EQUIPMENT

Mark MarneyIt's not you, it's the equipment:
The back-weighted putter frenzy

By Mark Marney, The Golf Warehouse (tgw.com)

Can you relate to this?

You're standing over a four-foot putt to save a miserable round. The pressure is mounting. Your heart beats at cardiac-arrest pace. You're thinking crazy thoughts: "What's the world's gravest danger? It's not nuclear proliferation or depletion of the ozone layer. It's self respect and saving face with my foursome."

MonzaYou blow the should-be gimme and head right for the pro shop. You know it's you, but you seek a new putter anyway.

You come across seemingly countless options, but you're mind still spins from the debacle at 18. You can't make a putter decision then and there.

You obsess about it on the drive home and at the dinner table. The wife and kids are asleep and you dart to the Internet. Thank the almighty that tgw.com is bookmarked.

"I'll try 'em all," you proclaim, knowing full well you'll settle on two. You read about the back-weighted putter frenzy whereby the ball rolls better at impact, and the options in this "category within a category" are aplenty. Back-weighted or not, here's what the manufacturers say:

1. Taylor Made Rossa Monza: The head is shaped like a trapezoid with a pair of center-of-gravity back pipes protruding from it. The white sight line creates a vivid optical tool that benefits aim. There's a soft-yet-solid feel at impact -- a smooth and nearly bounceless roll off the putter's face.


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2. Titleist Scotty Cameron Futura: On the forward stroke, the deep semi-circular backweight helps the putter track dead square, producing putts that roll directly on the intended line. This putter satisfies balance, stability, forgiveness and roll. The T-frame shape allows for point-and-shoot accuracy.

3. Odyssey DFX 2-Ball Putter (Blade) by Callaway: The white discs of the two-ball alignment system on the top of the putterhead makes lining up putts simple and accurate. From seeing the line better, golfers feel more comfortable and confident over the putt. The weight is situated low and away from the putter face, creating a low center of gravity that helps reduce ball skidding and skipping.

Nike Blue Chip Series Putters4. Nike Blue Chip: There's optimal weight distribution in the heel and toe, and the soft, light Blue Chip insert made from aluminum (softer than steel) helps send putts on line at desired speed. This putter is designed for feel, forgiveness and reduced skidding. There is a single sightline on the flange.

5. Cleveland Classic Putter: The milled face provides (with optimum 4-degree loft) a perfectly flat surface resulting in a soft feel and true roll. The thick, soft top lines contribute to the putter setting up with a dead-square appearance.

6. PING and Cobra: Keep an eye out for these companies as they roll out new putters in time for the holidays.

Not to complicate matters, but today's latest technology can also be found in putters by Adams Golf, La Jolla, Nancy Lopez, Square Two, Ben Hogan, Mizuno, Never Compromise, Ram, Wilson, SeeMore and Teardrop.

How much do they cost? Well, to many golfers that's no object when it comes to putters being their magic pills.

Ah, what could've been if there had just been one more revolution of the golf ball.

Mark Marney is CEO of The Golf Warehouse at tgw.com, the world's largest golf e-tailer. His columns appear monthly at travelgolf.com and report about golf-product categories (like putters), emerging trends and "What's Hot, What's Not."

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

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