50 Words or Less
The KBS One Step putter shaft is the latest entry into the newly competitive world of putter shafts. Distinct look and clean impact feel.
If you talk to a random golfer at your local muni, chances are good they don’t know what shaft is in their driver. For the gear-lovers, however, the quest for the perfect shaft has extended all the way to the putter. After releasing the CT Tour putter shaft last year, KBS is back with something new for 2021: the One Step. I tested it to see if it can make a real difference in your putting.
If we’re being honest, a lot of the reason behind changing putter shafts is aesthetic. Whether it’s a simple black or something bolder, having a unique shaft gives your flat stick more élan.
The KBS One Step has two visual tricks up its sleeve: shape and color. This shaft comes in three finishes – Black Gloss, Black Matte, Chrome – so you can match or contrast your putter head. As you can see in the pictures, I used the Black Matte to match a black oxide finish on a putter, and I think the look is stellar.
The other interesting visual piece is the shape. As the name indicates, the shaft has one step, and it’s a big one. This massive change in diameter is a head turner, but, as you can see in an earlier photo, it doesn’t create any distractions at address.
Clean. That’s the one word that kept coming to mind as I hit putts with the KBS One Step. Impact felt extremely pure – there were no excess vibrations or “noise” around the strike.
My experience lines up with KBS’s claim of vibration reduction. KBS also states that the shaft features “amplified feel.” This is an interesting choice of words as I think it could be taken a few different ways. For me, I interpret this to mean that, because there’s no extra vibration, you get purer feedback on strike quality. Assuming this is what KBS means, I agree with this, too, and can see it having a performance benefit.
As I’ve noted in previous putter shaft reviews, improved performance is nearly impossible to see with the naked eye. Realistically, no putter shaft is going to turn you from a hacker into Tiger circa 2000. That said, I do think there are ways – some measurable, some ephemeral – that a putter shaft can improve your putting.
The first performance benefit I’ll point to is the aforementioned “amplified feel.” I think that the average golfer has little idea of their strike quality with a putter. If that feedback is boosted, they may make a more concerted effort to strike the middle of the face which will certainly lead to better results.
Additionally, there’s a lot to be said for weighting, balance, and feel. To me, the One Step shaft feels slightly more counter balanced than the steel shaft I had previously installed. I like a slight counter balance, so I found this comfortable and confidence-inspiring, especially on long putts. I also felt like the One Step had a little more flex to it. Whether this is good or not is a matter of preference, but, in the right hands, that feel could help produce a very smooth, repeatable stroke.
KBS also states that the One Step has greater stability and accuracy, but those are claims that fall beyond my ability to test. To accurately gauge those claims, one would need a putting robot and a system like Quintic to measure the putter and ball at impact.
At the time of this writing, the KBS One Step is available in straight tip, .370 only. I think you can reasonably expect that, if it’s successful, you’ll see more versions in the future.
If you want to give your gamer a fresh feel and a new look, the KBS One Step putter shaft is a great choice. The cost is far less than some of the other premium putter shafts currently on the market ($65-$75), but it will still give you a cleaner impact feel and a unique look on the green.
Visit KBS Shafts HERE
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