Should you use a single bend or double bend putter shaft? This is a question that many golfers should consider when it comes to picking the right putter but it can play a big role.
While most of us think about the putter head (mallet vs. blade) and putter shaft length, the type of shaft is a bigger deal than you might realize. After doing a putter fitting recently, I tested out different putter shafts and couldn’t believe the difference it made.
Today we’ll review a single bend vs. double bend alongside other common putter shafts. Plus, answer the most common questions to find the right one for your short game.
Single Bend vs. Double Bend Putter
So what’s the difference between single bend shafts vs. double bend putter shafts?
More than you might realize…
- A single bend putter shaft is a more cleaning looking shaft with minimal offset.
- While a double bend putter shaft is great for golfers who want more stability and prefer a straight back, straight through putting motion. It’s also more forgiving.
- There are other types of putter shafts including straight neck, plumbers bend, and center shaft.
Keep reading to learn what type of player should play each shaft and the impact it has on your putting stroke.
Single Bend (Best for Lower Handicap Golfers)
A single bend putter is when there is only one bend in the putter shaft.
This design can help minimize unwanted wrist action that cause a lot of golfers to miss short putts. The goal is to get the shaft aligned with the forearms and create a more consistent putting stroke.
A single bend putter is available from all types of manufacturers and different head styles. But it’s more common for these putters to be with blade putters than modern or traditional mallet putters.
A single bend looks very different from a double bend putter as it’s more of a straight look, with minimal offset. It’s a better choice if you’re looking for a clean, minimalistic design.
This type of putter shaft is usually less forgiving, making it a less viable option for mid to high handicap golfers. But if you’re a skilled player with a consistent putting stroke, this type of bend can provide a great look at address position.
Double Bend Putter Shafts (Best for Mid to High Handicap Golfers)
So what does double bend putter mean anyway?
It simply means that the putter shaft has two bends, not one like a single bend.
Here’s how PXG described the double hosel bend in their newest 0211 series.
“The double bend hosel orients the shaft axis plans through the CG to create a face balanced hang angle, which reduces the inertial force require to rotate the putter face. Optimal for players who tend to push the ball.”
Double bend putter shafts are more common in mallet putters and generally more forgiving thanks to the offset design.
Think about offset in full clubs – the more a club is offset, the more your hands are back at address position. This is a great design feature for golfers who hit a lot of slices and generally don’t have as consistent of a golf swing.
Double bend putters are also a little more accurate if you mishit the putt on the toe or heel – making this a better option for less consistent golfers. I like how Odyssey described this in their signature White OG mallet putter head.
“The White Hot OG Rossie DB is a face-balanced double bend mallet, best suited for strokes with minimal face rotation and arc. Rossie is a classic Odyssey design, featuring our legendary White Hot insert and fitted with our silver and black Odyssey pistol grip.”
Overall, a double bend putter shaft is more forgiving and can help the everyday golfer a lot.
Other Putter Hosel Options
While double and single bend putters are the most common, there are other alternatives too. Here’s a quick recap of other hosels:
- Plumber’s neck: This hosel is great for players with a straight back, straight through putting motion. It has mid toe hang which reduces how much the club can rotate.
- Arm lock: This hosel is ideal for players who want more stability and control throughout the stroke. Click here to read our full guide about arm lock putting now.
Don’t Forget About Golf Putter Shafts
While the hosel is very important there are two other aspects to consider when choosing the right putter.
First is if the putter is heel shafted vs. center shafted putter. A heel shafted putter is better for golfers who have more arc in their stroke and want more toe hang. These putters also make it easier to have a slight amount of forward press as a trigger to begin the putting motion.
While center shaft putters are better for golfers who want a clean looking, straight shaft. This shaft is ideal for players with minimal stroke arc but doesn’t allow much (if any) forward press motion. These putters tend to have less loft so if you forward press, it might reduce the loft too much and lead to a bouncing putt.
Finally, don’t forget about the shaft material as it can add more stability to the putter. For example, PXG released the M16 putter shaft in 2022 with a multi-material construction.
As they said on their website it has, “An upper section built from high modulus carbon fiber and a lower tip built from steel. Unlike typical steel putter shafts, this unique dual composition helps to deliver more stiffness and stability, while maintaining a soft yet solid feel.”
The right shaft material can help with feel and/or stability depending on what you need most. Or, a multi-material shaft like this one from PXG provides a bit of both.
FAQs About Putting
Do you have more questions about finding the right putter for your stroke? Keep reading our most frequently asked questions and answers below.
What is the difference between single bend and double bend shafts?
A single bend putter shaft is less offset than a double bend shaft. It’s also not as forgiving but has a cleaner look at address position.
While a double bend putter has more offset and generally more forgiving on putts that don’t strike the center of the face. This is why it’s generally recommended for less experienced players to use double bend, mallet putters vs. single bend blade putters.
Is double bend face balanced?
Yes, it’s common for double bend putters to be a face balanced putter vs. toe hang designs.
This makes the putter more stable and easier to keep the face square at impact for a more consistent roll. If you tend to get overly active with your wrists, opt for this type of design as it will likely help you make more putts (especially short ones).
What is the most forgiving putter?
If you want forgiveness with the flat stick we suggest using a double bend, mallet putter. These putters are much more forgiving than single bend blade putters with a lot of toe hang.
Plus, larger mallet putters have more alignment features (as there is more space on the club) which can improve alignment. This will ensure you get more putts started on the correct line and hopefully, drain more putts.
Don’t make golf harder on yourself by playing putters that aren’t very forgiving and/or don’t have enough alignment features.
How do I know which lie angle putter is best?
Lie angle is an important part of the club fitting process with your irons, wedges, and putter. After getting fit for a putter (that I loved in our fitting) I couldn’t hit it well once I got it. When I took it back to the fitter we realized the lie angle didn’t match my old putter or my stroke.
By simply adjusting the lie angle it changed everything and started making more putts fast. So yes, lie angle is a big deal and why you should match the lie angle to your old putter if you get a new one. Just like with your irons and wedges, a degree or two difference might not seem like much but it has a big impact on the roll of the putt.
Can you bend a putter more upright?
Yes, you can make a putter flatter or more upright, just like a set of irons. A club fitter can easily tweak the shaft and face to match your desired lie angles.
Can you play with a bent putter?
Yes, but it’s not recommended. If you get a little too angry and toss your golf putter or slam it into the ground it can mess with the loft and lie angle. Not to mention the shaft.
It’s recommended to have a club fitter evaluate the loft/lie before putting it back into play. Also, make sure to check out some of our best mental game tips here.
How can I improve my putter alignment?
Aiming is 75% of the battle with putting. Because you can have a custom fit putter, a perfect pre-shot routine, and read the green perfectly but still miss if your alignment is off. Getting your ball started on the correct start line is vital to making more putts and shooting lower scores.
To improve putting alignment start by lining up the ball toward your start line. This could be with a golf ball marking or the logo of the golf ball. Once you set it down, confirm the line/logo is set properly and then begin your pre-shot routine so you can stand over it with confidence.
Another great way to improve putting alignment is a training aid like the Putting Tutor. This device was created by Dave Pelz (a short game wizard) and Phil Mickelson and provides instant feedback on your start line. If you push or pull your putt, your golf ball will hit the marbles and likely miss the hole.
Use this device in practice at the course or with an at home putting green to improve your putting alignment.
After doing a putter fitting at PXG at the end of 2022 I learned a ton about the impact the shaft makes with putting. If you play a single bend shaft now and need more consistency, a double bend shaft can help.
Your stroke (straight stroke vs. arc stroke) and type of putter can help you gain more confidence on the greens. If you’re not sure which on a single bend putter vs. others, we suggest trying out a putter fitting as it’s one of the best investments you can make.
Final Thoughts on Single Bend Putter vs. Double Bend Putter Shaft
While picking the right head is a big part of becoming a consistent putter, don’t forget there is more to it. You also need to make sure the putter length is right for your height, arm length, and posture.
Once you have the right head and shaft length, then you should focus on the shaft itself. A single bend vs. double bend (or other type of shaft) can make a big difference in your putting performance. As a reminder:
- A single bend putter shaft is less forgiving and more common in blade putters.
- Double bend shafts are more forgiving and more common in mallet putters.
Also, check out these putting resources: