In offset golf clubs, the hosel (or neck) is positioned ahead of the clubface. So, when you look down at the clubface, the hosel sticks out more towards your target.
In other words, the clubface and its leading edge sit behind the shaft. Therefore, a golf club with an offset hosel has a part that bends backward to connect with the clubhead.
What Does Offset Do in Golf Clubs?
Offset golf clubs give you more time to square the clubface when you swing. That’s because the clubface sits behind the shaft, which encourages you to keep your hands out in front during the swing.
With the clubface positioned slightly further back, you have a little more time to square it before impact. That means you’ve got a better chance of hitting a straight shot.
Also, getting your hands ahead of the club at impact allows you to compress the ball better. That’s extremely important for good iron play.
You can launch the ball better when your hands are ahead at impact. That’ll give you a better ball flight and better spin performance.
If your hands are behind the clubhead at impact, you’ll scoop the ball. It’s not the optimal way to strike the ball with irons, leading to subpar ball launch and an increased risk of thinning shots.
Who Should Play Offset Golf Clubs?
Beginners and golfers who slice the ball should play offset golf clubs.
Many beginners struggle with launching the ball into the air, so offset golf clubs can help with that.
The design of offset golf clubs naturally helps players launch the ball higher, especially with irons. That’s because the offset puts your hands in front of the clubhead in your setup.
Having your hands in front of the clubhead encourages you to hit down on the ball. The better angle of attack allows you to compress the ball better.
That way, you can launch the ball higher. You’re allowing the loft of the club to do its job and get the ball into the air.
Offset golf clubs help slicers because they make it easier to square the clubface. The offset does this in two ways.
Firstly, the offset moves the clubhead’s center of gravity farther from the shaft. That gives you a better chance of squaring the clubface.
If you get the clubface square on impact, it greatly reduces your chances of hitting a slice. This is because the ball won’t have the side spin that causes it to slice.
Secondly, the offset gives you a little more time to square the clubface because the head sits further back from the shaft. That means there’s a slight delay before impact with the ball, which is all you might need to get the clubface squared.
Therefore, offset golf clubs are a great way to fight the slice.
Related: 7 Best Drivers for a Slice in 2022
Advantages of Offset Golf Clubs
Offset golf clubs have two main advantages. They help you counter a slice and launch the ball higher.
Counter a Slice
The offset in golf clubs was introduced to help players counter a slice. So, it’s only fitting that it’s one of the advantages of offset golf clubs.
Of course, offset isn’t a magic cure for your slice. It just lessens your chances of hitting a slice because it helps you square the clubface.
Hitting good golf shots is all about timing. And the offset gives you fractionally more time to square the clubface.
That extra time can allow you to get into the correct position at impact.
Launch the Ball Higher
Offset golf clubs increase the launch angle and help you launch the ball higher. With irons, they do this by encouraging you to hit the ball with your hands ahead of the clubface.
That gives you a better attack angle and promotes the optimal launch.
Also, offset golf clubs have a center of gravity that sits further back from the shaft. Having the center of gravity there helps players launch the ball higher.
That’s why offset golf clubs are good for golfers who struggle to launch the ball. They give you a little help getting the ball airborne.
Disadvantages of Offset Golf Cubs
Offset golf clubs also have two main disadvantages. They’re only a band-aid for a slice and can lead to over-fixing.
Band-Aid for a Slice
Offset golf clubs are a band-aid for a slice. They help you cover up the problem, but they don’t help you eliminate what’s causing the slice in the first place.
To properly fix a slice, you need to work on the mechanics of your golf swing. You must identify why you’re leaving the clubface open on impact and stop doing it.
However, many golfers don’t have the time (or the will) to work on their swings. That’s why players turn to a quick fix like offset golf clubs.
Using offset golf clubs can lead to over-fixing. That can happen when players start to improve but still use their offset clubs.
If your swing mechanics start improving, you’ll find it easier to square the clubface on your own. However, the offset still gives you that extra time to get the clubface square.
In that case, you might start closing the clubface a little in that extra time. That can cause you to start hooking the ball with offset golf clubs.
If you started out using offset clubs as a beginner but are improving, it’s a good idea to advance onto clubs with less offset. That means your improved swing mechanics won’t cause you to hook the ball.
It’s no good curing your slice only to end up with a hook. Straight golf shots are what you should be aiming for.
Irons aren’t the only golf clubs that can have an offset. You can use an offset driver as well.
Players with slower swing speeds should consider using offset drivers. These clubs help golfers who slice the ball or struggle to launch it high enough.
Like with offset irons, offset drivers help you to square the clubface at impact. That increases your chances of hitting straighter golf shots.
Also, the distance between the shaft and the clubface means the center of gravity is pushed back. That helps you get the ball in the air off the tee.
Getting the optimal launch with the driver is a big problem for many. However, offset drivers can help you out with that.
Offset vs. Non-Offset Golf Clubs
As we now know, the shaft of offset golf clubs sits in front of the clubface. So, the leading edge of the club is behind the shaft.
However, there are different levels of offset in various models of clubs. Some golf clubs have more offset than others.
Clubs for beginners will have more offset than clubs targeted at better players. Good golfers tend to use golf clubs will little-to-no offset because they can control the clubface themselves. They don’t need help squaring it at impact.
Also, the better players don’t need help launching the ball. They get into the proper position at impact by themselves to create the optimal launch angle.
Therefore, offset and non-offset golf clubs are designed for players at different levels of the game. Good players don’t need the extra help that offset golf clubs give them.
Offset Differs Between Clubs in the Same Set
Offset differs between clubs in the same set. For example, a 4-iron will have more offset than a 9-iron in the same set.
Now that we know the advantages of offset golf clubs, it’s clear to see why long irons need more offset than short irons.
Long irons have longer shafts, and it’s harder to control the clubface on impact compared to shorter irons. Therefore, the longer irons need more offset to help square the clubface.
Also, long irons have less loft than short irons, making it harder to launch the ball with them. More offset in long irons helps you launch the ball with the lower-lofted golf club.
So, it makes sense that longer clubs with less loft need more offset to help players.
Can You Lose Distance with an Offset Driver?
No, you can’t lose distance with an offset driver. The offset helps players square the clubface at impact, and they won’t lose distance if they get the face squared.
You’ll lose distance with a slice because it puts side spin on the ball. That causes the ball to bend to the right (for right-handers) and leads to a loss in distance.
However, if you square the face with an offset driver, it’ll ensure a straight drive. That’s less spin on the ball and a more penetrating ball flight.
Also, the offset helps you to launch the ball higher. Getting the optimal launch angle with your driver leads to longer drives.
So, these two factors combined mean you can’t lose distance with an offset driver.
Using Offset Fairway Woods and Hybrids
Using offset fairway woods and hybrids makes these clubs even easier to hit. If you struggle with these clubs, getting ones with offset might be just what you need.
Like with offset on other clubs, it ensures you hit the ball straighter and higher with your fairway woods and hybrids. That’s exactly what you want when using these clubs.
If you tend to hit a lot of approach shots into greens with hybrids, an offset can be a massive help. You’ll get the necessary launch to land the ball softly on the greens and give yourself more chances for birdies and pars.
Related: 6 Best Fairway Woods in 2022
Offset golf clubs can greatly help beginners and players who slice the ball. They allow beginners to get the ball airborne and help slicers straighten the face.
However, offset golf clubs aren’t a magic cure for what ails your golf game. If you’re serious about learning golf, you can use offset golf clubs until you figure out the correct swing mechanics.
Once you’ve learned how to swing correctly, the offset might lead to over-fixing. That’s something to think about as your golf journey progresses.