Public Relations

In the News
Golf Digest Magazine Cover
Golf Digest: Equipment – Mass Hysteria

June 2009
Excerpt taken from Golf Digest
Article: Equipment – Mass Hysteria (p. 67-68)
Written by Max Adler

What makes a better putter: a hammer or a frying pan?

Of course, you'd never use either, but it's a simple way to conceptualize a complicated design issue in mallet putters: Should the mass be concentrated behind the ball or distributed to the perimeter?

Positioning the putterhead's weight toward the back and in the center can help stabilize your stroke, says Blair Philip, director of research and development for Yes! Golf. "It's like how a heavy trailer stabilizes the car towing it," he says.

Matt Molloy, president and CEO of Rife Putters, agrees. The new Rife IMO features 85 percent of the weight in the middle of the head.

Why then are other putter companies doing the opposite? John Hoeflich, senior vice president of Nickent Golf, acknowledges that positioning the center of gravity back and deep helps launch the ball with less spin to get it rolling quicker. "However, you still need to spread the weight to the side to increase the moment of inertia," he says. "This gives you more forgiveness and less distance loss on heel and toe mis-hits."

"From a technical viewpoint, perimeter weighting makes more sense, but in either case the center of gravity remains in the middle of the putter, and that's all the ball knows," says Clay Long, chief designer for Nicklaus Golf. "You might as well make the head more forgiving. Though one benefit to concentrating mass centrally is better feel, like what you might experience with muscle-back irons."

Slotline SL-783 Mallet Putter So do you engineer a golf club for the moment of collision, or for the influence its feel can have on the swing? That might be the most common dilemma in equipment design.

Slotline SL-783 Stealth
The 340-gram head is milled from 6061 aluminum and has a black anodized finish to reduce glare. A hefty 62 grams of tungsten occupy the heel and toe, increasing the head's MOI to more than 6,000.