Tuesday, April 3, 2012
We Tried It: Four New Products, To The Test
Axis1 Umbra putter, KBS Tour iron shafts and Winn’s Dri-Tac and Dri-Tac Wrap Lite grips
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Axis1 Umbra putter
An 8-handicap golfer
Even though Axis1's Eagle putter was named "Best in Show" by Sports Illustrated at the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show, designer Luis Pedroza didn't rest on his laurels. Last year, he unveiled his latest creation, the Umbra. Featuring a matte black finish (with a polished sole and CNC-milled face) the stainless-steel Umbra looks similarly unorthodox as its Eagle sibling. Both have the same bent heel-shafted hosel, but the Umbra is more of a mid-mallet with the alignment line positioned well toward the heel. Since we were used to (and fond of) the Eagle's unusual shape, we weren't taken aback by the design, but the alignment line's position took some time getting used to. Once we did get used to it, we felt really confident making strokes.
The technology that stands out is its lack of torque, or, in other words, how much the putterface opens up when you hold it in your hands. When you hold the Axis1 directly out in front of you loosely, the club will remain square and not, like other putters, open up. With the added benefit of counterweight screws, the Umbra manages to be one of the game's best-balanced putters.
Look for their belly putter, too. Cost range: $299-$349.
There's no denying that the Axis1 putters aren't your standard-looking flatsticks. We like that. But, more than anything else, what they deliver is performance, balance and feel. Don't be bashful about trying one out. It might make you reconsider how you approach your putting.
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