What You Should Know (and Don't Need to Know) About Golf Club Hosels

Illustration showing the hosel and ferrule on a golf iron head.
The hosel is the part of the clubhead into which the shaft is fit and secured. Cleveland Golf

The "hosel" is the place on a golf club where the shaft is connected to the clubhead. Typically, the hosel is part of the clubhead, and the shaft slides into the hosel and is secured with epoxy.

Clubs are comprised of three basic parts: the clubhead, the shaft and the grip. Think of the hosel as the "socket" that the shaft goes into. The entry point at the top of the hosel is sometimes covered by a black, plastic ferrule, which simply serves to hide the connection point between shaft and clubhead.

Do Most Golfers Need to Care About the Hosel?

Not really. Knowing what the hosel is is more about just knowing how your golf clubs are put together and what the various parts are called. Good knowledge to have, but not necessarily practical knowledge for most golfers. (Most golfers never tinker with their clubs, rebuild them, repair them or attempt to change the specs.)

There are exceptions, though. Adjustable hosels are showing up on more golf clubs these days. Adjustable hosels include a sleeve that the golfer can turn and click into different settings. Doing so allows the golfer to change certain features of the golf club, such as (most commonly) face angle, loft and/or lie angle.

If you buy a golf club or clubs with adjustable hosels, obviously you need to know what the hosel is and read the instructions on how to maneuver an adjustable one. (The vast majority of golf clubs still have traditional, fixed hosels.)

Many standard hosels are bendable by a clubfitter. Bending a standard hosel is most commonly done to change lie angle.

Hosels and Heat

Also, if you are a do-it-yourselfer and want to try replacing the shafts in your clubs yourself, you'll be dealing with the hosel in doing so. This involves heating the hosel to loosen the epoxy, which allows removal of the old shaft, as a first step.

Speaking of heating the hosel: Exposing your golf clubs to certain high-heat environments can weaken the epoxy inside the hosel, causing the shaft to loosen over time.

More Facts About the Humble Hosel

  • The weight of the hosel is part of the overall weight of the clubhead, and weighting properties of golf clubs impact performance. Making the hosel heavier or lighter can have small effects on the center of gravity position of the clubhead, and small effects on a club's draw bias or fade bias. Manufacturers consider these issues when designing the overall weighting properties of clubheads.
  • A shank is one of the most embarrassing shots a golfer can hit (or, rather, mis-hit), and a shank happens when the club contacts the golf ball not on the clubface but on the hosel. The ball shoots off at wild angles off the rounded hosel.
  • A shank is also called a "hosel rocket." Shanks are so hated by golfers we don't even like to say the word while playing, so if a shank happens a golfer might say, "I hoseled it" rather than "I shanked it."
  • A "bore-through hosel" (or bore-thru) is a hosel in the clubhead that allows the shaft to go all the way through the head. With a bore-through hosel, the end of the shaft can usually be seen on the sole of the club. Bore-through hosels are uncommon, but Callaway Golf has used them.
  • A "plumber's neck hosel" is specific to certain putters and is a hosel with a horizontal bend in it that creates offset. The point is to help the golfer keep her hands in front of the clubface through impact.