According to a study by Dr. Lucius Riccio, an original member of the USGA’s handicap research team, cited by golfpracticeguides.com, the average golfer makes 36 strokes or less with a putter per 18-hole round. That’s two putts per hole, and, according to our math skills, is pretty much half of the total number of strokes you’d make for a par 72 round. Kinda makes you realize just how awful three putts can be, and how important your flat stick really is.
Practice usually does make perfect, but when you’ve reached a point in your game where you’re comfortable with your putting stroke, it’s time to tinker with the tech.
Like drivers, big brand names typically dictate what most consider “the best” putters on the market, but if you’re really serious about saving strokes on the green, consider looking at smaller, specialized clubmakers. Cure Putters is a perfect example. The company launched with two models at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show to immediate success. 5 years later Cure touts 12 models, each designed to perform for every golfer.
Cure’s Tour X1 blade putter
Cure’s claim to fame is its “extremely High MOI” (moment of inertia). As the company explains on the website, a common misconception regarding high MOI putters is that they only offer forgiveness on off-center hits. They certainly do, but Cure’s high MOI designs also keep the clubface more square throughout the entire stroke, which, combined with that off-center forgiveness, equals more distance and directional control. (These results are also based on a player’s individual “IDEAL WEIGHT” — which basically means you’ll want to be fitted to optimize the weight of your Cure putter.)
The company graciously sent 3 putters built to spec to the CGB headquarters for review purposes, and our first impressions from the practice green: Cure = Pure. (We won’t be sending these back.)
With my usual blade putter, a pre-Titleist Scotty Cameron, I sometimes struggle with the initial takeaway in my backswing, wavering off square from the ball within the first few inches of my stroke. When this happens, I find myself focusing solely on correcting my clubface mid swing — often over or under compensating — and neglecting the other factors determining if the ball goes in the hole or not, like distance control. But after several practice putts with the Cure Tour X1 ($299.95), I found myself having to force the clubhead to waver on my takeaway to produce similar mishits. The Tour X1’s aluminum clubhead, with tungsten weights in the toe and heel and removable steel weights in the back, helps promote a straight and silky smooth stroke overall — truly noticeable — and the feel and sound of the ball coming off the 4.85″ milled face is unreal. Putt after putt after putt with the Cure rolled as pure and on line as one could ask for, and even toed and heeled shots only went slightly off line, still delivering not-so-terrible results. The confidence this club brings to my backswing allows me to focus on my desired line and pace, knowing the ball will come square off the clubface. Finding the pace can be a bit tricky to get used to if your Cure is any heavier than the putter you’re use to playing — really, though, when is it not? — and you may find it all to easy to muscle it past the hole until you get it dialed in (all the more reason to get fitted.)
The Tour X1 is a beautiful club to look at, too. Though one of Cure’s smaller designs, the clubhead is still larger than most blades you’ll see, but with a solid black finish, hidden weights and clean lines, it isn’t distracting to the eye or gaudy in any way. Aside the X1, Cure’s Tour Series includes two mallet designs in the X2 and X3, both with seemingly impressive features along the same lines.
Cure’s CX1 blade putter
The praise continues on to the CX1 ($279.95) from Cure’s Classic Series. With a slightly larger 5″ clubface, the CX1 touts the same weight systems, milled face and high MOI as the Tour X1, but the slightly bulkier design reads and feels a lot more like a mallet hybrid than a traditional blade putter — the best of both worlds. Speaking of mallets, the Classic Series includes two traditional mallet designs with the CX3 and CX4, and rounds out its blade design offerings with the CX2. The Classic Series putters are also available in red, black, or white, to add another touch of style.
While it’s clear Cure putters isn’t making your average blades and mallets, the company obviously wants to make sure it stands out from the pack. The RX Series does an excellent job of that — easily the most customizeable putters that have ever come through the CGB headquarters. The RX Series sports an eye-catching door handle design and “t bar” alignments; the putters vary by profile size with the RX3 ($259.95) being the smallest with a 5.25″ milled face. Other than that, there’s little you can’t customize on these putters. Each comes with two, 12g, 1/4″ aluminum and two, 35g, 1/4″ steel toe and heel disk weights added and removed with a standard hex tool (additional weight sets sold separately). Not only that, the RX Series boast interchangeable shafts and customizeable lie angles.
When we first heard of this feature, honestly, is sounded like a pain in the ass to have to worry about or adjust in on the fly, but that is far from reality. Two screws on the bottom of the putter loosen the shaft housing with a 1/4 turn, allowing you to move the shaft freely and adjust the angle as needed. All in all, the RX Series may sound more like a DeChambeau-like science experiment than something an average golfer would have in the bag, but the customization process takes about as long as it does to adjust the loft on your driver — and a lot more fun — so don’t let that be a deterrent. Sorry, lefties, the RX Series putters come RH only, in black or red.
Cure’s RX3 putter
While we’ve only had the chance to play those noted above, we can assume the same performance rings true throughout the company’s offerings. Cure putters — all of which are USGA conforming — come equipped with straight or offset shafts in standard lengths (custom lengths available by request), a branded Winn Pistol midsize grip and durable leather clubhead cover. The company also offers accessories and gear, as well as a trade-in program. Really, if you’re interested in making more gains on the green, you’d be remiss to not try a Cure putter, at the very least. With an optimized stroke using your own ideal weight, you my find yourself inching closer to that 36 or below number at the end of your round.
The wows continue on the course — the C300’s design delivering surprising distance and accuracy. CGB’s home course, King’s Deer Golf Club, is a long, 6,100-yard links track that proves a real test for smaller/shorter hitters like myself. I’ve had a Cobra King LTD driver in my bag for a couple of seasons now, growing comfortable with a lower ball flight to offset my fade in the Deer’s usually windy-conditions at the expense of 10-20 yards distance. As they say, it’s not the club, it’s the player, but there have always been a handful of holes at the Deer where I could really use extra yardage to avoid working with make-or-break landing areas from the tee and hail Mary second shots. With the C300, though, my home track seems a whole lot shorter.
The club used for this review was set at the standard 10.5-degree loft — the C300 allows for loft adjustments from 9.5 to 12 — equipped with a Fujikura Speeder Pro shaft.
The C300 is the company’s first driver using Wilson LABS “FLX Face” technology, also found in some Wilson Staff irons, that adds the forgiveness average players need while promoting the distance they want. From the first tee my ball flight was higher, straighter, and farther — to the point of me needing to stop compensating for my fade and start looking for landing areas I’ve never even considered before, without changing my swing. This new-found distance and accuracy opens up a world of opportunities for me on the Deer’s longer par 4s and 5s, reducing the need for my long irons and allowing me to think about scoring instead of damage control throughout the round. If that’s not what you want from a club, I don’t know what is.
My one minor complaint with the C300 — and I’m being picky — is the loud “Ping” noise at impact. Much like a softball bat, or a blacksmith putting a hammer to anvil, everyone in the surrounding area will know when you’ve squared one up. Though sometimes the sound adds a little more swagger to a crushed tee shot, it’s not always warranted. That said, though, the C300 is still much quieter than the D300 driver, and it’s nothing new among modern driver designs.
Other improvements include the C300’s appearance. A stunning, satin maroon/red finish is unblemished by the “Micro Vortex Generators” — the little nodes on the top of the D300 driver that sort of resemble reptile skin — though the “Power holes,” part of the FLX Face design, are hit or miss depending on who you ask. But the visible slots on the topside are no more an annoyance than they are a way to frame the club’s sweet spot, and it’s hard to argue with the results.
There’s something very special in unveiling a brand new driver, much like ripping the wrapping paper off your very first holiday gift. That feeling is followed by another of equal pleasure when you stripe one down the fairway for the first time. You’ll experience both when you get your hands on the Wilson Staff C300 driver, with the added joy of better distance and accuracy from the tee.
New to the game, Bradley Putter Co. made a splash last year with its one-of-a-kind handmade short sticks, crafted from striking blocks of wood and sporting gorgeous design finishes. What’s more, Bradley putters are more than just trophy pieces, touting impressive performance and control on the green, and with an addicting feel. Custom putters seem to come a dime a dozen nowadays, but Bradley Putters has set itself above the rest, even named golf’s “next big thing” by GOLF.com.
It makes sense, then, that Bradley is joining with another company taking a new approach to a familiar part of the game for this giveaway. PlayYourCourse is one of the fastest growing golf lesson services in the country, making PGA and LPGA certified teaching professionals more accessible to hackers of all handicaps across the country. Lower scores and professional insight is a mere click or phone call away, and more affordable than ever.
Bradley’s one-of-a-kind designs make your bag look better, and your scorecard, too.
It’s not every day you get to track your shots with real time numbers from tee to green, but it can be. The new Cobra King F7, debuting its new Cobra Connect technology, is designed to do just that with GPS tracking, hole layouts, King of the Hole challenges and more delivered right to your smartphone.
Ever since Taylormade’s iconic “bubble shaft,” drivers have stayed at the forefront of new golf stuff conversations — Epic, “pull the pin,” vertical grooves, “the no.1 driver on tour,” you know what I’m talking about. It seems to be getting more and more difficult for club makers to stay ahead of the competition while maintaining results for the pros and selling to average hackers, but Cobra’s new Connect technology is an interesting approach.
Using the Arccos Driver app on your smartphone, the F7 (along with the F7+ and King LTD Black) tracks your progress on the course using a special sensor implanted in the grip. GPS data from thousands of courses enable you to view satellite images of holes and renderings of your shot trajectories, and provides some extra competition with King of the Hole challenges (more on that in a little bit).
Getting used to the set up with the app takes a bit — much like figuring out all the features of any kind of new technology — but after a couple holes you’ll get the hang of how it all works. Set up at the tee with your phone in your pocket, the Connect sensor in the grip sends a signal to the app once the driver is hit. Using a number of sensors in your phone including GPS and the microphone (surveillance-wary be warned) the app reads your body movement and the time between shots, “listening” to ball contact to track shot to shot.
Taking full advantage of the Connect technology can get a little annoying. I for one don’t look at my phone after each shot — which is necessary to ensure the app is working — nor do I like keeping my phone in my pocket while swinging a club (Cobra recommends your phone be kept in your front pocket to capture the most accurate data). And one hiccup — 9 of 10 times due to user error — can leave you high and dry data wise until you reach the next tee box. After a couple of rounds playing with the new tech, though, working the app into your pre (and post) shot routine gets a little easier and won’t really mess with the flow of your game.
The highlight of the mobile app has to be the King of the Hole challenges which puts your longest drives up against every other Cobra Connect player who’s played at a given course — and who doesn’t like a little more competition. Seeing what other players were able to accomplish with the same club at the same course is a great feature, almost as great as the feeling of one upping them.
Cobra’s technological trailblazing may be more than just a worthwhile gamble, this could be a bridge to another level of golf technology. Oh how far we’ve come. Players at every level are always excited about the newest drivers, but giving them an accessible way to be more engaged with their individual game, with real time data and feedback, is something we haven’t seen before.
We weren’t expecting the kind of fire power that arrived at the CGB doorstep courtesy of Bomtech Golf. As of late, the company best known for “pulling the pin” in the driver game has been introducing a variety of clubs, including a full set of wedges your buddies won’t be able to keep their hands off of.
Unwrapping the 52-, 56- and 60-degree wedges — sadly, we didn’t make the short list for the company’s intriguing 72-degree — was nothing short of an “oh my God” moment, dulled only by the question of who in the CGB crew would get to claim the first hacks.
After 54 holes with the Grenade wedges in our arsenal, here are our notes:
A sleek, polished finish showcases the clubs’ forging lines with subtle brand logos. We’d like to see multiple finish options made available — brushed steel, matte black, etc. — but appreciate the simplicity of the design. At address, the club face is very inviting to the user, boosting green side confidence more so than other wedges, especially the 60-degree. The subtly is akin to the Callaway PM-Grind when comparing size, but with a more traditional head shape.
Understand that feel is all user specific — some prefer a harder club face, as in this case. The feel and response is immediate with the Bombtech wedges, but the softer face contributes to a lack of spin generation inside 60 yards. Average players struggle to generate large amounts of spin to begin with, so we’ve come to expect a bit more “bite” from wedges marketed to weekend golfers. (Translation: We need all the spin generation help we can get.)
As mentioned before, it’s hard not to notice how large these club faces are — there’s a lot to love. The larger face enables flush contact in a variety of lies and makes bending full shots a breeze. (What’s better than seeing that kind of response inside of 130 yds?) The club angle seems steeper at address, promoting a more consistently square point-of-contact — a common struggle for most on touchy green side plays.
First off, 3 forged clubs for $99!? ‘Nuff said. If you’re looking for a deal on some head turning, game changing wedges, your search is over. And if Bomtech ever delivers different finishing options — and maybe some shaft and grip upgrades, while we’re asking — and a $99 starting price, our arguably overpriced stock Vokey wedges are heading straight to EBay.
Bombtech Golf is a lot more than just a driver manufacturer, that much is very clear. The Grenade wedge set has proven to be a pleasant surprise, and earned a permanent place in the CGB bag. These clubs are definitely worth giving a shot if you’re wanting more bang for your buck, literally. Pull the pin.
Editor’s note: CGB receives products direct from manufacturers for advertorial purposes. All reviews posted on this site are not associated with advertising agreements unless otherwise noted.