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Just tried out a couple of new putters


dfung
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I happened to be passing by a small shop (Fairway Golf in Mountain View, CA) that always has a very full complement of putters and tried out a number of new items. They've only got a tiny rectangular putting area (not more than 10') so it's a only a taste, but I always find it interesting to visit there.

 

1) Odyssey 2-ball SRT. This is the first time I've seen one of these in person. The White Hot 2-Ball Blade was my main putter a couple of years ago, and I've got a White Steel 2-Ball Blade 2 as well. This putter really looks great, but it didn't play well for me at all. It just didn't feel very stable; more like a blade than a mallet, much less a big mallet. This was a disappointment to me. I liked the 3-ball SRT a lot, and tried it again today. It was very stable and smooth as I remembered.

 

2) Odyssey XG. I had tried this one before, and really liked the #6. They had more in stock in my size (33"). The feeling of the insert is really great - firmer than the old White Hot and less clicky than the White Steel (which I felt was an improvement over the original WH, especially at longer distances). You really get a lot of feel. Hard for me not to just buy one of these on the spot. I also tried out one of the small mallet ones (#4) and the vampire (#7). Both great as well. Suprisingly, the feel of all of them are about the same. I would have expected the #7 to feel a lot different, given the much larger size and the shift in COG toward the back.

 

3) Mizuno/Bettinardi. I've seen these at another pro shop, but didn't putt with them there. My main putter for the last year is a Hogan/Bettinardi Big Ben and I've got a bunch of Big Bens, Baby Bens, and Hawks, which I love. These new models are a disappointment to me. The mallets are pretty weird (and that means something from a guy who likes the Big Ben) and feel very, very light. I didn't like the feel at all. The blade putters are very nice from a weight standpoint, but are otherwise pretty pedestrian. Both clubs don't seem to have the same quality of machining as the Hogan generation - you see a lot of rough surfaces and milling marks all around the heads. The dark mallet finish is good, but the blades have a slightly dark chrome finish which seemed too shiny to me. The grips are just plain ugly. Even if you don't like the giant aluminum shapes of the Hogan years, the workmanship then was flawless.

 

4) Mizuno Japan putter. They had a bunch of Japanese Mizuno putters which don't appear to be for the US market. A couple had some sort of data sheet folded up and taped around the grips (which were still in shrink wrap) that I believe said something about "blue". The one I tried had a black head that looked like powder coat and had a "Q" in the cavity. Wow, this thing was totally awesome. Very heavy head feel, which I don't normally like, but this really felt super soft and solid. These were $400/ea so not an impulse buy, but I think this is what kept me from buying that XG #6.

 

5) Cameron Circa 62. There had been some discussion about the grips changing on these recently. They had at least 15 of these, all with the grip in the factory wrap, so I presume that they must have gotten them recently. As far as I could tell, they all had the leather grip with the lacing down the back. I don't get the little aiming dot on top, but it's definitely a very nice putter. Since I've bemoaned the machining of other putters, I'll just mention that these looked pretty perfect to me.

 

6) Cameron Studio Style. Perhaps it's my imagination, but it seems like there are more milling marks visible on the heads of the Studio Style putters than the Studio Stainless before it (not nearly as visible on the Mizuno/Bettinardis though). Maybe there's some sort of trend afoot to leave more machining marks so you "know" that the head was individually milled rather than just cast? I don't like the trend if that's the case.

 

Anyway those are a few thoughts. I've been working pretty hard on distance control with my big 'ol Big Ben, so I'm not planning to change anytime soon.

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I always liked the look of milling marks. I guess I think a clean putter looks cast like the 20 dollar stuff at wallmart. Interesting info on the bettis. thanks

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