Pool Putter: Make it Personal on the Greens
By Kiel T. Christianson,
LANSING, MI Sweden is an unlikely golf Mecca. After all, winters last half the year, and during that time much of the country experiences 24-hour long nights. But statistics show golf has boomed in Sweden, with a 72% increase in number of golf clubs built in the 1990s, and more tour players per capita than just about any other nation.
Sweden is also a hotbed of quirkiness in golf. Two words: Jesper Parnevik. Now a Swedish golf equipment company is capitalizing on the Swedish penchant for the off-beat. Prestige Golfs flagship product is the Pool Putter, which represents a completely unique melding of billiards and golf.
The Pool Putter features two innovations. First, the neck of the shaft is shaped like a hook, curling out from the shaft and directly into the back of the putter head. According to the company, Swedish engineer Leif Sundberg was tinkering with his clubs one day when it occurred to him how easy it is to aim a pool cue. The idea behind the oddly shaped neck of the Pool Putter is that the neck serves as an alignment aid, drawing a direct line from the neck through the ball to the hole.
Weve taken the Pool Putter model 1303-02, a 46mm (1-3/4) zinc mallet, out to the course and to a couple of practice greens, and passed it around to a few golfers for their opinions. The first thing that strikes everyone is that it takes a few strokes to get used to the alignment mechanism. At first it feels as if youre going to pull the ball, and you will, if you try to use any part of the club other than the hooked neck for visual feedback.
Another recurrent comment was that the putter feels heavy, and extremely solid at contact. Some golfers kept hitting long, others like me kept ending up short of the hole, worried about running the ball five feet past. On the course, I left plenty of putts short, but all of them were right on line. If I had just been confident enough in the alignment system, I could have saved eight strokes. But now that I know it works, all I need to worry about is the speed a definite plus.
According to Eric Adolfsson, of Prestige Golf USA in Hernando, Florida, the Pool Putter was introduced just last year to Europe, and is becoming popular with European touring pros even though they are not paid to play it. Moira Dunn [LPGA Pro] is very happy with the results and uses it frequently on the LPGA Tour.
All three Pool Putter models are mallets, with two different hook styles, any combination of which is eye-catching. Based on the hip superlatives that weve heard from the teenage set when weve showed them this club, it achieves major funk-appeal.
And when you think of it, your putter is one of the few places in golf you can make a personal statement. Unless youre willing to wear pink pants and an upturned hat like Jesper.
Pool Putter SpecsModel: Pool 46 (two other models available)
Hook and sweet spot: Aluminum
Width: 46 mm
Weight: 335 grams (head)
Length: 34-36 (longer shafts can be custom made)
Loft: 2 degrees
Lie: 20 degrees
Retail Price: $139-149 (money-back guarantee, too)
More information: www.poolputter.com and www.prestigegolfusa.com