Master the Greens with a Plumbers Neck Putter (2 Benefits)
When I first started golfing, I assumed all putters were basically the same.
I knew you should match a putter to your height, and that was about it.
Imagine my surprise when I heard a few local golfers discussing a flow neck and a plumbers neck putter.
Ignorance isn’t always bliss, so I grabbed my phone and quietly asked Siri:
What is a Plumbers Neck Putter?
A plumbers neck putter is a putter with a horizontal “L” bend in the hosel (the area that connects the shaft to the club head). These putters are called “plumbers neck” because the 90° bend looks similar to what you would find in household plumbing pipes.
This bend creates an offset that keep the putter’s hands in front of the putter head during their putting stroke.
I own an Odyssey Versa Putter that falls into the plumbers neck category, so I’ve included a photo below for reference (ignore the wear and tear).
If you have a putter with one distinct “L” shaped bend in the hosel, you own a plumbers neck putter.
Who should use a plumbers neck putter?
There is some room for discussion on this, but a plumbers neck putter is often best suited for golfers with a slightly arcing stroke.
- If your putting style is straight back and through, you should read up on a single bend or double bend putter. Those putters are best suited for a straight back and through putting style.
- If you have a significant arc stroke, you should read up on flow neck and slant neck putters.
I know some folks with a straight back and through putting style who still prefer a plumbers neck option.
That’s because it’s a nice middle ground between a flow neck and a single bend putter.
Benefits of a Plumbers Neck Putter
You might be asking yourself: “Should I make the switch to a plumber neck?”
Here are the benefits (as I see them) to a plumbers neck putter.
Benefit #1 – More Forgiving
When someone chooses a single bend or flow neck putter, they are fully committed to putting a certain way, as those putters cater to specific styles.
The plumbers neck sits right in the middle of both extremes with a medium offset.
For many casual golfers, this putter is the most flexible and forgiving.
If you’re not sure about your putting stroke, a plumber’s neck is often the safest putter choice.
The video below will help you identify your current putting stroke and ways to make the most of your style.
Check with your local pro shop to see if you can test different putter types before making a big purchase.
Benefit #2 – More Consistent (Straight) Putts
If you know you have some unwanted variation in your stroke, the plumbers neck putter can minimize the damage and help you putt more consistently.
There are two reasons for this:
- Your hands stay ahead of the putting stroke which eliminates some variation.
- You can have some natural arc in your stroke without pushing the ball. The putter will still minimize face rotation.
We all want to hit straighter putts, so any putting option that can help with consistency and ball speed is worth considering.
What Stroke is Best with a Plumbers Neck Putter?
As I mentioned earlier, a slightly arcing stroke is best with a plumbers neck putter.
However, those who have a straight style stroke can still make good use of this golf club, especially if they are confident in their ability to limit face rotation.
Why Use a Plumbers Neck Putter?
If you’re looking to improve your putting skills, a plumbers neck putter has the most to offer.
With plenty of versatility and forgiveness, these putters can help autocorrect a slightly arcing stroke.
The most important thing to know is how you typically putt a golf ball. A golf club fitting can help you identify your putting stroke so you can make the most strategic purchase.
Flow Neck vs. Plumber Neck Putter
You may have heard about flow neck putters.
The flow neck putter is different from the plumber neck putter because of a significantly greater toe hang.
If that sounds like a bunch of jargon, here’s the translation:
The flow neck putter is set up so the putter face is positioned further back from your hands.
The plumber neck putter is designed with a slight toe hang while the flow neck putter has significant toe hang.
This makes a flow neck putter a logical option for those with an arc stroke. The putter provides extra club face lag during the stroke, giving golfers a better chance of hitting the ball with a square face.
Those with a more mechanical swing will most likely favor a plumber neck.
Those with a more fluid or artistic (arcing) swing will most likely favor a flow neck option.
Whatever option you choose, developing a consistent stroke is the key to success.
Other Putter Neck Types
In addition to plumber neck putters, there are also find flow, slant, or straight neck putters.
Here is a brief overview for each option:
- Slant Neck: Often compared to the plumber neck, the slant hosel option has a similar shape but without the elbow.
- Double-Bend: The putter is ideal for straight-style strokes thanks to its optimized face-balancing and limited rotation features.
- Single-Bend: The putter has a seamless design, which serves a straight style stroke very well.
- Straight Neck: Also referred to as a center shaft putter, this putter is perfect for lower handicap players trying to align their putters next to the ball.
The Best Plumbers Neck Putters (My Recommendations)
Now that you’re an expert on the plumbers neck putter (and all the alternatives), it may be time to add one of these bad boys to your arsenal.
Here are a few of my top picks.
- Includes helpful Versa alignment system
- Stroke Lab putter shaft decreases weight and increases performance
- Aesthetically-pleasing design
Odyssey Golf White Hot Versa Putter
I own an Odyssey White Hot Versa putter, so I may be a bit biased, but the Versa One CH is a great option for those considering a plumbers neck putter.
Odyssey is one of the leaders in putting technology, so they should always be on the short list for consideration.
This blade putter features the Odyssey high-contrast Versa alignment system. The Versa alignment guides help you keep the face square throughout your stroke.
- Modern design
- Made in the USA
- Superior materials
- Pistolini Plus grip (larger in the right hand, less taper)
- Hefty price tag
Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport
If you haven’t heard of Scotty Cameron putters, here’s what you need to know.
Scotty Cameron offerings are like the Mercedes/Audi/BMW of putters.
In fact, one of our contributors did an entire write-up addressing the question: “Why are Scotty Cameron putters so expensive?”
If you’re all in on a plumbers neck putter and only want the best of the best, the Scotty Cameron Special Select is the way to go.
This putter is milled from a solid block of 303 stainless steel. It includes balanced tungsten sole weighting that helps contribute to a larger sweet spot and better performance on every putt.
- Smooth, durable surface
- Beautiful milled face
- Strategic perimeter weighting
- Pure Roll insert optimizes ball roll
TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast Bandon 1
The first two options I highlighted were blade-style putters, but Taylormade offers several options for golfers that prefer a mallet putter.
The TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast Bandon 1 is my favorite, as it features the best of both modern and traditional putters.
I know of one golfer who switched from an Odyssey putter to this TaylorMade and hasn’t looked back.
Did I Miss Anything?
I tried to hit the key points as it relates to the plumbers neck putter.
If you have additional thoughts or want to highlight something I missed, feel free to post in the comments below.