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The Big Review – Radius Classic 2 Putter

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Due to launch on Thursday 27th at the PGA Merchandising Show, Radius is a new putter manufacturer and is the brainchild of Graham Webb and Peter Lord, the two guys behind the design and success of VEGA throughout Europe.

After 5 years of working on the European PGA Tour, they saw many players trying to make putters work for them rather than finding a putter that fits their own stroke and decided to do something about it. From the path the putter head takes came the name and from their experience of working with some of the best players in the world came the designs – some influenced by classics such as the anser and some distinctly more modern day offerings.

The first 3 putters designed are now known as the Path Concept line and are based around the 3 most popular strokes taught today. Inside to Release (ITR), Inside to Square (ITS) and Square to Square (STS). The finished products are very similar to the prototypes that first appearance at the 2010 PGA Show in Orlando but have also been expanded to include the Classic line.

CAD designed in the UK, Radius putters have a unique crosshatching pattern on the face. To combat the dimple effect when putting, Radius looked at ways of minimising the contact area without increasing spin. In house testing showed grooves had little to no effect and in fac the crosshatching gave them the results they were looking for.

There is the standard range of combination of lengths and lies: 31-37″ length, 3.5 degrees loft, 71 degree lie and with a standard weight of 340g . Full customisation is available – all heads are available from 4 degrees flat to 4 degrees upright with any weight or length. And since they build to order, every customer gets what they want. Putters are made from either SC20 or 304 steel depending on the head shape and the sound.

Appearance

As a long-necked anser model, what’s not to like? The version that we had to test was actually an early release prototype of the Classic 2. The gorgeous clean lines produced by the CNC milling make this one very desirable club. The Classic line has a fantastic black finish (the Path Concept line are satin plated) that reeks of quality. The milling work really is excellent and the overall look is flawless. The Radius logo, concentric red/orange/yellow circles, sits small at the heel of the face (see below).

Performance

With only 1/8 toe hang, this putter is almost face balanced. This means that it works best for STS and to slight ITR strokes. The putter is very easy to line up with the white sight line showing strongly enough against the black finish to clearly indicate both your intended line and your swing path when in motion. On this long neck model the sweet spot is right in the middle of the face, lining up with the sightline.

So how does it roll? in a word beautifully. The crosshatched face feels unbelievably soft. When you hit a quality ball like a ProV1 or a Z-Star it feels like a balata coming off the face. When you hit a distance ball, you lose some of that sensation of softness but not enough to affect your distance judgement. Speaking of which, the distance control with this is top notch. The combination of the sight line and the feel makes it just as easy to drain short putts as it is to lag long ones so they cosy up to the hole. And don’t be surprised if you hole a few more of the long ones than you thought you might.

The Feeltec (reviewed a few weeks ago here on golfwrx) grip provides a great connection to the club and comes in either pistol or oversize styles. Iomic grips are offered at no extra charge.

Conclusion

For any new putter manufacturer, getting the product in the bags of Tour players signifies that what you are making is the real deal. Radius have already had some prototypes out on Tour and plan to off a full tour service in 2011, extending that out to include the US PGA and the Asian Tour. Radius say that they are only looking to release putters when they have something that is an improvement on their current range. The Classic range is unlikely to change but the Path Concept range is likely to see additions like a high MOI putter.

The Classic 2 is a gorgeous putter that performs as well as it looks but ultimately it’s how well the putter suits the golfer that makes the difference. Given the spectacular looks and performance along with the full customisation on offer, that doesn’t seem to be a worry. Radius products look like a great addition to the putter line up and we can’t wait to see what else they have to offer.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Best 3-wood of the newest releases?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Kaexo, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what they feel is the best 3 wood of the recent releases. Described as the “hardest spot in the bag to settle on” by one of our members, an array of different 3 woods get a mention in Kaexo’s thread.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Phil6380: “Cobra F8 is the best I’ve hit. Something about those rails when hitting it out of the turf. I have no fear of hitting down when needed. It’s also my most consistent club off the tee BY FAR! I give up a little distance, but when I need to hit a tight fairway, or I’m not hitting my best, that’s the club I’m grabbing.”
  • calfan36: “King LTD is great if you have some speed/launch. Very low spin, very forgiving, and an amazing feel. Also, I love that I can play it shorter and easily add weight via the space port.”
  • aussieb: “The two best fairways of recent releases are the G400 and Epic SZ for different reasons. G400 for forgiveness and great launch conditions from just about any lie, plus it sounds extremely solid.  Might still make my bag if I can find the right shaft combo, the Epic SZ is better for me than the Rogue for adjustability, ball speeds and head shape.  I found it worked off the short grass better than anything, and if I miss the fairway, it’s more likely to be the hybrid or a layup.”
  • ChipNRun: “Reality check: for many golfers, the best 3W is a 4W – slightly shorter shaft for better control, and extra loft to enhance launch.”

Entire Thread: “Best 3 wood of the newest releases?”

 

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Bargain Challenge 2: Putting together a $500 set of clubs for a mid-handicapper

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Last week, I posted about what clubs you can get with $500. I built a set that I would use myself to show that even golfers with particular specs can find what they want for a decent price. Overall the feedback on the post was good, but I did want to follow up since one of the commenters put me up to a challenge. See below.

Well alright James, challenge accepted.

Challenge: A set of mid-handicap clubs with stiff shafts for less than $500.

Driver

Since I was going to be building a set of a mid-handicapper, my goal was to find a driver that got solid distance, but was also forgiving. I found this R9 460 in 10.5 degrees for $65. While the paint has seen better days, this should perform exactly how we want it to. Plus it is adjustable.

Wood

The 3-wood search stumped me for a bit. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to go with. I knew I didn’t want a strong three wood and I knew I needed something with forgiveness. After some searching I found a Ping K15 16 degree with a stiff shaft. While the loft is higher, I have found that many higher handicap amateurs can find good use out of a higher lofted 3-wood. On top of that, the K15 is an incredibly easy to hit and forgiving head.

Hybrid

I knew what most mid-handicappers would have a hard time hitting a 2 or 3-iron, so my mind immediately went to a 3-iron hybrid. After some searching, I stumbled on this Ping Rapture V2 with a stiff shaft. Historically, the Raptures have been really easy to hit which makes this a great addition to the bag.

Irons

I had the hardest time in this entire process finding irons. There were just too many to choose from. You had great player irons like the Ping S57 and you also had the super game improvement Adams irons. To find something slightly more in the middle, but still easy to hit, I went with the 2012 TaylorMade CBs. A great year for TaylorMade irons and easy to hit with the irons only going down to the 4. This is where someone can have some fun with their choices if they want.

Wedges

Wedge shopping was still hard this time around. Since the PW in the iron set was strong, I knew I needed a stronger gap wedge. I found a Callaway X-Jaws 50-degree for $24. Really, the entire point of the 50 is to have another iron and bridge the gap to the sand wedge. Speaking of the sand wedge, I went with the 56-degree Ping Gorge SS wedge. It has good grooves and will get the job done around the greens. For the lob wedge, I went with the Cleveland RTX 2.0 60 degree: A really solid wedge with good groves to give you the zip you need around the greens.

Putter

And finally, I went with another great blade putter for $55. Honestly, there were a lot of different options in the range from mallets to blades, so don’t be afraid to search around.

Total

In summary, anyone and any skill level and swing speed can find something in the used market. In fact, it was even easier to find clubs in stiff than X-stiff because most X-stiff clubs are custom and are in less demand making, them more rare and expensive than stiff clubs. Take a look, you never know what you may find.

Related: Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500

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Forum Thread of the Day: “What’s the best budget wedge?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from bamagator, who asks fellow GolfWRX members what wedges they feel offer the best bang for your buck. As always, our members display their diverse taste, however, Maltby wedges prove to be a particularly popular choice.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • BIG STU: “Depending on the fine line of how you really want to do it and the budget Maltby is a good bet. Their stuff is as good of quality as any. If you are able to build your own clubs, you can do the shafts, and grips like you want them. You can also mix bounces and even style of heads within the set.”
  • Orlandogolfguru: “Rock bottom t7 for 69. Dicks – gg rtx 3 for 69. Or Maltby for like 39. I have all of them and can’t decide which I like best. They are all great, depends in the shape you like really. Can’t go wrong.”
  • Lefty431: “Don’t sleep on Wilson FG tour pmp wedges…  especially tour grind!  They seem to be readily available and super affordable!!”
  • kiw1982: “Wilson PMP. You are welcome.”

Entire Thread: “Best Budget Wedge”

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