SPY PICS! – PING G30 Driver and G30 Fairway

SPY PICS! – PING G30 Driver and G30 Fairway

Post image for SPY PICS! – PING G30 Driver and G30 Fairway

The first pics of PING’s apparently upcoming G30 Driver and Fairway are hitting the virtual airwaves, and damn…this one has an unusual design feature that’s certainly to get you guys talking.

Turbulators – The Most Un-PING Thing PING has ever Done

PING doesn’t do gimmicks right? That’s their rep, and yet it would appear they’re about to release a driver with spikey, horn things on the leading edge of the crown. That’s odd, right? Who ever thought PING would be the first to offer the Rhino driver?

Aignment aid? Who needs ‘em…not when you’ve got Turbulators?

I really can’t say how these Turbulator things came to be, but I can tell you that, according to Wikipedia anyway, horned lizards are indigenous to Arizona so I suppose it’s entirely possible that Marty Jertson and the rest of the PING design crew saw one of those lizards basking on a rock behind their R&D facility, and maybe pulled some inspiration from it.

PING G30-6

It’s hot in Phoenix, and strange things happen to the mind when it overheats.

Is that actually where the Turbulators came from? I doubt it, but it’s what I can give you right now.

Did I mention the Turbulators?

PING? Turbulators?

Not unlike the Team at Titleist, Team PING won’t have word one too say until the G30 becomes officially official, but I’m absolutely certain that if this driver had a TaylorMade logo on it some of you would be screaming BULLSHIT! at the top of your lungs without taking a moment’s breath to find out if there’s an actual and legitimate performance story behind this Turbulator thing.

But this is PING, so I’m cautiously optimistic you’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, at least until they’re ready to explain it.

PING G30-8PING G30-5

Turbulators – The Most PING Thing PING has Ever Done

In reality, PING is no stranger to unconventional designs. They’ve basically succeeded through outside-the-box thinking and a Function-First approach to design. If that means the end product is a little different, then so be it. Once upon a time there was nothing like the PING Anser putter. Eye 2 irons with perimeter weighting…What about the PING ZING 2 irons? Odd at best, right?

The Doc series putters are bizarre by any conventional standard, and the K15 series of metalwoods is about as far off the beaten path as a mainstream manufacturer is likely going to venture. At least that was the case before the G30 series and this whole Turbulator thing.

You also can’t totally discount the target market either. While Turbulators might not fly on the i-series, the G-series crowd is likely more receptive to a less than traditional approach to product design.

Short story…the G-series crowd won’t care that G30 looks a little different if it performs as well or better than the G25.

PING G30-9 PING G30-10 PING G30-11

Greater Adjustability

While the pics don’t provide details, it would appear that PING has stepped up its ajustability game. Degree increments aren’t labeled (just plus signs and rectangles), but there are more of them than on previous PING hosels, so it looks like PING may be catching up to the rest of the industry.

photo 1

Have Your Say

Actual details not withstanding, what do you think of the new G30 series? More to the point, would you consider playing a driver with Turbulators or would you discount it immediately because of that feature alone? What’s your read on this…disinterested, mildly curious, or totally excited?

PING G30-1PING G30-2

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Spy Pics – TaylorMade ULTIMATE DRIVING IRON

Spy Pics – TaylorMade ULTIMATE DRIVING IRON

Post image for Spy Pics – TaylorMade ULTIMATE DRIVING IRON

About this time last season, reinventing the driving iron was all the rage among the equipment companies. By the time we decided to put them to the test, Adams, Titleist, Callaway (who would probably like you to know they were first), Mizuno, and even Fourteen Golf offered retail availability of some form of iron designed to be hit primarily off the tee.

One year later it appears TaylorMade has decided to get in on the action. Whether their new “UDI” is fashionably late, or simply late to the party is certainly a matter of perspective.

TMAG - UDI-3

Designed for Jason Day?

While I’d be hard-pressed to heap praise on any driving iron (not like they’re huge needle movers in the marketplace), I can’t exactly fault TaylorMade for finally conjuring up what is a realistically a specialty club likely designed for Jason Day’s upcoming vacation to Royal Liverpool.

As you may recall, Day put a 1-iron in his bag in advance of the Open Championship last year and went so far as to use only irons during a practice round at Murifield last season, so it’s far from unreasonable to think that while the Ultimate Driving Iron will be available to any TaylorMade staffer who wants ones, it’s likely Day who’ll have the pick of the litter.

TMAG - UDI-7

While there are some obvious inferences to be made about the new club…it’s for better players seeking control, and likely lots of roll off the tee, few specifics of consequence are available.

I can’t tell you:

  • If/when it will be available at retail
  • Retail price (if ever available at retail1)
  • Available lofts
  • Stock shaft

1It’s TaylorMade…it’s gonna be available at retail

The one we have pics of is is 18°, and it’s obviously designed as an extension of the Tour Preferred iron family (CB/MC), but otherwise details are few and far between.

TMAG - UDI-1

We’ll have more information as soon as TaylorMade decides to share, or a credible source leaks additional details.

Have Your Say?

Would you consider putting the Ultimate Driving Iron in your bag?

TMAG - UDI-2
TMAG - UDI-6
TMAG - UDI-8
TMAG - UDI-4
TMAG - UDI-5
TMAG - UDI-9

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Tell Nike Which Driver Should be the Next Covert

Tell Nike Which Driver Should be the Next Covert

Post image for Tell Nike Which Driver Should be the Next Covert

While we can’t be certain of anything until we actually see the Nike VRS Covert 3.0 (or whatever Nike decides to call the next one), it’s far from unreasonable to think that the core design of the next iteration of Nike’s flagship driver is likely among several drawings we found in a recent patent application (actually, it’s a continuation of several previous patent applications, but you get the point).

If you gave Nike Golf’s President, Cindy Davis two words to describe Nike, or perhaps the Nike Spirit…not to put word’s in Ms. Davis’ mouth or anything, but I think Relentless Innovators would probably be in the general ballpark of her response.

That whole innovation thing certainly would explain why Nike’s application contains no less than 16 different descriptions of various ways to move mass through and around a golf club head.

Some of the drawings feature…shall we say familiar designs, while others are arguably unique.

Along the way there’s mention of things like plastic crowns, weight members with shock absorbing features, and adjustable MOI (and spin rate) too.

As you’d expect from most any patent application, there’s plenty of broad ambiguity as well.

The receptacle could be open or closed
Weights could be the same or different
Those weights could be moved independently or together

One of these could be the next Nike driver, or maybe none of them.

You Choose The Covert 3.0

It’s not like you get an actual vote or anything, but if it’s any consolation, neither did I. It’s safe to assume that by now any decisions about the tech that will power the next Nike driver has already been made, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to have an opinion.

I’ve sorted through the various drawings and picked a mix of the interesting and the probable, and now we want you to tell us which of these 6 designs you think should become the Nike VRS Covert 3.0 Driver.

Here are the top contenders:

Figure 15 – Dual Weights (Crown & Sole)

fig15

Figure 18 – Dual Weight Ports (Sole)

fig18

Figure 19 – Adjustable/Swappable Weight Core

fig19

Figure 20 – Horizontal and Vertical Weight Cores (adjustable CG and MOI)

fig20

Figures 21-22 – Internally Placed Sliding Weights

fig21-22

Figure 25 – Sliding Weights

fig25

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

What Other Features Would You Like To See in the Next Nike Driver?

Tell us in the comment section below.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

SPY PICS! – Titleist 915 Driver

SPY PICS! – Titleist 915 Driver

Post image for SPY PICS! – Titleist 915 Driver

That’s right. As expected, the new Titleist 915 Drivers will have a slot…or at least an Active Recoil Channel. Perhaps there’s a subtle distinction between the two that Titleist will explain at a later date.

While we still think the John Deere is the best bet for when Titleist will start officially spreading pics of their 915 drivers, the new models made their appearance on the range at the Quicken Loans National, and the two models (D2 & D3) were added to the USGA’s Conforming Clubs list on Monday.

This is definitely happening.

What To Expect

Thanks to Titleist’s unwavering consistency, we can make a few educated inferences about the new models.

The D2 is likely to be 460cc. It’s not a huge leap to assume it will feature a low and rear CG placement, and will almost certainly offer well above-average MOI because of it. Hardcore Titleist players might find it hard to believe, but Titleist already offers some of the most forgiving drivers in golf. I don’t expect that will change with the 915 series.

The D3 should follow in the mold of previous Titleist drivers, and that means a smaller (445cc is the best guess) head. Generally it’s a design decision that offers comparatively lower launch and lower spin, and Titleist will almost certainly promote it as offering more workability as well (good luck proving that on a Trackman).

While it may not fit with the perceptions of who Titleist makes clubs for, my expectation is that the D3 model will also be among the most forgiving of the Pro/Tour model crowd.

While others (you know who they are) talk about low/forward CG placement, my guess is Titleist will continue to use vague terms like Performance and Quality, while perhaps making mention of  CG placement relative to the neutral axis. Closer is generally better, and this is one area in which Titleist has generally been ahead of the design curve. 

Basically, Titleist is going to be Titleist, and that’s probably just fine.

What About the Slot

As suggested by the Patents and Trademarks we posted last week the new drivers will features Titleist’s new Active Recoil Channel (ARC). We can go ahead a queue the outrage right now.

Titleist stole the idea from TaylorMade/Adams/Nike/My Cousin Billy.

Until somebody files (and wins) a patent infringement suit, it’s not worth talking about.

Next.

David-Dusek-915-twitter
*Photo via Twitter by Golfweek’s David Dusek (@Golfweek_Dusek)

Performance Implications of ARC

What we found during our 2013 Most Wanted Driver Test was that the average ball speeds produced by the 913 series were slightly slower than that of the other leading drivers on the market. My best guess is that ARC is specifically designed to improve on that, and, if that proves to be the case, combined with the unexpectedly high MOI, Titleist could have something that could move the needle for an exceptionally broad audience.

I’m at least intrigued.

Loft Down

Worth a mention, while TaylorMade is pushing low/forward CG and the loft up message, Titleist apparently won’t be following along. As was the case last time around, the D3 will be available in lofts as low as 7.5° while the D2 tops out at 12°. Don’t expect Titleist to release a 16° driver any time soon.

Of course, this…all of this (other than the loft thing) is all just the MyGolfSpy guy speculating. Nobody will know for sure until Titleist decides it’s time to talk. My guess is that full details won’t emerge until September, with an expected (by me anyway) retail date of early-mid November.

Retail price is $449, but that’s also just a guess.

2014039620140398

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Bridgestone Golf Going Big in 2015

Bridgestone Golf Going Big in 2015

Post image for Bridgestone Golf Going Big in 2015

Written By: Tony Covey

Despite having not yet reached the halfway mark of calendar year 2014, the golf equipment industry’s version of the hot stove is heating up. People are starting to talk.

2015 rumors bubbling over

Round up the usual suspects. There are murmurs about Callaway and TaylorMade. I know the Nike Golf team is excited (like crazy excited), and everyone believes Titleist is going to be its steady, reliable self.

Predictable, and I suppose interesting as the status quo may be, the loudest whispers in the golf equipment industry right are coming from the most unexpected of places.

Bridgestone.

That’s right, tire/golf ball/occasional equipment manufacturer, Bridgestone Golf is planning a wooly mammoth sized push in 2015.

For the 2015 season Bridgestone will launch their first full club line in more than 3 years. That, coupled with an internal belief that at least of their competitors won’t survive the current market conditions, could open the door for Bridgestone to become a major force in the golf industry.

Bridgestone J40-1-2

Here’s What You Can Expect

If release models hold, 2015 will be an off year for Bridgestone’s signature 330-series ball. That apparently has freed the company up to make their most series foray ever into the hard goods (that’s anything with a grip) market.

Sources are telling us that Bridgestone will release:

  • 3-5 sets of new irons
  • 2-3 New Driver Models (and that means fairways and hybrids too)
  • …and we’re just going to go ahead and assume new wedges as well

While we don’t have any specifics yet, it’s been suggested to us that Bridgestone will introduce what they believe is game-changing technology in the metalwoods lineup. And yes…nearly everyone offers up their own form of game-changing technology on an annual basis, but Bridgestone could actually be different.

No doubt golfers already familiar with Bridgestone clubs will be excited. We’re certainly intrigued ourselves.

The J40 line performed very well for us (the driver was particularly outstanding), and we can appreciate a company that’s willing to keep the message simple (we added water to the golf ball), and buck the trends (True Balance counter-counterbalanced putters) all while making a quality product that golfers (at least those who can get their hands on it) love.

Bridgestone J40-1

Bridgestone’s Challenges

Let’s be honest here. Despite tremendous success in the Asian market and near omnipresence on the LPGA Tour under the Tour Stage label, in the US Bridgestone is still known more for its tires than its golf clubs.

Even if we concede that most golfers are familiar with their golf balls, there are large numbers of golfers who still have no idea Bridgestone is already in the hardgoods market.

“Bridgestone makes clubs?” – More than one MyGolfSpy Tester

Bridgestone isn’t exactly oblivious to any of this.

While the company has typical avoided demo days in the past (when your newest club is 3 years old, what’s the point?), we’re hearing that Bridgestone will be out full-force supporting the full line while making every reasonable attempt to put the new technology (whatever it turns out to be) into golfer’s hands.

The bigger obstacle for Bridgestone is distribution and floor space. While nearly everybody stocks the balls, almost nobody stocks the clubs.

No matter how good the technology, Bridgestone can only be successful if they’re able to capture some rack space during a time when major sporting goods retailers like Dick’s and Sports Authority are cannibalizing golf departments to make more room for Yoga mats and stretchy pants.

It won’t be easy.

Market conditions within the golf industry aren’t exactly favorable right now. That said, Bridgestone has the cash (they’re ALWAYS on the potential buyers list whenever any golf company is rumored to be on the block). They could make a run…if they actually want to.

Readers, and some insiders too, tell us that they believe the industry has grown stale. If that’s the case, Bridgestone is one of just a few companies that could actually infuse some freshness into the industry, but it’s going to take more than a stellar 2015 lineup. They’ll need to commit for the long haul.

Whether this is a one-year push, or rededication to golf for the duration is the larger question for which I don’t have an answer.

Have Your Say

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted: Gloves Under $18

You didn’t really think we were going to leave our more frugal readers hanging gloveless and out to dry, did you? Given the comments on our Most Wanted Premium Glove Buyer’s Guide, some of you actually believe we wouldn’t consider your needs.

Don’t fret, my fellow penny pinchers, today I bring you the selections you’ve been waiting for, and that includes the brand you mentioned most frequently; Master Grip.

Here’s the question: Are your budget minded ways to be rewarded? Does a glove need to cost $30 to receive an A from MyGolfSpy?

HELL NO.

Once again, we’ve crunched the numbers of come out with 5 value-priced gloves that we believe you should try for yourselves. Our winner was the consistent favorite with nearly every tester in our lineup. Our runners-up make up a great collection of gloves that should leave you praising the glove gods for offering up affordable finds that will allow you to play 3-4 gloves per round without going broke.

gloves

Scoring

Gloves were all reviewed based on FitComfortFeel, and Grip. Testers with glove sizes ranging from M to XL rated for each category. Additionally each tester chose his 5 favorites. Results were averaged and placed into a sliding scale for visual representation, and a final letter grade for overall score was assigned for each glove. Price and durability were not factored in the rankings.

What we discovered during our testing is that fit is the #1 factor in determining individual preference. It has a domino effect on comfort, feel and even perceived breathability. We challenge you to compare – look higher up the list than your current gamer. Try a couple on. Pick the one you think best fits your hand and game it for a round (or 4) and tell us what you think.

The best glove for your hand should fit like a second skin. It’s really that simple.

The Contenders

asherDeath

Asher DeathGrip

asherChuck

Asher Chuck

asherBirdypremium

Asher Birdy

BionicRelax copy

Bionic Relax Grip

easy gloveEasy Glove

fjSofjoy

FootJoy SofJoy

fjGT

FootJoy GTxtreme

fjWeatherSof

FootJoy WeatherSof

hirzlSoffft copy

Hirzl Soffft

MG

Master Grip Dyna Grip

pingTech

Ping Sensor Tech

srixon

Srixon Hi-Brid

SrixonCabretta

Srixon Cabretta Leather

tattoo

Tattoo

tmStratus

TaylorMade Stratus

tmTarga

TaylorMade Targa 

Sub $18 Glove Comparison

value-glove-chart

MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Gloves Under $18 for 2014

Some might be floored/shocked/appalled that one of the major OEM’s didn’t win this category, but sometimes there really are surprises. Asher makes a great sub-$18 golf glove. Actually, they make two that really stood out. While durability is not a factor in the results, it’s worth reading notes on the first two gloves. If you’re someone who beats up on gloves, you need to work on that, but you also might want to consider a thicker glove as well.

Don’t be surprised to see more than one glove under $18 sporting the coveted Cabretta Leather (you know, from those fuzzy sheep that grow hair instead of wool).

We mentioned it in the Premium glove buyer’s guide, but it’s worth noting again here:

With fit being the single most important factor, we’d advise that you should fit yourself for a glove as carefully as you would a new set of irons. A glove should fit like a second skin, there should be no wrinkles from a glove fitting too big. If it does, your grip will suffer and the glove will wear faster. Each of our top finishers is cut a bit differently, which is why our number one piece of advice is try on the glove that you think best fits your needs. If it fits…well…like a glove (not an OJ glove), you’re in business. If not, move down this list until you find the one that offers a truly sublime fit.

The 2014 Most Wanted Golf Gloves Under $18 

asher-birdy-1st

If you don’t wear through gloves fast, Asher’s Cooltech Birdy is a GREAT starting point for your next glove purchase, especially for those of you who are budget minded. If do you wear out gloves a bit more quickly than you should, you’ll probably be happier starting your search with the TaylorMade Targa.

asher-death

Another great offering from Asher, the Cooltech Deathgrip will not only score you style points, but if you sweat, this glove might slow the tide. Again, if you tend to wear gloves out quickly, neither of the Asher entries is likely to be your best bet.

tmag-targa

An affordable take on a tour glove,  TaylorMade may have found the happy medium with the Targa, which strikes an excellent balance of comfort, performance and price. While not as budget priced as others, those not afraid of spending a few extra bucks will likely be happy they did.

mg-dyna

You raised a tremendous fuss over not seeing this glove in our Premium Glove Guide. Sorry boys, this isn’t a premium priced glove, but the number one most mentioned glove in the comments of our premium guide certainly deserves a place on this list. You guys are right, the MG Dynagrip Elite is a great glove. It does run a bit large, so you’ll likely need to order a size smaller than your normal glove. These gloves are so affordable, you can’t go wrong. $13.95 scores you TWO gloves.

srixon-cab

If we told you this was a premium glove you’d certainly believe us. For a cabretta offering, the price is more than solid. We like the addition of lycra on the back of the hand/knuckles to help this glove move with your hand better. We found that this one does fit a bit loose in the wrist, but is otherwise true to size.

ping-techhirzl-soffft

fj-sofjoyfj-gt

tmag-stratusfj-weather

srixon-hybridasher-chuck

easy-glovebionic-relax

tattoo

In Closing

If you’re like me and your wife doesn’t understand why a round of golf consistently costs $50+ on the weekends, you’re likely shopping for a golf glove that will run you less than $18. This doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice anything.

Probably the best part of gloves under $18 is that you can finally buy 3 matching gloves and switch them throughout your rounds so that you’ve always got a fresh and dry one on your hand.

And finally, I know you’re not children (well, maybe a few of your are…) but it’s worth saying AGAIN – FIT MATTERS – find the glove that properly fits, there are more than enough choices here – you can thank me later.

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

Hey! Golf Companies – This is What I Want To See

Hey! Golf Companies – This is What I Want To See

Post image for Hey! Golf Companies – This is What I Want To See

Well shit, I’m bored.

In case you haven’t noticed, late June puts us deep in the golf equipment industry’s version of the summer doldrums. There ain’t much of anything new to talk about. Sure, TaylorMade’s SLDR Irons, and SLDR S metalwoods are only just finding there way to the store shelves, but even the industry’s most prolific releaser of new warez has more or less taken its turn at the podium.

My name is TaylorMade and I haven’t announced anything in 1.5 months.

Somebody get these guys a chip.

For equipment junkies like us it’s downtime. Take a vacation, or at least a nap. You’ve got some time. If you crave something new for no other reason than you want something new, it’s going to be a few more weeks.

Of course, the lack of latest and greatest presents its own opportunities for discussion or at least speculation. As chaotic as the industry often is, it’s never totally unpredictable.

Something is Coming

Maybe the patent and trademarks we showed you earlier this week are for the Titleist 915. Maybe they’re not, but it’s all but an absolute certainty that there will be a 915.

When was the last time Mizuno didn’t release 2 or 3 sets of irons in the fall? The MP Craft driver just cleared the USGA, and there’s the small matter of that JPX 850 Prototype that Luke Donald was testing at The Players. Something is coming.

MPCraft-USGA

What about Bridgestone? It’s been 3 years since the J40 series launched, and not for anything, rumors are swirling that they’ve got MONSTER (like really big Godzilla-sized MONSTER) plans for 2015.

You think Callaway is ready to call it a year? I don’t.

And what about TaylorMade? New putters (whoopee) are all but a given, but will be there more? I hope so.

It’s been a down year thus far, and it stands to reason that everyone who has got the product to do so is going to take their best shot at fixing the numbers.

What You Want vs. What You Need

Philosophically it’s pretty simple. Some companies design for what you want. Others design for what you need. For some of you (not me) they’re the same, for others…polar opposites, but it’s all good. For now I’m not really interested in what you need, but I definitely want to know what you want.

The fall release season will be here before you know it, so you tell us…what do you want, and who do you want it from?

I’ll give you a few to get us started.

:: I want to see a company come out with the next titanium material for a driver
::
I want a shaft on my driver I can adjust the length and the flex, damn that would be nice
::
I want Mizuno to release a true follow up to the MP-59 iron
:: I want IGotcha to create a 36′ version of their ball retriever (kidding…I think)
:: I want to see a company come out with one app or device that combines ALL the cool technologies currently on the market
:: I want TaylorMade to release a titanium-faced version of the Mini Driver
:: I want Bettinardi to release an affordable Fit-Face JAM putter with a sick finish
:: I want SuperStroke to knock about 30% off the cost of a grip. While we’re at it, Trackman could do the same

What Do You Want?

State your demands below.

 

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

Post image for 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade: Beyond The Numbers

By Dave Wolfe

On Day 1, we introduced the 2014 blade competitors, and Day 2 saw the crowning of the TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 as the 2014 Golf’s Most Wanted Blade.

The TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 earned its title based upon its accuracy total, as scored by our field of ten testers. When we totaled up the miss distances for all testers, from all distances, the Daytona 12 was the clear overall winner.

Today we are going to dig a little deeper into how the blades scored from the individual distances, and also into the number of putts that were actually made by the testers. By doing this, we should be able to see how the Daytona 12 was able to capture its victory and also where some of the other putters also excelled, or came up a bit short.

How We Tested

alt-scoring-graphic-mwb-2014

SCORING SYSTEM RECAP

To assess accuracy, we had each tester take five putts at distances of 5, 10, and 20 feet, recording the distance that each putt ended up from the edge of the cup. That means measurements were taken for 15 putts per putter with each tester, totaling 150 putts per putter!

Once the distances from the edge of the cup were adjusted for the five and ten foot putts, the scores from all of the testers were combined to generate a total accuracy score for each putter.  Accuracy was assessed for the group of testers, not the individual testers.

“Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter should be the most accurate, regardless of the person swinging the stick.

Here is an example of how the final accuracy score is calculated:

EXAMPLE: Accuracy Score Calculation
:: Total Miss Distance (all testers, adjusted for distance)= 1686 inches
:: Average Miss Distance Per Tester (Total/10)= 168.6 inches
:: Percentage of Accuracy Ideal Value (127.5/Average Miss Per Tester x 100)= 76%

Test Group Averages

Overall ranking was based upon the aggregate of all the accuracy values, but as I mentioned before, we also have the scores for the individual distances to go over as well.

First, let’s take a look a the average miss from each distance (per putt):

avg-dist-miss-2

Again, the values in the figure above represent the average missed putt from each distance. While our ten testers do represent a wide range of handicaps, the data shows that these guys know their way around a green, even when you hand them thirty-one different putters to try.

Now we all know that getting the ball close to the hole is not the same as getting the ball into the hole. Yes, it’s true that the 13.1 inch putt that you take to drop the ball in the cup counts the same as the prior one that covered the remainder of the twenty feet. However, it’s also true that if you are consistently rolling your first twenty foot to about a foot away, three putts should be basically non-existent.

The number of made putts from each distance is also worth looking at though, perhaps especially so from the five foot mark. It’s probably OK to leave the ball 2.9 inches from the hole on average, but if you left every five-foot putt 2.9 inches from the hole, you’d likely be looking for a new flatstick.

We definitely need to take a look at the make percentages from each distance. Here are the numbers for the PGA guys:

PGAMAKES

And here are the numbers for our guys:

TESTERMAKES

Again, our guys put up very respectable numbers and showed a freakish level of precision from the twenty foot mark. To be fair, the pros are putting on greens with a bit more speed and slope that our test green, though the greens at Haggin Oaks GC where we tested were in especially nice condition for this trial.

 

Were there Design Advantages?

Bag and Ball

One of my favorite things to do once the scores are tallied is to look at the rankings and to try and identify any design themes that either helped or hindered putter performance. Most of the time, there is no simple solution. At first pass, and maybe second pass too, nothing really jumps out as a must have or a must avoid putter design element.

This batch of thirty-one putters definitely shared some features. Sight lines are all over the place, with just a couple of exceptions. Most of the putters had similar head weights, and relatively close toe hangs, and as such, neither one of those is likely a win defining component.

One frequent feature of the top scoring putters that I noticed was the black finish. Scroll down quickly through the photos below, and you will see that all but one of the black finished heads are in to top half of the finishers. Does dark color lead to better accuracy? That definitely warrants additional study.

Again, color may not be the key feature though. The top three putters, the TaylorMade Daytona 12, PING Karsten TR Anser 2, and the Byron Morgan 612, are not black in color. But half of the top 10 are black, and only one of the bottom 10 is black, and that one’s design is atypical. Like I just said, we will need to look into the effect of color on accuracy.

Overall, classic heel-toe weighted blade designs (i.e. PING Anser) scored better than the atypical, with one noticeable exception that we will get to in a bit. Smaller/thinner also appears to be an advantageous characteristic as the wider architectures all ended up in the bottom of the set.

Do you see any additional trends in the contestants? Please share your observations, and get a discussion going in the comment section below.

Let’s take a bit of a closer look at the individual putters and see if we can’s shed a bit more light on why they placed where they did.

1st: TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12

1-TM Daytona12 copy

TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+126%

+21%

+75%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+13%

-7%

+9%

Like last year’s winner, Nike’s Method Core MC01w, TaylorMade’s Ghost Tour Daytona 12 was a bit of a sleeper during the competition. I don’t think that any of our testers would have guessed that it was the winner based upon their individual runs. Many of the individual testers had putters that scored better than the Daytona 12 at specific distances, but the overall accuracy of the group of testers was far and away the best with the Daytona.

In many ways it was like Nike’s win last year. From combined distances, the misses were just better with the Daytona. The Daytona 12 didn’t have the freakish accuracy from 5′ like the Most Wanted PING Ketsch did (96% made), but it did separate itself from the field quite a bit from in close. Only the third place Byron Morgan 612 really gave the Daytona 12 any competition from 5′, and even then it was a 30% margin.

What pushed the score of the Daytona 12 past its peers (and the PING Ketsch) was the continued accuracy at ten and twenty feet. It was the best at 5′ and at 20′. That sounds like something that should be Most Wanted!

Most of the testers thought that the Daytona 12 initially felt light, but then later commented on how it felt overall very balanced. The weights of the head, the shaft, and the grip all merged very well together.

More than one tester was critical of the Ghost color scheme, but after rolling putts, they warmed to it. “I’m not a fan of its looks, but man does it help the ball to find the hole.” was echoed by more than one tester. Maybe the testers are finally beginning to see the disconnect between liking how a putter looks and how well it rolls the ball.

2nd: PING Karsten TR Anser 2

2-PINGAnser2 copy

PING Karsten TR Anser 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+59%

+31%

+39%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

+5%

-1%

After PING’s TR groove dominance of the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet competition, I definitely expected a strong showing from the blades. It seems fitting that an Anser 2 should come in second for some reason.

The Anser 2 was definitely not the cream of the crop in terms of makes, but when you look at the accuracy scores it becomes very apparent that the TR grooves are doing their job controlling distance. Remember, the +% value for accuracy equates to being that much closer to the hole than the average for the group.

The PING Karsten TR Anser 2 was able to put the ball close from all distances.

 

3rd: Byron Morgan 612

3-ByronMorgan612 copy

Byron Morgan 612

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+93%

+18%

+19%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

-5%

+5%

Byron Morgan scores our first third place repeat in the Most Wanted! Blade competition. Last year, Byron’s 006 placed third. This year, the 612 model shares similar honors. There are some design differences between last year’s 006 and this year’s 612, but what remains the same in all of Byron’s putters is the craft of the man himself.

The 612 doesn’t have any fancy new groove technology, though the face looks like it was hand-milled by Byron himself. There’s not even a line for aiming, just a dot on the topline. It’s hard to pin down exactly why Byron’s putters are so amazing and beloved. Way out west, snuggled in between the surging HB surf and the coyotes, Byron has found a way to infuse magic in the metal.

If you love putters, and have not had a chance to roll one of Byron’s putters, you are missing out. Seriously missing out.

 

4th: PING Scottsdale TR Anser T

4-PINGAnserT copy

PING Scottsdale TR Anser T

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+19%

+17%

+24%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

-1%

-3%

I am actually a little disappointed with the Anser T coming in 4th. You see, this is the putter that the PING engineers came up with at the same time as the Nome TR and the Ketsch. Those are pretty successful siblings to live up to, and to be fair, the Anser T did very well.

The Anser T shares the alignment scheme with the Ketsch and the Nome. The engineers added a little bridge to the cavity so that the sight line could go from the rear of the putter all the way to the front edge. This gives the Anser T mallet-like alignment and blade-like performance.

The TR grooves also provided above accuracy at all distances, though one could likely argue that the full-face grooves in the Karsten TR line provide even better distance control.

 

5th:  Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB 1 Black Pearl

5-Cleveland1 copy

Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB Black Pearl 1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+39%

+0%

+31%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+7%

+7%

+7%

The Cleveland Classic 1 rounds out the top five, and in doing so brings up a very interesting fact about this year’s top five. While there are some very pricy putters in the competition, four of the top five putters cost well under $200. In fact, they are under $150. This little Cleveland gem will probably run you about a hundred bucks, or less.

The putter snob will look down his nose at the Classic 1 and it’s cast body/skim-milled face design. Let’s be honest, it’s not the most expensive to make. But it does look pretty good, and if actually playing golf matters to you, the Classic 1 does a great job of getting the ball to the hole.

I’ll let one of the tester quotes tell the story on this one:

Now this is what a putter should feel like.

 

6th: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2

6-CameronNP2

Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+26%

+31%

+4.5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-7%

-5%

-7%

For any other putter, 6th would have been a solid placement in the competition. However, as I mentioned the other day, a Cameron putter is expected to come in first, and any other position is unacceptable. That is a tough standard to live up to for anyone.

The Select Newport 2 is a great putter. It’s way better than the one we had in last year’s test. It sort of goes against what we are seeing this year, but I think that the return to silver from last year’s black-paint-on-black-body design was a good move. Last year, the Newport 2 came in 17th; this year it was 6th.

6th is still not 1st, but maybe the Cameron crew will be happy with a unofficial award for Most Improved Blade.

 

7th: Piretti Potenza 2

7-Piretti

Piretti Potenza 2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+9%

+38%

+0%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

+17%

+5%

This Piretti has one of the best looking black finishes that I have ever seen. It doesn’t show up that well in the photographs, but there is a whole bunch of color in the corners of the cavity. It’s a beauty.

In addition to the possible black color advantage, this Piretti could have separated itself from the pack a bit based upon its heavier head weight. While most of the other blades came in around the typical 350g head, the Potenza 2 was 365g.

Could adjusting head weight really have that much influence on accuracy? Sounds like we have another lab test to explore.

8th: Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB 4.5 Black Pearl

8-Cleveland4.5

Cleveland Golf Classic Collection HB Black Pearl 4.5

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

+25%

-2%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

+7%

+1%

Well look at that, another Cleveland Classic in the Top 10. This time it’s the 4.5. Though there is a little bumper morphology difference between the Classic 1 and the Classic 4.5, the real difference comes in the neck. The 4.5 has a slant neck, as compared to the more traditional plumbers neck on the model 1.

Fifth to eighth could just a matter of the slant neck playing a little less familiar than the plumbers. It’s tough to tell, and really the margin between the two was not huge. Both are solid putters.

If you are looking for a budget putter, that can drain balls on the course, look no further than the Cleveland Classic line. You need to click on the blue button below and get one now. Just skip your mocha for a week and you’ll cover the cost.

 

8th: Guerin Design GR1.1

8-GuerinProto

Guerin Design Putters Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+45%

+27%

-7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

+7%

-7%

When you click on the link to the Guerin Design page, you are in for a treat. Since I’m here to help, click this About Guerin link and tell me what you learned. How cool is that? Did you just learn something about the pedigree of Guerin Putters?

When I was initially communicating with Guerin about the competition, he was very curious about how we tested, also asking about the greens we test on. From that information, he put together a putter for the competition.

I have taken my 370g head that is for 33″ and put it on a 34″ shaft.  This specs at E-1.  While slightly heavy the extra weight in the head will make it more forgiving on mishits and therefore more accurate.
Guerin R.

How cool is that. The man is on it. I feel that this bodes very well for the future of Guerin Design. He’s going to make some pretty solid putters, perhaps even better than the amazing ones he made in the past.

 

10th: Gauge Design Hex Milled

10-Gauge HexMill

Gauge Design Hex Milled Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-8%

-5%

+37%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-17%

-5%

+5%

There must be something in the water down in Southern California that promotes putter making. There just has to be some reason that Carlsbad, CA is the HQ location for so many golf companies. Gauge Design, powered by the putter visions of David Whitlam, is another Carlsbad company making excellent golf gear. Their Year of the Dragon putter is still one of my all time favorites.

This putter has a bunch of cool aesthetic elements. The new GD Milled face pattern is visually striking and puts a nice roll on the ball. My favorite visual feature of David Whitlam’s blades is always how the top of the neck runs parallel to the putter’s body rather than with the shaft, as it does with all other manufacturers. The hex shape of the neck is added cool.

I know I am only talking aesthetics with this one, but that’s just because, one, the aesthetics are cool, and two, the numbers for performance are right there to see.

 

10th: Nike MOD-90

10-NikeMOD90

NIKE Method MOD-90

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+27%

+9%

+4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-5%

-7%

-9%

I was surprised with the performance of the Nike MOD-90. It’s not that I thought it was a bad putter and going to do poorly. I knew better than that having rolled the MOD models back when they released, with the MOD 90 really standing out as the “it” model of the class. To that point, Golfspy Tim took mine and still hasn’t given it back.

Instead, I was surprised at how quickly the testers adjusted and warmed to the non-Anser shape of the MOD-90. The MOD-90 is Nike’s modernized version of the old bullseye putter. It’s got polymetal grooves and extra weights at the tips. When I introduced the Nike Method Modern Classics back in the Club Report Article I was surprised, then really impressed with the feel of the line, the MOD-90 in particular.

Testers gave the MOD-90 a bit of a quizzical look when they first picked it up, then they just rolled solid putt after putt with it.

I agree with Tony that Nike is making huge improvements in their equipment. The MOD-90 really represents something new, yet classic, and it shows that NIke Golf is stepping up their game with golf equipment.

 

12th: Gauge Design SP-I Joseph

12-Gauge SPI

Gauge Design SP-I Joseph

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+43%

+5%

+1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+3%

+3%

-3%

When the putters from Gauge Design hit my house, I fully expected the SP-I Joseph to be the higher scoring of the two. This model has the aluminum cavity insert that provides a striking contrast for alignment, and also allows weight to be moved to the edges, boosting the putter’s MOI.

I do think that the alignment is better with the SP-I Joseph as compared to the Hex Milled, especially when you look at the up close data. For some reason though, the Hex Milled came alive at 20 feet, and the SP-I Joseph was just average at that length.

Both scored very well though. If you are unfamiliar with Gauge Design/Whitlam Golf, you should probably take care of that. They’ve got some pretty sweet looking wedges too.

 

13th: James Ingles/Scratch Golf Handmade Prototype

13-JamesIngles

James Ingles/Scratch Golf Handmade Prototype

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-11%

+26%

+4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-11%

+1%

-3%

I think that this putter from Scratch Golf and James Ingles may be the first handmade putter that has been entered into a Most Wanted! competition. This putter is a prototype for a production run that may or may not happen in the future. How cool is that? It’s super cool, unless you want to get one today, I suppose.

Testers did struggle a bit with this putter up close, I believe due to it’s unique looks. They just didn’t really line it up very well at first. Remember, they shoot the 5′ putts first. Once they had rolled a few, and gotten a feel for the putter, accuracy jumped at 10′ and at 20′. Eight of ten testers said that they would have no problem bagging this putter for a round.

I’ve got a pair of (sadly non-conforming) Scratch wedges that I still play from time to time, and I too would have no problem bringing the Scratch club count up to three. James Ingles makes a very special, and in this case one of a kind putter.

 

14th: Bellum Winmore 747

14-BW747

Bellum Winmore 747

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+22%

-8%

+7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+1%

-5%

+1%

Keeping with the prototype trend, Bellum Winmore entered one of the first 747 heads that they produced. The 747 has quite a touch of PING Zing in its genes, but there is more there as well. There is a more pronounced toe bumper bulge with the 747 compared to a classic Zing. Imagine if a Zing and an Odyssey #9 had a baby. That baby would be the 747, and would likely be named Karsten Mickelson.

Even with the pronounced toe hang of the 747, testers had little trouble controlling their putts. A common theme with this one was that they would like to see how they putt with it if they had a little more time to practice with it.

 

15th: Axis1 Joey-C

15-Axis1JoeyC

Axis1 Joey-C

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+19%

+0%

+1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

+3%

+7%

The Joey-C once again reenforced the the idea that you don’t have to like how a putter looks to putt well with it. There is no way to sugar coat it, the testers didn’t like the looks of this putter, scoring an average of 3.8/10 for looks. However, when you jump to Feel and Alignment scores, the averages jump to 7 and 6.5, respectively.

So, most said the Joey-C felt good, and was easy to line up. Combine that with solid accuracy and make numbers and you have a putter worth looking into. The large metal bulge at the heel was too much for some to overcome though, and I did have one tester who seemed to prefer hitting balls off that part of the head rather than the copper insert. Different strokes, I suppose.

 

16th: P&SI EGOS

16-P&SI

P&SI EGOS

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

+0%

-3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+11%

+1%

+3%

While the P&SI-EGOS put up solid accuracy numbers, especially from up close, there is more to the story of this one. The name of the company as well as the name of the putter are abbreviations that when decoded, give you a little more information about what the putter is all about.

P&SI: Putting & Surveying Instrument

EGOS: Expert Greenreading Operating System

The P&SI-EGOS putter is really a combination of putter design and green reading. The traditional-Anser design of the P&SI-EGOS has been modified by removing most of the material from the top of the heel and mounting a hosel that allows the putter to hang completely vertical when held below the grip with two fingers.

Why is hanging vertical important? Well that gets into the second part of the putter: green reading. True vertical hang allows the golfer to make accurate measurements of slope and read using the P&SI-EGOS plumb-bobbing process. Many golfers try to read this way, but according to the folk at P&SI-EGOS putters, they are not successful because the other putters are not balanced.

What did the testers think? Well, one loved the putter and actually took it home to try it on his home course. Last I heard, he was doing well with it. Others were a bit put off by the neck position. If you look back at the address photo from the Meet the Contestants post, you will see that the neck and shaft sit well behind the face at address. Visually it was tough for them to get used to.

We really don’t have any data on the green reading ability of the P&SI-EGOS, as all of our putts for testing are dead straight (i.e. flat greens). Perhaps down the road we can compare some reads from different systems and see how they compare.

 

17th: Edel Golf E-3

17-EdelE3

Edel Golf E-3

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-21%

+7%

+11%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

-3%

-3%

Torque-balanced. That’s the key to the Edel Golf E-3. What is torque-balance? Basically, what you see with the E-3 and other torque-balanced putters (tested Axis1 models) is that the toe hang is straight up (12:00 “hang”). This design enables the toe of the putter to stay along the perimeter of the stroke path during putting. In other words, the head doesn’t twist/open and close. This allows the putter to return to the same address position that you started from with no wrist manipulation.

Testers took a bit to get used to this concept, but overall, they definitely warmed to the E-3. They also liked the feel that the pixel insert put on the ball. Multiple testers commented as to how much they liked the feel of the putter, and preferred the Edel method of achieving torque-balance to that of Axis1. Like the Bellum Winmore 747, the general consensus was that the E-3 was a putter that they could really dial in on the course.

 

18th: Bettinardi BB1

18-BettiBB1-CB

Bettinardi BB1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-29%

+14%

+7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

+3%

-7%

Last year, the Bettinardi BB1 came in almost at the bottom of the Most Wanted! pool. The real problem with the 2013 BB1 that the testers ran into was the inability to control distance. They were blasting 5′ putts past the hole by feet, not inches. It was not pretty.

Testers who rolled the BB1 last year were shocked at how much better the 2014 BB1 rolled the ball. As you can see from the data above, the struggle was still from 5′, but this BB1 did a much better job than it’s predecessor. Though I don’t have any basis for the belief, I believe that it is easier to work on that 5′ accuracy than it is to improve accuracy at distance. 5′ touch could be something that comes with a bit of repetition and familiarity.

 

18th: Bettinardi BB1-CB

18-BettiBB1

Bettinardi BB1-CB

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-34%

+5%

+17%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

-3%

+1%

The Bettinardi BB1-CB is the heavier, counterbalanced version of the standard BB1. My hope was that there would be a huge, obvious difference between the standard and counterbalanced version so that the standard vs. counterbalanced argument could be finally solved. Obviously, this involved not being tied for 18th…

Some testers were better with the CB; others with the standard. We are going to go back through the data for the Bettinardi counterbalanced putters that have been in this test, and also the mallet test, to see if we can’t come up with some pros and cons of switching to the counterbalanced version.

 

20th: Bettinardi Signature 7

20-BettiSig7

Bettinardi Signature 7

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-15%

+4%

-1%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-3%

-7%

-3%

When one putts, all components of the putter come into the process. That is why it is so difficult to pin down the key aspect that makes a putter rise above the rest, or sink into the sea of average. Testers loved, and I mean loved, the looks of the Bettinardi Signature putters. They raved about the looks of the two heads and even about how the ball felt coming off of the faces. What they universally disliked though was the leather grips.

It’s hard to get past an issue with the part of the putter that actually makes contact with your body. While some complained about the shape and underlying construction of the grip, it was really an issue of the grip’s slick texture. Testers felt that they needed to grab the grip as hard as possible, lest it slip and spin in their hands. Without any prompting from me, every tester independently complained about the feel of the grip and how it had a negative impact on their putting. I may need to slap my go to Iomic jumbo grip on this one and see what happens.

 

20th: TaylorMade Spider Blade 12

20-TM SpiderBlade12

TyalorMade SpiderBlade 12

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+24%

-9%

-5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+9%

+1%

-9%

It’s interesting that the very similar Daytona 12 would score so much higher than the TaylorMade Spider Blade 12. I see two primary differences between the two TaylorMade putters.

First of all, we have the difference in weighting. The Spider Blade is a counterbalanced putter, where as the Ghost Tour is not. This difference in weighting leads to a difference in feel during the swing. Counterbalanced putters may require some additional practice green time to get used to the weighting. This would explain the differences in accuracy at distance between the two putters.

At first, I also thought the weighting difference was responsible for the up close differences too. The Spider Blade did a nice job hitting the hole compared to the average, but was crushed by the Daytona 12. If you look at the two putters from address, you see a subtle alignment variation that I think is responsible for the variation.

The Spider Blade bumpers are black and white, where as the white color on the Daytona extends from face to the back edge. This means that only the cavity portion on the Daytona is black. It’s a very different look at address, and I think that the Daytona scheme makes aiming the putter easier.

22nd: Boccieri Golf Heavy Putter K4-M

22-Heavy

Boccieri Golf Heavy Putter   K4-M

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-18%

+11%

-5%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-9%

+7%

-9%

The Heavy Putter performed great for the few testers who had used one before, but was a tough mistress for those who were inexperienced with its heft. I know that I have said this with both of the other counterbalanced putters, but I think that the non-traditional weighting requires some time for a golfer to fine tune feel.

A few of the guys said that this putter felt like a weighted training club. That speaks to the unfamiliar weight sensation. With use, I know they would acclimate, and likely feel more comfortable with the heavier composition.

 

23rd: Low Tide Fin

23-LowTideFin

Low Tide Fin

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+42%

-18%

-7%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+9%

-19%

-1%

The Low Tide Fin was amazing from 5′. Testers really liked how it performed (and looked). Then something got a little looser from distance.

I’m not totally sure what happened, but I have a theory. In close, exact fit to stroke is not as critical to accuracy, as the putting stroke is shorter. One of the testers claimed that 5′ putts are all mental, with the putter being almost immaterial. I don’t totally agree with that assessment, but I do think that the pairing compatibility between the putter and the golfer becomes more critical as the putt and thus the length of the swing gets longer.

 

24th: Bettinardi Signature 8

24-BettiSig8

Bettinardi Signature 8

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+11%

-11%

-8%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

-5%

+1%

So I already mentioned the grip issue with the Sig 7. It was the same for the Sig 8. Near universal like for the head, and near universal concern about the grip slipping. The slant neck was also a bit distracting for one or two of the guys.

 

24th: SeeMore PTM2

24-SeeMorePTM2

SeeMore PTM2

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

+18%

-10%

-10%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+3%

-7%

-5%

Had you asked me how the PTM2 was doing when we were testing, I would have expected it to be toward the top of the class. Once the numbers were all complied, I was surprised that it finished so low. It was solid in close, but not so solid from distance.

Testers did prefer the straight shaft in the PTM2 as compared to the bent whistle shaft in the PTM2w version. Again, we had multiple positive comments about the feel of the putter, but the accuracy numbers just were not there.

 

26th: PING Karsten TR Anser 5

26-PINGAnser5

PING Karsten TR Anser 5

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-18%

-17%

+9%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-11%

-15%

-3%

You could push me over with a feather on this one. I did not expect that one of the PING TR groove putters would be toward the bottom of the bunch. I guess it’s not all about the grooves.

The long neck gives the Anser 5 a straight path profile as compared to the slight arc path of the Anser 2. This is what I would look to if I was to pick the one most likely thing that separated the two Karsten TR putters. The head length and bumper design are also slightly different between the two models, making it very difficult to single out one thing as being responsible.

All parties involved were surprised at how the Anser 2 could be so precise, and  the Anser 5 so sprinkler-like.

 

27th: Mantis Golf Mantis B

27-MantisB

Mantis Golf Mantis B

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-29%

-1%

-3%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-5%

-3%

+1%

The main comment from the testers about the Mantis B was that they missed the feel of the Mantis Mallet. Though the insert is the same, the differing head geometries really lead to different feels at impact.

Those who had tested both the Mantis Mallet and the Mantis B definitely preferred the mallet, with the sound and feel being the main reason for their preference.

 

28th: Nike MOD-30

38-NikeMod30

NIKE Method MOD-30

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-23%

-11%

-4%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-1%

-3%

+1%

The MOD-30 vs. MOD-90 story is a lot like the Anser 2 vs. Anser 5 story. Though they share a great deal of design pedigree, they are very different in shape. No one would argue that the MOD-30 is more like the traditional Anser design than the MOD-90, but the high toe and other features that Nike modernized really push the head into non-Anser places.

Where the MOD-90 modernization worked with the testers, the MOD-30 did not.

 

29th: SeeMore PTM2w

29-SeemorePTM2w

SeeMore PTM2w

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-25%

+5%

-15%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-7%

+3%

+5%

As I mentioned before, the difference between the PTM2 and the PTM2w is the straight vs. bent shaft. This one change had a huge impact on the 5′ putt accuracy. The best shaft gives the putter some offset at address, whereas the straight does not.

It could be that the SeeMore Rifle Scope Technology works better with the straight shaft. Once you add a bend, the tester may not be as successful at truly hiding the red dot by being square to the putter head. Maybe there is some cheating with the hands or the head to hide the dot. That would explain the accuracy discrepancy.

 

30th: Axis1 Umbra

30-Axis1Umbra

Axis1 Umbra

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-5%

-13%

-16%

Putts Made vs. Ave

+5%

+7%

+1%

The Axis1 Umbra has a lot going on. It’s all there to help, but when placed side by side with the more traditional blades, the Umbra’s features proved distracting. Testers were not huge fans of the tongue-like alignment flange, finding the combination with the heel-buldge overwhelming.

The make percentages are all above average, but overall the testers struggled with figuring out where the ball was going, and how far it was going.

 

31st: Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1

31-WS Vizor2

Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1

5
Foot

10
Foot

20
Foot

Accuracy vs. Ave

-40%

-12%

-6%

Putts Made vs. Ave

-17%

-5%

-1%

If I was surprised by the Karsten TR Anser 5 finishing low, I was full-on shocked that the Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 M1 finished dead last. This putter uses the same I-Lock alignment system that helped the M3 model of the putter tie for second in the mallet competition.

The way that the I-Lock helps you line up the ball to the hole should have been especially lethal at close range. Obviously that was not the case. Like the Umbra, having the extra alignment system hanging off the back of the putter was distracting, not helpful. The testers liked how the insert felt, but wanted to take a saw to the I-Lock.

What worked for the Wilson Staff mallets, didn’t work for the blade. For these testers, traditional styling seemed to rule the day.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations again to the TaylorMade Ghost Tour Daytona 12 for earning the title of “Golf’s Most Wanted!” Blade Putter. Overall, this batch of blades represented the tightest range of putters to date. Our mallet test saw scores from 132-61 for accuracy, with the blade accuracy ranging from 137-72. Though it goes against the conventional wisdom, it would seem like blade putters are, on the whole, more accurate than mallets.

Yes, there were variables between the mallet and blade tests that make such a claim tough to support, but it is still interesting to ponder. Think of it this way. The last place blade, Wilson Staff’s Vizor Level 2 M1 score of 72 would have placed it ahead of ten of the mallets. The tests were run at different times of year, and had a few different testers, so we are comparing apples to giraffes. Even so, it is interesting to think about, and something that we should look into further.

Thanks to all of the testers for their time, Wilson Staff for their balls, Haggin Oaks for their greens, and the participating companies for their participation. I can’t wait to see the contestants for 2015!

 

Support MyGolfSpy’s Datacratic Testing

It’s true. We absolutely refuse to take advertising from the biggest names in golf.

In our over 5 years of existence, the sum total of all the advertising dollars we’ve taken in from TaylorMades, Callaways, PINGs, and Titleists of the golf world remains ZERO. We truly believe it’s the only way to remain above the influence, publish real results based on real data, and continue to provide honest opinion and commentary about what’s happening inside the golf equipment industry.

If you found this review and/or our other content useful, meaningful, or just interesting, please consider making a donation to help support MyGolfSpy’s independence.

We accept credit cards through PayPal. A PayPal account is not required in order to donate.

Choose donation amount:

Anonymous donation

Golf Forum – Golf Blog (MyGolfSpy.com)