Pros: Stroke stability and consistency are likely to improve with a proper fitting. The putters also double as training aids for stroke tempo.

Cons: The looks, overall feel and forced-forward-press grip will likely take getting used to.

Who’s it for: Golfers seeking more stability in their stroke. If you don’t get fit properly, however, the technology will not reach its maximum potential.

The Review

DirectedForcePuttersOften times, great inventions are made out of necessity — a solution to a problem. That’s how Bill Presse, founder of Directed Force, developed his innovative putter technology. As a playing professional and teaching pro, he was frustrated by poor putting and needed a solution. Presse began building putters, and after “drilling holes in [putter] heads,” he figured out he could make a putter that stayed square to the putter path. His buddies were disbelievers, so he built “the revealer” to prove the technology — another invention born because of a problem.

Unlike most putters, which are either face-balanced or have what’s called “toe hang,” Directed Force putters ($399.95) are lie-angle balanced. That means the putter face stays straight (or perpendicular) to the putter path throughout the stroke, which is ideal in theory. And serious golfers across the globe have spent countless hours trying to improve their ability to keep their putter face perpendicular to their path during their stroke.

Can this new putter technology provide a shortcut? Watch the video below to see it in action.

Presse’s technology is effective for golfers because of the importance of the face angle at impact. According to findings from SAM PuttLab, the face angle at impact determines 83 percent of a putt’s initial starting direction, and is thus about 5 times more important than putter path.

Here’s how they’re made.

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The company first forges the putter heads from 6061 aircraft aluminum, then CNC-milled to the proper shape and finishes them with a type-3 anodized coating. It’s important to note that lie-angle balance is not achieved because of the outlandish head shape, which is the immediate assumption, but rather due to the location of the shaft relative to the center of gravity (CG) in the club head. To dial in the specific lie angle of each putter — which are weighted differently depending on a putter’s lie angle, length and grip — weights are installed on each side of the putter face (toe and heel), as well as on the sole. It’s those weights, in conjunction the putter’s shaft position, that give the putters their “lie-angle balance.”

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Not only does the head shape look, well… weird, but the grip is unconventional, too. But there’s science behind it, as well. Watch the video below to learn more about the PressGrip, developed by Presse, and how it works.

The putter shaft runs through the PressGrip at 3 degrees, instead of straight in (or 0), placing the putter in a forward-press position without the golfer’s hands moving forward of center. This allows the golfer to choke down or up on the grip without losing lie angle, and since the grip is made with a constant taper, changing hand positions doesn’t affect the feel of the grip.

The PressGrip comes in two sizes: Mid-Size (1.250 inches) and Large (1.375 inches), and can be purchased separately for $29.95.

Directed Force’s putter technologies are not dependent on the PressGrip, however, so the putters can be made with the aftermarket grip of your choice. Presse says the grip size and weight affect weighting in the head, so make sure to factor that in during your purchase.

Does it work?

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First off, the grip feels very different at first, even for someone who forward presses their putter. It’s the first thing most golfers comment on when they try it for the first time. And while it can feel strange, all it takes is a few strokes to get used to it. After that, you’ll be disappointed going back to a normal putter grip — at least I was.

The second thing someone will comment on is the head shape… obviously. It’s a lot of putter head to look at, and the shape is far from conventional. That being said, different doesn’t mean bad in this case.

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This putter has one of those, you’re-just-along-for-the-ride feels, and seems to swing itself. For yippers or those who struggle with short putts, those are great words to hear. And due to the displacement of so much weight well behind the face, it has a very high moment of inertia (MOI). That means it hardly matters whether you hit it off the toe, heel or center of the face. The putter allows you — and I have confirmed this — to hit 30+ foot putts dead off the heel or toe without much, or any, noticeable affect on distance or direction.

Because of its reliance on lie-angle balance, the technology won’t be as beneficial if the putter isn’t fit to your lie angle. So make sure — if you’re seriously interested in buying a Directed Force putter — you get fit by a Directed Force Fitter, or do a Remote Fitting with Directed Force, which cost $30 but comes with a $30 discount code if you choose to purchase the putter.

The Numbers

So how do Directed Putters perform? We tested them with two golfers on SAM PuttLab, each of which was fit remotely for Directed Force putters several weeks before the test.

  • Tester 1 was me, a former college golfer and now a 1-handicap, weekend player. I’ve used the same off-the-rack Anser-style putter for the last two years, and only practiced with a Directed Force for about 30 minutes at the PGA Merchandise, which is where we discovered the putters.
  • Tester 2 was GolfWRX’s Zak Kozuchowski, our editor and resident professional golfer. He was recently fit for his gamer, an 8802-style, in the fall by another putter company.

Tester 1: Gamer

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Tester 1: Directed Force

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Tester 1 Data Analysis

  • Consistency improved on average with Directed Force putter (98 percent versus 90 percent with gamer).
  • Face rotated less with Directed Force putter on average.
  • Putter path was more neutral with Directed Force putter on average (3.5 degrees left versus 3.9 degrees with gamer).
  • Putter path improved with Directed Force putter (56 percent consistency versus 52 percent consistency with the gamer).
  • Rise angle was higher with gamer putter (1.6 degrees up versus 1.0 up with the Directed Force).

Tester 2: Gamer

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Tester 2: Directed Force

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Tester 2 Data Analysis

  • Putter path consistency improved with Directed Force on average (95 percent versus 87 percent with gamer).
  • Putter path was 2.3 degrees left with the Directed Force on average, but much more neutral with gamer putter (only 0.5 degrees left).
  • Rise angle was less downward with the gamer (1.1 degrees down) versus 2.6 degrees down with the Directed Force putter on average.
  • Face rotation consistency was better with the gamer on average (93 percent versus 89 percent with the Directed Force)
  • The face rotated less throughout the stroke with the Directed Force on average, and was less closed at impact on average (0.6 degrees versus 1 degree).

The numbers show a rise in consistency for both golfers when using the Directed Force putter compared to gamers. Tester 1, who had little experience with the putter, struggled with alignment, and both players hit more “down” on their putts with the Directed Force, most likely due to the forced forward press.

Therefore, it appears that the Directed Force putters can immediately add consistency to a golfer’s stroke, although it is likely that it will take time for golfers to truly optimize their putting with them.

The Takeaway

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If you’re going to try a Directed Force putter, make sure you get fit for it. It’s designed to work with your specific lie angle, and isn’t going to be as effective as it could be if it’s more than a few degrees off.

The oversize putter head’s feel and the grip could be a shock to many golfer’s systems, but after just a few putts most golfers will find that they’re no longer even noticing the odd-shaped putter head. And while the setup and stroke that the putter encourages may take some time to master, the benefits are fruitful.

Based on our testing, there’s no question golfers can improve the consistency of their strokes with a Directed Force putter, which is a rare thing to be able to say.

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Andrew Tursky is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

47 COMMENTS

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  1. I’ve noticed a number of sidesaddle comments here. I’m a sidesaddle putter too. I’d love to give this putter a try at some time. My worry is the weight of the head (350g I think?). Most SS putters tend to run a little heavier IMHO to promote the more pendulum stroke. Plus, I suffer from a bit of the “tremors” in my hands and so need more weight to steady the putter head. I know I could add the weight myself (lead tape etc) – but am then worried the I would reduce the lie angle balance if even only a bit. Maybe a future design could allow for adding weight (plugs etc)? Great design and great idea. But I’m worried about spending $400+ for a putter that might be too light for me.

  2. Hey guys ! I just want to say thanks for all the buzz and honest comments…brad purrer, very sorry about your experience. Going forward you can contact me personally bill at directedforce dot com. And mention this thread and I’ll remember who you are, maybe I can make things right or at least try. Also for the record I do remember playing with Shane, the guy is a pretty stick already. When I play with strangers I’ll offer them the use of a demo putter for the round. He play it on the front nine snd also didn’t putt very well either. So on ten I said ‘hey man just play one holes with it and tell me what you think’ he said ‘ok’ … the guy made just about everything he looked at. As the inventor it was really fun to watch his eyes light up and being stoked to grab it out of his bag. I thought it was a fluke, but them about a week later he joined us for another round at the club I play at, so I gave him the same putter to use again. If I hadn’t seen with my own eyes I’d have to question but again he drained everything inside 10 ten feet or so and dropped a couple bombs too. Glad I wasn’t betting him lol

  3. Have you considered making a side-saddle (face-on) model of this putter? If you do, I would recommend designing a narrower face (heel to toe) to address clearance issues. Thx

  4. I bought this putter at the trade show and had the privilege of being “fit” by the designer Bill Presse. The putter is odd looking and takes awhile getting used to. Once you do get use to it watch out. I won my clubs two man event this past weekend and I made everything I looked at. If I didn’t make I burned the edge or left it just short. This putter is worth every penny.

  5. tried to order one but the company reps suck…weeks and weeks I wait for a response…..this is a fly by night pos, no way am I spending 400 bucks with these losers.

    • Are you sure you are looking at the correct website? I placed an order and received an order confirmation email immediately. When I called and left a message I received a phone call back from the company about 2 days later letting me know there was a back order. Of course I am a bit disappointed that I have to wait, but back in the mid 80’s it was a 3 month wait for a set of Eye 2 irons. They were worth the wait, and I am positive that this will be as well. Good luck to you, and I hope you find a putter that you can putt well with. I am thinking your post is simply a troll post…

  6. Have to admit this is intriguing…. Think I will play around with an old centre shafted putter and some lead tape in the garage and see if I can achieve this same lie angle balance effect.

  7. ParMan is right, it’s stupid good. I now own about 30 obsolete putters. I took one of my anser style putters out the other day thinking it would be fun roll again like I used to do rotating putters in and out. Now I’ve got some real puuuurty putters in the stable so I took out one of my finest (not going to name names) and had hi hopes thinking I’d like it and put good. I rolled a few times and couldn’t believe I used to think it was solid or accurate for that matter. It’s just not a fair fight, the DF has raised the bar on how a putter should perform.

  8. So what happens when you hold this putter horizontally and check the toe hang amount? Does it rest like a face balanced putter or does it have some toe hang? Just wondering…

    I think I really want the “revealer” first and see how my putters stack up (all modified, none are “conventional”).

    • Hi Mark,
      Our development focus has been on developing a putter when held in a putting position, not when held horizontally or vertically.
      So the putter is not face, toe, nor heel balanced when held horizontally. Cause holding a putter horizontally does not mean a thing when you are putting. It is LIE ANGLE BALANCED, which means that when held and then swung in a putting stroke, the face stays square to the arc by itself. Thus eliminating so much use of the small twitch muscles in the hands, wrists and forearms.

  9. This putter is like the prom date that puts out, a lot of par savers and birdie putts, may not be the best looking one at the party but starts to get really good looking when the putts drop. I saw someone mention an Oddesey Backstryke ha I have one of those and it’s junk compared to this putter, not even in the same ball park. It took me about one round to realize that I could relax and just pull it back and go. My DF has paid for itself countless times in skins games and playing with the boyz this last summer. Index 2

  10. I was fit for one when I was out in Scottsdale with a buddy and met one of the reps. The $400 is less than what you spend on a driver and having a putter that literally reduced my putts per round by 4.5 strokes, it is a no brainer. I got rid of the grip and putt a super strike on it – just couldn’t adjust to the feel/shape and it clicked. It’s not the sexiest by any stretch, but it flat out performs and will save you strokes. ~or~ you can go dump $400 on a Scotty and keep missing them but look pretty. I traded my hand made Piretti for it and then sold the Scotty X5 after 2 rounds. Zero 3 putts.

  11. Interesting that they didn’t ‘spin’ any other branded center shafted putters with that gizmo. Of course the axix is off with a non center shafted putter if you spin it.

    • 2Short you have to experience this thing in person. 10 putts with it compared to 10 putts with whatever you are using would be enough to show you. I watched over 100 people demo this a the Minnesota golf show and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM putted better and loved the “feel” of it swaying back and forth through the putt. I was very skeptical but tried it, bought one, and have shot my 2 best rounds since using it. I absolutely LOVE it. Guys I play with laughed at me when they saw it… then I laughed when they were paying me after the round and now they want to buy one lol

  12. I think that the price point is really going to be the killer. Whether or not the technology actually helps, the $400 price point is out of market for the casual AM’s who would most benefit from this putter. At 400, they are hitting that Scotty/Betti market. Will anyone—I mean anyone—in that market purchase this putter?

    • No way people in that market purchase this. Because people in that market are more interested in getting the pretty/custom Betti/Scotty/Byron/etc…to show off than they are buying some atrocity that helps them make a 3 footer.

      Believe me I know…Im one of those people

  13. I don’t think it’s bad looking at all, it’s a little funky, but compared to some of the monstrosities out there it looks like it could disappear after a few uses. The matte black helps a lot in that regard. It kind of reminds me of a fighter jet. As for the four hundred bucks, how often does a true innovation come along in golf? Assuming this is the first putter to ever be lie angle balanced. I think he should charge whatever he thinks he can get for something that no one else has to offer. I’ll definitely test it and may have to start saving my pennies. People spend that kind of money all the time for a driver and something that gets the ball in the hole should be worth that or more!

    • Check out the pricing for custom fit putters. Edel, Scottys, etc. $400 is still cheaper than a new driver and you take more strokes with your putter. Why spend $200 on a putter that doesn’t work. This thing is money, and you’ll win enough money off your friends with fewer strokes so it will pay itself off over time. After using this lie angle balanced putter, I could never go back. I’m a 2 handicap and have bought a new putter each year the past 5 years trying to shave those last 2 strokes off my handicap. My first 2 rounds with the Directed Force? Par. Par. Once the next handicap revision comes I should be at scratch so I feel like it’s the best $400 I’ve EVER spent on golf equipment.

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