Every once in a while, a new idea comes along that seems so simple, its genius. Those afflicted by the dreaded putting “yips” will go to great lengths to solve their flatstick quandary. Whether it’s a long putter, belly putter, putting with a different stance, or just trying every conceivable putter on the market, if you have putting woes- you want them to be gone! The newest idea to smooth out the putting strokes of those with espresso in their veins and Linda Blair-like demons in their heads comes to us from the folks at Heavy Putter. With a unique approach to putter design, their putters are sure to calm those nerves on the green.
My test model was the B3-M mallet. Part of Heavy Putter’s new “Matte” finish series, the finish is just that- a dark matte gray. Also new to the Matte Finish series is the addition of a customizable weight kit which accompanies the putter. The putter head is a cast head with milled face area for uniformity of hitting surface. It is finished with a custom Winn V17 grip. The head shape is unique, with cutouts in back to aid in aligning the putter. Certainly its design is not too outlandish, given today’s wide variety of putter “modern art.”
So far, the Heavy Putter doesn’t sound unique compared to other putters on the market. If you’ve seen any of their ads on the Golf Channel recently, you know that what does make these putters unique is their weighting. The standard tip weight kit has two aluminum tip weights (20g) that make the putter head 450 grams (from the standard 475 grams) and two copper tungsten tip weights (70g) that make the putter head 500 grams. The interchangeable weights allow the golfer to customize his/her release point of the stroke by lowering or raising the balance point of the standard putter. Typical weights for putter heads on the market are generally along the lines of 320-360 grams.
The hidden aspect of the Heavy Putter that does the most to smooth out wobbly putting strokes is the 250-gram weight that lies beneath the putter’s grip. Heavy Putter states this moves the balance point up the shaft 75% higher up than conventional putters. What does this mean to the golfer with nerves of rice paper on the green? Let me put it this way: Just try to make a short, jabby stroke with the Heavy Putter.
With so much static weight, and the balance point moved up the shaft, there is literally too much weight in your hands to be able to make a quick stroke. By incorporating this design, the Heavy Putter forces you to use the bigger muscles of the shoulders to make a rocking motion like the pros are so good at doing. Let me tell you- it works. Granted, you might be taken aback when you first pick up the Heavy Putter. It really is heavy! If you carry your bag, you might actually notice the extra weight. If you’re having meltdowns on the putting surface, you’re probably willing to overlook this.
So, we have all the makings of a good stroke. The hands and wrists have been removed from the equation. We’ve engaged the larger muscles of the shoulders. We’re making a smoother, longer, more rocking motion. Sounds good, right? Well, how does it translate on the course is the real question. For the most part, it carries over well actually. I was surprised that such a heavy flatstick would still be able to deliver good distance control. While it did take some time to adjust to longer putts, inside of ten feet it was deadly accurate almost immediately. The overall balance of the Heavy Putter was quite good. Once in my hands, while still heavy, it was manageable and delivered a good overall feel. The head itself did feel a bit too soft at impact on longer putts, and made for a harder time judging distance on those putts. I would have liked to see the putter head to be a bit larger/wider actually. Even with all that weight, I did detect some twisting at impact on off-center strikes. With a larger head and the ability to move the weighting more to the perimeter, it may make this already very stable putter even more foolproof. The Heavy Putter does what it advertises in smoothing out the stroke, however.
The counter-balancing of the Heavy Putter is very intriguing and effective in practice. I would be very interested in seeing perhaps a more traditional offering from Heavy Putter that utilizes more traditional weighting for those who don’t need quite so much assistance in smoothing out their strokes. Perhaps it could be called the “Heavy Putter Tour Edition,” or something to that effect. Using a more traditional head weight while still incorporating the counter balance below the grip would make for a lighter (read: capable of carrying your bag) version of this already great concept.
The folks at Heavy Putter got all the little details right with their putter. The weight kit is great for giving the putter a customized feel, and thankfully uses a simple Allen key- that is included- to remove/tighten the weights. The grip is a mid-sized Winn V-17 that offers good tackiness and control, and the larger size further takes the wrists out of the “yips” equation. The head cover is a suede-like synthetic with a magnetic closure that won’t wear out with use, and provides the head with good protection. Even the shaft is a matte-finished true temper shaft that will not create glare at setup. Belly and long versions of the Heavy Putter are available too for the “truly” putting-challenged.
A lot of thought has gone into the Heavy Putter’s design, and this attention to detail is appreciated. If you’re on the verge of a putting green meltdown, there’s now help available! The Heavy Putter is a unique concept whose design will assist in smoothing out the overly handsy/wristy player’s stroke. Save your hair and try the Heavy Putter on for size, and yell to the Golf Gods, “Be gone, putting demons!”