Gear test: Best putters of 2017October 4, 2017 Golf Equipment
Blade vs. High MOI - which do you prefer? We tested a blade and a large mallet from each of the top brands...
There is so much choice when it comes to buying a putter – more choice than with any other piece of golf equipment.
It can be really difficult to know where to start for the consumer – and also for us when trying to put together a review of what is available.
But we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible by selecting one traditional blade and one larger mallet putter from each brand.
The larger mallets can also be labelled as ‘high MOI’ putters which means they are very stable and have a higher resistance to twisting than the bladed models.
I drafted in our editor Dan Murphy who plays off 3 to join me in testing some of these out. I play off 17 but putting is one of the things I tend to do quite well…
Best putters 2017: Odyssey O-Works #1/2-Ball
JS: I love the microhinge insert on both these models – it gets the ball rolling true straight away. The #1 looks a bit busy at address so it’d be the 2-Ball for me which is so easy to align and feels incredibly easy to keep the face square.
DM: I don’t think I’m well suited to the Versa concept. I don’t seem to derive any benefit from the black/white/black. I do like the compact proportions of the #1. I can see why the 2-Ball is still so successful – I could definitely get used to one of these.
More information can be found on the Odyssey website.
Best putters 2017: Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2/Futura 5CB
JS: The flowing lines on these make them to die for. There are no putters with more shelf appeal. The Newport is a bit too skinny for me but these putters offer the best sound and feel on the market in my opinion. The Futura sits behind the ball perfectly for me and feels a lot more stable. It has a pendulum-like feel to it when you make a stroke and it feels like the weighting is really helping you keep the face square.
DM: The Newport series still stands apart and this is perhaps my favourite model. It’s a little sleeker than the Ping version it was originally inspired by. So soft off the face and a joy to pull out.
More information can be found on the Scotty Cameron website.
Best putters 2017: Ping Sigma G Anser/Tyne
JS: The Anser has perfect proportions and was my favourite of the bladed models – it just feels a bit more user-friendly that some of the other blades we tested.
The Tyne was a bit too heavy and that can often cause me problems on short putts. Great for when you need to clatter one from just off the green though!
Not a huge fan of the looks of thick Ping grips on these. It does make sense to offer thicker grips as stock options but I think more people would rather just have the option of upgrading to a SuperStroke.
DM: The Anser is a touch blockier than its imitators and all the better for it. The feel is a little more buttery off the Scotty equivalent. The satin finish of the Tyne lends a premium look and it’s a shape that makes a lot of sense to me – it’s very stable.
More information can be found on the Ping website.
Best putters 2017: TaylorMade TP Soto/Spider Tour Red
JS: There’s not a lot to separate the Soto from others of its type. If anything it’s lacking a touch of shelf appeal. But I’m a huge fan of the pistol-style grip which has a lovely feel to it.
The Spider just sits so well with a really nice weighting. I find it very easy to keep square. It’s not as large or heavy as it may look from afar and the face insert gets the ball rolling end-over-end really quickly.
DM: I really wanted to see how the Spider performed after the airtime it has had. There’s no doubt it’s very stable through the stroke though and the face just doesn’t want to open or shut down. The Soto is nearly but not quite as pretty as the Scotty equivalent.
More information can be found on the TaylorMade website.
JS: Overall, I prefer the stability of a larger model. I’ve become quite fussy when it comes to alignment – lines on the flange or top line don’t tend to work for me.
The Spider ticks a lot of boxes for me due to its stability and lack of alignment markings.
But I can’t stress just how beautiful the Scotty Cameron models are.
The 5CB is the best-looking Futura I have ever tested. I’d also have no problems gaming the Odyssey 2-ball – the Microhinge insert is probably the best around for getting the ball rolling nicely.
DM: Long and bitter experience has taught me that as much as I aspire to using an Anser-style putter, I really do better with a mallet.
That said, anything too clunky and I really struggle to get a flow with my putting stroke.
Of the selection here, I would love to use a Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 but strongly suspect I would do best out on the course with something closer to the Ping Sigma G Tyne.
Best putters 2017: Bettinardi Inovai 3.0/BB8
The Inovai has aluminium in the face for soft feel with steel back weights for high MOI.
The BB8 has a two-tiered heel and toe design with a honeycomb pattern on the face for improved contact.
More information can be found on the Bettinardi website.
Best putters 2017: Cleveland Huntington Beach 1/ TFI2135 Elevado
The Huntington Beach putters blend sleek style and precision milling with a really friendly price.
TFI231 feature a unique raised sight-line alignment system. The Elevado’s wings add stability.
More information can be found on the Cleveland website.
Best putters 2017: EvnRoll ER2/ER6
Premium materials and clever engineering with a larger sweetspot to soften the impact of mis-hits.
ER2 is a short, wide, heel-toe weighted blade.
ER6 is an incredibly stable, deep mallet.
More information can be found on the EvnRoll website.
Best putters 2017: Wilson Staff 8802/Infinite, The Bean
Blades don’t come more classic than the 8802 – milled from 304 stainless steel for precision, feel and feedback.
The Bean features counterbalanced technology for a more controlled putting stroke.
More information can be found on the Wilson Staff website.