Product Review: The
Pixl Golf 1.8 Series Putter
By Kyle Dalton,
In the golf equipment world, the latest and greatest technology is used as the main selling point for most, if not all products. Whether it's titanium, tri-metal, or teryllium technology; all claim to improve your accuracy and/or distance, and at the same time your score. Unfortunately, we, the American consumer, are quick to take that blind leap of faith and spend our money not knowing the full scope of the technology. We assume that what the product manufacturer is telling us is true; only to be disappointed in a great many cases after we have used the product.
The Pixl Golf 1.8 Series Putter does not fall into the aforementioned category. Yes, it does feature some of the newest technology. But unlike the previous description, you definitely don't feel deceived once you've used the putter on the course. What the product literature advertises, it delivers.
The main reason it delivers what it promises - "Turning mis-hits into gimmes." - is the simplicity of the technology. The Pixl Golf 1.8 Series Putter is precision milled from a single block of carbon steel and features a clubface insert that is comprised of more than 100 pixels, or independent circular components. These independent components or the "face dynamics" technology of the club are what separate the 1.8 Series Putter from its competition and are the reason it effectively reduces the lost distance on mis-hit putts.
On a mis-hit, the ball is obviously struck off-center somewhere on the clubface. In most cases, a mis-hit is obvious upon contact because there is a slight vibration that can be felt in the hands - more so on irons because of the greater club speed. On a traditional putter without an insert, this energy from the mis-hit travels throughout the club and is lost. Many of the more recent putters, including those with inserts, have disguised this lost energy and vibration by dampening the effect without actually addressing the problem created by the mis-hit.
With the 1.8 Series, there is a minimum amount of lost energy and vibration because the pixels are independent, or not connected to each other. On a mis-hit, the energy is isolated to the area of contact and prevented from traveling out of the impact zone. Each individual pixel retains that energy and transfers it back to the ball. As a result, the ball travels further. Studies have shown that with pixel inserts, half-inch mis-hits lose only about three percent of their distance versus up to 10 percent from conventional putters.
This means saving nearly two feet on a 20-foot putt. Sounds pretty simple. But the proof is in the contact.
In two rounds of use, this golf writer, who does not proclaim to be anywhere near Ben Crenshaw in his ability, hit - from distances of more than 20 feet - almost 20 putts in the two rounds combined within three feet of the hole. That's not to say I wasn't incredibly sharp on the greens those two rounds (wink, wink), but it does speak volumes about the consistency of the putter. I know, it also means I could hit it closer to the hole on my approach, but that's a whole other story.
However, just to be sure of its consistency on the course, the 1.8 Series Putter was put to the test on the putting green. In a controlled setting, with intentional mis-hits, I thought I might see varying results. Because mis-hits reduce the distance, I wanted to test the club's mettle by putting uphill, which would put an even greater premium on distance during a mis-hit. There were two tests. One to a hole straight uphill 30 feet away and one to a hole slightly uphill 20 feet away that broke hard left-to-right. I hit five shots on the toe and five shots on the heel for each test. In all but approximately four putts, the ball finished within four feet. Those were just the mis-hits.
Putts struck on-center or near the center on both the course and the practice green seemingly glided off the face and in most cases finished close to the hole. In fact, in both rounds, my playing partners commented on the sleek-looking putter and how my putting stroke looked effortless. With the 1.8 Series, which is accurately weighted, it doesn't take an extra long backstroke to get the ball rolling.
One interesting design feature of the 1.8 Series, which does not factor into the putter's overall performance, is the "Lone Pixel." Upon first glance, you might think something had gone awry in the manufacturing process of the insert, which is available in both polymer and metal.
Instead, it's a crafty trademark design that comes in the form of one gold pixel in the upper right corner of the insert. This pixel is an indication that the putter features genuine pixel technology and it highlights the independent nature of the pixel face architecture, since one of the standard pixels is removed and replaced with the gold pixel.
The performance of the putter and the technology used within it should come as no surprise considering the putter's manufacturer. Pixl Golf is based out of Palo Alto, California, the heart of Silicon Valley and the high-tech world, and was started by The Beta Group, a technology incubator - a company that provides resources to prospective businesses with promising technology and even more promising futures.
In fact, many of Silicon Valley's finest such as Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy have commented on the Pixl 1.8 Series Putter and its quality. But don't take my word for it, check out the testimonials and other details on the putter and other future Pixl clubs at http://www.pixlgolf.com.
This is one club where the money-back guarantee you see in their advertisements won't be necessary.
All 1.8 Series putters offer the following standard features:
- Pixl Performance Engine 1.8 Series insert
(conforms to USGA rules), featuring the Lone Pixel
- Precision steel head
- Pixl wrap grip
- True Temper steel shaft
- 35" length
- 3 degrees loft
- 71 degrees lie
- D-2 swing weight (polymer pixels)
- E-1 swing weight (metal pixels)