The Zebra putter is one of the most iconic pieces of golf equipment, well, ever. Now they are back and with four brand new designs for 2022.
Zebra putters 2022: First impressions
I really like how these blend Zebra’s history with modern technology. I am glad they kept the classic alignment system and the black and white colourway, but I like the additional details, such as the Zebra print weights in the sole.
Zebra putters 2022: The technology
The new Zebra putters have been designed with the aim of creating the ideal balance between alignment, forgiveness, weighting, feel, and roll to help all golfers putt their best.
“What we strived for with the new range was to maintain the classic look so that when you pick up the putter you know straight away that it is a Zebra, then we used all the latest technology and design available to make it perform at the highest level.”Simon Millington, Golf Brands Inc CEO
A key visual element was to keep the striped alignment system that everyone associates with Zebra.
The club face features a new grooved insert to control friction at impact and maximise topspin and get the ball into the roll phase more quickly. This is key for consistent speed control.
Every element of the new putters has been tested using computer-generated AI to find the perfect MOI and centre of gravity locations to ensure maximum performance from every model.
Each head features adjustable weighting technology, with weight ports located in the sole that can be switched with a choice of different weights to change the weight of the head to suit your stroke. The sole weights, which are sold separately, are offered in 10, 15, and 20 grams.
All models are available in left and right-handed options.
Zebra putters 2022: The line-up
Zebra AIT #1
The model that most closely resembles the original Zebra putter. The is an oversized face-balanced mallet with extra MOI and forgiveness.
A horseshoe-shaped sole plate lowers the centre of gravity and 15-gram weights in the toe and heel add stability.
Zebra AIT #2
Zebra’s version of the classic fang design has lots of weight on the perimeters to boost MOI.
Zebra AIT #3
The highest MOI model is all about providing extra forgiveness. There are four weight ports on the sole, at the front and on the edges to get good forward roll as well as deliver MOI and a balanced feeling head.
Zebra AIT #4
Designed for players who prefer the smaller look of a blade. This model has a wide body with heel and toe weights to give this mallet-like forgiveness.
Zebra putters 2022: NCG verdict
I put the original Zebra putter head to head against the new Zebra AIT #1 to see just what has changed in the last 46 years.
Visually there are a lot of similarities but also some subtle upgrades which I like. The colours have been inverted on the club head, so most of the club head is black. I think the contrast of this stands out well and aids alignment. They have kept the classic stripe alignment system but made the stripes slightly wider, which works nicely.
The club head has been made slightly bigger and over the ball; this is much more confidence-inspiring.
A significant difference here is the feel. The 2022 Zebra now features a face insert which makes the ball feel firmer off the face.
Interestingly the ball speed from the new model felt slower with putts not releasing as far. This makes sense, given greens weren’t as quick in 1976, so the ball would have needed to come off the face faster. Ball speeds were much better on off-centre strikes with the new model, meaning overall performance was much more consistent.
A significant change comes on the sole; we no longer see the large weight plate, which means the new version feels lighter. If you prefer something heavier, you can adjust the weights though.
Probably my favourite aspect was just how easy this was to line up. I holed a ridiculous amount of mid-range and short putts with this without having to rely on the usual line I put on the ball.
I am impressed with the changes that have been made here. Zebra has taken an iconic model and made it work for the modern game, which sounds simple but definitely isn’t easy to do.
Zebra putters 2022: The Details
RRP: From £159.99
Shaft: KBS Stable Stepped shaft
Lengths: 33″, 34″, 35″
Grips: Winn VSN Midsized Pistol
More info: Zebra website
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