product REVIEWS

arizona golf arizona golf arizona golfC-Groove
Model II - Face Balanced Blade

By Sonny Jones,
Senior Writer

Drive for show, putt for dough. That golfing cliché is almost as old as the game itself.

Equipment manufacturer Pro Gear hopes its new C-Groove model putters will be money in the bank as golfers lower their scores by saving strokes on the green.

The C-Groove, developed by European putting doctor Harold Swash, uses patented concentric grooves cut into the putter's face at a 20-degree upward angle. Pro Gear says the grooves grip the ball at impact, creating immediate pure roll. The grooves hold the ball onto the face of the putter a millisecond longer than with a smooth-faced putter. That should mean the ball doesn't skid off the putter and, therefore, has a better chance of staying on line to the hole.

Tests from 20 feet showed the C-Groove produced a purer roll 600 percent faster than the Ping Anser, 500 percent faster than the Titleist Bullseye, 450 percent faster than the Wilson 8802, and 60 percent faster than the Odyssey R-2. Other tests showed that a golf ball immediately begins a forward roll when struck by a C-Groove putter.


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The C-Groove putter features a sloping perimeter face-balance weighted head made of 17-4 polished stainless steel, a squaring line on the head for easy lineup, True Temper double bend steel shaft and moisture absorbing grip. It conforms to USGA and R&A specifications. Pro Gear offers shaft lengths from 32 to 37 inches.

Pro Gear is convinced the C-Groove putters will catch on. The company discontinued production of all other golf equipment in 1997, and relocated to Denver, Colo., in 1999.

Does the C-Groove putters live up to its claims? Generally, yes.

A four-round test of a 34-inch Model II face-balanced blade found the ball coming off the putter smoother and straighter than with a flat-faced putter. Obviously, you can't really feel the putter grip the ball, but you can sense it. The ball appeared to have the pure roll as the company claims. Putts stayed on line, although, like with any new putter, you have to develop a feel for how hard to strike the ball.

arizona golf arizona golf arizona golf After you develop a feel for the C-Groove, your putts should be truer. Notice I didn't write that your putting will be better. The putter won't make misread 5-footers find the bottom of the cup, nor will it assure that you'll always get down in two from 20 feet. After all, the ball will roll pure and true to the line you've selected. But if you've selected the proper line and speed, you should notice a difference in your putting touch.

I have used a flat-faced putter for more years than I care to admit, but I plan to continue using the C-Groove, although the 36-inch shaft length would be a better fit. The putter feels better with each round of play. Now, if Pro Gear could develop a green reader we'll be in business.