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The Big Review – GEL Sedo Putter
Following on from the pioneering work of people like Harold Swash, GEL (or Groove Equipment Limited to give them their full name) have taken the idea of groove faced putters and sought to improve it. In GEL’s case, all their putters feature a CNC precision milled aluminium insert with horizontal grooves to make the ball roll faster and truer.
GEL have backed their claims with research performed by Quintic Sports Analysis that saw the GEL putters outperform competitors like Ping, Titleist, TaylorMade, Odyssey and Yes in getting the ball rolling faster using a robotic putting arm.
The Paul Hurrion signature designed putters are their new range which debuted at the London Golf Show earlier this year, building on the success of previous models like the Emerald, Diamond and Ruby. Paul Hurrion is one of the most respected putting coaches in the world, who has helped a number of European Tour and Ryder Cup stars like Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington.
These putters are based on the premise that a large, heavy and well balanced head encourages a smoother and more rhythmic stroke. Allied to the parallel grooves on the face, the GEL series of putters look to provide golfers with the most reliable way of getting the ball in the hole and Bag Chatter got to look at the Sedo, an Anser type model with an extended flange.
While the sky blue dominated colour scheme might be a little brave for most, it is meant to add a little bit of fun and at address the putter sets up very well and the colour schema is not distracting. The finish is very good and is complemented by the TrueTemper shaft and bright blue Winn grip.
Composition: 431 Stainless Steel with CNC Milled Aluminium insert
Head Weight: 370g
Loft: 3 degrees
Lie: 71 degrees
Finish: Black Nickel
Length: 32” to 35”
With the heavy head, the Sedo promotes a flowing putting stroke and the top quality shaft and grip offer a secure connection to control a putter that swing-weights at F7.5. The shaft is actually a standard S400 shaft used to resist twisting on off centre strikes and which also spreads the weight of the putter, adding to the sense of stability. The aluminium insert gives a solid yet quiet level of feedback, due to both the material used and the milled grooves
Easy of Alignment and Accuracy
The club sets up very well, as you would expect from a something based on a classic. It’s very easy to align and looks very natural on the eye. The satin and black combination finish lessens any glare and the combination of the alignment line on the flange and the ball width black section on the top frame the ball exceptionally well.
Accuracy proved to be a little trickier. The 4:30 toe hang suits an arced putting stroke which by its nature requires an active release of the hands. Because of the extreme MOI generated by the high headweight and the fact that this weight is predominately located in the heel, toe and in the extended flange, the head actively resists twisting. While this is fantastic on misshits, where hits off the toe or the heel travel on an almost identical path to those hit from the centre, it has the side effect of making it slightly difficult to time the release of the hands at impact. Because of this, golfers are probably going to have a love/hate relationship with this putter. Those who naturally have a matching release will adore this putter as the weighting is excellent while those who don’t might find themselves manufacturing a release that feels contrived.
Short putts are not a problem, and you have a lot of confidence standing over a tricky 3 footer. The grooved face insert and the heavy head does put a smooth roll on the ball there is no doubt about that but it also contributes to a certain difficulty in judging longer putts. Partially this is due to the previously mentioned issue with release, but also because the very low loft (measured as 1 degree on this putter). Distance control is as good as can be expected with such a heavy putter, and although finesse is required for faster greens the Sedo performs very well on slower greens where its solid feel is very reassuring.
GEL are very much one of the new boys in the premium putter market and they have chosen to differentiate themselves from the premium putter crowd with their combination of high tech features and funky appearance. While GEL make prominent mention of their grooved face technology, it is something that is also used by others like Yes!, TaylorMade and Rife. While the styling might not be for all golfers, the grooves and low lofted face produce a great roll that has the ball tracking towards the hole and the heel-toe weighting means it is very forgiving if you don’t hit it out of the middle.
Whether this is enough to make people consider them a viable option to the aforementioned putters is yet to be seen, despite ample proof of how well they perform. While GEL currently has no presence on the major tours, expect that to change in the near future if they keep making top quality putters like this.