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Putter Reviews

Review: Cleveland TFi 2135 putters

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Pros: The sight line on the 2135 putters is elevated to the equator of the golf ball — 21.35 mm — helping golfers consistently line the ball up with the sweet spot. The technology proved to be effective, and feel off the face is incredibly soft.

Cons: Multi-color look at address could scare away interested golfers. The 6.5 and 8.0 models are not available for lefties.

Who they’re for: Any golfer, but especially those who know their putting setup isn’t perfect every time. This putter will help hedge inconsistencies at address.

The Review

For generations golfers have been taught that their eyes should be directly over, or just slightly behind the ball at address. This allows them to properly see the line, and line up the center of the putter with the center of the ball.

The problem is, it doesn’t always happen. When the pressure is on, or maybe just from the lack of practice (no judgements here), golfers set up either too far away or too close to the golf ball.

How big of a problem is this? Well, if you don’t align the center of the ball to the center of the club face, you greatly reduce your chances of striking a solid putt, and even further reduce your odds of making a putt — let alone putting well consistently.

My tendency is to crowd the ball and line it up on the heel, which means I’ll contact the ball off-center if I don’t make an adjustment somewhere during the stroke.

Cleveland’s new 2135 putters are designed to solve those issues, or at least help you live with your faults. The number “2135” refers to the radius of a golf ball, which is 21.35 millimeters.

I’ll let Cleveland explain it in the video below.

So does the alignment feature work? Yes. Will golfers still misalign the putter? Also, yes.

ClevelandTFi2135

The putter doesn’t completely eliminate user error, but the raised sight line will help eliminate a faulty setup causing poor visual angles when aligning the putter. While the sight line of Cleveland’s new putters do eliminate the issue of where your eyes see the line, it won’t guarantee a perfect setup. Sorry, but you’ll still have to hit the practice green on occasion.

ClevelandTFi2135address

But the nice thing about the raised sight line? You won’t notice any difference from over the ball. The alignment system is engrained into the design. So it’s not perceptibly goofy, or any different than your current putter from address. The design just inherently helps you line the ball up more consistently.

Beware of putting false hope or promise into the raised sight line — you still have to hit a good putt. But Cleveland’s new technology does do what it claims to do.

ClevelandTFiFaceAside from sight lines, Cleveland’s “TFi” putters — which stands for True Feel Innovation — pack an incredibly soft feel. Their Milled Copper Infused faces cover a Copolymer layer of cushioning behind the face.

ClevelandTFiFace2

The result is a melt-to-the-putter feel at impact with a low-pitched, dense sound that players will find soothing. You can see the gold and white layers from address, which some players may find distracting. Others will think it frames the ball nicely and looks cool.

Below are more details about the three available Cleveland TFI 2135 putter models, as well as the company’s new TFI Halo putter.

TFi 2135 1.0 ($129.99)

ClevelandTFi1

ClevelandTFi1add

  • Available in left- and right-handed
  • Length: 33, 34 and 35 inches
  • Head weight: 345 grams
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie angle: 70 degrees
  • Toe hang: 4 o’clock

TFi 2135 6.5 ($129.99)

ClevelandTFi65

ClevelandTFi65add

  • Available in right-handed only
  • Length: 33, 34 and 35 inches
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie angle: 70 degrees
  • Head weight: 360 grams
  • Toe hang: Face-balanced

TFi 2135 8.0 ($169.99)

ClevelandTFi8

ClevelandTFi8add

ClevelandTFICB

  • Length: 36 and 38 inches (it’s a counterbalanced putter)
  • Head weight: 406 grams
  • Grip weight: 135 grams
  • Loft: 3 degrees
  • Lie angle: 70 degrees
  • Toe hang: 4 o’clock

TFi Halo SmartSquare

ClevelandTFiHalo

Also in the TFi line is the Halo SmartSquare putter. While it doesn’t have alignment lines that sit 21.35 mm above the surface, it does have dual axis alignment lines in the form of two squares that sit parallel and perpendicular to the line.

ClevelandTFIsquare

This putter won’t be for everyone, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t stable and easy to align.

ClevelandTFiSquareAdd

It’s not, however, designed for a stroke that has much arc in it (mine does). If you have a straight-back and straight-through style putting stroke, I’d say give this a try. It’s far from the classic looks of a 8802 or Anser putter, but who cares. The goal is to make putts, after all.

Specs for the Halo, which is also available in a counterbalanced model:

  • Length: 33, 34 and 35 inches
  • Head weight: 370 grams
  • Available in left- and right-handed
  • Lie angle: 70 degrees
  • Loft: 3 degrees
For more photos of the Cleveland TFI putters, click here.

[wrx_retail_links productid=”35″]

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. other paul

    Oct 31, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Putters look sexy looking.

  2. Lunchbox

    Oct 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Is it just me or has this already been done before.

    • Pingaling

      Oct 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      I have a Ping putter from like 2 years ago with pretty much this exact raised sight line setup. I like it. I don’t like that I can’t flick the ball up to myself anymore. I didn’t even think of that in the store dammit.

      • Lunchbox

        Oct 30, 2015 at 9:57 pm

        Yeah I can remember using my grandfathers old ping with a design like that, and that was 15 plus years ago. Nothing like reinventing old tech.

  3. LB

    Oct 30, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Like the copper face and the contrast with the white backing. These look good from address.

    Cavity design looks cheap but that’s nitpicking. Would also need a #9 head design like KC above!

  4. KC

    Oct 30, 2015 at 2:11 am

    I like the concept a lot and I’d be willing to try it out. However, I game the Odyssey #9 head shape exclusively so the only one of these heads that slightly appeals to me would be the 6.5.

  5. Dervarious

    Oct 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    I have the Halo model. Very easy to line up, very easy to stroke on your line, nice feel too. Highly recommend it

  6. The dude

    Oct 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    So true….even the pros don’t play enough break. I’ve recently took stats on missed putts that PGA pros miss on the low side (that got to the hole)…and its staggering …like 75% of the time!

    • graymulligan

      Nov 22, 2015 at 11:57 am

      This is by design. Which put would you rather have if you don’t make the first one…uphill (missing on the low side) or downhill?

      Pros miss low because it leaves a better second putt

  7. Golfraven

    Oct 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    They say don’t judge a book by its cover but this butter is really not appealing to me. So would not make it near my bag

  8. Cliff

    Oct 29, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    If you hit the center of the putter the ball will get closer to the hole. Don’t be an idiot!

  9. Jafar

    Oct 29, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    what you’re just a hater….

  10. Todd

    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I have a Smart Square putter and it’s fantastic for alignment and confidence – I just felt good over the putter from the very beginning with this in my hands. I thought it would help on short putts more, and it does, but it’s actually my lag putting that has improved the most since I started using it which I guess makes a lot of sense as well.

  11. Jafar

    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Very interested in this putter, glad to see it reviewed on here.

  12. Clarence

    Oct 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Any indication on how that copper infused face ages?

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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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