The selections for the 2016 Hot List are a far cry from your father's blade putters. But though these flat sticks vary in weight, touch, looks and spirit, they share a common ambition: To save you strokes on the green.
The selections for the 2016 Hot List are a far cry from your father's blade putters.
Sure, there are conventional models represented in this category. Traditionalists will find the tools they've grown accustomed to. There's even a spot-on reproduction of a flatstick from 50 years ago, proving that a well-crafted club can be timeless.
However, while some of the putters maintain the aesthetics of old, their construction is anything but. Many of the putters are built with heavier clubheads and more weight in the grip than years past. The added mass is intended to give a player more stability in the stroke by stopping -- or at least reducing -- torque from shaky hands and wrists. That the counterbalance approach is more expansive in the year anchored putters are banned is not a coincidence.
The weight and its distribution may deliver a foreign feel to new users. There are also varying influences of the counterbalance concept; every putter delivers a unique experience.
Creating better rotation off the face is another initiative across the industry regarding blade putters. New face elements -- most notably, inserts -- and groove technologies promote more effective launch angles at impact, thus promoting "truer roll" results. Moreover, these features help the club's consistency in its feel and performance, especially off mis-hits.
Compared to the stereotypical blade design, some of these clubs look like they belong in a different club grouping, like a mallet or hybrid. In a few cases, perhaps a different sport.
Nevertheless, though the 2016 Hot List blade putters vary in weight, touch, looks and spirit, they share a common ambition: To save you strokes on the green.