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WRX Spotlight Review: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT putters

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Product: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Putters

Pitch: When you think of a $130 putter, you typically think of cheap inserts and “gimmicky” shapes or paint. Not so with the new Cleveland Golf Huntington Beach SOFT putters. The HB SOFT line has traditional-looking blades and popular mallets that should suit the eye of most golfers. All models have a matte silver finish to reduce glare and simple, yet effective alignment markings.

Our take on the Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT putters

The HB SOFT line is now made of 304 Stainless Steel, for better feel, said to be about 50 percent softer than 17-4 Stainless.

The big story on the HB SOFT line is the new face milling that helps with mishit putts. The precision milled putter face has Speed Optimized Face Tech that attempts to increase the ball speed on putts that aren’t hit dead center. This CNC milled diamond pattern increases friction for more consistency and better roll out on toe/heel struck shots, according to Cleveland.

For this review, I took out the Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT 11 model and gave it a good run. Being an Odyssey #7 user for years, the HB SOFT 11 was very easy on the eyes and I like the way it framed the ball on the green.

The head has a single sight line, but the “wings” on the side act like additional alignment marks to make sure you are square to the target. There are also two additional lines on the flange that you could paint fill and make it a triple line setup if that is your thing. The finish looks great and glare shouldn’t be a concern, even on the brightest days.

The head is cast, and then Cleveland mills the SOFT diamond pattern onto the face, but the milling looks great. You can really see and feel the different depths and textures across the face of the putter. The center of the putter has the deepest mill and it gets shallower and more smooth the further out you go.

The HB SOFT 11 has a short neck that gives it more toe hang than I was expecting, sitting around 7 o’clock. That is the new thing though (mallets with toe hang similar to blade putters).

On the green, the HB SOFT line really shines. As I said before, the 11 head really frames the ball and is easy to align to the cup. I always felt confident that I was lined up correctly, never having to second guess that.

HB SOFT putters have a really good, lively feel to them. The ball pops off the face really quickly with fairly minimal skidding and hop. The feel is soft with a hint of spring to it, but distance control is very good and repeatable.

Putts off the toe were still very soft and had very minimal distance loss, I was a little shocked how well they rolled out. For me the heel miss had less roll out, but also had a bit more vibration to it. I was purposely hitting balls off the toe/heel and those shots stayed on the target line really well, typically only missing the cup by inches.

The only complaint I really have is minor: I don’t love the oversize grip. For me it is too round and needs a little flatter top to it, but a very easy fix.

Overall, the Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT putters really perform great and won’t break the bank. They will easily hang with putters costing three times as much. I even saw a couple friends out there who tried it, and everyone said they were impressed with the putter. You will be hard-pressed to find a better deal on a new putter.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. JP

    Feb 12, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Final Score:
    .
    Cleveland – 1 / Cameron – 0

  2. Tiger Noods

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Nice “True Roll” tech. Theft from the Solheims continues…

  3. Tom

    Feb 12, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    If you have a soft putter, you need the blue pill!

  4. Iutodd

    Feb 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Looking forward to trying this one. I have all Srixon/Cleveland in my irons and wedges so I might as well make it official with the putter.

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Equipment

Brendan Steele shows off prototype Wilson Staff driving iron on Instagram

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Wilson Staff has been making waves recently with a lot of high profile activity including the signing of Gary Woodland and the new Staff blade iron prototypes he has in the bag. It appears that the R&D team at Wilson has just gotten started for 2019, considering another new prototype driving iron has popped up thanks to Brendan Steele posting some very nice pictures on his Twitter and Instagram.

We don’t have a ton of information except for the caption from Brendan’s own post

“Check out this sweet new toy! @wilsongolf was awesome enough to let me create a new prototype driving iron and it couldn’t have turned out better!” 

It has some similarities to the previous V4 Driving Iron from Wilson by the looks of both the screw and the knurling around the hosel

 

but the cosmetics and certainly more inline with the new Staff Blades pictured below along with also appearing to have a shorter heel to toe length and a higher overall toe profile:

Whether or not this new driving iron will show up at retail like the Staff blades, it is definitely something to keep an eye out for.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

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Product: Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

Pitch: From Nikon: “This state-of-the art golfing laser rangefinder packs the stability of the Coolshot 80’s vibration reduction into an even more streamlined body. The red Oled internal display’s automatic brightness adjustment makes viewing easy in any light, while Hyper Read measurement response time is a speedy 0.3 seconds (approximately) over a range of 7.5-1,090 m. Locked On technology quickly defines overlapping subjects so you’ll be sure of an accurate reading to the flagstick, plus ID Technology gives a guide distance for uphill and downhill courses.”

Our take on the Nikon Coolshot Pro Stabilized laser rangefinder

Nikon has packed the Coolshot Pro Stabilized full of innovative features with a hugely beneficial streamlined profile. But we’ll get around to that a little later, as at the core of this laser rangefinder is its Stabilized Technology.

Whether it’s the conditions, or an inability to keep your hand perfectly steady when shooting your target, the issue of vibration is usually the main problem when it comes to rangefinders. However, with Nikon’s Stabilized Technology, that vibration is reduced by approximately 80 percent. The steadiness of the rangefinder may need to be seen to be believed, but with the Coolshot Pro Stabilized, any issues golfers have with taking a steady shot of their target can expect them to vanish with this rangefinder. More accurate results and likely speedier rounds (yay), what’s not to love?

This lessening of the vibration works in conjunction with Locked On technology, and it’s a powerful combination that creates a premium rangefinder. The Locked On technology in the Coolshot Pro Stabilized allows golfers to home in on their target, without the fear of the rangefinder locking onto the wrong target in the background. A small green circle frames your desired target, making sure that it is giving you the correct distance for your shot, and it’s not only extremely accurate but quick too. The Hyper Read Tech allows users to find the distance they want according to the company in “0.3 seconds – regardless of distance.” A claim that is difficult to dispute.

Another great feature of the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is its ID Technology. This technology takes care of all the incline, slope etc. The rangefinder from Nikon accurately reads the yardage taking into account the downhill or uphill nature of the pin, while the product also lets other competitors know when the ID Technology is off. If you’re competing in an event, a green flashing light indicates that the ID Technology is turned off, making it clear that actual distance is what you’re measuring, and that you’re abiding by all the rules.

Now let’s get down to the size, which makes all of the features we’ve talked about even more impressive. As you can see from our in-hand photos, the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is tiny and weighs just 180g. The advantages of having a small rangefinder are obvious as it can be carried or kept in even the smallest pocket of your bag easily, and the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is also both waterproof and nitrogen-purged to make it fog-proof. The range finder also features six different brightness levels and comes with a sweet 5-year warranty.

At around $450 the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is high-end and not cheap. But with the impressive features and high performance, it’s a product which combined with Nikon’s 5-year warranty justifies that price-tag. If you’re looking for a top-shelf rangefinder, then the Coolshot Pro Stabilized is very unlikely to disappoint.

 

 

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Equipment

TXG: Ping G410 Plus driver review

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Our initial review of the Ping G410 Plus driver! In this video we use a stock shaft and a 10.5-degree head to see what improvements have been made over last year’s G400. Stay tuned for future videos where we will properly fit and dial in this driver for the correct loft, settings and shaft to unlock its full potential!

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