Does Putter Shaft Flex Have Any Effect on Putting Success?

Shaft flex in putters generally is not an important factor
Another way of asking the question in the title of this article: Do golfers need to worry about — to think at all about — the flex (stiff, regular, etc.) of the shaft in their putter?

The short answer: Almost certainly not. And in the very rare cares where putter shaft flex might matter, it's because of its effect on a golfer's confidence, not because putter shaft flex is influencing the way your putts are rolling on greens.

The shafts in other golfer clubs are rated for flex — how much they bend during the swing — from extra stiff on the firmer end of the scale to ladies flex on the "bendier" end of the scale.

Putter shafts are not rated because they are all essentially stiff shafts due to their (relatively) short length, plus the fact that putter swings are far, far gentler swings than, says, a 5-iron swing. Manufacturers, generally speaking, put the same flex shaft in all putters.

Other factors relating to putters, such as swingweight, lie angle, loft, are very important in selecting putters. And, ideally, golfers who are serious about their games will go through a clubfitting to be properly fit into a putter based on those characteristics.

But shaft flex? It simply doesn't come into play on putts. Except in very rare circumstances.

For example, a golfer with an extremely refined sense of feel might be able to detect the flex of the putter shaft, particularly on very long putts. And this might create some thoughts in one's head during putts. Since putting relies so much on confidence, that might create an issue. (Lots of "mights" here because putter-shaft-flex problems are so rare.)

Note that the putter shaft flex will not actually affect the quality of putt, it will not influence distance or accuracy. In the very rare case a golfer can notice flex, it's just about the confidence question.

If you've never thought about flex in your putter's shaft before, good! Don't start now.

If you have, and if that thought is in your head and you fear it might be undermining your confidence over the ball, do this: Go to a practice green and drop some balls 60 feet from the cup. Whack the balls toward the cup, hitting them hard to make sure they reach the hole.

Do you think you can you feel the flex of the shaft? If the answer is no (as it almost certainly will be, or should be anyway), you're fine. Put putter shaft flex out of your head.

If you think you can feel it, and if that bothers you, then see a clubfitter. You are one of the very rare golfers who might benefit from seeking out a stiffer putter shaft.

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