Golf Digest editors picks

MALLET 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

ODYSSEY WHITE ICE SERIES

STREET PRICE: $180
WEBSITE: odysseygolf.com
STYLES: Eleven

TECH TALK: The firm, multimaterial insert is designed to produce consistent acoustics with all ball types. Eleven models, each plated with a dark nickel finish, achieve high moments of inertia (MOI) in classic and new shapes. A notable enhancement to the 2-Ball is a weight port the golfer can adjust.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(L) "Pure roll. Watch how that ball logo tracks end over end toward the cup. Never wobbles a bit."
(M) "Has a firmer feel than older 2-Ball models. Odyssey continues to improve on a good thing."
(H) "Noticeably smoother with no jump off the face."

HOT: The amount of laboratory research this company spends studying sound is unrivaled in the putter industry. Instead of relying on happy accidents, they set out to achieve specific pitch and damping parameters with this insert. Their shapes are always avant-garde, and this year's ample line is no exception.
NOT: For all the effort that went into creating consistent sound, the tone of the Mini-T is noticeably different from the rest of the series.

PING IN-SERIES

STREET PRICE: $170
WEBSITE: ping.com
STYLES: Four

TECH TALK: The 17-4 stainless-steel body houses a polymer face insert that's plated with nano-nickel. The purpose is to create a sound and feel similar to steel. The polymer material allows Ping designers to save 40 grams. That weight has been moved to the perimeter to increase MOI. Also helping place more weight farther back is the open-frame design.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(L) "I expected it to be tinny and loud, but it was actually really solid."
... "Lines up dead-flush flat and puts my body into position for me."
(H) "Somehow the weighting of the head encourages a pretty predictable stroke."
(M) "Looks like a little bunny rabbit with ears, but it's as stable as a bull through impact."

HOT: The footprint breadth offers stability, yet the open frame gives the sensation of a sleeker mallet. The eight-millimeter topline on the Wack-E is welcome spareness in a category dominated by bulk.
NOT: With so much grass visible through the head, it's the epitome of a love-it-or-leave-it look.

TAYLORMADE ROSSA ITSY BITSY SPIDER

STREET PRICE: $200
WEBSITE: taylormadegolf.com
STYLES: One

TECH TALK: The frame is 303 stainless steel, and the central black piece with the alignment decal is made from lightweight aluminum. Spreading weight outward in this way helps achieve a high MOI. Adjustable weight ports in the rear wings allow the golfer to customize the total weight and toe hang.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(L) "I can come around. It doesn't look as radical as it once did. I keep growing more impressed the more putts I hit with it." ... "I like the smaller head; it makes me focus on the sweet spot."
(M) "Incredibly stable. There's a definite lack of twisting."
(H) "The matted colors keep it from looking too crazy. And this alignment aid really helps."

HOT: The Monza Spider was a breakthrough in stability, but condensing the shape in Itsy Bitsy made it palatable. Just ask the players who won with it on the LPGA Tour (Yani Tseng) and Champions Tour (Michael Allen) in 2009.
NOT: How pretty are those graphics going to look on an off putting day?
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