Putters Buyer's Guide 2006
The Truth About Forward Roll
Many putter manufacturers claim in some form of advertising or another that they’ve achieved a quicker, truer forward roll. Everyone seems to be trying to achieve a quicker forward roll because there’s growing evidence that a putt that rolls sooner rolls more accurately. Thus, future designs will incorporate technologies dedicated to getting the ball to roll end over end and with less sidespin. Materials, combined with past trends such as heel-toe weighting and high MOI, will flourish.
Also, expect putterfitting to become en vogue. One day very soon golfers will be able to walk into a studio, have their strokes captured on high-speed video and determine if they’re using the proper putter. You wouldn’t use a driver with too little loft or too stiff a shaft, would you? Then why should you use a putter that limits or, even worse, hinders your natural technique?
Where legalities are concerned, some insiders suspect that the USGA might be looking at how golfers brace the putter against their body. While the USGA hasn’t imposed any recent restrictions on putters, you very well may be witnessing the final days of the mid-length and belly putter.
| Srixon P-5 Series|
(888) 4-SRIXON | $235
The P-5 duo of putters are some of the most futuristic designs in golf. Better yet, they work.
Features: Head shapes straight out of a science-fiction movie that are both striking and elegant. The lightweight aluminum bodies are paired with stainless-steel weighting to crank up MOI for less twisting and a very stable putterhead throughout the stroke.
Advantages: The T shape of the P-514 (pictured) facilitates a squared alignment at address. The buttress design of the P-513 is more reminiscent of other high-inertia mallets. Either way, weight is concentrated where it does the most good.
What We Like: The aesthetics first, but the feel is not that far behind.
Lineup: P-5 Series, P-4 Series
Putterhead: Aluminum, Stainless steel (milled)
Putterface: Aluminum alloy (milled)
Design(s): P-513, P-514—Heel-shafted, face-balanced inertial mallet (no LH)
PING Udrainium Series
| PING G5i Series|
(800) 4-PING-FIT | $165
PING takes the high-MOI route and creates a Tour-preferred feel across the entire line.
Features: PING craftsmanship takes over by slightly tweaking some of your favorite designs (like the B60, top)—as well as creating some new ones (like the Ug-Le, bottom)—and manipulating weight to make each model more stable on mis-hits.
Advantages: Forgiveness is at an all-time high in the PING line, and so is the feel, thanks to a unique insert that includes a soft polymer injected with a firmer one. Soft on the outside, firm on the inside, the new insert structure really relays a good feel and sound.
What We Like: High MOI, great feel and classic shapes. A winner all around.
Lineup: JAS Series, Udrainium Series, G5i Series, G2i Series, G2 Series
Putterhead: Stainless steel (cast)
Putterface: Dual-durometer polymer
Weight: 345 grams
Design(s): Anser, B60, Zing—Heel-shafted heel-toe blade; Craz-E—Inertial mallet; Mini C—Center-shafted, face-balanced heel-toe blade; Tess—Heel-shafted blade; Ug-Le—Center-shafted, face-balanced inertial mallet (available LH)
| TaylorMade Rossa Monza Corza |
(800) 888-CLUB | $208
Engineered with numerous performance features that are designed to produce a smoother, more consistent roll.
Features: Rossa’s new Anti-Skid Groove System Insert, constructed from Titallium alloy. The face of the insert features 12 CNC-milled grooves, which are filled with a soft polymer that effectively dampens vibration and allows the grooves to grip the ball.
Advantages: The gripping action helps impart forwardspin on the ball instead of backspin. The Monza Corza also features TaylorMade’s Movable Weight Technology. Originally introduced in the r7 driver, this technology allows players to significantly change the feel of the putter at will.
What We Like: The outstanding aesthetics.
Lineup: Monza Corza, Mezza Monza, CGB Series
Putterhead: Stainless steel (milled)
Putterface: Titallium (milled)
Weight: 345 grams
Design(s): Heel-shafted mallet (available LH)