The Best Putters in golf for 2012 discussion will ultimately be a very opinionated debate loaded with personal preference and many differing points of view. A survey was revealed last week that showed the average golfer owns almost 6 putters each.
I thought this was kind of foolish until I realized that I personally own 5 putters. Of course I had long forgotten about the first 4 however, I’m in the market for a 6th. I guess I’ll be quite average as soon as my search has ended.
Never the less, I am going to share my search for the best putter and maybe it will help you if you’re on the prowl for Number 4 or 5 or 6 or even 7…
I have a tendency to lean towards a heavier putter head, I really want to be able to bring the head back low and slow as suggested by the Top Putting Coach on earth, Dave Stockton and Sons. If you have a moment you should swing over and read the detailed overview of the Stockton Technique, it has helped me immensely. Stockton Technique
I also want to be comfortable with a shorter take-away and a longer and lower follow-through, I feel as though a heavy putter head allows for this.
The most important aspect I am looking for is advanced alignment technology. Alignment is one of the most under considered areas of an amateur golfer’s “issues”. I have an indoor putting green and I never realized how misaligned I was, particularly with the putter, until I had a chance to do some testing in a controlled environment.
Let’s get into the test results, the manager of a local golf store let me take a few putters home for testing.
Here’s how the testing was handled:
- 20 four foot putts
- 10 twelve foot putts
- 10 twenty foot putts
- 20 putts with no particular length – ONLY making sure contact was perfect to gauge the feel of the face / insert
- Series of 3 well known putting drills
After all the data was compiled and the Feel was graded by my personal preference, a Score was assigned with 10.0 being perfect.
Scotty Cameron Price Range: $299 – $349
The Scotty Cameron line of high end putters from Titleist aka The Acushnet Company is always a favorite among putting enthusiasts. So much so, there are entire forums dedicated to blathering about the brand.
The Cameron Model I tested was last year’s model and it is called “The Studio Select Laguna 1.5″. (New Models out in April, 2012)
It is a great putter, I particularly like the feel off the face and the alignment stripe behind the ball. It really felt great on the longer lag putts but, I need more alignment on short putts. It was also a bit pricey at $299 and it was last year’s model so it won’t be my selection. Great putter though for those without the need for advanced alignment.
Another aspect of the putter I wasn’t thrilled with is what Cameron calls High Toe Technology, I feel like the toe is too quick to release and caused me to pull the shorter putts.
Scotty Cameron has a new model coming out in April 2012 which I am very interested in testing out. It features “Selective Weight Technology” and a Grooved Stainless Milled Face that looks very impressive. As soon as possible we’ll have some feedback for you. Stay Tuned…
Overall Scotty Cameron Score: 7.8 out of 10.0
Nike Method Price Range $249 – $329
Being a card carrying member of the Tigerian Party, I had to give the Nike Method Core 3i a pretty thorough test drive. I really wanted to get myself to love it but, I couldn’t get there. The weight simply was not significant enough for my liking.
There is no doubt that the Over-Spin that Nike claims off the face is for real. The face is equipped with grooves that grab the ball and get it rolling forward immediately as opposed to backspin that causes the ball to skid for the first 8 inches or so.
The Method performed very well from mid-range but not as well from short range. The Method did perform pretty well in the lag category but, it needs more alignment there was only a simple groove behind the face which isn’t enough for me.
Even though it is very lightweight, it felt very solid off the face.
Overall Nike Method Score: 8.4 out of 10.0
Odyssey 2-Ball Price Range $129 – $189
I currently use one of the original models of the 2-Ball from a few years ago. Two Ball Technology was a brilliant invention, Odyssey placed two balls behind the putter face directly inline with the sweet spot on the face. The two balls are exactly the same size as a standard golf ball and the result is Excellent Alignment.
Take a look around the PGA Tour and you’ll see the 2-Ball in use everywhere. Particularly the 2-Ball Long Putter.
The 2Ball performed exceptionally well from all ranges. The insert feels very solid and the alignment came in a very close second overall. I really like the weight as well, Odyssey isn’t scared to make a heavy putter as many putter manufacturers are these days.
Overall Odyssey 2-Ball Score: 8.8 out of 10.0
Ping Scottsdale Price Range $129 – $169
For a light putter the Scottsdale feels very solid. It performed very well for me from all ranges but, the lack of weight had a negative affect on short putts. If I needed to use it I would put a lead strip on it but, needless to say it would look a little odd.
The insert Ping uses on this model has a very soft feel and incredibly solid feel at the same time. The insert is called “Thermoplastic” and a little research about the technology explains the feel.
Thermoplastic also referred to as Thermosoftening Plastic, is a polymer that becomes a liquid when heated and creates a incredibly soft but durable poly. A warning about cold weather however, just as the polymer gets very soft in warm weather, it will become very hard in cold weather.
The alignment is what caused me to even test the putter. As you can see in the image, Ping has come pretty close to stomping on 2-Ball technology using a double golf ball shape but a white alignment strip down the center. If you are seeking a lightweight putter with great alignment, this is the putter for you.
Overall Ping Score: 8.8 out of 10.0
SeeMore Putters Price Range $169 – $299
If you are not aware of SeeMore Putters, you should be. SeeMore uses something referred to as Rifle Scope technology. What they have done is create a visual masterpiece for long and short putt alignment.
The putter is solid from all distances and very solid on the face with a huge forgiving sweet spot that is almost impossible to miss. It is also very weighty as you can see, the putter in the picture to the left weighs in at 340 grams.
I went 19 out of 20 or 95% from the 4′ range and 7 out of 10 or 70% from 12′.
I also was consistently able to drain 4 of 10 from the vital 20′ range on perfectly straight putts.
Here is the SeeMore Secret, they put a set of alignment strips directly inline with the shaft on the top of the heel of the club. When you are standing over the putt you can place the shaft directly in the middle of the two alignment slots and you can be assured that you are perfectly aligned with the target.
This alignment method is sure to take off and I am actually quite surprised I was so far behind being such a nut about alignment.
The putter has great feel, weight and alignment is second to none. The results were far superior to all the other putters and honestly, I didn’t really want them to be.
SeeMore appears as though it will be the winner although I am waiting for a couple new models to come out including the 2012 Camerons.
Confidence is key in putting, the best putters on earth claim that their putting prowess comes from not being afraid to miss. The confidence of knowing you are on your line, is pretty much priceless.
It also has a very innovative look in the bag and standing over putts. Pick your line and hit it!
The SeeMore is a Great Putter and I believe it’s The Best Putter on the Market in 2012.
Overall SeeMore Score 9.2 out of 10.0
Our good friend at the Putting Clinic in Pasadena, Maryland first made me aware of SeeMore, I had heard of them but, I wasn’t aware of just how slick this technology is.
I asked Dave at The Putting Clinic to put together a few words regarding SeeMore Putters.
All SeeMore putters are equipped with Riflescope Technology which allows the player to utilize the “Hide the Red Dot”. “Hide the Red Dot” allows the golfer to set up the putter consistently every time in relation to the intended target, leading to a better set up, better alignment, and a better stroke. Simply line up the black bottom portion of the shaft between two white lines and cover the signature red dot on the heel of the top line. In my opinion SeeMore Putters also have another benefit that I believe is extremely important, Face Balanced at Impact. Almost all golfers will test a putter’s Face Balance by holding the shaft of the putter parallel to the ground, if the face faces the sky, the golfer believes the putter to be Face Balanced. That is a fine theory if the shaft was at a 90 degree angle, however the most common lie angle for a putter at setup is 70 degrees. The SeeMore FGP Original and a number of other SeeMore putters are Face Balanced with the shaft at a 70 degree angle. With that being said, not only is my SeeMore FGP Face Balanced, it is also what SeeMore refers to as Face Balanced At Impact.
To sum it up, in my 40 years playing I have owned dozens of putters, including Scotty Cameron, Ping and Odyssey, but the best putter I have ever owned is my SeeMore FGP Original.
The Putting Clinic
Let us know your thoughts, which model do you think is the best putter on the market?