What Is Offset on a Golf Club?

By Kim Kleinle

Man in White Denim Pants and Black Sandals Playing Golf during Daytime
Offset is a game-improvement feature of a golf club in which the leading edge of the clubhead is set back from the front line of the hosel. Typically associated with irons, offset is also used in hybrids, fairway woods and drivers.


Early golf clubs had no offset, but some club makers began experimenting with different designs, including offset, in the late 1800s. Offset gained acceptance in the 1970s, with the popularity of the Ping line of irons, all of which have featured offset hosels. 


Because the clubhead is set back from the hosel and, therefore, the shaft, offset clubs help the golfer set his hands slightly ahead of the ball at address. In theory, this position squares the clubface and helps the golfer's hands lead the clubhead through impact.


Offset clubs are designed to improve the golfer's performance by helping her hit down on, rather than scoop--or hit up on--the ball and, therefore, hit the ball higher. The hosel offset also aids the golfer who slices the ball by helping close the face slightly at address.


The difference between a non-offset and an offset hosel is typically about a quarter-inch.

Fun Fact

In the early 1990s, Cleveland designed an extreme offset iron that was dubbed the "shank-proof iron."

About The Author

Kim Kleinle is a PGA/LPGA professional and a member of a select group certified in instruction by the Professional Golfers' Association. She began writing in 1980 after earning her degree. Her work has appeared online, in "Northeast Golfer" and in newspapers, including the "Scranton Times." Kleinle holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Point Park University, Pittsburgh.

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