XXIO will be launching two new putters in 2022. This raises a couple of questions.
How do putters fit into the overall XXIO brand? Is there a XXIO-esque technology that will be incorporated into the putters?
And, of course, one more question.
Did you know that XXIO makes putters?
Let’s address that last question first. Yes, XXIO makes putters. These putters will not even be the first putters XXIO has brought to market. Those of you who follow the annual Most Wanted putter testing know XXIO makes putters and that they have participated in the competitions.
XXIO entered their putters in both the Most Wanted Blade and Most Wanted Mallet competitions in 2021. How did they do? Well, the blade did OK, placing 10th out of the 22 putters. It did score higher than a couple of Camerons so that’s encouraging. The XXIO mallet didn’t fare quite as well. It placed 20th out of 26 entrants.
Though XXIO’s sister (parent?) company, Cleveland Golf, has made putters for years, XXIO-branded putters are relatively new. As such, initial models may not perform as well as the refined designs that follow. That’s why it is worth checking out what XXIO is bringing in 2022. How are they improving on their designs?
XXIO Putter Tech?
Is there a XXIO-esque technology incorporated into the putters? Before we answer that, let’s review the XXIO tech game plan. XXIO products are targeted at golfers who want to “increase speed without increasing effort” and “reducing the strain you experience during a round.” In other words, clubs for old people. Most XXIO products are expensive, too, so let’s change the target demographic to affluent old people.
Now calm your gray hairs down. I’m smack dab in the middle of the target demographic. Maybe not the “affluent” part but I’d definitely like more speed with less effort. Those who play their clubs know that XXIO makes a solid product. Our own octogenarian, John Barba, can often be found with a XXIO club or two in his bag. If you have the means to buy them, XXIO clubs deliver what they promise.
However, the XXIO tech found in these putters reads as far more traditional. XXIO has included technology in the putters to help you make putts. I’m just not seeing anything that is specifically targeting the typical XXIO player. Head weight on all models is a standard 350 grams. Grips are traditional as are shafts. Nothing in the tech says “older player” to me. But, as I said, there is some helpful technology in the XXIO putters.
XXIO Blade Putter
The XXIO blade putter has a classic Anser shape. Of the two models, the blade is the one that has undergone the most change since the last version. The stainless-steel body retains the tungsten weighting to boost MOI but the face now has an insert.
The new PEBAX polymer insert features a new groove pattern. The story of the groove pattern apes insert stories from other companies. The groove pattern makes the center a bit less explosive than the edges. Ideally, this translates to similar roll distances from the various facial impact positions. Balls hitting the face at any spot should roll similar distances.
Roll-correcting grooves and a PEBAX-constructed insert make me think of PING’s Sigma 2 putter line. No, the XXIO blade is not a PING knock-off any more than most blade putters are Anser knockoffs. I mention it because the Sigma 2 was a solid putter. If the XXIO blade performs more like the Sigma 2, then the XXIO engineers should have a hit on their hands.
XXIO Mallet Putter
The 2022 XXIO mallet has not changed much from the previous putter. It is still fully milled from 303 stainless steel. You will still find the tungsten weights on the bottom to boost MOI. What you will not find is the XXIO blade’s face insert. The XXIO mallet retains a fly-milled metal face.
It’s a handsome milled mallet but I don’t know if being handsome is enough to make it competitive in the putter corral.
Assuming the 2022 pricing remains the same, these are $300 putters. We just saw yesterday the milled options that $350 will get you in a 2022 Toulon Design putter. Don’t forget that $400 gets you a Scotty Cameron Fastback. The XXIO mallet faces a tough battle for the bucks.
Your Take on the XXIO 2022 Putters
That’s the final question. What is your take on the new XXIO putters? I think the blade will be interesting to roll but the essentially unchanged mallet is a tougher sell. The overall purpose of the putters in the XXIO line begs questions as well. Did XXIO make these to lure new people to the XXIO brand or are the putters just there to let consumers build “all XXIO” golf sets?
What would it take for you to put a XXIO putter in your bag? Do you think the insert will help the XXIO blade jump up the leaderboard in the 2022 Most Wanted Blade test? How about the essentially unchanged mallet? Obviously, I have questions about these. Perhaps that is a positive sign. Questions are a sign of interest.
I do know that I am super-interested to see if the XXIO full-swing clubs can add some pop to my game and help me lower my scores. While I’m not feeling that same compulsion from the putters, I am curious about them.
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