2010 Buyer's Guide Putters

Choosing the right putter means first looking at what type of putting stroke you have

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Face Tecture!

A lot of putters have “milled faces,” but what does that really mean? A milled face is accomplished by using a CNC-milling machine that cuts the face to an extremely tight tolerance and evenly across the face. Unlike casting, or even forging, milling tends to leave a textured (but perfectly flat) surface, which then also helps with the gripping qualities of the clubface.

As for insert technology, they actually serve in more ways than one. The first is the most obvious, since inserts using polymer, urethane and even softer metals like copper or bronze all lend a softer, more muted feel. (Harder metals also can be used to add a firmer feel.) Second, most inserts are lighter than the metal they replace, meaning they aid in adding perimeter weighting across the putterface for more forgiveness and push the CG back farther toward the back of the putter for a higher MOI (resistance to twisting). And finally, some inserts are made to help reduce surface contact with the ball, helping to ensure a faster end-over-end roll.

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.
What We Like: The amount of care that went into developing an optically engineered putter.
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 Method
Key Feature: Combines steel, polymer and low-durometer polymetal groove technology on the milled-steel face.
What We Like: Several Tour pros put this in play and instantly catapulted to victory or came real close. That must mean it’s pretty darn good, and Tom Stites knows exactly what he’s doing. distances.
Who It’s For:Those who don’t mind looking at an unusual face pattern, especially when it’s backed up by so much success on Tour.
Specs: Offered in four blades and one mallet model.
nikegolf.com | $249
Odyssey Black Series Tour Dsgn
Key Feature:A urethane dampening layer is wedged between the carbon-steel head and tungsten flange. The result is a lower, deeper CG and a quicker, truer roll.
What We Like: Its aesthetics include a squared-off, heel/toe-weighted blade with a crank-neck hosel and full-shaft offset, milled face and glare-free finish. What a smooth feeling...
Who It’s For: If you want a balanced stroke, this is for you: Its precision weighting is based on putter length.
Specs: Part of a four-blade series.
odysseygolf.com | $269

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