ClubTest: Mallet Putters

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WHERE WE DID IT Centennial Golf Club in Carmel, N.Y. HOW WE DID IT We assigned each of the 12 ClubTesters a putting lane on the practice green. Testers struck 12 putts per club from three to 40 feet. Our research partner, Hot Stix Golf, measured forgiveness using a mechanical putting device. For a more detailed description of the methodology, click here. RATING SYSTEM HOW IT WORKS Testers vote on Look, Feel and Control. The winning model (the one that receives the most points) is awarded Golf Magazine/ClubTest 5-star status.
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CLUB Boccieri Heavy B3-M CLUB SPECS $199, steel; heavyputter.com • Go to Equipment Finder profile to tell us what you think and see what other GOLF.com readers said about this club. WE TESTED 34" and 35" in steel shaft COMPANY LINE "The CNC milled head weighs 475 grams and the grip end is 250 grams to create a balance point that is 75 percent higher up the shaft than a conventional putter. A higher balance point creates a tighter end-over-end roll. It has a double-bend, heel-shafted hosel configuration." OUR TEST PANEL SAYS... Pro: Parallel grooves and circular alignment aids are surprisingly helpful; extremely soft feel off clubface; love it, nearly automatic from 12 feet and in; heel and toe putts roll straight and true; get the head moving and it nearly swings itself. Con: More difficult to control on longer strokes; heavy grip can make club hard to control; tendency to blow long ones past hole; difficult to distinguish mis-hits from center hits; doesn't let handsy strokes make mid-swing corrections. "Pull it back and the weight does the rest." — Adam Zisserman (11)
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CLUB MacGregor Face-Off DCT Response CLUB SPECS $199, steel; macgregorgolf.com • Go to Equipment Finder profile to tell us what you think and see what other GOLF.com readers said about this club. WE TESTED 34" and 35" in steel shaft COMPANY LINE "Distance corrective technology (DCT) combines highrebound and energyabsorbing polymers to transmit equal force across the face to ensure solid and consistent putts, even on mis-hits. Polymer face insert has supersoft feel; titanium insert provides max feedback." OUR TEST PANEL SAYS... Pro: Most forgiving club we tested on offcenter hits; if you get past the soft feel and look, it benefits players of all abilities; heel misses feel like center contact and yield very good results; simple T-like alignment is useful; contrasting gold topline helps square blade; self-correcting distance control. Con: Prefer feel of titanium face to polymer one; ultra-soft, cushy polymer face can make it difficult to gauge longer putts; long blade is a bit cumbersome; polymer face lacks feedback with center hits and mis-hits. "Ideal if you don't hit it consistently on center." — Rich Bernstein (13)
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CLUB Odyssey White Hot XG Marxman Mallet CLUB SPECS $169, steel; odysseygolf.com • Go to Equipment Finder profile to tell us what you think and see what other GOLF.com readers said about this club. WE TESTED 34" and 35" in steel shaft COMPANY LINE "The multi-layer insert has an elastomer core material that provides softness for great feel, and is highly resilient to get the ball rolling quickly. A thin outer striking surface is firm for fine-tuned responsiveness." OUR TEST PANEL SAYS... Pro: Soft, yet 'clicky' face insert; enough feel and response for low handicappers and forgiveness for higher ones; white stripes with three alternating black sight lines make it easy to pick your line and promote a straight-back-and-straight-through putt; putts snap off the face; dampens vibrations associated with off-center contact; light overall feel given its size. Con: Very easy to make a good stroke but doesn't have that 'swings itself' feel; noticeable drop-off on mis-hits. "Visual aids help you see a square face at impact." — Chris Klamkin (2)
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CLUB TaylorMade Rossa Inza CLUB SPECS $199, steel; taylormadegolf.com • Go to Equipment Finder profile to tell us what you think and see what other GOLF.com readers said about this club. WE TESTED 34" and 35" in steel shaft COMPANY LINE "The extremely stable, reverse-trapezoid shape provides exceptional forgiveness for straighter putts on mis-hits. The AGSI+ insert has 14 grooves positioned closer together to promote more efficient forward spin for a smoother roll." OUR TEST PANEL SAYS... Pro: Very strong performer; ball starts rolling right off the face; strikes a balance between responsive feedback and soft touch; distance control is spot-on; a long sight line, raised triangular section and squarish head make the entire club an alignment aid; a controlled pop at impact. Con: Small impact area can be intimidating; odd-looking; a few guys wrestled with a shut head, causing missed putts left; would be top pick if not for drastic appearance. "Putts track straight, even when you miss the center." — Dave Doctora (7)
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MECHANICAL PUTTER TESTING BY HOT STIX GOLF What we did We anchored each one of the 35-inch putters to a mechanical putting device. Clubs made the same consistent backswing to hit a 12-foot putt (approx.) and we measured results for center hits, 3/4 inches toward the heel and 3/4 inches toward the toe. Here's how the clubs fared: What we learned • Distance: The four models hit it slightly different distances, likely due to head mass and center-of-gravity location. Boccieri's Heavy B3-M putter rolls it the farthest. The difference on center contact between the longest and shortest model is one foot. Toe hits go shortest, in part, because the shaft connection gives heel hits a bit more energy. • Forgiveness: All of these are helpful. Still, MacGregor's Face-Off DCT Response separates itself as most forgiving; its total difference between center and off-center hits is, remarkably, just four inches.
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And the winner is ... Each of these four models has a strong visual alignment aid and a soft, stable hitting platform. Odyssey's White Hot XG Marxman Mallet collected the top spot by being most consistent across the board in terms of look, feel and control. "Balanced and easy to stroke consistently." — Kris Madsen (9) "Impact for center contact is springy." — Michael Jo (12) "Clubface stays square through impact unless you manipulate it." — Matt Higgins (0) "See an eye doctor if you can't line up the long, prominent sight line." — Andy Simon (25) Click here for additional putters that we've ClubTested in the past year.