Most golfers I speak with don't know what a golf ferrule actually is, or if they've heard of it, they have no idea what it does. So, we decided to create a quick Q&A to answer any questions you may have regarding this simple little piece of a golf club called a ferrule.
What is a Golf Ferrule?
Do you know that little piece of black plastic that connects the shaft of your golf club to the hosel? That is a ferrule. Usually, ferrules are plain black, non-descript plastic pieces, but occasionally, manufacturers take them up a notch and make them more eye-catching.
What's the Purpose of the Ferrule?
The ferrule is thought of primarily as a decorative element on a golf club, but it actually serves a few purposes and functions.
First, they provide a smooth transition from the shaft to the hosel. With a ferrule, a golfer doesn't see the (sometimes) sharp edges of the hosel where the shaft enters the clubhead. The ferrule covers that up.
Second, they can help hold the club's head to the shaft and prevent the shaft from splitting.
Are Ferrules Optional? Does Every Club Need Them?
Almost all modern clubs are designed to require a ferrule. Any club with a clubhead with a neck that ends abruptly, which is virtually all clubs, will require a ferrule. If you have older clubs, you may notice that there is not a ferrule because your clubs have a tapered neck which means they fit the shaft in a really flush way.
I would say that 99% of your clubs have a ferrule, except your putter.
If you are using your putter correctly, it should have far less stress, so they don't require a secure attachment.
Are There Advantages of Having a Ferrule?
The ferrule's main job is to create a secure connection between the clubhead and the shaft, which will allow your club to take more stress when you swing.
The last thing you want is the clubhead to start to twist over time, lose a clubhead, or even have a shaft split on you due to the force of your swing, so it's advantageous to have a ferrule in place.
Obviously, this is not fully guaranteed, but it certainly helps add more sturdiness to the connection.
If I Don't Have a Ferrule, Should I Get One? How Do I Add Them?
If you have older clubs that don't have them, then they probably don't need them. However, if you want to jazz up the appearance of your clubs, then you could certainly add one for cosmetic reasons, and with all the custom options out there, you can really make your clubs stand out.
However, if your club did have one and it has come off, you should absolutely have it replaced. I would not suggest adding them yourself, so bring them to a professional to help you install them.
Is There a Difference in Ferrules Between Different Clubs?
Yes, there are different sizes depending on the club. Some clubs have long ferrules; some have short, almost invisible ones like you will find on specific drivers. One thing that has changed is where the ferrule sits on modern adjustable woods; on these, it sits far higher up the shaft and actually away from the clubhead.
The adjustability of these clubs comes from an adaptor between the top of the neck of the club and the shaft, which leaves the ferrule on top of that.
Are There Different Types of Ferrules?
As the ferrule has more of a cosmetic role than a functional one, the different types of ferrules tend to be more about appearance, and you can find just about any design for your ferrules to customize your clubs to you. One available type is the collared ferrule, which fits between the clubhead and the shaft with a collar that creates space for a cushion of epoxy.
Uncollared ferrules sit flush on the neck of the club and will have epoxy on the inner surface of the ferrule, as will the collared version, just not the added layer at the connection point. Collared ferrules are a more recent development in the golf world.
What is a Collared Ferrule?
Collared ferrules have a flange below the ferrule itself that fits into the countersunk portion of the hosel in order to reduce the stress of the shaft. The collared ferrules are precision manufactured pieces. However, the countersink of a club head is done quickly at the foundry to remove any material from the interior of the hosel. Unfortunately, it may be required to re-countersink the hosel in order for the collared ferrule to fit flush. If you don't use a collared ferrule, epoxy will fill the gap where the countersink of the hosel is located.
Collared ferrules have been developed since the rise of graphite shafts. One thing about graphite is that it can be fragile at times, depending on what strain is put on it. Collared ferrules allow for a cushioning layer of epoxy between the shaft and the ferrule, which helps protect the graphite shaft from stress and potential failure, thus minimizing the chances for the graphite shaft to split under high-velocity swings.
Although this isn't something that is mainly required for steel shafts, many manufacturers are now using this type of ferrule more often. It is worth noting that using a collared ferrule on a steel shaft will cause no harm.
Are There Specialty Ferrules?
Adjustable driver technology has resulted in the need for more specialized ferrules than ever. Not only do they have to carry out their usual function, but they also have to help you with the set-up of the club and tell you what loft and lie you are setting up with.
These ferrules are a lot larger and have far more contact with the shaft than ever before as the club no longer entirely bores into the clubhead. Unfortunately, it means that the ferrule takes a lot more stress than it used to and has to be specially designed to help the shaft withstand these pressures.
What Do You Do You Do If the Ferrule Comes Loose?
The first thing to do is to check that the clubhead is secure and not moving around. If the clubhead is secure, you can re-secure the ferrule by using an appropriate adhesive; get your club pro to help you with this.
If the club is moving, then you have a more significant issue, and the club needs to be fixed. Again, have your pro do this; they can re-bind everything and inspect the club to ensure there's been no damage.
Can You Replace Ferrules?
Yes, but you need to make sure you get the correct size; measure the diameter of the shaft at the point the ferrule will sit.
As I mentioned before. Unless you know precisely what you are doing, I would suggest taking your clubs to a pro to help you with the installation.