2009 Putters Buyer’s Guide

2009 Putter Buyer's GuideWhen shopping for a new putter, consider how different models fit, feel and look. When all three match up, you know you have your next flatstick. That will boost your confidence and, as a result, you'll start sinking more putts.

Great golfers make more putts than good golfers. It's just that simple. But one thing you probably didn't know is that they also tend to use equipment that better fits their strokes. And with so many putter styles to choose from, it's a sure bet there's a flatstick out there that fits you to a "T."

If you don't believe us, browse through this year's models. You'll see putters with oversized grips that help quiet your smaller, "yippy" muscles, mallets with adjustable weights, unique-looking alignment aids and face inserts that make impact feel as soft as Charmin.

Another factor to consider when buying a new putter is your stroke path. If you swing the putter back and forth on an arc, you should play with a blade; if you have a straight-back stroke, you should use a mallet. Easy, right?

Also, eschew traditional designs if an unorthodox shape feels better to you. If the latest techno-heavy models don't work for you, go with a tried-and-true putter with updated enhancements. There's no wrong answer, just what works for you.

Adams DiXX BLU Key Feature: A detachable computer that provides immediate feedback on swing path, impact position, tempo and a swing's "speed balance." What We Like: Who doesn't want a computer on their putter?! Best of all, it's detachable, enabling golfers to use the same putter they practice with. Oh, and the huge drop in price. Who It's For: Gluttons for putting mechanics and those who want to refine their strokes with instant data. Specs: Heel-shafted, face-balanced mallet with a detachable computer. adamsgolf.com | $299 Cleveland Classic Putter Key Feature: Made of stainless steel, all of the putters in the Classic series have a CNC-milled putterface for the utmost in straightness and precision. What We Like: Aside from looks, the putterface is the most important part of a putter. With a milled face and classic good looks, these putters have it all. But the best part isn't the putter. It's the price, at less than $70. What a steal! Who It's For: Anyone and everyone. Specs: Plumber-neck and slant-neck blade or mallet head. CNC-milled putterface on each. clevelandgolf.com | $69 Cleveland VP509 Key Feature: They're not named VP (Visual Performance) for nothing. The series features a Dual Axis Alignment system so you know whether you're lined up correctly or not. What We Like: The alignment aid. We know when our eyes are inside or outside the target line. We also know when they're directly over the ball. That helps us line up square every time. Who It's For: Golfers who struggle to align the putter at address. Specs: Comes in six models, each with three length and lie combos. clevelandgolf.com | $129

Delacruz Sweet Slot Key Feature: The "Sweet Slot" located behind the face provides immediate auditory feedback, as well as softens the impact for a great feel. Other features include a CNC-milled micro-groove face and a black finish that's perhaps the most durable ever made. What We Like: Amazing feel and craftsmanship. The shaft over the hosel design is pretty sweet. Who It's For: Discriminating golfers who want super sound and feel. Specs: Milled cavity-back or blade designs in black or stainless finishes. dgdgolf.com | $299-$325 F2 Hamilton "Big Luv" Key Feature: he MicroDome face insert is textured to help impart better roll on the ball, the adjustable weights cater to any stroke, and the milled black aluminum body provides super balance. What We Like: The perimeter back-weight design combined with a center shaft position lends an awesome feel. Who It's For: Golfers who want a mallet design that can be customized to accommodate arcing or straight-through putting strokes. Specs: Milled center-shafted mallet with adjustable weights. f2golf.com | $199 Gel Golf Hurrion Signature Key Feature: Gel's four new additions to the Paul Hurrion Signature series features True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 iron shafts, not putter shafts. This move reduces the "impact ratio" and increases its forgiveness on mis-hits. What We Like: The clubs' horizontal grooves that are milled onto a soft aluminum insert. Who It's For: The series features two new blades and two mallets (the Ora is shown), so there's one for everybody. Specs: The four new models join four others from last year. gelgolf.com | $299

Heavy putter Mid-Weight Key Feature: A lighter clubhead than the original HP, but still heavier than traditional models, the Mid-Weight series enables golfers to make a smooth, natural stroke without forcing any motion, i.e., the putter swings itself. What We Like: We always thought the HP was great for short putts, but we struggled from long range. Not anymore. The black PVD finish is an improvement over the old industrial look. Who It's For: Golfers with the yips. Specs: Comes in five models, with a silver satin or black PVD finish. heavyputter.com | $169 Mizuno Bettinardi C-Series Key Feature: Bob Bettinardi's patented Honeycomb face encourages consistent ball-striking, and the 4__ loft and 71__ lie angle set up perfectly for a pure putting pendulum. What We Like: Great craftsmanship and clean looks are obvious, but what's really cool about these putters is how easily they impart roll on the ball. Who It's For: Traditionalists who want a well-crafted putter that performs as good as it looks. Specs: Comes in four heel-shafted, heel-toe-weighted blade models. mizunousa.com | $229 Mizuno Black Carbon Series Key Feature: With three new models to choose from for '09, each putter is rigged with a Feel Impact Technology Face (F.I.T. Face) designed to lessen surface contact with the ball at impact. What We Like: Bettinardi scores big points on looks and feel. Each model feels great. The addition of the mallet design is ideal for players looking for a bigger size without losing any feel. Who It's For: Those who want a soft feel, but don't want to succumb to a face insert or an oversized MOI design. Specs: Blade, mallet and mallet belly. mizunousa.com | $250

Never Compromise GM2 Exchange Key Feature: The option to adjust the head weight by up to 50 grams, making it easy to pick a putter that matches your stroke and desired feel. What We Like: The aluminum-infused face insert produces a soft feel, and the adjustable weighting makes it easy to fix a faulty putting stroke. Who It's For: Tour pros are definitely using these putters, but it's a safe bet every type of player will benefit from this kind of technology. Specs: Blade and mallets available. nevercompromise.com | $229 Nickent Tour Milled Key Feature: 100% milled, this putter also features an Alternative Groove face insert made of aluminum that not only enhances the sweet spot, but encourages a smoother, quicker forward roll. What We Like: The black finish and classic shapes are stylish. The sound and feel is soft, yet responsive. Who It's For: Tour players have been tinkering with them already, but these putters were designed to perform well for any type of player. Specs: Six models include heel-toe blade and mid-mallet designs. nickentgolf.com | $249 Nickent Pipe Dream Key Feature: A heavy tungsten plug at the rear of the putter helps increase its MOI and reduces twisting at impact. What We Like: Its 3D alignment cylinder "pipe" makes lining up putts a breeze. Its groove inserts alternate in size and depth so the putterface stays on the ball longer, creating a softer feel and less skid. Who It's For: Golfers who have trouble lining the ball up or who tend to put too much "skid" on their putts. Specs: Comes in 3 different models and 4 shaft lengths (33, 34, 35, 36 inches). nickentgolf.com | $149

Nike IC Series Key Feature: Its color scheme and alignment aid. The grip, shaft and clubhead are painted green to "suppress visual noise," while the alignment aid and putter edge are white, making it easier to find and retain your line. Who It's For: Golfers who struggle to retain an image of their target line while standing over the ball. Specs: Seven models available; the head and face are made from aluminum. nikegolf.com | $159 Nike OZ Series Key Feature: Its larger grip helps golfers make stable strokes, and its high-performance polymer inserts ensure a true roll and feel. What We Like: The soft polymer face keeps the ball in contact longer to promote a true roll and great feel. The lightweight polymer allows for enhanced perimeter weighting, which increases stability through impact. Who It's For: With high MOI mallets and forgiving blades in its lineup, there's an OZ for everyone. Specs: Six models available. nikegolf.com| $159 Odyssey Black Series '09 Key Feature: Featuring a carbon-steel body and a tungsten flange in the rear section, this series of putters includes a new i 2-Ball version. Precision-milled, each model also has an elastomer insert for better feel and a higher MOI. What We Like: The new 2-Ball version is very cool, so is the new i #6 model. The low-glare nickel plating is gorgeous. Who It's For: Those looking for a premium putter from a company dedicated to new putter innovations. Specs: The Series includes multiple models, ranging from Blade to 2-Ball. odysseygolf.com | $269

Odyssey White Hot XG Key Feature: With new models straight out of a sci-fi movie (2-Ball F7, Theron, Hawk), the White Hot XG putters continue to push the envelope. The 2-Ball F7 has Wings, the Theron has a Hi-Def alignment system, and the Hawk has a modified Hi-Def alignment system. What We Like: Nothing is sacred with the White Hot XGs. Each new putter has sharp lines, curves and amazing looks. Who It's For: Golfers who want to try something new and totally radical. Specs: The line includes a variety of designs, each unique in form. odysseygolf.com | $169 Ping iWi Key Feature: Sure, these putters have interchangeable weights that cater to any putting stroke, but that's just the beginning. Other features include a two-piece face insert with elastomer backing and a steel surface for a soft, yet solid feel at impact. What We Like: The adjustable weighting is awesome and very simple. But it's that face insert that really impresses us. Who It's For: Golfers who want to fine-tune their putters on their own. Specs: Comes in six models, ranging from the Craz-E to the Anser. pinggolf.com | $170 Ping Redwood Series Key Feature: In honor of the first PING putter made in Redwood, Calif., these 100% milled models reflect Karsten Solheim's dedication to new innovations and superior craftsmanship. What We Like: What took so long? The classic PING designs have never looked and felt better. Purists around the world have been salivating for putters like these for years. (We're some of them.) Who It's For: Fans of Solheim's timeless putter designs. Specs: Comes in five models: Anser, D66, Piper, ZB and Zing. pinggolf.com| $249

Rife Abaco Key Feature: The mid-mallet design is making a comeback, this time with Rife's RollGroove Technology that gets the ball rolling immediately. What We Like: Its "player's mallet" shape isn't new, but seeing it CNC-milled of stainless steel with RollGroove Technology is pretty cool. Who It's For: A few Tour players already use it, but it's really made for players who want a mallet that works well with a slightly arcing stroke. Specs: Small, mid-mallet design. Rife also makes the popular 2-Bar putters. rifeputters.com | $179 Rife IMO Key Feature: Its "Inline Momentum" (hence the name "IMO"). At least 85% of the putter's head weight is located in the middle 40% of the club. That means most of the putter's mass is directed into and through the ball. What We Like: Its weight, of course. It's easy to keep balanced and swinging on your desired path, which leads to more consistent putts. Who It's For: Golfers who like center-shafted, face-balanced mallets or who tend to decelerate when they putt. Specs: One of eight new Rife models. rifeputters.com| $149 Seemore SB1 Key Feature: he RST (RifleScope Technology) helps golfers see if they're swinging the putter online (by way of a red dot that shows when errors occur), with an all-milled head design. Tack on the extra alignment aid, and putting just got a lot easier. What We Like: The RST, naturally. Who It's For: Golfers who want to perfect their stroke on the fly. Also, the new offset blade is good for golfers who prefer that style, but still want RST. Specs: Comes in eight models, from a heel-toe blade to a mallet belly. seemore.com | $225

Sizemore XM Key Feature: Interchangeable optical alignment aids (parallel or perpendicular) so the golfer can choose the one that best fits his or her eye. What We Like: The use of aluminum and copper is unique, but the ability to tinker with the look of the putter was a lot of fun. Also, the IND-X cross-milled face felt great at impact. Who It's For: Golfers who want to customize not only the feel, but the look of their putter as well. Specs: Comes in either a heel-shafted or center-shafted mallet. sizemoregolf.com | $349 Slotline SL-500 Series Key Feature

Leave a Reply