I by STX Golf
By Kiel Christianson,
If you start poking around the web, or rifling through golf magazines, youll almost immediately discover a dozen companies youve never heard of that make putters. But since feel is paramount in choosing a flat stick, and since each individual golfer has his or her own individual definition of feel, this plethora of putters is most definitely a good thing.
Case in point: STX Golf, the Baltimore, Maryland company that first introduced the putter face insert in the early 1980s. STX is a true innovator. In fact, the company made its name in 1970 by introducing the first synthetic lacrosse stick. Since getting into the golf business, STXs elastomer insert has literally changed the face of putting.
Many of the STX designs are so striking that once youve seen them, they tend to stick in your head: Remember that rather bizarre, center-shafted, cylinder-bodied putter used by Jesper Parnevik in his first US win in 1998 (solidifying his reputation as an eccentric)? That was STXs Sync Tour.
STXs newest line is called Greeny, after the dark green proprietary thermo polyurethane insert used in the face of each of the five Greeny models. These are very sharp-looking putters, designed by sculptor Robert Engman (Professor, University of Pennsylvania). And they are without a doubt some of the softest putters youll ever feel.
I took the Greeny I, a traditional heel-shafted blade with a heavy bulge in the back of the putter head, out to the practice green and onto the course for 18 holes. This is a design especially suited for traditionalists who like an old-fashioned set-up, but who want more weight than in classic blades and an insert face to boot.
Frankly, I am not this sort of traditionalist: My preferences run to offset, face-balanced cavity-back flanged blades, which suit straight-back-and-straight-through strokes. Blades fit gate-type strokes better, which open a bit on the backswing, return to square at the ball, and close on the follow-through.
Nevertheless, I felt very confident on putts within five feet. On the other hand, longer putts proved tricky to control, as it became more difficult to keep the heel-shafted head square. Just to be fair, I sought out a couple of players on the practice green who were using blades to give the Greeny I a try. They liked the look, loved the weight, and were mixed on the insert; one said it gave him great feedback, whereas the other said it didnt. The best parts of the Greeny I are the look the sculptor-designer Engman has made sure the whole line looks classy and the ultra-comfortable Winn Grip. And with five models in the Greeny line (including the offset, face-balanced flanged blade Greeny II and sci-fi mallet Greeny V) and seven other STX putter models from broomstick to interchangeable face designs this lesser-known company has a putter for just about every golfers preferred feel.
Club Specifications: Greeny I
Suggested retail price: $135
Putterhead: Stainless steel
Putter face: Thermo polyurethane
Loft: 3 degrees
Shaft: True Temper