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Putter Reviews

Review: Kingston KP1 and KP2 Putters

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Pros: Solid sound at impact and consistent distance on mishits. These are classic-styled putters with a minimalist look. Custom stamping and sight lines are available.

Cons: Upper tier price point ($279). There’s only one finish option and one head weight (350 grams), Those preferring a mallet style or insert putters are out of luck at the moment.

Bottom Line: A first-rate putter for the Anser-style loving purist. 

Overview

Kyle Sears, founder of Kingston Putters, sees the mid-1990s as the golden age of putter design. The early CNC milled works that appeared on Tour at that time are the basis for the modern putter, in Sears’ mind. The Anser-style flatsticks of this era were played by some of the best putters in golf history and continue to find their way in top pros bags.

In this tradition, all Kingston putters are made from a single block of carbon steel and feature the company’s trademark aggressive milling pattern.

IMG_1366TT

The standard KP1 and KP2 putters come without sightlines, as Sears prefers this look, believing that many players situationally prefer to putt the ball off the toe or heel. However, lines or dots can be added at no extra charge.

All of Kingston’s manufacturing is done in the U.S. Additionally, all of the company’s vendors, such as Pure Grips and Delilah club covers, are based in the U.S.

For Sears, delivering tour-quality putters to the marketplace became something of a mission after he was dissatisfied with the present incarnations of that classic style. Thus, he set off to hone the look, sound, and feel of an Anser-style putter.

In both the KP1 and KP2 models, Sears went through numerous prototypes in order to refine the feel and sound of the putter, varying the width and depth of the pocket in the rear of the face until he achieved precisely what he was after.

IMG_1336rrTT

Kingston Putters is also rolling out a unique “Putt 4 Putt” initiative. The company has partnered with the First Tee in order to give a premium putter to a young golfer for every putter that’s purchased. It’s a unique effort, and one which puts first-rate flat sticks in the hands of young people who otherwise wouldn’t likely be able to afford them.

Both the KP1 and KP2 can be bent to your liking (+/- 4 degrees), and some stamping can be added. See all the details here.

Performance

Performance was comparable with any premium putter. Consistent roll, as well as consistent distance of putts struck on the heel or toe of the putter were apparent.

IMG_1349rTTIMG_1349rTT KP1 Sight Line Top
IMG_1349rTT KP1 Sight Line FlangeIMG_1349rTT KP1 Sight Dot

The KP1 (above), as well KP2, can be customized with one of four different alignment aids: blank, sight line on top line, sight line on flange and sight dot on top line. 

At 350 grams, both the KP1 and KP2 are a pretty standard weight. Neither face was hotter or deader than one would expect and the putter head seemed appropriately stable and balanced throughout the stroke.

If you’re already playing a premium putter, there isn’t a substantial learning curve once you get either the KP1 or KP2 in your hands.

Looks & Feel

It may entirely subjective, but the deep milled grooves seem to grip the ball in a way at impact that really gives the sensation of transferring energy from the putter face to the ball, all with a satisfying firm click.

IMG_1371rcali1d

The KP2 (left) has a more “square” overall shape than the KP1 putter and tour-inspired “rocker sole.”

In testing, both pros who helped me out felt that Kingston has gotten it right in terms of the sound and feel of the putter. Both described the sound as a “unique” and “pleasing,” as well as a “firm click.” Feel is what would be expected from a putter milled from a single piece of carbon steel, which is to say, excellent.

A lack of unnecessary ornamentation defines both the KP1 and KP2 visually. Rather, it’s clear Sears and company prefer to let the putter shapes they’ve labored over so exhaustively take center stage.

The soles of both putters are rougher and less polished than one might expect and create an interesting contrast to the more highly polished steel.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, if you’re in the market for an Anser/Newport-style putter, the KP1 and KP2 merit your consideration alongside industry heavyweights. The legitimate “made in the U.S.A.” element and the Putt 4 Putt initiative only sweeten an already sweet deal.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Boss

    Nov 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Wow. Another Anser/Anser 2 copy.

  2. kevin

    Apr 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Wow nice copy…are those made in China???

  3. rymail00

    Mar 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I thought the same thing. I won a KP2 in the giveaway. I thought the first thing i would do was paint the K black like the rest of the letters. But in person it looks way better.

    It has nice balance and great feel. Even SC, and Byron had to start somewhere. Why not Kyle.

    I am by NO MEANS anyway near a pro like the ones who gave their view in this review, but had shared a lot of the same views. Here is my review, along with pics comparing my KP2 to my Byron’s.

    http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/978660-kingston-putters-kp2-initial-thoughtsreview/page__p__8902545__hl__+kingston%20+putters#entry8902545

  4. Alfredo

    Mar 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Who ever won the giveaway?

  5. Cwolf

    Mar 19, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Nice looking putter, but their logo is absolutely hideous. To me, the logo looks like an after thought and really cheapens the appearance of the putter.

  6. paul

    Mar 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I have often considered making my own putter at work. Apparently all you have to do is try, if it works you can sell them for way to much and make a few bucks.

  7. c masty

    Mar 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Looks like another dude found access to a cnc mill and wants to make putters. What differentiates this from any other joe bloe putter maker wanting to charge exorbitant prices for a chunk of steel?

  8. Reggie Ramos

    Mar 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    The KP1 and KP2 putter sound like a good putter. I have a Taylormade White Gost Tour Putter.

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: T Squared TS-713i Standard Series putter

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Product:  T Squared TS-713i Standard Series Putter

About T Squared: T Squared Putters is a small putter manufacturer just south of Buffalo, New York. The company was founded by Tony Tuber who created his first prototype putters, after hours, in his father’s machine shop. Since then Tony and his father have been creating high-quality putters in the same facility that creates high precision instruments for the medical field. They pride themselves on creating the highest quality, most precise putter they can offer. They offer a few different head shapes from small traditional blades to high MOI mallets and even a custom program to get exactly what you want.

The Ts-713i Standard Series is based on the Ts-713, the first prototype that Tony created. It is a blade-style putter with a slightly longer flange and a unique face insert milled from 6061 aluminum. The body of the Ts713i is milled from a solid block of 303 stainless steel that is produced in the USA and has a Teflon backing between the body and face insert.

This Teflon backing helps give the putter a softer feel at impact and reduce any unwanted vibration. Details are what T Squared is all about and the neck of the putter shows off their milling expertise. The neck is similar to a plumbers neck, built with multiple pieces and offering some cool texture on the section bonded to the head. Another great detail is that all the silver markings on the putter are not filled with paint, they are milled into the head. T Squared finished the head in a sharp matte black and then milled all the markings on the putter for a unique, shiny silver look that really stands out. Ts-713i putters are built for customizing and have a ton of options that you can select if you would like to build something totally unique

On the green, the T Squared TS-713i really performs fantastic. I found the feel at impact very solid without any unwanted vibration. The impact produces a muted click and soft feel that I wasn’t expecting from this aluminum insert and thin face. The deep milling and Teflon coated back to the insert really work together to produce a great, responsive feel that I enjoyed. Deep milling usually makes me a little worried because it can soften the putter too much and lose that feel we all demand.

The TS-713i has no issues and transmits impact feel back to your hands with ease. Mishits are a little louder and harsh, but nothing even close to unpleasant. I have used putters that don’t feel as good on perfectly struck shots as the TS-713i feels on mishit putts. Distance and accuracy on those mishit putts are not as drastic as you would expect with a blade putter. I often just missed the cup by small margins when I struck a putt on the toe or heel of the TS-713i. There aren’t too many blade putters that have shown this level of forgiveness on the green for me.

The “T” alignment aid on the flange of the putter is large and easy to use. Not only do you get a straight line from the face to the back edge for alignment, but the back of the “T” also helps you square the putter up to your target. The Pure grip is not my thing, and it would be great for T Squared to offer a few more options, but that is an easy fix and a very minor criticism.

Overall, the T Squared TS-713i is a great putter from young Tony Tuber that exceeded my expectations. His attention to detail, precision milling, and take on a classic head shape offer golfers something different without sacrificing any performance. If you are looking for a great feeling putter that is made in the USA, you should take a look at T Squared and see what they can make for you.

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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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