Cleveland Golf is taking a shot at one of the most popular putters in history with a new spin on the tour proven design. Odyssey’s legendary Two-Ball putter is still in use by many, but they say that they have come up with something better in the new Cleveland Smart Square putter. We took a close look at it before it is released to the public on November 15, 2013.
The first thing I noticed was the obvious square design on the top of the putter. By using squares instead of circles, Cleveland claims that players aim the Smart Square putter 23% more accurately than the two ball design. The second thing you’ll notice is the color. It is a matte black with white paint fill that stands in sharp contrast with my white (or sometimes yellow) golf balls. It has a pretty standard looking mallet style head and double bend shaft to make it face balanced. This balance encourages a full release of the putter during the stroke and helps keep the face square through impact. The grip is a common Winn type with a soft and tacky feel.
Most new putters I get start out by rolling balls on my putting green at home, aka my office carpet which stimps at about 11. I then take them out to the course for a few rounds and some putting green sessions. My takeaway is that the Copolymer face insert gives the putter a nice feel, with the impact feeling firm but muted with a nice sound and low vibration. The insert is similar to competing putters on the market, but feels slightly firmer and the ball doesn’t spring off the face like some other inserts. It’s just right in my opinion.
Aiming properly is this putter’s raison d’etre, and the key for Cleveland is the Dual Axis Alignment feature. The two squares provide parallel lines the frame the ball at address, and the perpendicular lines help to show if the putter face is misaligned at address. As mentioned before, Cleveland Golf testing shows players aligned the Smart Square 23% more accurately than the Odyssey Two Ball Putter. Although they don’t mention it by name, we know that’s the putter they are talking about.
The Cleveland Smart Square putter will be available in three different variations. The standard heel shafted model and center shafted models will be available in lengths from 33″ to 35″, and there will also be a 39″ model with a heavier 400 gram head and heavy grip for a counter balanced feel. In my experience, the counter balanced design is worth trying out. I really like the way a counterbalanced putter swings.
The Cleveland Smart Square putter is a simple idea that makes plenty of sense. The putter rolls the ball very well and should be easy to align. The matte black paint job will not be distracting in the sun and should hold up to regular use. MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) for the standard models is $139.99 and $179.99 for the 39″ model, but street pricing may be a bit lower than that. The Smart Square putter hits stores on November 15, 2013. For more info, visit http://www.clevelandgolf.com/smartsquareputter/ and check out the video below.