2008 Special Putter Test

Notice to all visitors to the Putter Ratings Page

2008 GolfTest USA Feature Putter Article
Wayne Williams, Member/Golf Writers Association of America will be writing an article focusing on the results obtained from the GolfTest USA 2008 Special Putter Test. It will be appearing in many regional and international golf publications in 2009.

2008 Special Putter Test
Testing has just been completed on many new putters. The 2008 Putter testing methodology has been refined to include several new criteria and a more stringent testing process. In the past we had testers make putts from 5, 10 and 15 feet. The new parameters have the testers make 3 putts each from 10 feet straight in, 15 feet left to right and 20 feet right to left.

In this putter test we purposely left out the “Big Seven” golf companies. Arguably the Big Seven are the following club companies: Callaway (Odyssey), TaylorMade, Ping, Titleist (Scotty Cameron), Nike, Cobra and Cleveland. These golf companies get the majority of the press and exposure in the major golf publications. GolfTest USA knows for a fact that there are many other golf companies that make quality golf equipment yet they do not get the exposure they deserve.

We asked each tester to be especially aware of the features of each putter. In particular we ask them to rate the alignment characteristics, the overall design and how strongly they would recommend each putter they test to other golfers. In past tests there were 5 criteria and in the new format there are 10 criteria. This putter test included 47 putters from 31 putter companies.

While all the putters in the test met our minimum standards to be awarded our GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” we decided to include a 5 star rating format to help golfers distinguish which putters we felt performed the best.

An 8.7 and above rating received 5 Stars
An 8.6 rating received 4 Stars
An 8.5 rating received 3 Stars
An 8.4 rating received 2 Stars
An 8.3 rating received 1 Star

We hope that golfers will find the information and results to be helpful to them in determining which putters they should consider when they are looking to improve their putting. Please send us your feedback on how you like the new format as that helps us to improve the information we provide to golfers.
One factor that was not taken into account during the test was cost. Most of the putters cost in the range of $100 to $200 while several were in the $200 to $300 level. A couple of putters were even higher priced in the $600 to $800 range. We will leave it up to you to make the call on how performance and price fits into your budget.

GolfTest USA will be contacting the “Big Seven” soon to ask them to participate in a putter test that will pit their top putter models against each other. We think it will be of interest to all golfers to see who makes the BEST putter.

New Testing Methodology for Putters
Testing has just been completed on many new putters. The 2008 Putter testing methodology has been refined to include several new criteria and a more stringent testing process. In the past we had testers make putts from 5, 10 and 15 feet. The new parameters have the testers make 3 putts each from 10 feet straight in, 15 feet left to right and 20 feet right to left.

We asked each tester to be especially aware of the features of each putter. In particular we ask them to rate the alignment characteristics, the overall design and how strongly they would recommend each putter they test to other golfers. In past tests there were 5 criteria and in the new format there are 10 criteria. Because of the change in testing methodology it is neither fair nor reasonable to compare results from previous years testing. We hope that golfers will find the information and results to be helpful to them in determining which putters they should consider when they are looking to improve their putting. Please send us your feedback on how you like the new format as that helps us to improve the information we provide to golfers.

60 golfers of varying skill levels made putts with 5 to 7 putter models, one at a time. We ask them to be as fair and unbiased as they can be in their evaluation. They are told not to compare one putter to another but instead focus on how each putter rates on a scale of 1 to 10 in the criteria we ask them to rate. Once they have evaluated putter #1 they move on to putter #2 and so on. While they are hitting each putter the test administrator is rating how they perform in distance, control and accuracy. A rating factor is established for each tester that is then used at the end of the test and which supplements their ratings. This helps to insure that the tester is being fair and unbiased and consistent in their ratings from putter to putter. Out of the 60 golfer who test each putter we then pick the 50 evaluations that we feel were done in a fair and consistent manner and use them to come up with the average rating in each criteria for each putter. We have found that this methodology gives a fair and accurate representation of how each putter performed in the test. We still observe that the “well known” clubs tend to get slightly higher ratings then their actual performance while lesser know clubs don’t get quite the credit they deserve in the testing. By using the rating factor which is added based on the actual results we are able to level the playing field and “smooth” out the results and give a more accurate representation of how each putter really performed in the test. By averaging the results of 50 testers we are confident that the results reflect how golfers really performed with each putter. Because the ratings are averages the results tend to group together in a small range usually from 7.8 to 9.0 (but sometimes fall outside a standard bell curve). Even a rating point of .1 better can indicate that one putter performed better than another one. A putter whose rating in “Distance Control” was 8.6 could be considered to perform better than a putter whose rating was 8.5. Having said all that, this is still not rocket science. We do feel however that this testing format is one way that can be used by golfers to help determine which golf clubs would be best for them. There is a very crowded field of golf equipment out there and golfers need all the help they can get from an independent and unbiased source. We feel that GolfTest USA helps to provide the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being best) they rated each of these criteria.

Distance Control: Each tester rated how much distance control they felt they had.
Alignment: Testers was asked to rate the alignment characteristics of the putter.
Accuracy: Testers rated how accurate each putter was.
Forgiveness: Testers rated how forgiving the putter was.
Sound: Each tester rated how they liked the sound of each putter.
Appearance: Testers rated the appearance of the putter.
Feel: Testers rated the feel of the putter during the putting stroke.
Design: Testers rated the design features of the putter.
Recommend to others: How strongly would they recommend each putter to friends or other golfers.
Overall Rating: The testers took into consideration what is important to them in a putter and gave it an overall rating. (This is not an average of the other criteria).
Overall Average: A final category was added at the request of Golf Illustrated which is the average of the 10 criteria rated by the testers. We feel this average helps to give golfers an indication of how each putter performed taking into account all of the criteria in the test.

Why are the test results the way they are? Click here to find out!

Let us know if there are other putters you would like us to test and we will contact the manufacturers and see if they will participate in our next testing cycle. requestatest@golftestusa.com.

Based on the testing completed to date we have determined that any club that has an “Average” score 8.0 or better based on our scoring system is awarded the GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” award. Being awarded the GolfTest USA “Seal of Excellence” indicates a golf product has been tested and reviewed by our staff of golf testers and has been judged to be of superior quality, value and performance. Golfers who purchase any of these clubs can feel confident they will be obtaining a quality golf product.

 

GolfTest USA Evaluation of the Criteria in the Test

Distance Control: The Kramski HPP 340 Tour and the Nickel Putter No. 1 rated the best (curiously both are made in Germany) and the Next Generation Daedalus. Bob Burns Roll In and Red Eye i330 rated very high.

Alignment: The putters that rated highest in Alignment were the Kramski HPP 325 Mallet followed by Bob Burns Roll In, Nickent Pipe II, SeeMore FGP, Sleek, Musty Sonoma, Tiger Shark GS-1, Nickel Putter No. 1, YAR GX1 Putter and the Next Generation Daedalus.

Accuracy: Tops in Accuracy was the Kramski HPP 340 Tour followed closely by Next Generation Daedalus, Kramski HPP 325 Mallet, Tiger Shark GS-1.

Forgiveness: The putters rated the highest in Forgiveness were the Kramski HPP 340 Tour, DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Kramski HPP 325 Mallet and Tiger Shark GS-1.

Sound: The putters with the best Sound were the DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Kramski HPP 340 Tour, SlotLine Raider SL-784 and the Rife 2 Bar Hybrid.

Appearance: Highest rated in Appearance was the Musty Sonoma followed by the Musty Wing Tip and the Kramski HPP 340 Tour.

Feel: In the important criterion of Feel the Kramski HPP 325 Mallet was tops with the following putters rating high: DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Nickel Putter No. 1, Kramski HPP 340 Tour.

Design: Top honors in Design again goes to the Kramski HPP 340 Tour. Other great designs were the Mizuno Bettinardi BC1, DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Kramski HPP 325 Mallet, Bob Burns Roll In, YAR GX1 Putter, Nickel Putter No. 1, Tiger Shark GS-1, Carbite ZGB, Daito Genesis, Mitchell Studio Fit Brass Cup, Rife 2 Bar Hybrid

Recommend: Putters that the testers would recommend to other golfers are as follows: Kramski HPP 340 Tour, Musty Sonoma, Tiger Shark GS-1, Kramski HPP 325 Mallet, Nickel Putter No. 1, YES! Donna, Bob Burns Roll In, DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Mitchell Studio Fit Brass Cup, SlotLine Raider SL-784, Carbite ZGB and the Next Generation Daedalus.

Overall: In this criterion testers rated each putter taking into account what ever is important to them in a putter. The Kramski HPP 340 Tour was the hands down winner followed closely by the Nickel Putter No. 1, DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Kramski HPP 325 Mallet, Bob Burns Roll In, Tiger Shark GS-1.

Average: The Average was compiled by adding up each score in all ten criterions and then taking the average to the total. It is a good indication of how each putter did taking into account all aspects of it. The Kramski HPP 340 Tour was clearly at the top (it was also the most expensive putter). The Kramski HPP 325 Mallet was #2 (another pricey putter). Other putters that averaged very high were the Nickel Putter No. 1, Tiger Shark GS-1, Musty Sonoma, DeLaCruz Sweet Slot, Bob Burns Roll In.

We want to thank all the putter companies for taking the time to submit their putters to be included in this test. We are confident that all golfers will be able to find a putter from this group that would help them shave a few strokes of their rounds of golf.

Click on each column head to sort ratings by that criteria.

Product DescriptionDistance ControlAlignment Accuracy Forgiveness Sound Appearance Feel Design Recommend Average Overall Score BUY
Perfect-Putter

Perfect-Putter

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.3
8.4
8.2
8.3
8.2
7.9
8.1
8.1
8.2
2 Adjust-a-Putter

Adjust-a-Putter

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.2
8.3
8.5
8.4
8.1
8.2
8.2
8.2
8.3
3 Heavy Putter F3-DF

Heavy Putter F3-DF

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.3
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.2
8.4
8.2
8.3
8.3
4 Dead Straight Middleweight

Dead Straight Middleweight

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.2
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.3
8.3
5 Elite Sports Dead On

Elite Sports Dead On

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.3
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.2
8.4
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.3
6 GEL Ruby

GEL Ruby

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.3
8.5
8.5
8.5
8.4
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.4
7 SlotLine SL-782

SlotLine SL-782

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.4
8.5
8.5
8.4
8.4
8.3
8.3
8.4
8.4
8.4
8 YES! Gina

YES! Gina

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.3
8.4
8.3
8.4
8.4
8.4
8.5
8.4
8.4
8.4
9 A Tipping Point

A Tipping Point

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.6
8.3
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.4
8.4
8.4
8.4
8.4
10 Ontic M-PULSE DST

Ontic M-PULSE DST

User Rating: Be the first one!
8.5
8.3
8.4
8.4
8.2
8.4
8.4
8.5
8.4
8.4
Over several years of testing GolfTest USA has determined that when subjective and objective ratings from our Test Administrators and the golfers taking the test are combined the overall rating is a very accurate indication of the actual performance of any particular golf product. There is only a small difference in the ratings yet even a couple of percentage points difference from one club to another is significant enough to indicate a club that performs at a superior level to other clubs.

Go to our manufacturer's links page to get more information about these putters.