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|Boccieri Golf's EL Series Heavy Putter comes with a wide array of putter head styles. (Courtesy of Boccieri Golf)|
Despite the USGA's and R&A's efforts to the contrary, many casual golfers are still confused by the upcoming ban on anchoring. The new restriction is not an equipment ruling: all currently conforming putters will still be conforming. The new ban is on anchoring the butt-end of the shaft to the body (or to a hand which is in turn anchored on the body).
Accordingly, one way of adapting to the new rules, which will go into effect in 2016, is to simply remove the anchor point: hold the butt-end away from one's body an inch or two. Although the anchor point will be gone, the extended shaft and grip still offer a counter-weight and promote the preferred pendulum stroke.
Another alternative is to find a putter with a longer than normal shaft and specialized weighting to provide the back-weighting, along with a longer, 17-inch grip that lets you place your hands wherever you feel the best balance point is between putter head and butt.
Boccieri Golf, maker of the innovative Heavy Putter, which has built a large and devoted following among pros and amateurs, has introduced a new line of longer-shafted, back-weighted flatsticks, the Extended Length (EL) series ($169).
Now, Boccieri isn't the first company to capture this design philosophy in a putter, but given the its pioneering role in back-weighting and uber-heavy putters, the new EL series by Boccieri Golf is worthy of serious attention.
The EL series comes in all three of the weighting options offered by Boccieri Golf: Heavy (930 grams), Mid (865 grams), and Lite (840 grams) and 36-inch, 38-inch, and 40-inch lengths, and can be matched to any of the company's 28 putter head models -- even Goldilocks can find one that feels just right. This range of weights and lengths sets Boccieri off from other companies, who only offer one or two versions of their longer models.
I took a 38" mid-weight P3-M half-mallet out to my home course to test it against the tricky greens. Before the round, I had 10-handicap Karl W. Newton, Jr., take several putts with it to compare to his own mid-length, back-weighted Cleveland putter.
"This is even heavier than mine," he observed correctly. "It's got a great sound when it hits the ball, too. I could get used to this one really fast, if I didn't already love mine."
The EL Heavy Putter was certainly heavier than my usual mallet, so I was surprised that it felt so comfortable so fast. In the past, some of the standard-length Heavy Putters have felt too heavy for me, but not this one, despite the fact that it outweighed those others due to the added length. The back-weighting and higher center of gravity clearly were to thank for this excellent feel.
And, as Newton noted, putts struck on the sweet-spot produce a very satisfying sort of "plunk" noise, and the feedback through the stock Winn grip is exquisite. Within a few putts, I found myself considering anything inside 4 feet pretty much automatic.
As with all heavier putters, distance control on longer putts took a bit more practice. Some shorter downhillers wandered a bit too far past the hole, and some longer uphillers came up short. But this is to be expected the first time out with a putter that represents such a radical change from the norm.
I was frankly amazed at how good the EL Heavy Putter felt so quickly. I think I holed my first practice putt -- a 10-footer dead center. As with other longer, non-anchoring putters, the 17-inch grip allows you to find just the right hand-height, allowing you to even alter hand position according to length of putt -- hands a little higher for longer putts, a little lower for shorter ones.
Boccieri Golf's wide array of putter head styles, shaft types, weighting options, and lengths provide more customization options than any other putter manufacturer who offers extended length and/or back-weighted putters.
Stephan Boccieri, the founder of Boccieri Golf and the inventor of The Heavy Putter is, after all, the trailblazer in this area. So if you're going to try a longer, back-weighted putter -- either as an alternative to anchoring or to quiet your hands and wrists -- you might as well go to the expert.
For more information, visit www.boccierigolf.com.
August 26, 2013
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
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