Cleveland HB Soft 2 putters: Everything you need to know

cleveland hb soft 2 putters

Cleveland's HB Soft 2 putters build upon the original.

Dunlop Sports

The release of Cleveland’s Speed Optimized Face Technology (better know as “SOFT”) last year with HB Soft ushered in a new level of customization and performance for the brand’s putter line. Instead of adding traditional milling marks to the face for feel purposes, a unique SOFT milling pattern was implemented to minimize distance loss on heel or toe mishits, regardless of head shape.

Varying the size and position of the milling marks turned out to be an epiphany moment for Cleveland in its search to further normalize distance on mishits. The introduction of HB Soft 2 means the return of the SOFT face — with a few new wrinkles.

Cleveland HB Soft 2 Retreve Putter

HB SOFT 2 takes Cleveland’s Speed Optimized Face Technology to all-new levels of true swing feel by syncing every head shape with balanced, stroke specific components. So all you need to do is choose the right stroke type and head shape for you, and we’ll set up everything else to spec to get consistent distance performance in a finely tuned, near-custom Putter for an optimal price. SPEED OPTIMIZED FACE TECHNOLOGY A dynamic groove milling pattern on the face of every HB SOFT 2 Putter, SOFT normalizes ball speed across an enlarged striking area—ensuring more consistent, predictable distance performance. STROKE SPECIFIC DESIGNS HB SOFT 2 features nine all-new Putters carefully assembled for straight or slight arc stroke types, each synced with its complementing hosel style, toe hang, alignment system, and grip.  
View Product

The latest iteration takes a more granular approach by creating a distinct milling pattern that matches up with each head shape, center of gravity and weighting profile for all nine models. In the high MOI models, the milling is gradual and becomes progressively more rapid in the lower MOI offerings. The unique patterns result in more consistent distances regardless of where the ball impacts the face.

Particular attention was also paid to different stroke types by designating an appropriate hosel, shaft and grip for both face-balanced and moderate toe hang models to ensure they match up with the golfer.

cleveland hb soft 2 putters
HB Soft 2 comes in nine distinctive head shapes. Dunlop Sports

“We want golfers to stand over their putt knowing their putter is going to be in sync with their stroke,” said Jacob Lambeth, R&D research engineering supervisor at Cleveland Golf. “With nine models to choose from, there’s an HB Soft 2 that can fit your needs on the green and golfers will be able see and feel the difference of having a putter designed specifically for their stroke.”

For a slight arc, the custom-made grip of choice is a classic pistol that allows the hands to remain more active during the stroke. A straight back, straight through motion receives an oversized pistol to quiets the hands while still maintaining feel and control. A 20-gram counterweight was also added to the butt end of the shaft on builds 35 inches and longer to deliver a consistent feel.

cleveland hb soft 2 retreve putter
The HB Soft 2 Retreve has a hole in the middle that makes picking the ball out of the cup a cinch. Dunlop Sports

Many of the shapes are carryovers from the previous lineup, with a few exceptions. The most notable is the HB Soft 2 Retreve, a new mallet shape with a hole positioned in the middle that makes it possible to pick the ball out of the hole or off any surface without having to bend over and grab it.

Cleveland’s HB Soft 2 putters retail for $149.99 and are available now — tap here to shop all.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.


Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at