FIRST LOOK: Cleveland unveils ‘radical’ weighting with Frontline putters
The rise in popularity of high-MOI mallets has made it easier than ever to find a putter that improves directional consistency. By placing more weight in the back portion of the head, putter designers are able to improve stability by reducing unnecessary head twisting on off-center hits. The design has worked for numerous manufacturers, making it a viable blueprint to follow.
Instead of following suit with its latest line of putters, Cleveland Golf chose to go a different route with Frontline, repositioning the center of gravity closer to the face. Each of the four head shapes — one blade and three mallets — features two metal-injection-molded (MIM) tungsten weights (roughly 48 grams) in the heel and toe section of the face.
“We are very excited about Frontline because it is a completely new approach to putter design,” said Jacob Lambeth, a Cleveland Golf R&D engineer. “By pairing an extreme center of gravity with an improved speed optimized face, we’ve designed a putter that uniquely maximizes directional and speed consistency.”
Based on research Cleveland conducted, adding more weight to the front of the face improves overall head twisting even further, keeping the face square more often at impact, even on mis-hits that consistently find the heel and toe.
Cleveland was also able to retain ball speed by adding a forged aluminum insert with a variable milling pattern. Speed is normalized as a result of grooves that are packed tighter in the center of the face (to reduce speed) and spread out toward the heel and toe. The insert results in putts that are designed to go the same distance regardless of where the ball is struck on the face.
With four head shapes in the line, Cleveland created a unique milling pattern for each model to further optimize insert performance.
To improve alignment, Cleveland added marks set at 21.35 millimeters — called “2135 technology” — above the sole to match the center point of the ball, making it easier to line up putts regardless of eye position at address.
Each of the three mallets is offered in two hosel types: single bend and slant neck. The single bend is geared for straight stroke types, while the slant neck best suits those players with a slight arc stroke.
Cleveland’s Frontline putters will be available Sept. 13 in three lengths (33, 34 and 35 inches) with Lamkin’s SinkFit Pistol Frontline grip. The Frontline 4.0 blade retails for $180, while the Elevado, Cero and Iso mallets are priced at $200.
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