ClubTest 2020: 17 new putters that could transform your game on the greens
We put more than 100 drivers, woods, hybrids, irons, putters and wedges through rigorous robotic and player testing to create GOLF’s biggest—and best—gear review ever. With our help (and a little research on your part), building the perfect bag for your game has never been easier. Edited by Jonathan Wall & Andrew Tursky.
For the fourth installment of ClubTest 2020, we’re looking at the most important short game tool and, arguably, the most important club in your entire golf bag: the putter.
No matter your level of golf talent, making putts is the name of the game—and these blades and mallets are here to help. With new tech designed to make you more consistent and minimize mishits, there’s never been a better time to hunt for a fresh putter. But as with other club types, it’s all about finding the right putter for you.
For ClubTest, we tested and reviewed 17 new putter lines from all the top manufacturers to see what each model does best. Read the complete reviews below to find the flatstick you’ve been waiting for.
Our take: Employing what Axis1 calls “Perfect Balance/Torque-Free” technology places the CG exactly in the center of the face, which is also aligned with the axis of the shaft to reduce twisting at impact. The “Rose”—named after major winner and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose—is CNC-milled of 303 stainless steel and individually balanced. Silver and black (Rose-B) finishes available.
ClubTester’s take (3-hdcp): “It felt like everything had a chance from 30 feet and in.”
Our take: Legendary puttermaker Bob Bettinardi looked to the past and made tweaks to some classic, no-frills putter designs. The new line of BBs are sure to please any premium putter connoisseur. Milled of soft carbon steel, each putter has a Super-Fly face-milling pattern and Glacier Black finish for a clean look.
ClubTester’s take (13-hdcp): “Love the face milling. Reminds me of some of the high-performance putters I’ve used in the past.”
Our take: Proving that high-MOI putter designs can have a streamlined look and feel without using face inserts, the INOVAI 6.0 are engineered out of stainless steel and lightweight aluminum, and come with Bettinardi’s popular F.I.T. (Feel Impact Technology) face milling for a better end-over-end roll. The contrasting Cobalt Blue and Platinum finish assists with alignment.
ClubTester’s take (2-hdcp): “One of my favorite head shapes. Super stable and doesn’t move offline.”
Our take: Instead of adding weight low and deep, Cleveland added two heavy tungsten weights toward the front sections of the heel and toe, resulting in greater consistency and better distance control. The Speed Optimized Face Tech pattern normalizes ball speed at impact, and the 2135 Tech helps position your eyes perfectly at address.
ClubTester’s take (10-hdcp): “Felt like the ball was rolling consistently.”
Price: $130 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Soft 1, Soft 8.5); Mallet (Soft 6, Soft 11/C, Soft 12)
Our take: Made from 304 stainless steel, each SOFT putter has a CNC-milled face and Speed Optimized Face Technology milling pattern that helps normalize impact off more face surface area. The result is greatly enhanced distance control and more overall consistency, as well as a super-soft feel.
ClubTester’s take (10-hdcp): “Feel for me was as good as it got. You can really tell when you don’t hit it perfect.”
Our take: Premium putters from Mizuno are back in a big way, with three models forged from premium 1025 mild carbon steel, which are then CNC-milled for the utmost in precision, shaping and alignment. Each model is available in three finish options (M.Craft 2 Blue Ion shown). Adjustable sole weights provide added customization.
ClubTester’s take (8-hdcp): “I’d never consider a blue finish, but I’m singing a different tune. Love the look and feel.
Price: $250–$300 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Double Wide, One); Mallet (Ten, Bird of Prey, Seven, R-Line Arrow, Rossie)
Our take: Available in a variety of shapes and face-balance configurations (Seven shown), each model has a PVD finish and multi-material Stroke Lab shaft that saves 40 percent of discretionary weight which is then redistributed to the head and grip. All models also come with a Microhinge Star face insert for a firmer feel and better sound at impact.
ClubTester’s take (5-hdcp): “Bird of Prey head, in particular, was easy to control. Really liked the heavier weight and overall feel.”
Price: $300 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (2-Ball Blade, Double Wide, Double Wide Flow); Mallet (Ten, Ten S, 2-Ball, Marxman)
Our take: Derived from the same Triple Track tech found on Callaway’s Chrome Soft and ERC balls, the alternating red and blue lines on the crown utilize Verner Hyper Acuity to significantly improve alignment, leading to more consistency. A firmer Microhinge Star face insert and multi-material Stroke Lab shaft round off the design. Ten model shown.
ClubTester’s take (16-hdcp): “Adding the Triple Track to the head is genius.”
Price: $450 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Austin, Chicago, San Diego); Mallet (Atlanta, Las Vegas/H7, Memphis, Seattle)
Our take: Each of these finely crafted putters has a Charcoal Smoke finish and milled cross-hatch grooves for better feel, sound and vibration dampening. An adjustable sole plate customizes head weight while a multi-material Stroke Lab shaft places more weight in the grip for improved consistency.
ClubTester’s take (5-hdcp): “Very consistent, with a buttery feel.”
Price: $230–$250 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Anser 2, ZB3); Mallet (Fetch, Floki, Ketsch, Piper Armlock, Piper C, Tomcat 14, Tyne 3)
Our take: Sporting a steel and pressure-case aluminum construct, each Heppler is made to provide forgiveness and an optimized CG for greater accuracy and consistency. An adjustable-length shaft allows for a custom fit to suit different strokes. Contrasting copper-
and-black finish (Tomcat 14 shown) helps with alignment.
ClubTester’s take (17-hdcp): “Copper finish gives it a premium feel. Very easy to align.”
Price: $200–$220 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Anser, Kushin C, ZB2) ; Mallet (Arna, Fetch, Tyne, Tyne 4, Valor, Valor 400, Wolverine H)
Our take: PING found through research that eight out of 10 golfers are playing a wrong-length putter. To solve the issue, a USGA-conforming, adjustable-length shaft was added that allows each putter to be customized in length between 32 and 36 inches using an adjustment tool. A dual-durometer PEBAX material gives the face a soft, responsive feel.
ClubTester’s take (4-hdcp): “Ball comes hot off the face. Perfect for the guy who likes a firm feel.”
Our take: Made from machine-milled aluminum, the square frame is equipped with two 48-gram tungsten heel-toe sole weights to stabilize the head. Tungsten was added to the backbar to dial in swing weight depending on shaft length, performance and feel. With an MOI over 6,000, Spider S is touted as the most forgiving in the current lineup.
ClubTester’s take (15-hdcp): “Frames the ball well.”
Price: $250 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Del Monte, Juno, Soto); Mallet (Ardmore, DuPage)
Our take: Each putter in the TP Patina line has a classy finish that combines black nickel and copper, which over time will develop even more patina. All models also come with an aluminum Pure Roll insert for better perimeter weighting and improved feel, sound and performance. Custom TP sole weights help dial in weight.
ClubTester’s take (8-hdcp): “Red insert against the antique finish helps me zero in on putts. Never noticed that before.”
Our take: A total reinvention of the traditional hosel found on most putters, each TRUSS is designed to improve stability and performance, all without looking too radical when viewed from above. It’s akin to having the steadiness found in a mallet while still retaining the streamlined look of a heel-toe blade or half-mallet.
ClubTester’s take (16-hdcp): “Short putts are easy to align. Has a solid feel at impact.”
Our take: The single “low-bend” design promotes more toe flow and an arc path. Jet-inspired wings toward the rear of the stainless-steel body and an aluminum face raise the putter’s MOI to reduce twisting during the stroke. A single sight line runs from the leading edge to the back flange and is painted a high-gloss black to stand out.
ClubTester’s take (3-hdcp): “Looks like something Batman would use. Superior feel compared to the rest of the pack.”
Price: $400 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Newport, Newport 2, Newport 2.5, Squareback 2); Mallet (Del Mar, Fast Back 1.5, lowback 5, Flowback 5.5)
Our take: Cameron kicks it old-school and goes back to his roots with a lineup inspired by classic, solid-milled designs (Newport shown). Mallets have stainless-steel sole weights, while the blade styles employ heavier tungsten weights for improved feel and performance.
ClubTester’s take (1-hdcp): “Best looking putter I’ve seen in a long time. Heck, it could top the charts for me.”
Price: $100 | BUY NOW
Type: Blade (Windy City, Michigan Ave, Lake Shore, West Loop); Mallet (Grant Park, South Side, The Bean, “The L”, Bucktown)
Our take: Inspired by Wilson’s headquarters in Chicago, each model in the line is named after a neighborhood or local landmark. The face is double-milled for better consistency, while the counter-balanced technology moves the balance point closer to the hands for a smoother putting stroke. A dark finish is designed to reduce glare at address.
ClubTester’s take (7-hdcp): “The dark finish gives it a classy look. I actually liked that it didn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.”
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