Without any doubt whatsoever, putting is the most critical golf skill that needs to be acquired to become, not only proficient in putting, but to be a good/low handicapper. Yet, after all is said and done, all the articles written, usage endorsements paid to pros, putting is the most elusive skill for a golfer to acquire.
Not a single Tour event goes by, be it on the PGA, LPGA, or Nationwide Tours that the pros don’t continue to tinker with and change putters, sometimes each day of a tournament.
It’s all about confidence in your putting game, and it is built from understanding the correct techniques and how these lead to improved putting. Of course, as Gary Player is fond of saying, “the harder one practices, the luckier one gets”.
However, and this point cannot be over emphasized, getting custom fit by a competent club fitter will solve 90% of all your putting problems. As far as I am concerned, the best putting analysis software equipment is Quintec’s, so endeavor to find a club fitter who uses the aforementioned software. Your putting will definitely improve and help you find the right putter for you.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention the SAM PuttLab for getting fit to the correct putter. Club Champion uses the SAM PuttLab for their putter fittings.
We used three different brands of balls, but the majority of our testing group really enjoyed Bridgestone’s new Tour B RXS.
With their new REACTIV cover technology, they enjoyed the sound and feel of the ball, plus the RXS Yellow was their favorite. It seems that many golfers are choosing yellow balls. See my article: https://golfindustryonline.com/yellow-yellow-more-yellow/
As an aside, both Fred Couples and Rocco Mediate are playing the Tour B RXS in yellow.
For testing www.bridgestone golf.com
Odyssey’s new Triple Track Ten S Putter
Odyssey putters are both the best-selling brand and the winningest putters in the world!
Odyssey has 7 new Triple Track models that feature both a putter and, in reality, an alignment tool and putter. Very clever, especially as the majority of a golfer’s biggest problem is that of alignment.
The Triple Track technology is based upon a theory called Vernier Hyper Acuity, which is the same visual technology used to land planes on aircraft carriers. Three horizontal stripes on the top of the putter head, on a white background, line up with the lines on the golf ball. Odyssey says that the Triple Track Technology improves directional aim by 11%. Works for me!
Coupled with either the Callaway ERC or Chrome Soft X triple Track balls, one’s focus is as concentrated as one can expect with ready-made aiming, face position and alignment.
How does this all work? Select a target for your putt, for example the right edge of the cup, and then pick an intermediate target between the right edge of the cup and your ball. Line up the ball to those points, and then once you put the putter head down at address, ensure that those lines match the ball lines and you should be aimed right where you planned. This assumes you have read the green correctly and have the right speed to sink the putt.
The Ten S model, as do the other models, feature Odyssey’s Microface Star face insert. This insert is firmer than previous inserts and definitely enhances both feel and sound at impact. The Ten mallet style putter has two weights placed on the rear of the putter, looks very similar to the TMAG Spider putter and is following the trend of increasing the MOI (Moment of Inertia) and “rear wing” looks.
The majority of our testing group appreciated the alignment aid and how their eyes were attracted towards the Tripe Track section. It concentrated their mind on the center of the face and made it easier for them to commit to the line of the putt. All good to improve one’s putting! They also commented on the sturdiness and minimal face rotation of the Ten.
The Stroke Lab shaft used in the Ten S and all other Triple Track putters, is very different from most putter shafts. The Stroke Lab shaft is a full 40 grams lighter, made possible by an innovative new multi-material shaft design that combines a graphite body with a steel tip to net out at just 75g, with most of the mass concentrated in the tip. Odyssey has redistributed that saved weight by adding 10g to the head in the form of two sole weights, and adding 30g to the grip-end via a 10g-lighter grip and 40g end-weight.
One of the major benefits of this weighting system is that the feel for the putter head becomes more acute, helping the golfer repeat the same, smooth stroke time after time.
Bettinardi Putters- 2020 BB1 Flow Putter
This master of his domain, Bobby Bettinardi, the putter craftsman, has just introduced his latest creations and updated his core collection.
Devotees of Bettinardi putters are Matt Kuchar, Fred Couples, Yu Liu, Michael Gellerman, Jim Herman and Ben Silverman, just to name a few.
Many of our repeat testing group members always look forward to trying “A Bettinardi” and this time was no different. They loved the classic look, color scheme and performance of the BB1 Flow putter.
The BB1 Flow Tour Proven, heel-toe weighted blade putter, is precision-milled to 350 grams from the finest Soft Carbon Steel. The Super-Fly Mill face milling produces a responsive feel at impact for the player looking for both consistent speed and feel.
The Flow neck position sits precisely at 3/4 shaft offset, offering players with more arc in their stroke the perfect visual cues at setup.
Additionally, Bobby precision-milled tighter radiuses along the topline, shoulders, and bumpers so that nothing gets in the way of dropping that crucial putt.
The face retains a Hyper-Honeycomb mill pattern from a soft carbon steel, while paint accents of subtle red, white and blue on a Glacier Black finish complete the strong appearance.
The BB1 putter comes with a plush black honeycomb pattern head cover and the wildly popular Lamkin SINKFit Technology Pistol grip, which are available in standard and jumbo sizes and offer a more contoured shape to promote proper wrist alignment for a more controlled, consistent putting stroke.
Each putter comes fit with a stepless, brushed nickel shaft for improved feedback and reduced glare. Models in the BB Series include BB1, BB1F, BB8 – Wide and BB40.
Available in right handed and left handed models. The lie angle is 70° and the loft being 3°
PXG Closer Gen2 Putter
Over the years I have written literally hundreds of golf equipment articles and especially articles on putters. Putters and putting are what make golf so fun for me. The putt is always either in or it is out. On to the next putting scenario. You should avoid going into deep analysis of the stroke, or the path/ direction. Maybe, the speed of the greens is paramount, but more important than anything else, is knowing that you have the best putter for you that’s all that’s needed.
As you know, I have written about and played numerous putters over the last 15 years. The PXG Gen 2 Closer is, without doubt, the singularly best putter I have ever played!
Yes, the PXG Gen 2 Closer is expensive, yet many golfers would rather spend $500 on their driver, rather than on the instrument used most often in a round of golf.
I have simple tastes – nothing but the best! So when I was introduced to the PXG Closer, not only did my jaw drop as to the aesthetics, but more importantly, my putting stats improved dramatically!
The Gen 2 Closer putter is not only a thing of beauty, but its play ability, feel and aesthetics is simply par excellence! I have played four rounds with the putter and lowered my putts per round, so far by two strokes per round. I am getting the same results from two in our testing group to whom I loanedt the putter to try.
The primary” assets” of the closer are its Variable-Sized Pyramid Face Pattern and Precision Weighting Technology.
These small pyramid structures bite into the golf ball cover to create more consistent launch and roll characteristics. The key to the pattern is the size of the pyramids which vary in size across the golf putter face, with the greatest pattern density around the center. This is designed to offset the speed loss typically experienced on mishits, and ultimately results in more consistent distance control across the entire face.
Unlike those putters of EVNROLL and PING (both locked in litigation over the insert), who also subscribe to milled, grooved inserts, PXG’s insert produces outstanding feel and sound compared to the aforementioned EVNROLL and PING putters. That’s not to say either of them is bad, it’s just a matter of personal choice.
Hosels can be either a Plumber’s Neck (380g), Heel Shafted (370g), or Double Bend (360g), based on your preference.
To fine tune your putter to suit your needs, a full weight kit includes: A wrench and 8 weights: 2x 5g, 2x 10g, 2x 15g, 2x 20g
Putter grips such as the Lamkin PXG Sink Fit Pistol or Skinny, the SuperStroke Fatso 5.0 and the Pure PXG Black-Standard, are available. As for the putter cover, this too is a class product both in design and fit.
$425.00 for the putter and $75.00 for the weight kit. www.pxg.com
Evnroll ER10 Outback Mallet
Master putter designer and innovator, Guerin Rife has brought another winner to market from his tech driven putter company. To keep it short and sweet, I believe his new ultra-high MOI face-balanced, CNC milled, 6061 aluminum Evnroll ER10 Outback mallet putter, together with its 303 milled, stainless steel boomerang designed “rear wing”, will become extremely popular for both tour players and amateurs.
High MOI mallets seem to be the trend these days with similar designs, such as PING’s Heppler Tomcat 14, Odyssey’s Triple Track #10, Scotty Cameron’s Phantom X-12and Tour Edge’s Wingman putter, all following the success of the TaylorMade Spider.
The ER10 features Evnroll’s “SweetFace Technology” that produces even ball speeds across the hitting area maximizing distance control. The light aluminum font section and heavy steel rear wing moves weight back and outward to create an ultra-high MOI, providing more forgiveness on off-center hits. This putter also features two sight lines that frame the ball at address and enhance alignment.
The way the ball rolls, the feel and the aesthetics are top notch. When I went to visit Evnroll’s offices in Carlsbad, CA, Guerin showed me how and why his Evnroll SweatFace Technology simply outperforms any other groove technology on the market. We compared my gamer, the PING Ketsch against putters in his fitting studio.
Suffice to say, I am currently using Evnroll putters.
To get more acquainted with Guerin’s technology, visit https://evnroll.com/technology/.
Evnroll’s ground-breaking technology, found in every putter model, is revolutionizing putting by eliminating miss-hits, expanding the “sweet spot” into “The Sweetest Face in Golf”.
“Every putter has a sweet spot, but only an Evnroll putter has a sweet face,” added Rife. “Our unique progressive mill pattern not only broadens the sweet spot across the entire contact area, but also gently re-directs the ball back to the target line to ensure even heel and toe putts roll online and virtually the same distance as center hits.”
Bottom line, using the two putters with Guerin’s groove technology was eye-opening, especially when you see it on his velvet RollBoard, but more importantly was the fact that even on mishits, the ball not only traveled the same distance but ended up in the same spot! This equals more putts made.
ER 10 Specs:
The shaft lengths and head weights are 35″@355g, 34″@370g, 33″@385g with 2° of face loft and a lie angle of 70° and have a black armor finish.
The FST stepless .370” tip shaft is a single bend mounted directly into the head and comes stock with a 90- gram black pistol grip. The putter is also available with Evnroll’s new Gravity putter grip.
Over 20 players on all major professional tours are using an Evnroll to earn their living.
Tour Edge Exotics Wingman Putter
Similar in design to PING’s Heppler Tomcat 14, Odyssey’s Triple Track #10, Scotty Cameron’s Phantom X-12, the Tour Edge’s new Exotics Wingman Putters is also an extreme M.O.I. version. Its design features a modern mini-mallet design with Lock-On alignment and interchangeable sole weights. The price point is considerably less than the aforementioned putters.
The Wingman also has an extremely high resistance to twisting with one of the highest Moment of Inertia (M.O.I.) ratings of any putter available on the market.
The weighted wings featured on Wingman putters promote the face square to the swing path for a true roll, while the one-of-a-kind Lock-On alignment technology allows the lie angle to be set perfectly square at address, further aiding overall alignment.
Interchangeable weights on the sole of the Wingman putter come in 3, 8 and 15 grams, with the 3-gram weight being the standard option.
Another great feature of the putter is the separate interchangeable weight kit which includes two 8-gram weights and two 15-gram weights giving golfers the option of adding or subtracting more overall weight to the heel and toe of the clubhead to obtain their preferred feel.
By using the weight kit, nine different possible weight combinations and six different head weights can be achieved with the Wingman weighting system, with a maximum head weight of 379 grams being possible.
Adding more weight bias weight to heel to toe, is also something savvy golfers will take advantage of in the Wingman design. More weight in the heel will assist those who lag and leave the toe open in their stroke. Golfers with a tendency to pull their putts will benefit from more weight on the toe.
Many golfers choose to adjust the overall weight to lighter for faster greens and heavier for slower greens. The standard head weight of the Wingman putters is 355 grams with the 3-gram weights.
Our testing group really liked the aesthetics and weighting kit and appreciated the price.
Wingman putters will be available for purchase worldwide in April and carry a retail price of $199.99
Indi Golf’s Ramone Putter
Indi Golf is an independent San Diego based company known for its Stingray wedges, and has now joined the extremely competitive putter market.
Introduced late last year, the 340g Ramone blade putter sports a traditional Plumbers neck with a full shaft offset and 45 degrees of toe hang.
The Ramone features “Colossal Sweet Spot Technology”, which according to Indi golf, means no matter where the ball is struck on the face, the ball will roll the same distance and hold its line as if hit in the center of the putter face.
Our testing group found this to be accurate and comparable to both the PXG Gen2 Closer and the EVNroll ER 10 putter faces.
In addition, the putter features Precision CNC milled technology; Aircraft Grade Aluminum construction with Tungsten weighting for phenomenal quality, consistency, stability, and feel; and Toe and Heel Tungsten Weighting for increased stroke stability for unmatched consistency.
As with most blade putters, for golfers who have a slight arc to their putting stroke, or tend to miss putts to the right, then the Ramone should be ideal for you. The lie angle is 70° and the loft sits at 4° which is 1° more than many similar blade putters. Available in lengths of 33”, 34” and 35”.
The finish can be either that of a Satin Chrome or a Matte Black.
The Lamkin Deep-Etched grip produces excellent stability and an enhanced feel. Golfers can also select a Super Stroke Traxion • Tour 2.0, Traxion Pistol GT Tour or Traxion Claw 2.0 grip, Golf Pride and other Lamkin grips for an upcharge.
TaylorMade’s (TMAG) new Truss and Spider S putters
Currently TMAG has one of the most popular putters being used on all Tours – the iconic Spider putter.
This year they have produced a new iteration of the Spider, the Spider S.
The Spider S is Taylormade’s highest MOI (Moment of Inertia) putter with an MOI of 6,000 and has a deep center of gravity, making the Spider S the most stable putter in Taylormade’s lineup. It is also a “very handsome” putter according to both retail store employees and many of our testing group.
The square-framed Spider S is machine milled 6061 Aluminum, combined with strategically placed tungsten weighting on the sole and back bar to provide unparalleled stability for consistent rolls across the face.
This tungsten weight bar at the rear of the putter is customized for each shaft length to deliver a precise swing weight. The 48g Tungsten sole weights are positioned on the front left and right side for stability. Also available are the model S putter with 55g, 65g and 80g unit back bars, which are designed to influence head weight, feel and performance. The heaviest weight (80g) pairs with the shortest putter length (33 inches) and vice versa.
The 3 sightlines combined with the back bar, make alignment and set up really easy to get the ball rolling. Head weights come in 378g, 357g, and 350g. The Spider S putters are available in both Right Hand and Left Hand models and have a loft of 3° and Lie Angle of 70° and lengths of 33″, 34″ and 35″.
The Spider S uses the Pure Roll inserts to produce better sound and feel, while the 45° grooves increase topspin to help the ball start and stay on its intended line.
The stock shaft is the single bend KBS Black Stepless CT Stability Shaft which is designed to reduce deflection and increase stability. The stock grip is the black SuperStroke GTR 1.0.
The Spider S is available in both right handed and left handed models and features the anodized Chalk colored model (more silver looking) and the Navy colored model.
TaylorMade’s Truss TM1, TM2, TB1 & TB2 Putters
These putters were designed for those players who desire the stability and forgiveness of a mallet but prefer a more traditional look at address.
The Truss hosel is designed for stability and resists twisting at impact, leaving the putter face squarer for longer.
Their “Truss” USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is derived from the building industry. A truss is a two-contact point triangle shape that is frequently used in support structures such as roofs and bridges. Here the truss is incorporated in the hosel.
According to Chris Trott, Taylormade’s Tour rep,” by creating multiple contact points along with the topline, the Truss hosel design reduces the amount of unsupported mass and deflection at impact. It’s intended to increase the stiffness/frequency for an improved sound and feel.”
When looking at the putter from the side, it gives the illusion of being an awkward and heavy structure, yet in actuality, the Truss hosel is quite inconspicuous when viewed at address.
What we found while testing the Truss line of putters, is that the Truss blends into the topline of both styles, that of a traditional blade-style blade and that of a modified mallet.
PureRoll Insert and Sole Weighting
The TaylorMade Truss features a new eye-catching, cobalt blue colored, PureRoll face insert which produces both smooth roll and a feedback-enhancing feel. The insert combines 45° grooves with a softer polymer to increase topspin and improve forward roll across varying surfaces – helping your ball start and stay on its intended line.
There are four different models available in the Truss putter range:
The Truss TB1 which is a heel-shafted blade putter with a heel-mounted Truss hosel and features 16° of toe hang to suit arcing putting strokes. It also has an additional 8g of weight added to the toe in design to counterbalance the Truss hosel.
The Truss TB2 Face-balanced blade putter with a center-mounted Truss hosel and suits straight back-and-through putting strokes.
The Truss TM1is a mallet putter with heel-mounted Truss hosel and features 10° of toe hang to complement strokes that open and shut the putter face.
The Truss TM2 is a face-balanced mallet with a center-shafted Truss hosel and is designed to match straight-back, straight-through putting strokes.
The Truss putters also have adjustable sole weights, allowing golfers to achieve a variety of swing weights and CG placements to match the characteristics of their putting stroke and personal preferences. This option garnered positive reviews from our testing group in that they enjoyed the ability to “customize” their putter.
We had very favorable responses from our testing group. Though it took a little time getting used to the putter, almost all liked the feel, the roll of the ball and the weight of the TM1 model they were using. Hagen Fell, an assistant golf pro at La Jolla Country Club, loved the weight and feel of his M1, especially the roll of the ball.
The shaft is the new KBS chrome C-Taper Tour Stepless stability putter shaft that weighs 120 grams and is designed for less deflection.
The Truss putters are available in both Right Hand and Left Hand models and have a loft of 3° and a Lie Angle of 70°. Lengths are available in 33″, 34″ and 35″, and the grip is the Lamkin Sink Fit Skinny grip. As mentioned previously, the hosel is the Truss heel (TB1, TM1) and the Truss center (TB2, TM2).
Besides the golf ball, your putter is the next most used item of equipment. It is the “money-maker”, so getting properly fit for a putter is definitely a confidence builder, a stroke saver and happy-face maker.
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. Visit www/facebook.com/PGTAA to see all the latest mental strategies and equipment reviews. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers” and his previous book, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf”, updated for 2011, is still in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s best seller list. His latest book, “The Right Mind for Golf”, is now in its 9th reprint is available on www.pgtaa.com and at Torrey Pines golf course.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 at 9:56 pm and is filed under Golf Equipment Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.