It seems that over the years, putters have only gotten more and more complicated. As newer putter designs continually replace old ones, every part of the club is evaluated to give new players an edge. Today, many golfers demand to know the exact specifications for each piece of their putter. One topic that constantly confuses new golfers is the debate between the single bend vs double bend putter.
Given that most putter preferences are feel based, one small change can mean the difference between a satisfying day of golf and a frustrating one. But for a given player, what kind of difference will a double bend shaft really make from a single bend putter?
Single bend vs double bend putter shaft – what’s the difference?
The only consistent difference between single bend putters and double bend putters is the number of bends in the putter shaft. A single bend putter has one bend in the shaft, while a double bend putter will have two bends.
The purpose of these shaft bends is to offset the putter head, which means that the club head will sit further back from the ball than the shaft. This helps keep a player’s hands in front of the club and also accommodate their dominant eye at address.
Many good offset putters use either single or double bend shafts, so it’s possible to have a good offset with either style. In fact, several popular offset putters such as the Callaway Odyssey series have shaft designs that don’t fit into either category.
What matters much more than shaft bend is how the grip, shaft design, head shape, putter type, and offset fit together as an entire package.
While it’s possible to generalize about double bend shafts vs single bend shafts, what ultimately matters is if the feel works for you or not.
Using a single bend putter shaft
Single bend putters are a modern putter design. Their main innovation is that it’s their shaft, rather than their hosel, that is bent. This bend allows the putter head to sit behind the golfer’s hands, which helps with shot alignment and face balancing.
The single bend allows the shaft to connect with the putter head at a 90 degree angle from the ground. This is design works particularly well for balancing mallet putters, which is where the single bend first appeared. The shaft then angles out towards the golfer for a comfortable grip.
Many well received putters use the single bend design. This includes one of our favorite putter lines, the TaylorMade GT series.
Most golfers will enjoy the pleasing and simple design of the of the single bend putter shaft. This type of putter shaft has a very clean appearance that is less prone to drawing the eye. It is less likely to cause distractions during a putt.
Single bend golf putters are designed for a balanced face that eliminates any toe hang. This makes them perfect for a straight forward and back putting shot. These shots are much easier for many beginners to master than an arc stroke.
Face balanced putters have a higher MOI than other types, which allows them to hit ball straight on with less twisting or pushback. The forgiving design makes the single bend putter a favorite of beginner players all the way to advanced. For a list of our favorite face balanced putters, see our best face balanced putters article.
The single bend putter design places the head of the club slightly behind the golfers hands at address. This allows for a comfortable setup that makes aligning the club head much easier compare to straight shaft putters. The design also ensures a good lie angle that keep the club face straight, all while the golfer can take a natural position.
Not designed for arc strokes
Single bend shafts are mostly found on mallet putters. They help ensure a balanced face, which is great for hitting a straight back straight forward shot. This design lacks toe hang, which means that doesn’t work as well for arc strokes.
Single bend mallet putters are designed to lock players into a simple putting style. This helps reduce errors, as there is less to worry about on every swing. However, some players may appreciate more flexibility than is currently allowed by many of these putters.
Using a double bend putter shaft
Like its single bend counterpart, the double bend shaft is designed to help eliminate toe hang on a face balanced putter. This style is particularly popular on mallet style putters, which excel at straight back straight forward putting strokes.
The double bend shaft, like the single bend, meets the putter head at a 90 degree angle. It then bends slightly away before bending back towards the golfer. The results is a small “s” curve in the golf shaft.
Double bend putters have become more popular because they allow manufacturers more freedom and flexibility in their club designs. They have different balance points than single bend putters, but any differences can be offset by the putter head design to create a balanced club face.
Many modern club manufacturers use the double bend shaft. That means that there are a lot of different double bend putters available for you to choose from. All of the big manufacturers from Callaway to Taylormade have putters available in the style.
Most double bend designs are found on high MOI mallet putters. These putters do a great job of resisting twisting on swing impact, which helps players hit cleaner shots. It also cuts down on mishits, even if the ball isn’t hit exactly in the sweet spot of the putter.
The double bend putter design keeps the club head slightly behind the golfers hands when lining up a shot. This allows the golfer to take a natural position and easily align the clubhead. This design also ensures a good lie angle that keeps the club face straight to help prevent mishits.
Promotes an easy swing
The double bend high MOI mallets is designed for a straight back and straight forward shot. This swing path is very easy for players to grasp and understand. It’s simple nature leaves less changes for mistakes, and is becoming the favored putting method.
Less visual appeal
In general, the double bend shaft is a little more distracting and less visually appealing than the single bend shaft.
Not good for arc stroke
The double bend putters are designed for straight back straight forward putting strokes. They do not to well for hitting arc stroke shots. Some players may want more flexibility from their putter.
Other hosel designs
In addition to the single bend and double bend putter, there are a couple of other popular hosel designs that you should know. The hosel is the joint that attaches the putter shaft to the club head.
The design and placement of the hosel helps determine the balance and also any offset of the putter. The hosel should also have a lie angle that allows the club head to sit straight when the player aligns their putt.
Center shafted putter
Center shaft putters have the hosel the middle of the club head between the toe and heel. Most other putters are called heel shafted because the shaft connects at the heel of the putter head.
A center shafted putter typically uses a straight golf shaft with no offset. Despite having no offset, these clubs are face balanced due to the central location of the hosel.
Just like single and double bend heel putters, center shafted putters typically accommodate a straight back straight forward putting stroke. They’re not designed to hit an arc stroke.
The short hosel design uses a heel shafted putter in combination with a straight shaft. This setup creates more weighting towards the toe of the putter, which is great for an arc swing.
The arc swing moves from inside the line, to square, to inside the line again. It’s a bit harder to master than a straight back straight forward swing, but some players prefer this style.
For a list of our favorite toe hang putters, see our best toe hang putters article.
The plumbers neck design sits somewhere between the center shafted putter and the short hosel putter. It has some weighting towards the toe, but not as much as a short hosel club would.
This type of club is good at accommodating a very slight arc swing.
Both single bend and double bend putters allow for a balanced club head with a nice offset. The differences between these two shaft types are largely cosmetic, and both designs accomplish the same things. Either design can be used for a modern putter. Ultimately, putters are best judged as a complete package for their overall feel and playstyle.
Players should use a double bend putter if they want an offset to help them align their shots. They should also consider a double bend putter if they want to use a straight back straight forward swing stroke.
The only real difference between these two putter types is that a single bend putter has one bend in the club shaft while the double bend putter has two bends in the club shaft. They both create an offset for the club head and also accommodate straight back straight forward club swing.
A double bend putter is typically used for a straight back straight forward putter swing. If you want to use an arc stroke, consider using a different putter type.
Mallet putters tend to be the easiest for players to use. Their balanced face and high MOI tend to be very forgiving on most players, and are great for a straight back straight forward swing style.