(by Dave Wolfe)
Welcome to the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Putter Testing! Today you will see the twenty-four contenders who will compete for the prestigious title of Most Wanted Mallet.
The mallet putter is one of the most diverse categories of golf equipment. This year’s batch of contestants reflects this diversity. There are multiple alignment schemes. Inserts of various compositions and morphologies. The finishes vary. The materials vary. The grips vary. Head geometries range from a simplistic half-mallet to one with a center shaft and aggressive perimeter wings.
The mallets are very different, but they all have a shot to be the Most Wanted Mallet.
At MyGolfSpy, our competitors stand on equal ground. We don’t care if the putter is from a large or small company, is forged or cast, has an insert or a milled face. The putter may be a one-off prototype, or a sample from a run of thousands. Name and history hold no value here, only performance.
Yes, each of the twenty-four has an equal chance to win the title, but ultimately only one will be crowned Golf’s Most Wanted!
:: The Head-to-Head Test
How does a mallet earn the title of Most Wanted? Is the scoring based upon looks? Do you get bonus points for desirability? Not at MyGolfSpy. If a putter wants this title, it needs to perform, and perform better than the other putters. It’s head-to-head, winner take all. You’ll see no participation trophies here.
One of these mallets that you see today will add its name to the Most Wanted roster, joining 2013’s Most Wanted Mallet, the Bettinardi Signature 6, and the 2013 Most Wanted Blade, the Nike Method Core MC01W. Two previous challenges means two previous winners, period.
One of these mallets will be more accurate than its peers, separating itself from the pack based upon data, not opinion. There is no I just like it better here. To win our title, the putter must perform, and, on average, perform in the hands of all the testers.
:: How We Tested
What do we really need a putter to do for us? As we demonstrated last year, a successful putter is one that gets the ball close to the hole, ideally, of course, going in the hole. Do you like that your putter has your initials on the toe? Sure you do. Does the fact that your putter came from a former mini-tour player make for a great story? Of course. Will either one of those features help the putter to be the Most Wanted Mallet? Not at all.
The Most Wanted Putter earns that title by being the most accurate in its class. Accuracy is the ultimate measuring stick. Accuracy data is not subjective.
:: Accuracy Scoring
Mallet accuracy was measured by having the testers roll five putts from three distances; five, ten, and twenty feet. The distance from the closest edge of the cup was then recorded for each miss. To normalize the results, all of our testers used the same ball, the 2014 Wilson Staff FG Tour.
Because we know that missing a five-footer by two feet is not the same as missing a twenty-footer by two feet, the values were adjusted for distance as follows:
:: 5-Foot Score = Miss Distance (inches) x 2.0
:: 10-Foot Score = Miss Distance (inches) x 1.5
:: 20-Foot Score = No Adjustment
Once the values were adjusted for distance, the numbers were added together to generate a putter’s Total Accuracy Score.
:: Example: Accuracy Scoring Protocol
PUTTER X Accuracy Scoring, Tester #1
:: 5-foot putts: (11″ miss distance x adjustment of 2.0) = 22″ total miss distance
:: 10-foot putts: (16″ miss distance x adjustment of 1.5) = 24″ total miss distance
:: 20-foot putts: (120″ miss distance with no adjustment) = 120″ total miss distanceTotal Accuracy Score for Tester #1 with PUTTER X would be = 166″ inches (total miss distance)
The Most Wanted Mallet contestant field has grown from sixteen putters in our 2013 test to twenty-four putters for this year’s battle. We have some new small companies, Bellum Winmore, Mantis Golf, and Piretti Golf, going against the big names like Ping, Odyssey, and Bettinardi. One of the welcome surprises to the roster has to be the Cleveland Smart Square. Cleveland and MyGolfSpy were not on the same page when the Smart Square hit the market. Cleveland was not happy, but rather than avoiding the MyGolfSpy critique, they believed enough in their putter to put it up against this diverse field. Kudos to Cleveland Golf for their participation.
But Where Is ___________?
As always, if you are wondering where Company X is, rest assured that we made every attempt to invite them. Some of the companies couldn’t compete do to production issues, while others just simply declined. If you are not seeing your favorite brand, you’ve heard of Twitter. Give the company your 180 character best about why they should participate next time.
Without further ado. . .
I give you the 2014 Most Wanted Mallet Contestants!
Bellum Winmore Midi Mallet Prototype
Cleveland Smart Square
Odyssey Metal X Milled #7
Odyssey Tank 2-Ball
Odyssey Versa Jailbird
Odyssey White Hot Pro Havok
Ping Nome TR
Ping Scottsdale TR Craz-E
Ping Scottsdale TR Senita B
TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs
TaylorMade Spider Mallet
Tour Edge Exotics DG Tour Proto v3.2
Wilson Staff Vizor Level2 M3
Wilson Staff Vizor Level2 M4
The Balls have been Rolled, The Data Compiled
There are the twenty-four contenders. You’ve probably picked your favorites, and dismissed others. Be careful with your guesses though. Remember, to be the Most Wanted Mallet, you need to be more accurate than all of your peers, not just a better looking photo. Only the strongest performance snags the title.
Come back tomorrow and see which putter had the gumption to emerge victorious. The competition was tough, but the winner rose above the rest, winning a margin of victory previously thought unobtainable. The 2014 MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Mallet winner didn’t just best the competition, it annihilated them!
See you tomorrow!
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