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Blade vs. Mallet putters: What the top-50 players are using (OWGR and SG: Putting)

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“Blade versus mallet” is becoming more of a relevant argument over the past several years as more and more PGA Tour pros are opting for mallet putters with higher MOI (moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness) instead of the classic Anser-style putters that most pros once employed. But, exactly how many top golfers are actually using mallets instead of blades now?

That’s what I wanted to find out. In order to do so, I simply looked up the top-50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and went through recent Getty Images (as close to August 9, 2018 as possible) to determine whether they’re currently using a blade or mallet putter. I then repeated the process with the current top-50 golfers in Strokes Gained: Putting as per PGA Tour’s website on August 9.

What’s the point of this? Well, each golfer is different and you should definitely get fit before making a putter purchase. But to me, it’s just interesting to see how many top golfers and great putters are using mallets compared to blade-style putters, and how any stigma surrounding mallet putters is all but gone. Heck, even Tiger Woods recently switched to a mallet-style putter.

Note: Using an Odyssey rep’s suggestion, I classified Phil’s Odyssey No. 9 putter as a “modified blade,” as well as a few other blade-style heads that have MOI-raising designs i.e. Patrick Cantlay’s Cameron Concept, Ricky Barnes’ and Anirban Lahiri’s No. 9-style heads, and Billy Horschel’s PXG. So these putters were included in the “blade” category. If you disagree with calling these modified blades, I understand. 

Let’s get to the numbers.

Top 50 players in the OWGR

 

Mallet (22-out-of-50): 44 percent

  • Dustin Johnson (No. 1 in the OWGR)
  • Justin Thomas (No. 2)
  • Justin Rose (No. 3)
  • Jon Rahm (No. 7)
  • Jason Day (N0. 10)
  • Henrik Stenson (No. 17)
  • Xander Schauffele (No. 19)
  • Webb Simpson (No. 20)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (No. 25)
  • Kyle Stanley (No. 26)
  • Kevin Kisner (No. 27)
  • Ian Poulter (No. 31)
  • Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 32)
  • Brian Harman (No. 33)
  • Charley Hoffman (No. 35)
  • Branden Grace (No. 36)
  • Pat Perez (No. 38)
  • Kevin Na (No. 41)
  • Daniel Berger (No. 43)
  • Ross Fisher (No. 46)
  • Luke List (No. 47)
  • Cameron Smith (No. 49)

Blade (28-out-of-50): 56 percent

  • Brooks Koepka (No. 4)
  • Rory McIlroy (No. 5)
  • Francesco Molinari (No. 6)
  • Jordan Spieth (No. 8)
  • Rickie Fowler (No. 9)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (No. 11)
  • Patrick Reed (No. 12)
  • Alex Noren (No. 13)
  • Bubba Watson (No. 14)
  • Paul Casey (No. 15)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (No. 16)
  • Marc Leishman (No. 18)
  • Phil Mickelson (No. 21)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (No. 22)
  • Sergio Garcia (No. 23)
  • Patrick Cantlay (No. 24)
  • Matt Kuchar (No. 28)
  • Tony Finau (No. 29)
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello (30)
  • Louis Oosthuizen (No. 34)
  • Satoshi Kodaira (No. 37)
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (No. 39)
  • Thorbjorn Olesen (N0. 40)
  • Byeong Hun An (No. 42)
  • Gary Woodland (No. 44)
  • Haotong Li (No. 45)
  • Si Woo Kim (No. 48)
  • Zach Johnson (N0. 50)

Top 50 players in SG: Putting

Mallet (28-out-of-50 players): 56 percent

  • Jason Day (No. 1 in SG:Putting)
  • Greg Chalmers (No. 3)
  • Daniel Summerhays (No. 5)
  • Webb Simpson (No. 6)
  • Kevin Kisner (No. 7)
  • Justin Rose (No. 8)
  • Peter Malnati (No. 9)
  • Beau Hossler (No. 10)
  • Graeme McDowell (No. 12)
  • Dustin Johnson (No. 14)
  • Seamus Power (No. 15)
  • Brian Harman (No. 16)
  • Denny McCarthy (No. 21)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (No. 22)
  • Chesson Hadley (No. 23)
  • Derek Fathauer (No. 26)
  • Ben Crane (T27)
  • Nicholas Lindheim (T27)
  • Branden Grace (No. 32)
  • Austin Cook (No. 33)
  • Brandt Snedeker (No. 35)
  • Aaron Wise (No. 36)
  • Justin Thomas (No. 37)
  • Brett Stegmaier (No. 39)
  • Tiger Woods (T44)
  • Patton Kizzire (No. 46)
  • Brandon Harkins (No. 48)
  • Kiradech Aphibarnrat (No. 50)

Blade (22-out-of-50 players): 44 percent

  • Phil Mickelson (No. 2)
  • Alex Noren (No. 4)
  • Emiliano Grillo (No. 11)
  • Patrick Rodgers (No. 13)
  • Johnson Wagner (No. 17)
  • Brian Gay (No. 18)
  • Michael Thompson (No. 19)
  • Whee Kim (No. 20)
  • Billy Horschel (No. 24)
  • Hunter Mahan (No. 25)
  • Wesley Bryan (No. 29)
  • Jimmy Walker (No. 30)
  • Bud Cauley (No. 31)
  • Paul Casey (No. 34)
  • Michael Kim (No. 38)
  • Matt Kuchar (No. 40)
  • Martin Laird (No. 41)
  • Dominic Bozzelli (No. 42)
  • Ricky Barnes (No. 43)
  • Anirban Lahiri (T44)
  • Russell Henley (No. 47)
  • Rickie Fowler (No. 49)

For those keeping track at home, this means that 8-of-the-top-10 in Strokes Gained: Putting are currently using mallet putters. On the flip side, 3-of-3 major champions in 2018 used blade putters to win. Again, not exactly sure what this means. But it’s interesting.

What do you take away from these results?

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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.

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. HDTVMAN

    Aug 19, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I have an actual Ping reproduction of the 1A putter with the PP58 midsize grip in my bag…AND I LOVE IT!!!

  2. Wiger Toods

    Aug 17, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Centre-shafted mid-mallets are clearly the wave of the future.

    OK, maybe not, but they should be. 🙂

  3. Benny

    Aug 15, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    SAM Lab is awesome but what happens is it shows all the mistakes. Which we try to correct. Some of the best putters in the world have putted great with all types. Balanced, flow, whatever gives them confidence. Cool article. They did another years back with top wedge players and what they use. Keep it up Golfwrx!

  4. Gepetto

    Aug 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    As a follow up, it would be fascinating to know how many of the top putters use a conventional, left hand low or claw grip and then to know which of these use a mallet or blade. Thanks for the great article!

  5. Commoner

    Aug 11, 2018 at 8:36 am

    A refresher course in English Composition is needed.

    • doug

      Aug 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      This is conversational english…. ya whitey racist golf ball !!!

  6. Ritch Gallagher

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    To be a little more data centric, how many of the players listed as using mallets are using the new models that have some toe hang versus face balanced. I think whatever works best is the path to follow. I have tried a variety over the years but always wind up with my 18 year old Ping B60. I also like to take my 50 plus year old Bullseye flange that I bought in high school in the sixties. It still feels great.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:57 pm

      does your bullseye feel great in your hands, during the stroke or at impact?

  7. Bugh

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    A putter is a man’s symbol of his gonadal weapon whipped out on the shaved green to drop that lil’ ball into da hole.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      a man and his putter shall not be parted… it’s a matter of golf and life.

  8. engineer bob

    Aug 10, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Two points about putters and putting:
    1. ‘feel’ for pros is sensing and controlling the putting stroke. Feel for the rest of us is the pleasant sensation of impact on the sweet spot, and nothing more.
    2. MOI = Moment of Inertia or Force of Resistance to motion. High MOI putters impede the putting stroke, but deaden the lousy feel of off center hits. Choose your poison.

    • anton

      Aug 10, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      but a big black heavy putter will get the ball into the hole with greater force.

  9. Jeff LeFevre

    Aug 10, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Ok so were now calling Anser style putters blade putters what are we calling a wilson 8802 or similar putters?

  10. Jaap

    Aug 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Almost all my new golfino Customers end up in the mother of all mallet putters.. the odyssey rossie. What they are looking for is balance..
    what would be a more interesting test is how many out of the top 50 owgr And PG stats use bigger (super stroke) grips..

  11. joro

    Aug 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    So the Companies are pushing their newest and greatest, usually Mallets. Those who use the “Blades” are using proven models, usually Ping style or my 8802 which has been in the Closet while I succumbed to the hype and the Mallet. I brought out my 8802 forged and POW, back to holing more and more “gimmees”.

    So again, either you can or you can’t. Buy what you like and what works, not what some top Pro who can put with a broom uses.

    • shawn

      Aug 10, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      But joro…. the pros practice their putting stroke endlessly with any putter they choose to use. Ams and rec golfers want a putter that will guide them through the putting stroke without practice… and even read the green and pot the putt too!!!

    • christian

      Aug 11, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Holing out gimmies doesn’t seem very impressive?

      • joro

        Aug 25, 2018 at 8:46 am

        Well Christian, holing out and a gimme are not the same in case you did not know. Our gimmes are 6 inches or less and I am very good at that distance. I take it you may have trouble from that distance? You should practice more.

        Have a nice game and enjoy your Golf.

    • Justin

      Aug 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      Exactly, Joro! We can make case study after case study of which type of putter is the “right” putter, depending on what criteria we choose.

  12. Leftshot

    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    This suggests we mere mortals should all be using high MOI putters, which are mostly mallets. If the players with the most skill and the most time to practice favor putters that give more forgiveness, we’d be fools to give up this added forgiveness.

    • shawn

      Aug 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      If you can consistently hit the ball on the putter sweet spot you don’t need high MOI… ever think of that?!! 😮

  13. Paul

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I was fitted after going through a SAM Putting Lab session some years back.They recommended a Bettinardi BB-27 blade which I bought. Liked the putter but struggled with it. Keep in mind I developed a mild case of the yips that would come and go. This putter was 340G in weight. Many times I would leave putts short. Finally after a number of years a friend told me I should try a center shafted mallet. There is a PGA Superstore close to me with a huge selection of putters. After hours of putting with various models, I really liked the Scotty Cameron Futura 5s. It had two 10g inserts in the bottom of the mallet. The putter was very expensive. I searched on eBay and found the same putter with two 15g inserts. It was a floor model and absolutely like brand new. Never used on the course. Also I saved over $100.00 going this route. I am happy to say I have halved the number of 3 putts on 18 holes. Normally I would 3 putt at least 6 holes on average and sometimes more. With my old putter there was never a short putt I couldn’t miss. Now I’m consistently making those 2.5 to 3 foot putts. The mallet putter made a huge difference to me. It also is face balanced. Hey I win a few bets now also. With my old putter, my friends would make side bets amongst themselves, if I was going to 3 putt a hole or not. As they say, what are friends for!!!

    • Sl

      Aug 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      So, what you’re saying is, that the science at the SAM putt lab is totally bogus and useless. I knew it! lol

      • Paul

        Aug 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm

        Actually the Sam Putt Lab was very useful. It showed that when I addressed the ball with my putter, I was always leaving it 2 degrees open. I automatically compensated for it by cutting across my putts even though I didn’t realize it. Also it showed that when I thought the blade was centered behind the ball it actually wasn’t. I had to adjust the line on my putter so it was actually farther to the right of the ball a little bit to be actually centered. The Sam Putt Lab was definitely worth it. The lasers they use don’t lie.

  14. ogo

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    If you pull the putter with your lead hand get a blade.
    If you push the putter with your trail hand get a mallet.
    If you can’t bend over due to back pain get a broomstick.

    • Joe Joe

      Aug 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

      What if you’re trying to keep your hands neutral and putt 100% with your shoulders?

    • JP

      Aug 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      I’m a right-hand dominant putter, and I love putting with a blade. Your canned advice doesn’t cut it.

  15. Regis

    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I go back to a time where most pros were gaming bullseye putters. Those were blades. Anser style putters were ‘mallets”. Now Ansers are blades.There are Ansers with “Wings”. I gained a real mallet putter for years. My buddies called it my potato masher. That head over was the size of a briefcase

  16. Brad

    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

    I recently went through a Sam Putting Lab session where I was willing to accept whatever type of putter was recommended for me. Ironically I ended up with a putter style I would have never chosen for myself on my own. It’s amazing what the right fit will do for your game. Blade or Mallet, be sure to get properly fit as noted in the article.

  17. Chris Pierson

    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Andrew- Awesome study! Would love to know and see if there’s anything a bit deeper like what is the most popular mallet, most successful mallet, most popular alignment, and maybe look into grips as well. A lot of Odyssey 7’s and TMAG spiders!

  18. Getemgoose

    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I was actually doing that comparison myself a few days ago. Really cool to see the breakdown. Great article.

  19. DB

    Aug 10, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Very interesting. However, I suspect it really doesn’t matter that much. If you forced everyone to use a blade putter (or mallet), I suspect the same people would rise to the top in the putting stats.

  20. Shooter McGavin

    Aug 10, 2018 at 7:40 am

    This kind of means nothing since a lot of mallets now are 4:30 toe hang. I’d rather see a break down of players that use face balanced vs. toe hang putters. Would be interested to see how successful the SBST stroke is on tour.

    Day, DJ, JT, Rahm, Tiger… all toe hang mallets.

  21. John Lancaster

    Aug 10, 2018 at 3:22 am

    It means Rory should get himself a “RORS” spider and green can become the new red….

  22. Brad

    Aug 10, 2018 at 1:06 am

    It simply means that we should use the putter that works best for us, whether that’s a blade, mallet, or a…wedge? Tip of the hat to you Robert Streb…

  23. Jamie

    Aug 9, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Wilson 8802 or George Low Wizard 600 are BLADE putters, not all the Ping Anser knockoffs. This is how mass delusion starts.

    • shawn

      Aug 9, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Absolutely correct… and add to that the Cashin, Bullseye and Spalding T.P. Mills style putters are true BLADE putters… because they don’t have heel-toe weighting like the Anser-style putters. It’s important to make the distinction to stop the mass delusion.

    • The dude

      Aug 10, 2018 at 12:53 am

      That ship Has left the port…….Anser style is “blade”.

      • shawn

        Aug 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

        Answer style is now called a “blade” to make it sound more potent. Karsten designed the heel-toe weighted Anser for the mass market which cannot consistently hit the ball on the putter sweet spot. Maybe pros have the same problem given their search for an effective way to hold the putter grip.

        • joro

          Aug 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

          Just a little tidbit of info. I was on the first Ping staff and Karsten told me the design was as you stated. The most important thing to him in Putting was feel and should, later proven in testing . So he make the hard material head for sound and the small grip for feel, later copied by Scotty when he ditched the Platinum for steel. Tiger said the Platinum was too soft.

          Christens wife named the Putter the Answer but he had to remove a letter on the name to fit on the hosel and it became the ANSER. A great Putter. I had the first Left Handed ANSER made in Redwood City that he gave me. He was a great man and although his clubs were ugly at first, they got pretty really fast. Just a ramble on my part.

          • shawn

            Aug 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm

            Thank you, joro… for your historical insight and cogent explanation of “feel” of impact. What about the feel for the back and fore stroking of the putter? The hosel offset destroys putting feel due to added eccentricity. Why didn’t Karsten stay with the true pendulum style 1A model?

    • Suncoast9

      Aug 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Terminology has changed over the years. When I started golfing in the 60’s there were three categories for putters: blade, flanged, and mallet.
      Blade putters (such as the Bullseye) had identical faces on the front and back.
      Flanged putters had a small flare on the back, usually near the bottom. There were flanged putters long before Ping, but I can’t remember any model names. I would say the Anser fell into the flanged category.
      Mallet putters of the day were half-round in shape, with larger heads than blades and flanges, although much smaller than today’s offerings. I remember the term “potato masher” from the 70’s, but can’t recall if it was a specific model name or just a generic term for all mallets.

    • Christopher

      Aug 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      It is depressing that we’re now calling heel-toe weighted game improvement putters a blade. But Golf WRX did best of list of blades a while ago which featured cavity backs. I understand that putters like the Bullseye, Wilson 8802, the TP Mills and Tad Moore putter ranges have gone out of fashion. Even Scotty had the Circa ’62 line (and others) blade range and they were beauties, but it’s lamentable that we’re changing the meaning for no real reason.

      If a club offers any kind of perimeter weighting, it’s not a blade.

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Equipment

2020 TaylorMade P770 irons: Distance and precision redefined

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New 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons are here, and with them, a reminder that every club in your bag has a purpose.

A driver is designed to go as far as possible, wedges are designed to be versatile precision instruments, and iron sets are built for both. The new 2020 TaylorMade P770 irons from TaylorMade bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

2020 TaylorMade P770

2020 TaylorMade P770 6-iron. Cavity view.

TaylorMade P770 irons: The origin story

The story of the P770 starts with two clubs—the P760 and the P790. Now, if my math is correct, the combination of the two clubs would actually create the 775, but in the world of irons, that model number was taken over a decade ago by another OEM, and if we’re being honest, 770 sounds better anyways.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

2020 TaylorMade P770, TaylorMade P790 comparison.

Let’s start with the P790 and its ability to infiltrate the golf bags of players of all skill levels. According to TaylorMade’s fitting database, the 790 is a club that can be found in the bags of players from +4 handicaps all the way up to golfers looking to break 100.

What makes the P790 so functional and appealing to so many golfers starts with its looks and ends with its performance. The P790 has the clean appearance of a blade iron from the back, and from address, it maintains sharper line associated with a  players club.

But off the clubface, or should I say all over the clubface, you get ball speed and launch conditions normally reserved for a much larger game improvement club. This iron helped redefine what is now known as the “players distance” category, and whether you consider that title an oxymoron or not, it’s impossible to argue with its popularity.

Then we have the P760, TaylorMade’s first combo iron set, which combined the power of SpeedFoam-filled longer irons with the precision of single-piece forged short irons. These irons again found their way into the golf bags of mid-handicaps to players all over the professional tours thanks to their ability to offer extra forgiveness and launch in longer clubs while still maintaining a small player’s look and preferred feel.

Regardless of skill, one of the biggest factors in the playability of any iron relies on a golfer’s ability to create speed, launch, spin, and angle of descent—the below video featuring our own Brian Knudson testing the P790 Ti is the perfect example of how an iron with strong lofts, for example, can launch higher and descend at an angle to make them playable when you combine the right technologies.

The ultimate design goal of the P770 was to combine the best of both these irons into a small, fast, playable package using every technology available to the engineers and designers at TaylorMade. This iron is about precision without sacrificing distance.

If you are a golfer looking for maximum workability and shotmaking control that puts less of a premium on distance, then the P7MB or P7MC is probably more up your ally, but if distance is still a big part of your decision-making process for a set of irons, then buckle up.

The technology

A look inside the construction of the P770

A simplistic way to describe the P770 would be to call it a shrunk-down version of the 790, but doing that would not give justice to the actual engineering that went into this design. The reason is, you can’t just shrink down a golf club and expect it to perform the same as a larger club, because not only are the mass properties different, but trying to maintain additional ball speed would be like expecting a smaller trampoline to bounce you as high as a larger one with bigger springs—the physics don’t add up.

“Designed to deliver P790-like performance in a smaller package, the all-new P770 leverages forged hollow body construction to pack as much distance and forgiveness as possible into a compact player’s shape.” – Matt Bovee, Product Creation

From address, and looking at the sole and toe profile, the P770 has a much stronger resemblance to the previous P760 than the 790, but from the back and from a technology standpoint, its got the guts of the P790.

The key technologies are

  • A SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body. Since the hosel is part of the forged body, you get the full lie and loft adjustability of a forged club along with the ball speed of a larger one. The secondary benefit of SpeedFoam is it creates an iron that feels extremely solid while being a multipiece construction
  • The other part of the speed story is the Thru Slot in the sole which helps shots hit lower on the face retain more ball speed and helps create extra launch. This technology runs from the 3-7 irons.
  • Speaking of launch, the new P770 has 46 grams of tungsten in the 3-7 irons positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.
  • The final piece of the puzzle that helps with both distance and distance control is the Progressive Inverted Cone Technology or IVT. It is positioned closer to the toe in the longer irons to help with common mishits and moves higher and more heel ward into the shorter clubs. This keeps ball speeds variances as consistent as possible through the set.

More photos and discussion in the forums.

Choose your own P700 Series adventure

This is the part where the whole iron series really excels. For a long time, it used to be OEMs would release a number of iron sets that catered to various golfers but didn’t really have any cross over potential as far as building combo sets because of the large differences between designs. To counter this, they would often design exclusive combo sets either catered to better players or to higher handicaps/slower speed players with game improvement irons paired with hybrid long irons.

From the beginning and by design, the entire P700 series has been built to be custom combo’ed for any golfer—an impressive design feat. This allows players of varying ability with different swing and player traits to get exactly what they need out of different parts of their set. They have even gone as far to make sure that no matter how someone is looking to build their set, they can get looks, offset, bounce, and performance to match up from club to club—they even have an easy-to-follow chart!

Pricing, availability, and specs

The TaylorMade P770 irons will be available for pre-order starting August 14th and will be be available in retail shops starting September 4th.

They will be available from 3iron to pitching wedge in right and left-handed with an A wedge option available to right-handed players only. An 8 piece set starts at $1399 (174.88 per club) with KBS Tour steel shafts and Golf Pride Z-Grip grey and black as stock.

P770 Stock Specs

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Equipment

2020 Mizuno E21 wedges: High performance reimagined

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New design, new construction, and a new way to look at what a high-performance wedge can be—these are Mizuno E21 wedges.

When talking about new clubs and the technology being utilized by engineers, the conversation eventually turns to mass properties and how adjusting them within the clubhead helps to create higher-launching lower-spinning shots. This is great when talking about drivers and fairway woods, but at the other end of your bag, high-launching, low-spinning shots are the enemy of great wedge play and distance control.

The key to hitting lower-launching, higher-spinning wedge shots is making contact below the center of gravity lower on the face. To help players achieve these optimal launch conditions, the Mizuo E21 utilizes multipiece construction to place the center of gravity higher in the head than ever before.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Mizuno E21 wedge technology

Mass properties play a massive role in the performance of any club. By design, wedges are the heaviest full swing clubs in the bag. This gives designers more mass to move around. To get the most of the Mizuno E21’s performance, the focus was to relocate as much mass higher and deeper in the head without sacrificing both looks and feel. The only way to do this was by using a hollow body construction.

The E21 wedge brings together a 1025 Grain Flow forged boron face and hosel with a 431 Stainless steel back, this helps the wedge maintain the soft and solid feel Mizuno is known for while also increasing groove durability. Don’t think that because a wedge is packed with technology it makes it a club meant for higher handicap golfers either—any golfer can benefit from improved wedge technology, the same way we can all benefit from hitting higher launching, lower spinning drivers.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

The new E21 wedges even offer the exact same, if not thinner appearance from address than the Mizuno T20’s even though the back of each wedge looks extremely different—again, just like with drivers, something that looks different is different for a reason.

Soles designed for versatility

Beyond the new and improved mass shifting the E21 wedges provide, the most important part of the wedge is the sole, and Mizuno R&D pulled out all the stops when configuring the soles of these wedges to fit a wide variety of players.

They come in both a narrow and wide sole option, but unlike with irons where a wide sole is generally reserved for game improvement clubs, the wide sole models of the E21 have been configured for maximum versatility. Mizuno is not the only OEM offering versatile wider sole wedges, Callaway has the “X” grind, and Titleist with the low bounce “K”, to give you a few examples.

The wide sole E21’s have a lot of heel and toe relief along with a lot of front and back camber to keep the leading edge closer to the ground for those tight lies around the greens.

Mizuno Hydroflow Micro Grooves

Just like with last year’s release of the T20 wedges, instead of using traditional laser etching parallel to the milled grooves, Mizuno engineers took the concept of tread from high-performance tires and went perpendicular to the grooves and parallel to the direction the ball moves up the face to channel moisture away.

This directional tread has proven to increase spin on shots especially in conditions with moisture up to 1,200 RPM on a 60-yard shot. It’s not just about spin either: the more the friction created also means more control on launch angle and less of a “floating” ball flight. That’s how those low flying “zippers” really zip!

The other part of this groovy tale has to do with the reconfiguration of the grooves. Just like with the T20, the lowest groove on the E21 wedges has been shortened and centered. This puts it closer to the leading edge without having it disorient the look of the club from address and making it appear that the heel or toe is thinner on one side.

By bringing together the new CG placement with leading groove technology and reconfigured soles, Mizuno is once again changing the way players think about wedge performance.

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

Price, availability, and specs

The E21 wedges will be right-hand only and available this October with the exact date upcoming and priced at $200 per club.

The stock shaft is the KBS HI Rev 110 Wedge flex in black ion finish, along with a Lamkin ST Hybrid grip

Mizuno E21 wedge loft and bounce availability

More photos and discussion in the forums. 

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Equipment

2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: Blade performance, mallet forgiveness

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2020 taylormade spider putter cover

If you love the feel of a blade putter but struggle with alignment and need the extra stability only a mallet can provide, then this could be the putter you have been waiting for—the all-new 2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG (Forward Center of Gravity).

Although the new Spider FCG doesn’t look like any Spider ever imagined by the putter team at TaylorMade, it is a Spider through and through thanks to its multi-material design, and it’s built to offer the extra stability synonymous with the Spider name.

2020 TaylorMade Spider FCG putter: It’s what’s inside that counts

The key to the new Spider FCG putter is the distribution of mass relative to the face along with the extreme heel and toe weighting to boost MOI. This isn’t a small tweak either, to offer you a direct comparison, the center of gravity of the standard Spider X is 3 times further back in the head compared to the new Spider FCG. This is why most mallet putters, including the Spider X from TaylorMade, rely on various hosel configurations to fit a player’s stroke—and even then they can only get so much toe hang out of these designs.

Tech/fitting note: The reason we don’t see many high MOI (low and back center of gravity) putters that also have more than around 30 degrees of toe hang is that the nature of high MOI designs makes them harder to open and close relative to square. For someone with a more gated stroke, this means a high MOI style of putter requires more manipulation to get back to square at impact oftentimes results in the face being left open causing a “push.”

To get the center of gravity as forward as possible, TaylorMade did a number of things to the weighting properties of the head, including using more than 100 grams of tungsten weight in the heel and toe of the putter and positioning the interchangeable head weight directly behind the face. The most clever design trick was removing as much weight as possible from the back of the head, but maintaining the shape from address.

“We tried to think of the top and rear portions of the putter as a canopy. It’s rigid, allows us to create a long alignment tool, but takes up a very small portion of the putter head’s total mass” – Bill Price

The face also plays a big role since TM is using a new CU29 PureRoll insert, which offers all the same roll enhancing properties as other inserts in the line except for the fact it is constructed of pure copper and weighs 25 grams, making it the heaviest insert TaylorMade has ever created.

This putter is all about TaylorMade expanding available options to golfers, because the Spider FCG offers greater toe hang than any other putter in the Spider family ever at 46 degrees (with the slant next), which puts it directly in line with the TP Soto at 47 degrees. It also comes with two other hosel options to give players with a less gated stroke a better fitting putter—while still offering a longer alignment line and more forgiveness.

“In developing Spider FCG, we sought insights from many of the top players on TOUR. We compiled that information to construct a clean and traditional mallet shape that performs in a non-traditional way. The result is an intelligently designed high-MOI mallet that’s built for golfers who have an arced putting stroke. Forward CG placement lets the toe release freely like a blade, while the mallet shape and perimeter weighting help maintain the signature Spider family forgiveness.” – Bill Price; Product Creation Putters and Wedges

Now Speaking to alignment, the Spider FCG has what TaylorMade is calling TruePath T-Sightline. It combines the perpendicular alignment from the face with the long line pointed at the target. Giving this a technological name might seem like a bit of a stretch, but when talking with TaylorMade’s Bill Price about the top’s contrast he noted

“White is the very bright to our eyes and by creating high contrast along the front of the putter it helps players set up more square to their putting line regardless of eye dominance.”

It’s been proven time after time that player alignment is very much attributed to their eye-dominance; some players use the leading edge while others use longer alignment lines on the top of the putter—the FCG with TruePath is offering both.

Price, availability, and specs

The Spider FCG will be available at retail and online starting September 4th with the retail price of $350.

It is offered in three different neck styles to help golfers varying amounts of face rotation in their stroke to find the right model

  • The L-Neck (aka Plumbers Neck) with 25° of toe-hang
  • Short slant next with 46° of toe-hang, which puts it in line with most blade putters on the market
  • Single bend which is close to face-balanced for those with limited face rotation

It will come stock with a KBS Stepless Black CT putter shaft along with a Super Stroke Pistol 1.0 black and white grip, with other grip options available through custom order.  The putter will come in both right and left-handed and will come in the stock lengths of 33”, 34”, and 35”.

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