Golf Digest editors picks
Hot List 2008: Putters

Putters

February 2008
Gold: Blade Putters

NIKE IC 20-10

STREET PRICE: $140
WEBSITE: nikegolf.com
TECH STORY
Everything on this putter is green -- the clubhead, the shaft and the grip -- except for the white alignment lines (one running the length of the blade, the other as an aiming line extending from the center of the face) that help you set up squarely to the ball. The idea is that because the green color tends to blend with the grass, the alignment aid becomes much more visible.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"Perhaps the easiest blade I've ever used as far as alignment. This visual is the best. . . . The white pops out of the green, making alignment simple. You stand over the ball expecting to make putts with this one. . . . This is really easy to set squarely and to make a pendulum stroke. The color is great in the bright sun."

HOT
An idea this simple can't be this good. But it is. It goes to show that there is such a thing as a new idea in putters that doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

NOT
Fans of the true Anser-style plumber's neck might not warm to this design.
STREET PRICE: $270
WEBSITE: odysseygolf.com
TECH STORY
The milled soft 1025 carbon-steel head is fitted with a tungsten flange to move weight back and low for a high moment of inertia and improved roll. A double-layer face insert (a resilient elastomer behind a thin, firm outer layer) provides optimal feel, and the loft fits the putter's center of gravity. The series includes two blade-like models, the #1 (a classic Anser style) and the #9 (the half-mallet look preferred by Phil Mickelson).

PLAYER COMMENTS
"This is the shiny little birthday present that I'll be hoping for. . . . This putter has great balance. Rolls true. . . . The firm insert gives it a nice, confident feel. . . . It's a solid putter, and the response on the mis-hits is there -- especially on toe hits. . . . The chrome color is sharp without causing glare, and the roll on this putter is otherworldly."

HOT
The best-looking Odyssey on the market, but this isn't just another high-end blade. It's got some serious technological horsepower.

NOT
Some might have to adjust to its soft sound.

ODYSSEY WHITE HOT TOUR

STREET PRICE: $160
WEBSITE: odysseygolf.com
TECH STORY
The stainless-steel head has been fitted with weight ports that allow designers to customize the head weight to the shaft length. The firm face insert provides a steel-like feel and allows more weight to be moved to the putter's perimeter for a high MOI. Two blade options include #1 (a classic crank-neck, full-shaft offset) and #2 (a short hosel with scooped cavity and half-shaft offset).

PLAYER COMMENTS
"I love the color and the harder feel. . . . The heavy head allows for a smooth takeaway so you have better distance control on long putts. . . . What a quality putter; the weighting is just right. The bronze color is nice, too. . . . I found it easy to putt through the ball, and the balance felt good. . . . The alignment line is in the perfect placeā€”on the top, rather than on the flange."

HOT
This Odyssey looks good, and the insert isn't mushy. The heavier head is expected to be an option on standard lengths, too.

NOT
The number of inserts on Odyssey putters (we count at least four) can be confusing.

PING I-SERIES

STREET PRICE: $120
WEBSITE: pinggolf.com
TECH STORY
The insert-within-an-insert design features a thick, urethane main piece with a thin, soft layer in the center of the face. Whether you prefer the more traditional Anser style or the radical ½ Craz-E, the fitting options are plentiful, and the feel is heavier than other Ping putters.

PLAYER COMMENTS
"The Anser is the gold standard when it comes to looks. I love the feel of the insert, and it rolls beautifully. The balance of this putter is very good. . . . On the ½ Craz-E, everything just looks so straight. The head is ugly, but who cares when it gives you confidence that the ball is going to roll where you want it to? . . . The 'ping' sound is gone, but the performance isn't. . . . How do you improve on a classic? You do exactly this. The alignment is almost automatic, and the insert is firm, but not in a bad way. The roll is unmatched."

HOT
A fresh take on insert design. The alignment graphics are an important bonus.

NOT
We really like the insert, but it doesn't fill the whole face on every model.
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