As you read more about golf clubs, you may have come across a certain term that has created some uncertainty for you. That term is the offset, so what does it mean, and how does it manage to influence your time on the course?
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The Basics of the Offset
The basic explanation regarding offset is that it is directly referring to a club where the leading edge of the club is sitting back from the shaft. If you want to get more precise with the wording, then these clubs are known as offset hosel clubs.
The reason why they are known by that term is simply because the hosel is bent in the design to then allow the head of the club to sit behind the actual shaft.
This was something that was initially noticed in the development of the putter where the aim was to allow the player to effectively push their hands further forward in the shot to give them more control.
However, it was viewed as being such a success with the putter that it then became more commonplace in other clubs as well.
The Benefits of Having Offset Clubs
So what’s the actual benefit of having this leading edge sitting behind the shaft? Well, there are several benefits directly linked to this design, but be aware that it won’t always prove to be beneficial to each player.
To be honest, there are several benefits linked to offset clubs.
The first benefit is your hand position. It forces your hands to be more in a forward position, and this changes your swing which can be key when dealing with your iron shots.
The perfect iron shot is going to be you striking more down and through the ball, and your hands should effectively be leading the club as you move through the swing and point of contact.
Using an offset iron will then allow you to attack the ball at more of an aggressive angle, and that should force you into striking the ball perfectly pretty much every single time.
Partly due to the hand position, offset clubs have a tendency to help those individuals that have an issue with slicing their shots on a regular basis.
However, in this instance, the main reason why it manages to stop the slice is by moving the CoG. In an offset club, the CoG will tend to be moved away from the shaft.
This positioning is important. It’s usually the case that moving the CoG away from the shaft will make it easier for you to really square up the club face. By squaring it up, you eliminate the slice meaning your game improves as well.
More About Squaring the Face
This idea of squaring the face is more important than people realize.
The offset means there’s a little bit more time for the club face to actually square up before that point of contact. We are talking about something only being an absolute fraction of a second later than the impact point with a different club, but that fraction makes a huge difference.
But that’s the thing about your golf swing, a split-second has the capability of completely changing your entire game. That slight change in movement can be enough to bring the head around just enough to stop you slicing the ball.
Is There a Downside of Having an Offset?
So the main benefit of the offset club is the way it eliminates slice, but there’s also a potential downside to using these clubs for some people.
For some, they see using an offset club as being the wrong way to go ahead and try to correct a slice shot. There’s the belief that you should correct a slice swing by actually working on the swing itself, and not focus on using a club to help you out.
There’s the belief that this is going to restrict your ability to really work on your game, and that you won’t grow as a player when you are using technology to make a difference.
Also, if you do improve your swing, which is entirely possible as your game improves, then another downside is you may turn a natural slice shot into a natural hook. The offset club is going to exacerbate that hook, and then you could end up in all sorts of trouble.
Who is it Aimed at?
While offset clubs can be used by anybody, there’s a belief that they are better for those individuals that are starting out, and don’t have the skillset yet to improve their swing all on their own.
Also, some believe that offset clubs are for those individuals that don’t have the time to work on their game, and yet they still want to go and get those lower scores. There’s no doubt that offset clubs will make a difference, and it will do so in next to no time.
Which Clubs Have an Offset?
Offset clubs are available across the full range of clubs you can add to your bag. From an offset driver, which can make a huge difference, to woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and a putter. Everything is there, so you shouldn’t feel as if you struggle with any shot when you can have these clubs in your bag.
So, should you use an offset club? Well, that depends on your own individual game and how quickly you want to try to improve things.
Also, it does depend on how much work you are willing to put into improving the mechanics of your swing over and above using technology to make a bit of a difference. Even then, an offset can give you more confidence to really go for your shots.
There’s no doubt that offset clubs will help. They will pull that club head straighter onto the ball, and it will become exceptionally difficult for you to hit a wild slice. However, just be careful and keep an eye on your actual swing, or any issues will be made apparent at which point the offset club will become your enemy.