Selecting the right putter can be a bit like walking through a minefield. There are so many design options, models and aesthetics. That's before you even get to the various hosel choices in each model. Before we go any further, let's pause for a second. How often have you thought about the hosel on your putter? Do you know how it functions or how the different hosel types influence your putting performance?
Many golfers don't, but the value of this often-overlooked piece cannot be overstated. It's a critical component when selecting the right putter for your game, as the hosel directly affects the amount of toe hang a putter produces. The quick way to determine toe hang is by balancing the putter on your finger and seeing how acutely the toe points toward the ground (see video for further demonstration).
TaylorMade's Chris Trott walks you through each hosel offering in this segment, highlighting the all-new Spider GT putter and more. Trottie is one of the most experienced and respected fitters in the world. All his years working on Tour taught him a valuable lesson: Never guess what you can measure. This video and the complementing article will give you some tricks and insights to help you decide which hosel is the right fit for you. We'll highlight the four most common hosel types in the TaylorMade arsenal, along with various head types starting with the all-new Spider GT.
Many golfers believe single bend hosels are only for players with a straight-back-straight-through putting motion, but that doesn't tell the whole story. It starts with the way you set up at address.
Do you prefer to stand over top of the golf ball? If you're unsure, the best way to check is by addressing the ball as if you're going to make a putting stroke. Then, take a second ball and drop it from your eye level. (See the video if you need further demonstration.) If the ball you drop hits the one on the ground or outside it, then your stance positions you over the golf ball, and you may pair best with a single bend hosel.
It promotes a more robotic and structured putting motion when you're stacked over the golf ball like this. Your eyes most likely see the line to the hole running straight through the equator of the ball. Many golfers who use this style prefer to feel like the face is square to the line on the takeaway, remains square at impact and is still square on the follow through. All of this points to single bend being the right choice.
So, how does it work? Single bend hosels create a face-balanced putter. If you hold your putter on the balance point and the face points directly to the sky – then you have a face-balanced design (see the video for a full demonstration). With this style of putter, the face resists twisting and wants to remain square. For that reason, single bend hosels may also be suitable for your game if you tend to miss putts to the left due to an over-rotation of the face.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the flow neck hosel offers a hefty amount of toe hang – approximately 47° in some cases. Currently, this option is available in the Spider X Hydro Blast and MyTP.
If you're a golfer with a stance that falls inside the line – meaning when you do the same trick of dropping a ball from your eyeline while over a putt and it falls between you and the ball – then a flow neck may be the right option.
Typically, if you're this type of player, you'll stand slightly farther from the ball with a more upright stance. Your elbows might be tucked closer to your ribcage, which promotes an arced putting stroke that moves inside (takeaway), back to square (at impact) and inside again (follow through). Most importantly, you may rely heavily on feel versus making a mechanical stroke. This player is far more an artist than a technician. If it sounds like I'm describing you, then the flow neck could be the proper hosel choice for your game.
On another note, if you tend to miss putts wide right (for a right-handed player) and leave the face open at impact, the flow neck could be an appropriate option. That maximum toe hang design wants to help the face close faster, therefore helping your putter square up at impact instead of remaining open.
The L-neck, or plumber's neck as it's often referred, is a classic shape that many golfers are familiar with. It delivers similar performance benefits as the flow neck but with less toe hang - meaning that it won't inspire a stroke that's as heavily arced.
This design is popular both on Tour and among amateurs. It is ideal for the player who creates moderate face rotation and wants to feel the toe release through impact. It's more of a compromise between the maximum toe hang of flow neck hosels and the face-balanced result of a single bend. This could be the perfect pairing if you want to feel more of a semi-circle putting motion while maintaining a stable face.
Like the flow neck, it is better suited for the player who prioritizes feel and creativity on the putting green. In addition, the L-neck introduces natural offset and helps the hands stay ahead of the putter head throughout the stroke. If you already have a heavy forward press (meaning that you set your hands well ahead of the ball at address), you might want to opt for a different hosel – potentially a flow neck or short slant.
In recent years, the short slant has become the most popular hosel type for modern TaylorMade putters. This Tour-proven design, used by the likes of Rory McIlory, Dustin Johnson and more, provides the best of both worlds. It's offered in Spider GT and our complete lineup of inline Spider putters.
What makes it the popular choice? Straight away, it's the look of it. It's very compact and helps dictate a wonderfully square face at address while also letting the golfer frame the ball very nicely. Because of its slight toe hang, it can be used either by golfers with a stacked setup (eyes over the ball) or players who stand more upright and produce an arced stroke (eyes inside the ball). The beauty is in the versatility. Players with an arced stroke (inside, square, inside) who opt for this hosel may benefit from adding length to their putter.
Choosing a hosel may seem like a minor decision, but selecting the right one can lead to big payoffs on the putting surface. Even though there are many options, the process doesn't have to be intimidating. The first thing to note: Don't guess what you can measure. Determining your eyeline at address can be a valuable way of discovering which hosel is right for you.
Secondly, be aware of the type of putting stroke you have. Do you want to be robotic, mechanical and repetitive, or do you prefer to trust your feel and creativity? The third thing: Know your misses. We recommend charting missed putts during your next round. Take note of whether you commonly miss right or left – that information can lead you to a putter hosel that's the ideal match for your game.
Always remember, putters are personal. This guide can help you on your journey to finding the right one, but, ultimately, nothing overrules testing a putter and feeling the performance for yourself.
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