In the growing effort to provide convenient custom fitting options for golfers, two putter companies have simultaneously unveiled a new technological benchmark—the interchangeable hosel.
The hosel is the short joint that connects the putter head to the shaft. The most recognizable hosel in the putter industry is the “plumber’s neck” hosel seen on most Anser-style putters, which takes a hard right angle before joining the shaft (see top photo).
Typically, the hosel is a fixed extension of the putter head. But in new putters offered by YES! Golf and Alabama-based Goode Putters, the hosel comes separately, allowing you to choose the hosel that best fits your eye and stroke.
According to Francis Ricci, president of YES! Golf, “The concept was developed in direct response to requests from our tour players. Putters are such a personal preference for golfers and, by giving them hosel options, golfers can truly customize their putter and maximize their results by selecting the look and style of the putter that best suits them.”
Goode Putters offers three available hosels that can be mixed and matched with three different head styles (see lower photo). YES! offers four different hosels that can be matched to its Tracy III and Lizzy Plus models. In both cases, the interchangeable hosels are attached via a small screw in the sole of the putter (see top photo).
Since the design and shaft angle of a hosel have a direct impact on the balance of a putter, custom hosel options enable you to choose the degree of balancing that best fits your stroke.
For example, golfers with a wide arcing stroke can choose a hosel that offers substantial toe hang, while those with a shallower arc can opt for a hosel that creates less toe hang (click here for more information on toe hang and putter balancing).
Another aspect of hosel fitting is “offset.” Depending on how a hosel is constructed, a putter can have varying degrees of offset. In a putter with no offset, the leading edge of the shaft is in direct line with the leading edge of the putter face. In a putter with offset, the leading edge of the shaft is slightly ahead of the putter face when looking down at the putter (see lower photo for degrees of offset). Offset is ultimately matter of personal and physiological preference, one that can be influenced by one’s dominant eye behavior.
Simply by virtue of offering different hosel options, Yes! and Good Putters are doing a public service by introducing golfers to yet another important aspect of putter fitting.