ClubTest 2014: Cleveland Smart Square Putter
Cleveland Smart Square
Category: High-MOI Mallet Putters
WE TESTED: 34”, 35”, 39” shaft lengths
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Comes center-shafted (pictured), heel-shafted, or as a counterbalanced 39” model with an additional 40 grams in the head and 95 grams in the grip.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Solid feel, above-average forgiveness and a useful visual aid make it easy to lag putts close; off-center hits go in the right direction and accelerate nicely after impact; commendable consistency across the face.
FEEL: Head-heavy, with a soft, succinct pop; offcenter hits are a tad firmer—just a little nudge to let you know you missed it; most straight-backstraight- through swingers benefit from seeing the squares through the stroke.
LOOK: Visual aid is intuitive, effective, and useful for keeping the club on track down the line; the head looks compact compared with a few others in the group, despite the oversize visual aid.
Not everyone goes for the alignment aid—some guys find the squares distracting, others think they’re tacky, and a few struggle to use them for fine-grain aim on short putts; weighty head gives a couple of panelists trouble, especially from long range; one or two testers say the face is noticeably less lively on off-center hits.
BOTTOM LINE: Sure, it’s a bit of a design rip-off. But the domino-style visual aid provides a rubric for guys who need help with aim, and the putter provides enough feel and control to suit others.
NEXT REVIEW: Nike Method MOD 00 Putter