By Dave Wolfe
A little while back, we took a look at the brand new putter company Buzelli Golf. In case you missed it, we let Ryan Buzelli introduce us to his fledgling putter company, telling us all about his motivation for starting the company and about his putter making dreams. If you missed it, you can read all about it right here.
While we learned a bunch about Ryan Buzelli and Buzelli Golf in that article, one thing was noticeably absent, information about Buzelli golf's putter. We learned about the man, but not much about his creation. Today we take care of that omission.
Congratulations Matt Lowrey. You have won your very own Buzelli Putter
The Buzelli Golf STA-1
There she is in all of her ebony majesty. The STA-1 is the first putter model produced by Buzelli Golf. Now before the just another Anser crowd gets unruly, Ryan Buzelli knew full well that he was making a version of the Anser. Shockingly, he did this on purpose. He wanted something familiar, given that potential customers would not be familiar with the Buzelli Golf name (yet).
I think that this is a solid tactic. The Anser is a familiar shape, and as so it should be seen as a less risky purchase. If the first Buzelli putter was metal madness, it would be all to easy to dismiss it. The large manufacturers sell Anser variants buy the ton, thus giving them the fiscal freedom for more experimental designs like the Futura or Sabertooth. Those shapes would be a huge risk for a one-man-in-his-garage shop.
Those shapes would be a huge risk for a one-man-in-his-garage shop.
The STA-1 is an Anser-style putter, but why would one ever make the same putter that you can already buy? Though Ryan wanted to play it safe with the STA-1, he also wanted to make his putter an interpretation of the Anser, rather than just a pure copy. Here is what he says separates his STA-1 from the others.
What Makes the STA-1 Different from a Typical Anser?
- Hosel shortened for more connection with your eye to your hands
- Sole widened for more stability
- Heel to toe lengthened for more balance
- Center of gravity enlarged for more consistency
- New micro deep milled face for feel
- Biased bottom shelf for added control
There is a whole bunch of Anser DNA in this putter, but the differences are noticeable. The tweaks in length and width definitely stand out, while some of the other alterations are more subtle. Let's take a look at the specs of the STA-1 and then dive a bit deeper.
Specifications: Buzelli STA-1
Material: CNC Milled Carbon Steel Head weight: 355g
Toe Hang: 4:00
Length: 32.5-37 inches
Dexterity: Right (Left coming in 2015)
Grip: Buzelli branded Pure Grip
Shaft: True Temper Stepped – Chrome
At first glance, we are looking at a very traditional Anser-style putter. Ryan went with a classic design with his first putter, but there are some Buzelli modifications there.
I found the visual effect of the wider sole to be the most appealing. It’s not as wide as an Odyssey #1 Wide or a Cameron Squareback, but it is wider than the typical Anser. That lengthening of the head from heel to toe keeps the putter from looking snub-nosed like the #1 Wide or the Squareback. I find it very visually pleasing at address.
The black finish on the carbon steel head is uniformly applied, and very dark. The white sight line really stands out against this black background. The face milling is deep, and sharp, and the milled lines on the bumpers add a nice touch of cosmetics.
This is one soft feeling putter. I knew it was going to be carbon-steel soft when I rolled it, but I was still surprised a bit at just how soft it was. Perhaps I've spent too much time with stainless lately...
Even with the softness, it puts a firm roll on the ball. I chalk this up to the aggressive face milling. Those grooves are deep. There’s no lack of texture on this face. I would love to see how the ball reacts at impact with a super slow-motion camera. You can just feel the face grabbing the surface of the ball and rolling it along. On a wet morning session, the milling also was adept at grabbing all nature of green debris. It's that deep and sharp.
The putter does feel a bit head heavy, as one might expect with a 355g head on a (as requested) 34.5” putter. It's not a true hinderance of feel, but to make the STA-1 my gamer, I would probably pull the standard Pure grip and put on something just a touch heavier and/or larger.
Nothing fancy here. The single sight line complements the squared geometries of the STA-1 head. Perhaps Ryan can add different alignment options, such as top line dots, multiple lines, or no line at all, to future versions. It would look amazing without that line.
Though subtle, you can see in the photo above that the milling on the bumpers also helps to visually square the face at address.
The true test of performance for the Buzelli Golf STA-1 will come in the 2015 Most Wanted Blade Putter competition, but I’ll share with you some of my performance impressions.
The review putter was built to my specs (34.5”, 2° flat) and immediately felt at home in my hands. The putter swings with a very balanced cadence. At no point did I feel the need to manipulate my swing to compensate for imbalances in the head. It opens and closes just like you would expect it too.
Even with the sight line, not my usual preference, I found the STA-1 very easy to aim, with misses being primarily due to distance. Distance control should improve with familiarity and is likely because the head does feel a touch heavier to me.
The Buzelli STA-1 putter fits a Slight Arc Stroke
Final Thoughts: Buzelli Putters
Ryan has a long road ahead of him if he is going to be able to quit his day job and make putters. I say this not because of the quality of his putter, but because of the competitive nature of the marketplace. If it was just about the putter, I'd say that Ryan would easily be able to use Buzelli Golf to pay his mortgage. It's a great putter, especially when you consider that it is his first.
$269.95 for a milled carbon putter is not outrageous based upon competitor pricing, but it does put Buzelli Golf into the ring with the big operators. It's tough for the small guy to carve out market space against such milled behemoths as Cameron, Bettinardi, and Odyssey. Ryan Buzelli has a great attitude and a pretty fine first putter. Perhaps those are the only weapons that he needs.
Win a Buzelli Golf STA-1
All you need to do to win your very own Buzelli Golf STA-1 is to leave a comment below telling us what you are currently gaming and how you would spec your STA-1 should you win.
Congratulations again to Matt Lowrey, the winner of the random Buzelli drawing.