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A Putter Odyssey(Tested by Yank)

We had a lot of putters in our last test and most had different shapes, weight, alignment, face materials but they all had one thing in common - the manufacturer felt that their club was the best. They came in blades, belly and one broomstick.

Given all those differences, I decided to give them a real world test and use them for a round or two. As you know, Rankmark does not feel that all clubs will work for all golfers, unless you are Ben Hogan, but with these reviews and our putter test results, Rankmark offers insights when choosing your next club.

I save all my rounds on* so I have a good idea of my average number of putts per round. For these tests, I weighted the greens on the courses I played: fast vs. slow, flat vs. undulating and additionally took the weather into account. So what you see is a Putt Score of plus/minus off my norm with the green type and condition taken into consideration. More putters will be added as I try them.

Well I don't know if conclusion is the proper heading, I will continue trying putters, it is a part of Rankmark. But I have to settle on one as a base and that one is the TaylorMade Ghost Tour FO-72. This putter has proved to be the most consistent for me. The only thing I would like is black instead of white and I will be putting a new grip on it.

Using the Cleveland Classic Belly putter, I found that it was equal to the Ghost on short putts and a little better on lag putts. But I really never got totally comfortable using a belly putter. I'm sure it would get better if I used it more but because it is a belly putter, it did not seem the way to go.

And then there is the Nike Method Core. Love the sound, it was easy to align and I putted well with it, just not quite as consistently as the TaylorMade. If the ghost were to get lost or broken, this would be my goto putter. And by far and away, it was the easiest putter I have ever used to pick up my ball but that doesn't save me any strokes, just my back.

As always, remember that these are my picks and yours may not be the same, try as many putters as you can...

Fisher Putters December 2012 - Website

The Fisher putter is a putter you will have to get used to with it's unique face. I struggled with it but felt the ball rolled well and with practice, this would work for me. It was one of the most consistent blade style putters I tried.

Putt Score: even

TaylorMade Ghost Tour FO-72 December 2012 - Website

I finally played with the TaylorMade FO-72 , weather has been bad out here on the West Coast. Four one putts in the first six holes, I like this putter. I had touble making the DA-12 work for me so I didn't have high expectations for the putter. Like the feel, like the sound (though not as much as the NIKE Concept) and the ball rolled true. I was chipping well that day but nonetheless, the FO-72 is definitely in my finals.

Putt Score: -4, in the finals

Ontic Merge November 2012 - Website

I had several conflicts with the Ontic Merge. One it was too heavy and two I did not like the setup of the putter for my stance. That being said, this putter works well. Although strange looking, it proved to be very easy to align and off-center hit were negligible. The ball felt good coming off the face. Even with my problems with this club, I putted well with it.

Putt Score: even

STX Xform1 November 2012 - Website

I just love the looks of the STX Xform1. I may be giving this club more than it deserves for me because of it's looks, but it did save me strokes and it felt good doing it. A little challenging to pick up a ball using this putter.

Putt Score: -2, In the finals

NIKE Concept November 2012 - Website

Still another putter that has me confounded. I love the sound and feel of the NIKE Concept. Center or off-center hits make no difference. The putter just feels right but will I get used to the looks? I like this club so much that I went and picked up a blade version to see if it would feel the same, it didn't. Also it is by far and away the easiest putter to pick up a ball. Another putter in the finals.

Putt Score: -3, In the finals

Odyssey's Metal X #7 November 2012 - Website

The Odyssey #7 just did not work for me and although I liked the looks and the ease of picking up a ball, I just could not get used to it. Conversely, I had given a friend a number of putters to try and he picked the Odyssey which goes to prove my point that there is a club that works better for each of us.

Putt score: +3

Ashdon T-180 Bermuda November 2012 - Website

Another putter I had high expectations for was the Ashdon T-180 Bermuda but my biggest problem was the colors were too distracting. In addition, the putter did not fit my setup. The Ashdon did feel very good and off center hits showed little or no diversion from the intended line.

Putt Score: +3

TaylorMade Ghost Tour DA-12 October 2012 - Website

The DA-12 was a putter I wanted to work for me. It is the first one I took out. It is a good looking putter and has a great feel. I just could not make fewer putts using it. It felt a little too light and off center hits were a problem for me. I guess this is why it is a Tour model, problem is I'm not on tour nor do I play like I am competing for big stakes.

Putt score: +2

Cleveland Classic Belly October 2012 - Website

Now here is where it gets interesting. What will you overlook to save a few strokes? The Cleveland Classic Belly presented me with this conundrum. I do not want to use a belly putter but this club probably saved me 3 to 4 strokes and I never really got comfortable with the putter! So how many will it save me when I do get used to it? This is a putter that will make the finals for me. More to follow...

Putt Score: -3, In the finals

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