- New putter line from Inesis, Decathlon’s house golf brand
- Intended to be accessible and afforadable for all levels of golfers
- MSRP $129
Inesis is adding putters to their budget.-friendly line of golf products. Just to refresh your memory, Inesis is the store golf brand for the sporting goods retailer Decathlon. If you live in the U.S., you may not be familiar with Decathlon. As of today, the only two Decathlon stores in the United States are near San Francisco.
Should you be reading this from other parts of the globe, you are familiar with the Decathlon name. Though based in France, Decathlon has a worldwide presence.
As of May 2021, there are 1,714 Decathlon stores in 61 countries and they employ nearly 100,000 people.
Decathlon is a huge sporting goods company. What separates them is their mission of selling inexpensive sporting goods that work as well as the big-name gear. I’m not going to go too deep into Decathlon since we’ve already discussed Inesis and Decathlon. Essentially, Decathlon wants to allow all people to play all sports.
To that point, Decathlon’s Inesis brand is all about access to the game of golf. This translates into providing low-cost gear that performs well in the hands of new or less-skilled golfers.
Inesis’s golf gear is less expensive. Their Tour 900 three-piece urethane ball costs $35 a dozen, the Inesis 500 hybrid is $129 and their waterproof shoes are $79. I singled out these three products for a reason. In addition to being less expensive than competing products, they also scored very well in our performance testing.
I know this is more company backstory than is usually required for a putter release but the Decathlon mission information seemed important to set the stage for discussing these putters. Very simply, do these new Inesis putters meet the same goal of being accessible in price while still able to perform?
Inesis Putters: Pricing and Construction
Let’s dive right into the pricing. These new Inesis putters will cost about $129. That price sits at the low end of the spectrum. This puts the Inesis putters in the price range of other low-cost putters such as the Tommy Armour Impact line and Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft putters.
Typically, the manufacturing process dictates the retail price. This adage holds true with Inesis. However, they also made some build choices that increased, rather than decreased, production costs.
The putters are cast from 304 stainless steel. This is a fairly common material and is the same as in the Cleveland HB Soft putters. Like those Cleveland putters, the Inesis heads are milled after casting. With the Inesis putters, though, the large parts of the putter are milled, not just the face like as with Cleveland.
Extra Production Steps
Some of the millwork is necessary to install the insert but some of it is purely cosmetic. The ridges along the surfaces of the putters are all milled in just to make the putter look better. Many companies would not choose to add this step if they are cutting costs.
Additionally, all the putters are plated in nickel chrome. While this plating process does connect the putters visually with the rest of the Inesis club offerings, it, too, could have been skipped to cut costs. Plating smooths the surface of the putters. Some cast surfaces can look rough without further finishing.
The two-layer multi-material insert is also not something typically associated with low-end putters. Including such an insert adds to the machining costs because the polymer insert, insert face and hole to mount the insert all require separate tools and more steps to finish the putter. Skim milling a face on a metal putter would be much simpler and less expensive. By the way, how about those Yes! Inspired grooves milled into the face?
The mallet has one more cost-bumping part—the black polymer piece that fits between the fangs.
Overall, Inesis is trying to make budget-friendly putters, but is still willing to spend a bit more to make the putters perform better.
Inesis Putters: Models
The initial run of Inesis putters features three models: Fat Blade, Half-Moon and Mallet. While the heads are different, it’s easy to see the shared design elements. First, all feature a unique dot and line alignment scheme. The line is flanked by two additional perpendicular lines.
The overall goal of this scheme is to have the lines on the putter match nicely with the large black line on an Inesis golf ball. The angular edges of the cavity also direct the eye front and center on the putter.
Having such an overt alignment system fits nicely with the Inesis line’s goal of getting new golfers into the game. When you combine the putter and the ball, you have a simple system that new players can use to aim putts. As their skill level improves, maybe they will develop new aiming schemes. Until then, providing a new player with a “How To Aim” system should help that player be more comfortable on the green.
Inesis Putters: Fitted for Stroke and Height
Two of the models, the Fat Blade and the Half-Moon, have some toe hang and should fit an arcing stroke. The Mallet is face balanced, fitting more of a straight path. I found it curious that the Half-Moon shape had a slant neck. Typically, one would find a double-bend shaft and a spud neck on this type of putter.
To help new golfers pick the right length of putter, Inesis has limited the choices to two. You either get Size 1 (33”) or Size 2 (34”). While this lack of length option may seem stifling to the putter veteran, that veteran is not the target consumer. Inesis says these two lengths should meet the needs of 90 percent of golfers.
I rolled the three Inesis putters. Right from the get-go, there was one thing that really stood out.
The Inesis putters do not look or feel like cheap putters.
Aesthetically, these putters are well put together. The finish is rich and I especially like how it works with the polished sections on the sole. The work is high quality. I couldn’t find anything off. Even the insert was, well, inserted with precision. The quality control is solid.
Of the three models, the mallet was the stand out for me. The overall balance of the club is exceptional. It felt immediately comfortable to roll balls with, even if the 34-inch length is about an inch below my usual play length. It is a point-and-shoot putter.
The combination of polymer and metal provides a full-feeling roll. The feedback is instructive and it allowed distances to be quickly dialed in. If their goal was to make an easy-to-putt-with putter, they succeeded with the mallet.
The Grip: Better Than Expected
While I am not a fan of the look of the grip, it feels comfortable. Inesis went with the pistol shape and dual textures as their research said both elements improved putting. While I don’t like the black-and-blue color scheme, this, too, was a researched decision. Inesis went with this because “the navy blue and black are traditional colors designed to go with a maximum number of bits of gear in your bag.”
It’s too bad these putters came out after the 2021 Most Wanted tests. That means that we will all need to wait until 2022 to see how these putters stack up against the competition. I’m betting $10 on the Inesis mallet to show.
The new Inesis putters should be available in a Decathlon store near you as of Oct. 20. Therein lies the rub. These putters are going to be tough to try in person if you live in the United States—assuming you don’t live near the Bay Area Decathlon stores. At least for the time being, most customers in the United States will be shopping online for Inesis. Thankfully, these are not expensive. Unfortunately, Decathlon’s return policy does not include returning used gear.
If you are not in the United States, then you can find these new Inesis putters in a Decathlon store near you.
I’m curious to know your thoughts on these new putters and the Inesis brand as a whole. For those of you familiar with Decathlon, are you excited or wary about the Inesis golf gear? I’m seeing Inesis as a brand like Costco’s Kirkland line: something sourced in-house that competes well with OEM gear. Granted, my experience with Decathlon is limited. Let me know if I’m off base.
Find out more abour these new Inesis putters at Inesis.com.