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Putter Reviews

Review: Axis 1 Joey Putter

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Pros: The Joey putter has a great weight and a nice, responsive feel when struck. It gave me one of the purest rolls I’ve ever had.

Cons: The unique style can take a little getting used to visually. Off-center hits on lengthy putts have noticeable effect on distance.

Bottom Line: Axis1 putters like the Joey look a little weird at first, but they’re high-quality designs that provide a great roll and help golfers eliminate the all-too-common open-faced miss to the right.

Overview

As with all of Axis1’s putters, the unique style of the Joey results in it being one of “the world’s first 100 percent perfectly balanced putters.” The claim is that the face won’t naturally open up on a golfer because of a heel counterweight built into the putter. This helps place the center of gravity right on the center of the face and perfectly aligned with the axis of the shaft, according to the company. Therefore, golfers won’t struggle as much to return the putter face to square at impact, helping golfers start more putts on the right line.

The square, blade-style head of the Joey offers a traditional look, while Axis1 also offers the Eagle, the Umbra and the Heavy Umbra models.  Each style features the heel counterweight which—contrary to what many people think when they first look at the putter—doesn’t come into play. The unique look of the counterweight even acts as a visual frame at address.

[youtube id=”JJHGmeRhOYA” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The Axis1 Joey is available in either 34- or 35-inch models and sells for $199.

The Eagle ($299) is slightly more rounded than the Joey, and has a copper face insert insert. The Umbra ($299) is a modern mallet with an alignment bar and a black ion finish, and also comes in a heavy model for $349.

IMG_6805

Axis1 putters can be found at axis1golf.com, as well as at select retailers.

Performance

From the first time I picked up the Joey putter, I could tell its balance was different from putters I had used in the past. While you may feel an uneven, heavy weight of some traditional putters, the Joey has such a smooth balance that it feels like the shaft is right in the middle of the club—confirming for me Axis1’s claim of aligning the center of gravity in the center of the face with the shaft’s axis.

IMG_6783

Putting has always been a frustrating part of my game, but the Joey gave me immediate improvements, especially with alignment and roll.

I quickly felt like I had a more controlled stroke because of the club’s balance. In the past, I’ve struggled with cutting across the ball (outside-in) on my putting stroke, with my takeaway being very inconsistent. With the Joey putter, I felt like my takeaway was much more on-line and very smooth through the ball as well. The putter doesn’t waver on the takeaway and doesn’t allow the toe to torque one way or the other.

Coming off the face, the Joey putter provided one of the purest, tightest end-over-end rolls that I’ve ever had with a putter. On several occasions, my playing partners commented on how good the roll was, especially when their balls took a couple hops off their own putters.

I had a lot of confidence in the alignment of the putter, especially inside of 10 feet. Plain and simple: put a good stroke on the ball with the Joey and it goes where you’re aimed. The balance of the putter certainly instilled confidence that my takeaway would be smooth and the toe wouldn’t twist one way or the other.

My biggest struggle with the putter was on lengthier putts (35+ feet). Off-center hits were not terribly forgiving and came up well short. While the center of gravity being in the middle of the striking face certainly helps with the putter’s balance and smooth roll, it doesn’t allow for the greatest forgiveness.

Looks and Feel

IMG_6778

The Joey has a traditional blade-style head, but the unique style of the heel is certainly an eye catcher. That tends to be the off-putting factor for many, but it’s still something that one can get comfortable with after use. Plus, it serves as a pretty good conversation starter if someone hasn’t seen the putter before.

The strike of the ball has a little different sound—a slight ping—than I’m used to, but the face was still responsive. You can feel if you have struck the ball off-center. Mis-struck putts still carry a good line, but speed/distance seemed to be affected.

The stock grip is a Winn, which has a good feel with a little bit of tackiness to it. The red headcover matches the red grip and is a nice accessory to go with the putter.

The Takeaway

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My playing partners assure me that I have no reason not to keep the Joey it in my bag. They have seen my struggles with the flat stick from time to time, and saw how good of a roll I am able to put on the ball with the Joey.

For people thinking about getting the Joey, or any Axis1 putter, I’d encourage them to give it a try. It looks funny, but the putter felt smooth from the first time I tried it and I got even more comfortable over the ball as I continued to practice with it. The balance of the putter, combined with the smooth roll and easy alignment are reasons enough to test the putter. Axis1 also has a 30-day money back guarantee, so the only thing golfers are really risking if they buy one are their shipping costs.

If you’re looking for a putter that will take away the open-face miss to the right, transitioning from an anchored putter or just looking for something different, an Axis1 putter might be for you.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”https://www.e2e-store.com/axis1/index.cgi” oemtext=”Learn more from Axis1″ amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CI7TCYI/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00CI7TCYI&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=AY7RFLFXFQ3RHW7Z”]

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GolfWRX fan turned GolfWRX contributor. Sports fan, golf enthusiast. Looking to provide a variety of content to GolfWRX.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. retiredRichard

    Jul 3, 2015 at 8:20 am

    What are the head weights of the current Joey, Joey c and Umbra models? Had one of the original Axis1 putters-head felt way too light.

  2. AGF

    Dec 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Whew! Sorry, but that is one ugly putter. Would never use it.

  3. Rob Munro

    Dec 12, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Are there any places in Australia where I can get to try one of these?

  4. K dubb

    Dec 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    U – G – L – Y you ain’t got no alibi YOU ugly, hey, hey, YOU UGLY!!

  5. Dillon

    Dec 12, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Any plans for lefty models, Axis folks?

  6. R

    Dec 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Been waiting for a review on this putter for some time now. Thanks

    • AJ Jensen

      Dec 12, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Me too! I saw it in a golf catalog last summer and I’ve been wondering how it performs. For the money I’d certainly have to try it before buying

  7. LorenRobertsFan

    Dec 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I don’t want to have to worry about shanking a putt with that ugly thing

  8. Geoff LePoer

    Dec 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I have the Eagle and the Joey. Both are great and everyone that that has tried them, loved them. I collect putters and will say I have bought 4 Scotty Camerons in the last few years and have dumped them all in favor of the Joey. I still have about 10 high end putters in the basement but the Joey has been in the bag close to a year and it performs.

  9. Phil Long

    Dec 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Our Joey Model which was reviewed in this story retails for $199.00 and has been a very popular product for us.

  10. Comment

    Dec 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    200-350 for an experiment. Even with a 30 day gaurantee that may or may not give me enough playing time with it is too steep for my blood. Might explain the lack of popularity. Too rich for my blood.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

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Product: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Pitch: From Odyssey/Toulon: “The Odyssey Toulon San Diego Stroke Lab Putter is our take on on another classic putter. It’s an expertly crafted, premium milled blade, with our multi-material Stroke Lab Shaft, deep diamond milled cross hatch grooves, and a new Charcoal Smoke finish.”

Our take on the Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Toulon is the line of all milled putters from Odyssey, originally started by club designer Sean Toulon and his sons. Toulon putters have always featured their Deep Diamond Mill face, adjustable sole weight, and brazed (instead of welded) necks. That combination has created a great putter line that has become popular on tour as well as us amateur players. For 2019, there are some new head shapes, Charcoal Smoke Finish, Deep Diamond Milling across the whole face, and the Stroke Lab putter shaft.

I got my hands on the Toulon San Diego, a more squared-off blade shape, for this review. The shape, milling, and finish on the San Diego are great and really show off what a high quality piece it is. The biggest change visually is the full Deep Diamond Mill face, making the view from address more uniform. The face used to have the milling only in the center of the face and to some that was a distracting look while others liked the way it framed the ball. The new finish also looks great. I always have liked darker finishes and this looks high end while still reducing glare in the brightest conditions.

The Stroke Lab shaft goes well with the finish on the San Diego and the head cover is a plush synthetic leather that feels like it will hold up for years of use.

On the green the San Diego SL has a crisp sound and feel. If you like a little more click to your putter, then the San Diego SL will be right what you are looking for. And don’t take that as a negative thing, that crisp feel gives great feedback on face contact. You know exactly where the putter face and ball met by the sound and feel. The Deep Diamond Mill gets the ball rolling quickly on line with very minimal hop and skid, providing very consistent and repeatable distance control.

This is blade, so shots off the toe to tend to stray from your intended line a bit, the face does seem like it wants to rotate open a bit. Heel strikes defiantly stay online better, but tend to lose more steam and net get the roll out you might expect. The simple alignment line on the flange of the putter is easy to align, even for a guy who has been using mallets for years.

Like I have said before, I think there is something to the Stroke Lab tech, the lighter shaft and weight in the butt of the shaft do affect tempo for me; I noticed a slight calming of my backstroke and stroke through the ball.

Overall, the San Diego is a great putter for those who like a little firmer feel and more audible click on their putter. It is very responsive and putts a great roll on the ball. This isn’t a cheap putter ($450) and the fit and finish let you know that you are getting what you paid for.

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Miura MGP-NM1 Putter

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Product: Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Pitch: Limited to 300 pieces, the Miura MGP-NM1 is Miura’s first 303 stainless steel putter. Its appearance is in keeping with the bolder designs of the Miura Giken family.

Our take on the Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Miura Giken has become the brand where Miura can push some limits and try out designs and technology not really fit for the standard Miura line. And if doing something new and different is what Miura Giken is about, then the MGP-NM1 fits like a glove. When most people think of Miura, they think forged carbon steel and traditional, old school shapes. The MGP-NM1 is a long ways from that, being milled from 303 stainless steel, having adjustable weights and milled stepped pockets in the sole.

If you love mill marks, then the MBG-NM1 will fulfill all our needs because the head is covered with them. I really liked the top line where the mill marks go front to back but then get much finer around the alignment line. If you look close the milling is still there, but just much finer. It works great along with the alignment lines on the “fangs.” The MGP-NM1 is a great size: large enough to give you confidence that a mishit will stay online, but not too big to be distracting. Like most putters with this (Odyssey No. 7)  shape, it frames the ball really well and looks great to my eye. The way the shaft goes into the head is for sure unique, it is straight from address but does drop down into the head.

I will get my one con on this putter out of the way early: the way the shaft goes into the head from address. I love the shape of the head, but the way the shaft enters the head makes it harder for me to line up. At address you can see the the top line of the putter on both sides of the shaft and for some that might be helpful, but it took me a long time to get comfortable with my alignment. Also, the head cover isn’t up to standard for a putter in this price range.

But the good of this putter really outweighs that bad. The putter  feels and sounds great, much like the Miura KM-009 reviewed previously. Feel is very solid with, to me, the perfect amount of click on impact. There might be just a slight bit of vibration on contact, but very minimal and will probably vary with the ball you play. Contact on the toe and heel really stay on target well; you can tell this mallet has a fairly high MOI. Like any responsive putter should do, this really provides good feedback on mishits. Toe and heel shots are not punished as much as you would think, the ball still rolls out well with minimal distance loss. That solid, soft Miura feel really does come through with this putter.

Overall, I think the Miura Giken MGP-NM1 is a really great way for a mallet user to put a Miura putter into the bag.

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Putter Reviews

Review: Optic Z Putters

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Pros: Point-and-shoot putting. Optic Z putters use a Z-neck design that can lead to a more consistent setup with your hands and eyes on every putt.

Cons: It could take a little while to get used to the design.

Who It’s For: Players looking to develop a consistent setup and stroke.

The Review

  • Model: Optic Z8
  • Head Weight: 365 grams
  • Material: Proprietary “Power 51” Alloy
  • Finish: Black “High-Tech Molecular” application
  • Face Milling: Deep Double Mill
  • Stock Lie: 70.5 degrees (rolled sole allows angles from 67 to 75)
  • Loft: 2.25 degrees
  • Stock Length Options: 35 inches (All lengths available custom order)
  • Stock Grip: Lamkin E.B.L “Optic” grip (Custom grips available)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Steel (Aerotech, Loomis, and UST available)
  • Price: $325 Base (Up to $500 with custom options)

Over the past decade, it seems like there have been as many new putter companies as there have been drivers released in the past year (I think another one just released since I typed that sentence). While many of them have come up with ways to re-create or re-design the classic favorites of the past 40-plus years, there are a few companies that are pushing the boundaries of what a putter can be and how it can help make putting easier. And a company called Optic Z Putters has done just that.

Z8Putter4

I reviewed the company’s Optic Z8 putter, which has a distinct batwing shape. It’s one of three putters the company offers — its Z3 is more blade-like in shape, while its Z7 is more mallet-like — and each putter sells for $325.

According to the company, Z Optic putters take the two main parts of putting and making them easy to reproduce. And with every putt, Optic Z putters are said to help golfers set their hands and eyes in the same exact position for every putt. “This has been done!” you say? Well, let’s find out if my experience with the Z8 was different.

The Look

back optic z8

When I first saw the Z8 putter with its Z-shaped hosel, I began to wonder, “What exactly is going on here?” It has a unique Z-neck that creates a “3D” effect when looking down over the ball at address. But when looking at the putter in any other view, it does look odd. It will take a little bit of time to get used to it, but like many putters that come out these days, after a while you simply get used to it and forget about it.

Z8putter1

The putter is 100 percent milled, U.S.A. made, and has a deep “double” milled face pattern that is familiar to most people. It offers an incredibly soft feel that is part from the milling, but also from the Proprietary Power 51 alloy metal that is used. The sole of the Z8 has 8 degrees of roll to it. This means that it can effectively play with a lie angle anywhere from 67 to 75 degrees. The new Z-neck hosel also makes the putter face balanced as if it was a center-shafted putter. And finally, there are several thick alignment lines, both horizontal and vertical, to help aim.

The Z Revolution?

3WayAlignment_grande

Once you set the putter down and see how everything lines up in a “3D” type of alignment, you get the point of the Z-neck. Instead of just giving one point of reference similar to other putters, the Z8 gives you three points of alignment.

You align the Z-neck bend with the toe of the putter, the heel and shaft together, and then make sure both are lined up together. Once you have this set, your hands and eyes will be in the correct position.

Z8Putter6

In addition to adding more reference points, the key difference with the Z8 is that it actually requires you to have forward press with your hands. The stated loft of 2.25 degrees is the loft with your hands in that forward-press position. The Z-neck is also supposed to eliminate the visual moment of impact of when the ball comes off the face of the putter. The theory is that it helps you relax more through the stroke by not seeing the point of impact, a similar theory to looking at the hole instead of the ball when putting.

Does it work?

Z8Putter5

I was skeptical of the putter when I first started using it, and it took me a little bit to get used to the 3D effect. After spending a good amount of time with it, I can say that it does what it is supposed to do. It really becomes a “point-and-shoot” kind of putting, and it makes the set up of putting incredibly easy. The ball rolls really well off the face, too, and the feel is incredibly soft. The alignment aids do a good job helping at address, and I’m someone who has moved away from alignment aids because I tend to aim them incorrectly.

The Optic Z8 putter performed the best for me on putts inside 10 feet. I struggled on longer putts, but it was more due to the weight of the putter. At 365 grams, it is much heavier compared to what I’ve been using, but I’ve always struggled with long-distance putting with heavier putters. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. And the more I used it, the more comfortable I became and the more putts I made.

The Takeaway

Z8putter

If you struggle with consistency, especially at set up, this is one to try. It may take some time to get used to Optic Z putters, but most golfers should be able to adjust. These putters are well made, feel great and can truly help golfers in two areas that we know are important to putting.

To learn more about Optic Golf’s putters, visit the company’s website

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