Green Mon­sters

Mal­let put­ters surge in popularity.

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents - BY MIKE STACHURA

The put­ter has been per­ceived as equip­ment’s tech­no­log­i­cal hold­out. For years, golfers were re­luc­tant to em­brace in­no­va­tion in the club they used most. That has changed. Physics give mal­lets an ad­van­tage over blade-style put­ters in for­give­ness, sta­bil­ity and align­ment, and tour pros have made them cool. More than half of the top 50 play­ers in the world use mal­lets, in­clud­ing three of the past five No. 1s.

The move to mal­lets is more than just peer pres­sure, says Sean Toulon, gen­eral man­ager for top-sell­ing Odyssey Golf and long­time put­ter de­signer. “We’re start­ing to look at con­struc­tion in put­ters through the same lens that we looked at con­struc­tion in driv­ers,” he says. “So you’re go­ing to start to see some prod­ucts that can per­form at a dif­fer­ent level given their size.”

For ex­am­ple, some of the lat­est com­pact mal­lets of­fer mul­ti­ple ma­te­ri­als and in­ter­nal weight­ing that make them as sta­ble as larger mal­lets. Heel-shafted hosels also make it eas­ier to swing some mal­lets in an open-close arc (like you would with a blade) with­out sac­ri­fic­ing sta­bil­ity and for­give­ness. Plus, a put­ter fit­ting with high-tech mon­i­tors pro­vides proof that strokes im­prove with mal­let put­ters.

For all the tech­no­log­i­cal up­grades, the ap­peal of the mal­let put­ter might be about emo­tion. As Toulon says, “When golfers start see­ing peo­ple mak­ing putts with funny-look­ing put­ters, they as­sume it’s the put­ter, not the per­son.” Here are six that might make you re­think how you roll.

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