermediates and beginners alike. And multiple reviews mention that this club shaves strokes off one’s score.
Also, it’s pretty aesthetic, despite not having a blade-style head. It can look gimmicky but not as much as a mallet head. While it is often appreciated for its soft feel, its feature list goes beyond how it looks and feels.
- Tour-weighted and balanced – You can use this putter in a high-stakes game without worry.
- Great looking and feeling – At least 50% of the positive feedback around this product highlights its aesthetic appearance or how it feels to handle.
- Comes with the head cover – You’ll like this putter’s charcoal grey finish and all-metal head. And you won’t need to buy a head cover to protect it.
- Forgiving and Consistent – It is weighted to ensure a fluid putting experience. You can focus on minimizing your swing and keeping the head straight while the weight provides the impact.
- Not for everyone – Some golfers might not appreciate the weighted head and might want a putter with a soft face insert.
- It exposes your handicap – If you’re the type to worry about people judging your game, then a Ray Cook putter might not be for you as it is very popular among high-handicappers and beginners.
The SR500 has over 1400 reviews and ratings with a global collective average of 4.4 stars on a 5-star scale. Once the review pool exceeds 500, the averages are reliable, and this putter is among the top 1% in terms of positively reviewed center shafted clubs.
86% of its customers have given it 4 or 5 stars, though the percentage giving one and two stars (6%) shouldn’t be ignored. On average, you have 6 in 100 odds of not liking how this club feels. Again, not all center shafted putters are for everyone who needs one.
Fortunately, this putter comes in a wide range of styles. Go to your course’s putter rental and find a center shafted putter style that is most forgiving for your game. Once you know what works for you, your odds of satisfaction go beyond 86 out of 100.
3. Odyssey Golf 2022 Eleven Putter
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The Odyssey brand is one of the most popular names in golf club manufacturing. Its customer service, high-quality materials, and constantly updated designs make it a great choice for each category of clubs it creates.
And with The Eleven’s Center Shafted Hosel design, Odyssey proves that its reliability is no different for center shafted putters.
Sometimes, great brands can put out a poor product. But when a putter that came out in 2001 has been updated constantly for over 20 years, it is hard to find fault with it.
- Expert Branding – Odyssey’s 2-ball putters have been used on the Tour and have been credited with over 300 victories. Some forgiving clubs are made by niche manufacturers that target beginners. Carrying those clubs can invite judgment. That’s not the case with the Odyssey Eleven.
- More forgiving than its competitors – When it comes to average forgiveness, this mallet-style putter has a quarter of an inch over other mallets.
- Tight downrange dispersion – This putter is designed to be consistent, and you won’t find it scattering the ball from shot to shot. Instead, it helps you put in or close to a straight line.
- Reduced weight – This club is made from multiple materials with reduced overall steel content. As a result, it is 7 grams lighter than its alternatives and thus more stable.
- White Hot Insert – If you’re not a fan of 100% steelhead, then you’ll love this putter’s soft insert. The White Hot Insert is a proprietary technology that gives the ball a soft feel on impact without compromising its distance.
- The soft insert might not work for you – Even though the White Hot Insert is one of the most in-demand inserts among golf clubs, it is not for everyone. Some golfers just prefer an all-steel head.
4. Wilson Infinite Men’s Golf Putter (South Side)
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If you want something more affordable and better catered to beginners, then a Wilson club will work for you.
The brand’s Infinite Golf Putter does come in a center-shaft design and features dense counterbalance elements in its construction. As a result, it performs very well on the putting green, but it does look gimmicky.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this center shafted putter.
- It has a consistent roll – You can have a repeatable roll with each shot, thanks to this putter’s function-oriented design and double milling.
- Functional counterbalance – Blade-style putters are not very forgiving. But this putter’s head design, with 104 grams of counterbalance, gives you more control over your short-distance strokes. Its balance point is optimized for beginners.
- Aesthetic and Glare-free: Putting guides often recommend aligning your sight with the shaft and looking down on the club head. But most putter blades reflect light. This one has a dark anti-glare finish which looks cool and gives you a better sight line.
- Aids Roation-free strokes – The Wilson Infinite Putter has a pro-stability grip design which makes it easier to putt without rotating.
- Might invite social judgment – As mentioned earlier, this club is designed to do its job, not to look the best. It has a gimmicky appearance that screams, “I need a special putter.”
- Club head might be distracting – Some reviewers have found that the white lines on the club head are more distracting than the glare of the regular putter blades.
Wilson Infinite Men’s Golf Putter has 500+ reviews and ratings, with a global collective average of 4.7 stars. 94% of its buyers have given it 4 or 5 stars, which speaks to its broad compatibility.
The one-star reviews make up 1% of the total and are all tied to delivery and sizing problems. White might be dismissed by some purists as a beginner putter, but some reviewers proclaim a 9 to 12 handicap.
5. Taylormade Golf Spider GTX Putter
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If you want a putter that reduces your score without associating with beginner-friendly brands, then a TaylorMade-branded club is right for you.
Fortunately, The Spider GTX Putter has a center shafted version that retains most of the pros of the heel shafted Spider GTX while adding the benefits of a center shafted design.
- Back-weighting for maximum forgiveness – This putter has a heavy back and a light top, which transfers most of the stroke force to the back. This keeps you from overshooting the ball when putting.
- High-Quality Materials – The TaylorMade brand is known for using tour-ready materials in its club construction. This putter’s weighting ring, head, and shaft, alongside its grip and insert, are all made from high-quality materials.
- Insert that softens impact without compromise – This putter’s insert is softer than the club head yet not as soft as some putters’ inserts. It is co-molded with soft and hard materials with a 45°, ensuring topspin.
- Predictable performance – One of the benefits of this putter’s design is that it features a white space in the center, which you can reliably use to position the club. Many putters have some sort of mark, but very few create a straight path.
- It is expensive – It costs nearly $400 to get this putter from an online store. It is as expensive as one would expect a TaylorMade club to be. You can possibly get a used unit from eBay or an in-person reseller, though.
- Limited size options – On Amazon, you can only get a size 34 or 35 putter, so if you’ve been fitted and have a different size requirement, you’ll need to talk to your local golf store salesman.
Because most people buy their TaylorMades in person, this nearly-$400 purchase has only 3 reviews and ratings. Though every customer so far has given it 5 stars, this is too small a sample size to take seriously.
Golf Monthly has also given it a 5-star rating, while USA Today has given it a glowing review. The lack of negative reviews around the product is a negative in itself. After all, how can you know what downsides to expect if all feedback is positive?
Even looking for negative terms like “bad” alongside this putter model on Twitter yields nothing. When Twitter fails to find an issue with something, it’s worth buying.
Final Thoughts: 2024 Best Center Shafted Putters
A center shafted putter has a shaft that connects to the center of its head. Usually, the putter is face-balanced, so the back of its head is heavy and faces downwards when balanced. A heavy back keeps your natural putting stroke from putting extra inches to your shot.