If there’s one thing many golfers don’t like to change, it’s their putter. Many golfers change iron’s, driver’s and golf balls without any reservations, but the putter, once you have one that you like, you will hold on to it for a long time. I am like this too. I have 7 or 8 different putters in my garage and I always go back to my trusty Acushnet Bulls Eye La Femme. I’ve had this putter for over 20 years and it always takes me back after trying another fancy new putter. When you have a putter you like and trust, it makes you feel like you can make putts from anywhere.
But, while attending the PGA Merchandise in January I came across a new putter to try. It’s by RIFE. RIFE might not be a household name like Nike, Ping or Odyssey, but since it began operating in 2004 as a three person company, it has become the fastest growing putter company in the world. They boast over 100 tour pros who use their products and most recently, their Vault 001 Iconic putter was used to win the Par 3 Tournament at the Masters.
The Sanford, Florida based company has introduced a new line of putters for 2013 featuring 14 models in various styles. It’s also the company’s only aluminum faced model. Rife Putters claim to help improve golfer’s putts using what they call RollGroove Technology™. This refers to the grooves on the face that creates friction causing the ball to gripped, held through impact, and then released into a forward roll. The Two Bar Alignment System is used to improve aim without changes to your setup with the bars acting to frame the ball and create a railroad track effect right to your target. This visual effect is used to help aim the putter correctly and more accurately.
The putter I chose is their new Vault 001 Legend Z two bar putter. The Legend Z is a mallet type putter with a 2 bar weighting system that can be adjusted to better suit your game. What I really liked initially about this putter was its weight and feel. When executing a putting stroke the club gives you a reassuringly balanced feel. Even some of the putts I hit off-center weren’t highly noticeable. Also the weight in the putter helped prevent longer putts from coming up short.
So far, so good. After some extended practice on the putting green and a local par three course, I ventured onto a regulation course to see if my new RIFE putter was going to save me strokes or send me running back to my Bulls Eye. I normally don’t keep count of how many putting strokes I have during my round, but this time I did. I had nine 1-putts and didn’t 3-putt a green. I would estimate that I shaved a good 3 to 4 strokes off my round. In rounds since then, I have consistently been able to attribute loosing at least 2 strokes per game to my new putter.
That’s good enough for me. I now have a new putter in my bag, and if it keeps helping me sink putts like I have been, it will stay there. But of course, my trusty Bulls Eye will always be ready to take me back. For more information on Rife putters go to www.rifeputters.com
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