Golf Digest editors picks

BLADE PUTTERS

Golf's governing bodies can't place a limit on magic, for there is no measurable unit. Find your wand

February 2010
$: BEST VALUE | W: ALSO IN WOMEN'S | CATEGORY LEADER | (H) HIGH-HANDICAPPER | (M) MIDDLE-HANDICAPPER | (L) LOW-HANDICAPPER
CLUBS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

NIKE METHOD

STREET PRICE: $250
WEBSITE: nikegolf.com
STYLES: Four

TECH TALK: Here's a new approach to getting the ball rolling sooner: A low-durometer polymer is flowed behind a milled steel face that has alternating grooves of steel. The combination of the soft polymer and the groove edges is designed to launch the ball with less spin. The polymer also saves 30 grams from the face to push back the CG.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(M) "The roll is special, and it feels like a solid steel face. If that's what they wanted, they achieved it."
(H) "Love the clarity of the alignment aid: a simple black dot."
(L) "I like how it sits on the ground. Not bulky at all." ... "A successful rendering of a classic shape."

HOT: No putter had more buzz in 2009: Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink each used one to win his first major. It's no surprise to see this company making technological advances, but this series announces that it's becoming part of the elite in styling as well.
NOT: If a benefit of the polymer grooves is saving weight, why not extend them across the face?

ODYSSEY BLACK SERIES TOUR DESIGNS

STREET PRICE: $270
WEBSITE: odysseygolf.com
STYLES: Four

TECH TALK: These traditional-looking models with flat toplines incorporate three materials: a 1025 carbon-steel body, a tungsten-weighted flange, and between them a thin urethane damping layer. Designers say the tungsten moves the CG 11 percent deeper and 5 percent lower, creating more vertical gear effect to mitigate the backspin imparted by loft.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(L) "They've given you a subtle grid of boxes so you can pick your alignment aid and forget the others." ... "Swings so square you almost forget there's some offset."
(M) "Very stealth-looking, like a ninja in the night."
(H) "The white alignment aid is subtle, and that's a plus."

HOT: An example of how to be techy without being obnoxious. The screws that attach the tungsten are tiny, and the transition between materials feels natural. Much like the game of golf, this technology doesn't shout, it whispers.
NOT: The insert-free feel could prove overly firm for some tastes.

ODYSSEY WHITE ICE SERIES

STREET PRICE: $130
WEBSITE: odysseygolf.com
STYLES: Three

TECH TALK: The multimaterial insert is designed to give consistent, "slightly-softer-than-steel" acoustics for all ball constructions. This light insert also saves nearly 60 grams to push the CG rearward. All three models are finished in dark nickel. The #1 is a traditional heel-toe-weighted model with a plumber's-neck hosel. The #2 (left) has a short, flow-neck hosel. The #9 has a longer flow-neck hosel with an extended pear flange.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(L) "No hops here. Even if you hit it on the toe, you get a good roll. And I love the sound."
(M) "The kind of club you want to prop against a chair after the round just to admire it."
(H) "You look down at it, and you'd think it cost three hundred."

HOT: The company did plenty of audio research to make this insert perform in a techy but familiar way. It's an insert for even the harshest insert critic.
NOT: We think the No. 1 putter company could produce a larger, more inventive stable of blades to go with all those mallets.
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