How to Refinish a Putter
Believe it or not, many golfers have a closet full of putters, cast-offs in their search to find the perfect club that will dramatically reduce their scores.
All along, of course, it's not those putters but a case of the yips or a fatal flaw in their strokes that make them miss those two- and three-footers.
Occasionally, they'll go into those closets and retrieve a putter they haven't used in a while, only to discover it needs to be refinished before it can be used. Here's how it's done.
Check the shaft. For whatever reason, the shaft might be bent or broken. Most players would summarily dispose of such a putter, but replacing the shaft is a piece of cake. Each shaft is affixed to the head of the putter with epoxy. To remove the shaft, simply soften the epoxy with a blowtorch at the end of the shaft and the hosel, or connector, of the clubhead.
Replace and cut the shaft. Ream out the hosel of the clubhead to remove any of the remaining epoxy.
Choose the replacement shaft from either graphite or steel, and rough up the tip with sandpaper where it will enter the hosel. If the shaft is made of graphite, you must first carefully remove the outer coating before you make it rough.
Put epoxy on both the tip of the shaft and on the inside of the hosel, then marry the two.
Make sure that the shaft is all the way in by tapping the butt end on something hard.
Finally, make a mark on the shaft where you want to cut it. If it is steel, use a hacksaw to finish the job; if it is graphite, wrap two layers of tape on the mark before cutting it to avoid damage.
Install a new grip. To complete the job, pick out a grip for your putter. Wrap where the grip is to be placed with double-sided tape and completely soak it with grip solvent.
Pour a small amount into the grip and be sure all the surface is covered. Then slide the grip onto the shaft, making sure it's as far as it will go down the shaft. The solvent takes about 15 minutes to dry, so you have some time to make final adjustments to it.
Buff out the dings on the putter head using a belt sander with light sandpaper. Then use the belt sander all over the putter head to bring back its luster, but be sure you don't bear down too hard or you will alter the putter by reducing its weight.
Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.