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 Dominic Pedler on the latest hot putters

Yes!Golf Mollie

The Yes!Golf Mollie putterYes!Golf's stylish putter portfolio continues to grow with ever more elaborate designs in the stylish multi-material range.

In Orlando we particularly enjoyed our encounter with the Mollie – a classic flanged blade combining a tungsten back with a 303 stainless steel body and an aluminiumface, all within a solid feeling, 355g head.

The combination of the light face and extremely heavy back perimeter maximizes the moment of inertia, stabilizing the face at impact and resulting in more control and consistency.

And, of course, the Mollie features Yes!Golf's defining concentric grooves that are anodized and precision-milled onto the putter face. Developed by putting guru, Harold Swash, to impart topspin on a ball earlier after impact, the patented configuration now in its second decade is claimed to reduce skidding by over 12 inches over the course of a 20-foot putt.

The putter is available in 32”- 36” lengths and comes in a standard lie angle of 72 degrees (further options of 2 degrees upright or flat are also available), fitted with a great feeling black Iomic grip. £249, smart custom fitted headcover included.

The Yes!Golf range features a number of traditional shapes and styles - including the popular Donna II

Further information, visit www.yesgolf.co.uk

TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Vicino

The original Monza Spider enjoyed immediate, dramatic success on the pro tours in 2008 – though didn't win any beauty contests for the protruding 'winged' design that was the secret to its exceptionally smooth, high MOI performance. The Itsy Bitsy Monza Spider follow-up then shrunk the whole structure down but without changing the basic look.

Pros and punters alike demanded a cleaner, more streamlined head without sacrificing performance and the result is the Rossa Monza Spider Vicino – which sounds like an Italian sports car and boasts almost as much technology.The TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Vicino

The new model cleverly turns the winged weight ports inwards without reducing the MOI thanks to the use of a super-light material for the central core and a heavier material for the wings themselves. This inner polymer section weighs just 24g (a full 107g less than the original), allowing dramatically more weight in the Vicino's perimeter to restore the required stability. Meanwhile, the crown of the Vicino is also much less busy, with the elaborate "basketball court" alignment aid of the original now replaced by a thin, silver-coloured layer of steel that contrasts beautifully with the black PVD frame.

A key feature of many Rossa putters has been the distinctive AGSI+ face insert with its soft grooves designed to grip the ball at impact and promote more topspin. The Vicino notably updates the previous seven-metal alloy with a carbon fibre and resin version (the same material as a graphite shaft) claimed to improve roll by some 30 RPM while also being 3g lighter.

Like the previous Monza Spiders, two self-adjustable 4g weights, which you can customize to your preferred feel, complete the most high-tech putter of the year so far. Guide: £149.

Further information, visit www.taylormadegolf.eu

Re-launched in the UK, Whitlam Golf putters promise CNC-milled heads for ultimate performance, the 2010 models available in shaft lengths of 31" to 36".
To find out why Whitlam enjoys a cult following on tour, visit www.whitlamgolf.co.uk

Clockwise from right: the Whitlam Hummer Classic, the Whitlam Hummer II and the Whitlam Code M putters

Whitlam Hummer Classic putter
Whitlam Code M putter Whitlam Hummer II putter

Bettinardi putters

Legendary craftsman Bob Bettinardi brought new levels of feel and manufacturing precision to the premium putter market by pioneering the concept of one-piece milling from a single block of metal while his distinctive patented 'honeycomb' pattern ensured new standard in face flatness.

His latest models reprise both trademark technologies, being milled from mild carbon steel with the patented honeycomb face now refined to involve some 70 precision cuts per face. The 2010 range includes the BB Series, plated with a luxurious Black Nickel finish that guarantees the highest level of durability. Each model is also milled with a single sightline to improve alignment and come with a pistol grip and a black Bettinardi head cover.

The Bettinardi BB25 putter

The BB25 (pictured) is a modern blade-style design that features a slightly tapered body with a single flange, further enhanced with a 100% CNC-milled flow neck. Both models are right-hand only and are configured to 3° of loft. Guide: £239.

For UK enquiries: sales@golfsmitheurope.co.uk / www.bettinardigolf.com

Odyssey BackStryke putters

Eclipsing the debate over heel-shafted versus centre-shafted putters is the startling new range of rear-shafted designs from the world's leading putter company. Indeed, the Odyssey Backstryke is the brainchild of the company's latest celebrity signing, Dave Pelz, arguably the game's leading short game thinker whose list of famous clients include Phil Mickelson.

The unusual design fulfils two of Pelz' most pressing putting principles – firstly that being able to see the putter face unobstructed greatly improves alignment - especially for those who struggle with their aim on long putts. The Backstryke's Visible FaceAlignment feature allows golfers to see clearly if the face is square to the target line without the shaft impeding the line of sight.

Meanwhile, Pelz has always been a fan of the 'forward press' as a way to cue a one-piece takeaway and avoid hands, shoulders and clubhead moving independently. The Backstryke reflects this with its angled shaft design promoting Pelz' preferred hands-forward position - but crucially without de-lofting the putter head or breaking the wrists – so as to encourage a more stable swing, a more upward stroke on the golf ball and a truer roll.

There's also the further benefit that the axis of the shaft now points as close as possible to the putter head's centre of gravity promoting what the marketing men call Stroke Balance - allowing a fluid and stable stroke path for better distance control, consistency and accuracy.

You'd have thought such a radical feature would take some getting used to but, in practice, we found it intuitive and highly effective when trying it at the January launch in Florida.

The Backstryke is available in three head designs, including the famous 2-Ball (pictured below, which Pelz himself originally designed many years ago as an independent) as well the Blade and Marxman. All feature Odyssey's White Ice multi-layer insert that has been fine-tuned to enhance responsiveness and consistency.

The Odyssey BackStryke 2-Ball putter

The putter is already the talk of the Tour, with Padraig Harrington being an early convert along with OliverWilson and Thomas Bjorn. "The Backstryke was an immediate hit for me. I immediately felt I could improve my putting stroke because the design of the head and shaft promotes an ideal putting position which I can maintain throughout my stroke," said the Dane. £159.

More information at www.odysseygolf.com

May 2010

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine





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