Matthew Bartlett

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best putter for straight back and through stroke

Best Putter For Straight Back And Through Stroke 2021

A straight back and through putting stroke is probably the most common out there but it is difficult to master. It sounds simple, take the putter back on a straight line and then follow that line back though the ball. BUT how many of us struggle to hit the ball out of the sweet spot even on such a short stroke?

The solution to this problem could be in the putter you’re using. Blade putters look great but aren’t the most forgiving and will put a microscope on any flaws in your stroke. Switching to a centre shafted mallet design could help you become a putting demon and the envy of your buddies.

Let’s take a look at a few different models to see if we can find the best putter for straight back and through stroke.

Best Putter For Straight Back And Through Stroke

  1. Wilson Infinite Men's Golf Putter (Best value premium mallet putter)
  2. TaylorMade Truss Center Shaft Putter (Best for players who want a blade putter)
  3. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter (traditional mallet best for purists)
  4. Tour Edge Wingman Putter (wildcard option best for alignment)
  5. Odyssey EXO Seven Putter (best for tech heads)

Amazing value putter with premium features 

This is a great putter. Simple. It is counterbalanced meaning the balance point of the club is closer to the hands which is ideal for a straight back and through stroke. The head has a matte black anti glare finish and features simple alignment guides which match up perfectly with the centre aligned shaft. 

The double milled CNC face feels amazing - even with harder distance balls. This is a hard putter to beat for the price!

Pros
  • Counterbalanced
  • Matte anti glare finish 
  • Really nice stock oversized grip 

A really interesting design which gives centre shafted fans a blade option 

Yes, the Truss design looks a bit strange, but it is there to add supreme stability to the club head throughout the putting stroke. This bladed version of the Truss line looks AWESOME down at address and you don’t notice the extra metal near the shaft at all.

This is a super premium product and everything about it looks and feels quality. TaylorMade says the Truss design can reduce head rotation but 70% in the centre shafted model, so this could be the silver bullet for straight back and through putters who are struggling for consistency. Worth a try if you have the budget! 

Pros
  • Truss technology provides extreme stability
  • Premium TaylorMade build quality
  • Blade head will attract many players 

No frills mallet from probably the best in the business 

If you don’t like the idea of a centre shafted putter but want the stability of a mallet, you can’t look past the Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0.

The White Hot Pro 2.0 has a white urethane face insert, which provides golfers with a soft and receptive face allowing the putter to have similar characteristics to that of a hard-faced putter but with much more feel and forgiveness.

The Eyefit alignment systems make framing the ball simple and the black finish rounds out the sleek look. A solid option for any golfer.

Pros
  • Simple clean design
  • White Hot face insert 
  • Good alignment aid on putter head

Cool design with high level of adjustability 

Tour Edge makes excellent value products with premium features. I am a huge fan of their fairway woods and was interested to try this putter out. It’s packed full of technology and the weights can be adjusted to suit your putting stroke.

This putter has a super high MoI but it doesn’t feel like a sledgehammer in your hands. The alignment aid on the top is different to many designs out there but I really liked how it focused my attention on the ball. It was pretty obvious when you were misaligned, and combined with the centre shaft it was perfect for my stroke. 

Pros
  • Adjustable weights
  • Target lock alignment system 
  • Excellent pricing 

All of Callaway’s putter tech in one club 

The Odyssey #7 is an iconic putter shape and with the EXO features it includes all of the latest technology Callaway has to offer.

This version is claimed to be 50% more forgiving than the standard Seven which when combined with the centre shaft and Microhinged White Hot face , make this putter a seriously gameable option for players with a straight back and through stroke.

It’s on the pricey side, but with Odyssey, you know you’re getting a quality piece of kit which will deliver round after round.

Pros
  • Full of technology
  • Easy to align
  • Rear fins make picking the ball up easy
  • High level of forgiveness 

Most Forgiving 5 Wood 2021

I play with a lot of guys who are trying to break 100 and 90, and I see many struggling to hit their driver off the tee and their 3 wood off the fairway. Enter the 5 wood. This club can be the key to unlocking lower scores and more enjoyment from golf.

I was given a Slazenger 5 wood by a senior at the course when I was in my late teens and it revolutionised my game. This 19 degree club went further than my 3 wood and I found it easier to hit. PERFECT. The most forgiving 5 wood is out there for you to find - let’s take a look at a few of the top candidates for the newest club in your bag.

Most Forgiving 5 Wood

  1. XXIO X Fairway Wood (best for slow swing speeds)
  2. Tour Edge Exotics CBX 119 Fairway Wood (best for raw distance)
  3. Ping G425 MAX Fairway Wood (best for consistency)
  4. Callaway Epic MAX Fairway Wood (best for getting the ball in the air)
  5. XXIO ELEVEN Fairway Wood (best for high handicappers)
  6. Cobra FMax 20 Fairway Wood (best for slicers)

Specifically designed for slower swing speeds 

I can’t pronounce the name of this brand so I just call them sexyio, and they do look sexy. This is a premium product, no doubt about it, and the performance matches the price tag. A friend of mine put this in his bag at the beginning of the season and he’s slashing strokes from his scores. He uses it for shots of 170/200 yards and it is SO consistent. It’s basically point and shoot. The 43 gram shaft is perfect for his tempo and he’s totally in love with it. A great club.

Pros
  • Super forgiving head design 
  • Premium look and feel 
  • Light shaft for slower swing speeds 

This thing drops BOMBS

I can’t pronounce the name of this brand so I just call them sexyio, and they do look sexy. This is a premium product, no doubt about it, and the performance matches the price tag. A friend of mine put this in his bag at the beginning of the season and he’s slashing strokes from his scores. He uses it for shots of 170/200 yards and it is SO consistent. It’s basically point and shoot. The 43 gram shaft is perfect for his tempo and he’s totally in love with it. A great club.

Pros
  • Crazy long distances 
  • Hot off the club face
  • Sleek looks 

Mega consistency for all players

I game a Ping driver and I was intrigued to try out their fairways. This updated G425 MAX model looks clean at address as PING have ditched the tubulators found on their drivers (they don’t have any effect on fairway clubs). I found this club to be very, very stable. Even when I made a bad swing, the ball flew pretty well and I wasn’t in major trouble. Off the tee this club inspired a lot of confidence and I wouldn’t hesitate adding it to my bag.

Pros
  • PING quality and consistency 
  • Stable ball flight
  • Confidence inspiring head design 

Tech heavy offering for better players 

best fairway for forgiveness

The epic line of Callaway woods is aimed at better players and this MAX model is full of tech to give those as much help as possible. I didn’t feel any harder to hit than some of the more game improvement woods I’ve tried, but I did notice that the back and low CG placement make this VERY easy to get in the air. I was able to hit long par 3’s and par 5 approaches with ease and get the ball to stick, something lower handicap players are after. Very impressive

Pros
  • Sleek looks
  • Adjustable weights for maximum control
  • Incredibly consistent spin and distance
  • High but strong ball flight

A beast for those who are struggling with distance off the tee

Like other XXIO clubs, the ELEVEN is a premium offering. But don’t let that put you off, if you are a high handicapper looking for a club for LIFE, this could be the one. The “Cup face” and “Cannon sole” sound impressive, but you just need to hit this club once to fall in love with it. It is so forgiving and very light - perfect for slow swingers or senior players.

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Clean premium looks 
  • Super hot face

Anti slice machine

My friend JMac uses these clubs and it’s like they have cheat codes enabled. The weighting in the club head means there is a strong draw bias. Combined with a light shaft and thicker stock grip, this club is perfect for a mid/high handicapper with a moderate swing speed. Tee it high and let it fly straight (ish).

Pros
  • Lightweight design
  • Clean premium looks 
  • Super hot face
MOST FORGIVING TAYLORMADE DRIVERS

Most Forgiving TaylorMade Driver 2021

TaylorMade produce the most popular drivers on tour. In the age of hybrid club deals, where players can pick and choose what goes into their bag from any manufacturer, TaylorMade regularly come out as favourites. Why? For starters they are constantly innovating and adding new tech to their lineup, and their products offer a nearly infinite level of adjustability.

But what is the most forgiving TaylorMade driver? Are they suitable for players of all skill levels? Let’s take a look at some clubs and see.

Most Forgiving TaylorMade Driver

  1. TaylorMade M6 Driver (best for all round forgiveness)
  2. TaylorMade SIM MAX (best for a slice)
  3. TaylorMade Gloire M Driver (best for looks)
  4. TaylorMade M5 Driver (best for adjustability)

Low CG for max forgiveness

The M6 was a significant update to the M4 driver and saw notable increase in ball speeds. The speed injected and twist face technology produce stable but fast strikes and a super low centre of gravity mean players aren’t overly punished for mishits. Like all TaylorMade drivers this looks the business behind the ball and makes you just want to hit that little rock into oblivion. A great all round option which suits a lot of golfers, and available at good prices.

Pros
  • Improved topline inspires confidence
  • Designed for speed
  • Higher spin benefits high handicappers 

Beginner friendly SIM model

Best Driver for Beginners & High Handicappers – Most Forgiving Drivers

The TaylorMade SIM lineup saw the introduction of an asymmetric sole and Inertia Generator to improve forgiveness. Combined with the twist face and speed resin technology this club really helps to stabilise ball flight. I’ve found it significantly reduces a right miss - probably due to more heel weighting which will help close the club face at impact. Looks great and feels great too.

Pros
  • Low centre of gravity 
  • Hot face
  • Great price

Super premium option with forged features 

The TaylorMade Gloire line was specifically created for Asian markets and released in 2012. These clubs are expensive, but they do contain features which aren’t found in the standard TaylorMade models. This Gloire mens driver is comparable to an M4 and has twit face and speed slot technology in the head. What sets it apart is the forged face, which makes this driver feel buttery. There are no adjustable weights or loft sleeve to complicate things, so you have to pick the right club for you, tee it up and let it fly.

Pros
  • Forged face technology
  • Striking looks
  • Same premium technology as other TaylorMade options 

Tour level adjustability at a good price 

I gamed the M5 for a while and I made a mistake. I picked the tour edition with a shaft that was too stiff and this nullified any of the help the club’s technology was designed to give me. My buddy has a stock M5 which has been tuned to his specs and he hits it with laser-like accuracy. He left his ego at the door, put the weights and loft where they needed to be, and swings feely. If only I had done that! Make no mistake, this is a great club and can be picked up for a fraction of the RRP now.

Pros
  • Nearly limitless adjustability
  • Twist face really works 
  • Great prices can be found 

Best Golf Balls For Cold Weather 2021

Let’s face it, playing in the cold is for die hard golfers. I’m a fair weather player, but there is something appealing about a round on a cold, crisp winter day when the sun is shining. Wearing warm clothing and the right shoes is essential, but have you considered your golf ball? Playing the best golf balls for cold weather is an important factor when trying to tackle difficult conditions. 

Cold weather means that the golf course will be playing differently. In some parts of the world, temporary tees and greens can be in use and bunkers out of action. The turf is likely to be soggy and the air heavy with moisture. There can be leaves on the ground, obscuring your golf ball in the rough. All of these things will act to make golf a different game. 

What to look for in a winter golf ball

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when looking for the best golf balls for cold weather. I grew up in South Africa and the Highveld winters of Johannesburg can get as low as -6° celsius. Frigid.

Here is a quick rundown of what we should be looking for.

Durability

  • Cold, wintery conditions are tough on balls and they are more likely to scuff. We need to choose a ball which can withstand the elements and perform round after round.

Speed

  • Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on the golf ball. For every 10 degrees drop in temperature, the ball loses two yards of distance. We must choose a ball which maximises every MPH of club head speed.

Visibility

  • Light can be low in cold conditions and balls can get plugged or obscured by leaves in the rough. Choosing a brightly coloured ball can be the difference between losing a ball in the semi or finding it.

Price

  • A premium ball with a soft cover isn’t going to add much to your game in the winter. Save your money for the summer season and choose a more economical ball for your low temperature rounds.

Best Golf Balls For Cold Weather

  1. Titleist TruFeel (Best for all round winter performance)
  2. Taylormade Tour Response (Premium urethane option)
  3. Bridgestone e6 Speed (Excellent option for higher ball flight)
  4. Nitro Pulsar (Best budget option)
  5. Volvik Vimax Soft (Low compression ball for high flight)

Consistent performer from the #1 ball OEM in golf

What makes this such an attractive winter option is the use of the fastest material Titleist can create in the ball’s construction. This ball flies really high in the colder air and I found that it wasn’t overly affected by the windy conditions.

As you would expect from a Titleist ball, there were no issues with durability, even when playing out of wet bunkers and soggy lies. Around the greens this ball performed really despite being harder than other balls in the range.

The yellow ball is my preferred color option and I was able to pick it up really well on a misty February morning. The sidestamp decal was really useful for lining up putts. 

Pros
  • Above average all round performance
  • Highly durable
  • Piercing ball flight
  • 3 colour options: White, yellow, orange. 

Premium urethane option which ticks all of the boxes 

If you crave the soft feel of urethane but don’t want to risk scuffing or losing a super premium ball, this might just be the golf ball for you. I found this ball to feel very similar to the TP5 and performed really well even though my swing speed was slower than normal due to the amount of winter clothing I was wearing.

The ball was stopping dead on the softer greens and gave me the confidence I needed to fire at the pin. On short wedge shots the ball skidded in the dew once before checking up near to the hole. Off the putter, the feel is as expected, soft but with enough resistance to give good levels of feedback.

Available in yellow or white, this would’ve taken the top spot if it were slightly cheaper. 

Pros
  • Above average all round performance
  • Highly durable
  • Piercing ball flight
  • 3 colour options: White, yellow, orange. 

Point and shoot option for higher handicappers 

I’ve used and reviewed the Bridgestone e6 before so I was interested to see how they would perform in cold conditions. I have come to expect a ball that goes long and straight but isn’t super soft.

It turns out this combination is PERFECT for cold weather and wintery conditions. The low compression allows this ball to fly in the dense air and the unique Dual Dimple pattern reduces sidespin making the ball super stable in the wind.
The 2021 e6 Speed is an improvement on older models and the yellow version is particularly striking and easy to follow.

Check these out. You won’t be disappointed. 

Pros
  • Dimple pattern designed to significantly reduce slices and hooks
  • More distance from less unwanted side spin and increased rollout
  • High durability and visibility 

Surprising results from a super budget option

Ok I’ll level with you. When I pulled these out of the sleeve, I wasn’t expecting much. The matte finish reminded me of my go-to Volvik Vivid, but something wasn’t sitting right. Was it the colour? Anyway, long story short is that these are EPIC. Ignore the fantastical claims on the box and let the ball do the talking because these things produce BOMBS!

This could be the stealth contender for one of the best golf balls for cold weather. They come in a silly low price, they are available in lots of colours and they are consistent in the cold, dense air. This is everything we’re looking for from a cold weather ball.

This is a 3 piece ball so they did spin well around the green and felt very soft which was a surprise considering how far they flew. The ionomer cover meant they were super durable. I will definitely be keeping some of these in my bag. 

Pros
  • Crazy low price
  • Impressive distance for a 3 piece ball
  • High level of durability 
  • Lots of color options

Great ball for slower swing speeds 

I love Volvik balls. I regularly game the Volvik Vivid so I wanted to try out the ViMax as I’d heard they offered similar performance at a slightly lower price point.

Volvik ViMAX Soft balls have a 2 piece construction, 75 compression and high launch with soft greenside spin. This ball felt slightly harder than the Vivid, but the matte finish and high visibility color made it feel very familiar.

This ball felt hot and long off the driver with a medium ball flight. With my long irons this ball went so high, I was glad that I had selected the red finish as I might’ve lost it! Spin on and around the greens wasn’t the most I’ve experienced, but I was playing on pretty moist surfaces. In the summer these would probably suit a player who prefers to roll up their chips and pitches. 

Pros
  • Great price Volvik ball 
  • Great visibility due to matte finish and color options 
  • Perfect for slower swingers - 75 - 90 MPH. 

Best 14 Way Golf Stand Bag 2021

In my opinion, your golf bag should be something that you don’t have to think about when you’re out playing. You need to be focusing on your shots, not on where your clubs fit in your bag. That’s where the 14 way divider bag comes in, a place for every club for minimum effort. Simple.

I really enjoy carrying a bag, but I don’t get to do it very often here in Asia where caddies are mandatory. For this article I enlisted the help of some friends in the UK and South Africa where carrying is the norm to help identify the best 14 way stand bag. They can also provide insight into things like water resistance and storage of cold weather gear, things which I don’t have to worry about…

Divide and conquer  

Not all bags are made equal. Many golf bags will come with 4 or 7 dividers for your clubs. While there is nothing really wrong with this, there are few things to consider. Having more dividers means you will reduce or eliminate bag chatter and rub, protecting your prized clubs from unnecessary damage. More dividers also means less chance of losing a club as it is glaringly obvious when one is missing from its slot - it can’t hide under other blades. 

Other things to consider when choosing a bag in general are:

  • Weight
  • Storage capacity/number of pockets
  •  Durability
  •  Leg sturdiness

Best 14 Way Stand Bag

  1. Sun Mountain 2020 4.5 Ls 14-Way Golf Stand Bag (most comfortable to carry)
  2. Callaway Golf 2021 Fairway 14 Stand Bag (most versatile stand bag)
  3. PING New Hoofer 14 Way Stand Golf Bag (best for durability)
  4. OGIO 2020 Convoy SE Stand Bag (best big brand alternative)
  5. Titleist Hybrid 14 Golf Bag (best for use with a trolley)
  6. Bag Boy Golf 2018 Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag (best budget option)

Extreme comfort and extensive storage

Sun Mountain make some of the best golf bags out there and the 4.5 Ls 14-Way doesn’t disappoint - everything about this bag screams quality. It weighs in at 5.2lbs, which is on the lighter side for a bag with this many features. The 14 way divider works as expected but as a bonus, each divider runs the full length of the bag, NO MORE tangled grips!

The 4.5LS 14-Way Golf Stand Bag features Sun Mountain’s adjustable, E-Z Fit Dual Strap System with padded straps made of three-layer foam construction. These are some of the most comfortable shoulder straps out there and the back padding is also a premium touch.

When it comes to storage, this bag really takes things to the next level. There are 9 pockets in total including;

- Gigantic clothing pocket
- Easy access hydration pouch
- A super cool velour-lined valuables pocket
- Multiple accessory pockets for tees and balls

Another premium feature of this bag is the inclusion of a speaker pocket, full umbrella sleeve, and integrated alignment rod holder. Sun Mountain really has thought of everything!
One of my pet peeves with stand bags can be the folding legs. When these are bad they are really annoying and can lead to bags falling over. The legs on the Sun Mountain 2020 4.5 Ls 14-Way are no problem at all. When extended they are solid and the enlarged foot pads mean they won’t sink into soft ground. Another cool feature is a velcro strap to hold the legs in place for travel/storage or when using a cart.

The bag comes with a rain hood which works perfectly and makes sure you keep things dry when the bad weather arrives.

Pros
  • Full length dividers
  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Comfortable straps
  • Sturdy leg system
  • Can be used with a trolley or cart easily

Great versatility for Callaway fans

The Callaway Fairway 14 Stand Bag has been designed to be used in a variety of settings. It’s definitely one of the most versatile Callaway golf bags.

The OptiFit straps and X-Act Fit strap system are really comfortable, making it a great carry option. The bag also has ample storage and a sturdy structure, meaning it will also work as a cart bag.

The 14-way top allows for easy club separation and organisation, while the pocket design has been updated from previous models to increase storage. I was able to fit all of my gear in the different sections with room to spare. In fact, there’s more storage available on this stand bag than you’ll find on some cart bags.

This is an excellent crossover bag that’s ideal for golfers who like to mix it up between carrying, using a trolley and taking a cart.

Pros
  • Easy to use on a cart or trolley
  • Super comfy straps 
  • Great price 

Reliable and durable - everything you expect from a PING bag 

The PING Hoofer series is synonymous with reliability and has been a go to for golfers for years. Even people who don’t play PING clubs will use a PING bag because they are that good.

PING claims to have invented the collapsible leg design found on most carry bags and the version the Hoofer doesn’t disappoint. It’s a solid design which doesn’t get stuck and can be easily locked into place when using a trolley or cart.

The 14-way top makes it easy enough to keep track of your clubs, but what stands out is all the storage. Some people like to take a minimalist approach to what’s in their bag: a few balls, some tees, maybe a jacket and a pencil to keep score. That isn’t me. I’m always carrying more than I need and I’m never caught short on the course. I have my wet weather gear, Suncream, gloves, spare batteries for my phone, a tool to adjust my driver, plenty of balls, tees and markers and loads of “water”.

With all the pockets on the Hoofer, I was able to stow everything away where it was easily accessible. I also liked how the water bottle always stays upright, something which is often overlooked in a carry bag.

The final big plus is the comfort this bag provides. I carried it for 36 holes and it was a lifesaver for my lower back. An excellent choice all round. 

Pros
  • Great for people with back issues 
  • Easily accessible compartment
  • Solid extendable legs 

Surprise offering from a lesser now brand

Not everyone has heard of OGIO but they offer great golf accessories at a very reasonable price point. But why would you ditch one of the “big” brands for someone you haven't really heard of before?

This isn’t the most lightweight bag but it’s really comfortable to carry if you want to, and it’s super stable and well set up for use on a push cart or a golf cart.

Storage is excellent with 11 (yes 11!) pockets providing space for clothing and accessories. The 14-way top divider allows you to keep clubs well separated and organised while the removable ball pocket panel is a nice feature.

The load balancing double straps and padded hip pad means this hybrid bag performs well if you want to carry. There is a built in lift handle plus double cart strap pass-through giving this bag a great amount of versatility.

A premium feature is the Cordura fabric this bag is made from. This makes it basically indestructible and should last for years and years.

Pros
  • Easy and comfortable to carry
  • Light and sturdy legs
  • Insulated beverage pouch
  • Made from Cordura fabric

Cleverly designed base means this is easy to use on a trolley

Some people are brand loyalists when it comes to their golf bags and I’d say this is very true of Titleist owners. This is probably the perfect bag for a Titleist fan as it works really well as both a carry and trolley bag. My friend in the UK noted that this is especially useful as many players over there will switch between trolley/carry depending on the weather conditions.

It is worth noting that this bag is fairly expensive compared to other bags in this space. Also not all the club dividers were full length.BUT it is super light and comfortable to carry around the course. Using a push trolley was easy and it fitted nicely into a Powakaddy base. A nice feature is the insulated drink compartment and, as expected, it has loads of room for your gear. Definitely worth considering for Titleist fans. 

Pros
  • Easy to switch between carry and trolley use 
  • Solid overall construction
  • Insulated drinks pouch 
  • Titleist brand appeal 

Excellent range of features for a bag at this price point

If you're on a budget and want a bag that can be used for carry, push trolley or golf cart the Bag Boy Golf 2018 Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag might be the choice for you. I found this bag to work really well in all situations - especially when on a cart.

The legs on this bag are very sturdy and folded away nicely when not in use. I found the base of the bag to be more square than other designs, meaning it fit onto the back of a cart a bit more easily than a classic carry bag.

The dividers work well, although a couple were a little tight towards the top, meaning larger grips tended to get stuck occasionally but not that often to be a concern. Overall a very good offering for the money. 

Pros
  • Excellent price point 
  • Multi purpose - carry, push, cart
  • 14 full-length club dividers
  • Quality construction

Best Putter For Alignment 2021


I’ve had the yips. I have been over a 2 foot putt and I’ve genuinely had ZERO confidence that I was going to hole it. My problems went deep and I had to overhaul many aspects of my game from my psychological approach to my technique and equipment. 

Something I really struggled with was my alignment. I grew up playing bentgrass greens, and moving to playing on mostly bermuda grass messed with my head. I just couldn’t work out where the ball was going and the grain would give me nightmares. On faster greens, it made me double edgy. The 2 footers looked like 10 footers.

A friend of mine, Steve, saw what was going on and told me to change my putter. He’s a huge fan of mallets and fang shaped putters.

The best putter for alignment can come in different shapes and sizes and needs to work for YOU. I tried a few to get me back on track and now I feel like I can putt with confidence again - bouncing between alignment centric putters and old blades depending on confidence levels.

To blade or not to blade

I have a buddy who has a putter collection like Arnold Palmer. Every time we played, he would have a new one in the bag or would be talking about which new stick he was going to buy. He had issues. What surprised me was that most of the putters he had were very similar blade models. 

Tiger playing the Scotty Cameron Newport Two has influenced many players that “if it’s good enough for Tiger, it’s good enough for me” - this is probably the biggest fallacy ANYONE can fall into. Tiger is a unique super human.

But it seemed pretty clear to me that my friend needed something which was suited to him, not an ego club which cost $$$. Bladed putters look great but can be difficult to master. There are many options out there which are designed to make your stroke more consistent, with countless features like perimeter weighting and face inserts. Try a few and see which feels right.

Best Putter For Alignment

  1. Ping 2021 Fetch Mallet Putter (best for a bad back)
  2. S7K Standing Putter (best for lining up long putts)
  3. Odyssey Golf 2021 Ten Putter (best for framing the ball)
  4. Evnroll ER5v MidLock Hatchback Mallet Putter (best arm lock putter)
  5. TaylorMade Spider EX Putter (most forgiving putter)
  6. Waddaplaya Zenlightenment Alignment Marker (essential alignment tool)

Great looks and handy fetch system, ideal for those with a bad back

I’m a recent convert to Ping equipment and this putter has been close to going into my bag for a while. The mallet head design features perimeter weighting which helps me square the clubface at impact, and the double track lines make it really easy to line up the whole ball to the target.

The fetch system is a standout feature as it saves your back from reaching down to pick up the ball. It’s a small thing to some but MASSIVE for those with a bad back. 

Pros
  • Stealthy anti glare finish 
  • Fetch system for bad backs
  • Easy to line up due to clear alignment aids

It’s not a gimmick, it really works! 

Ok I’ll be honest, when I saw this out on the course I thought it was a total gimmick. A guy in the group in front of me was using it and on the par 3’s I couldn’t take my eyes off it while waiting for the green to clear. Does it really help? The answer is a massive YES!
The putter will stay standing on anything but a severe slope. It has a really soft grip fitted as standard which some won’t like, but it really helps with getting used to the weight of this putter, which for obvious reasons is above average.

I found this to be one of the best putters for alignment as I could set the club behind the ball, step back and then check my read. If it was correct, I just step up to the ball, make a stroke and BAM into the hole! (sometimes…)

Pros
  • Amazing alignment, especially on long putts 
  • Premium constructions
  • Conversation starter

Align the ball with ease thanks to the Triple Track

I am a huge fan of the Odyssey two ball design and it’s the putter that got me out over the yips. This latest version also features the Triple Track alignment aid which I find to be very useful for framing the ball. I recently bought a ball marker which allows me to put the triple track lines on my rock of choice, meaning I don’t always have to use a Callaway ball - genius.

The black finish on this putter looks delicious and the face insert makes the ball come off beautifully. The stock grip felt really good in my hands and I didn’t feel the need to grip too hard. This putter is hard to beat! 

Pros
  • Triple track is easy to use
  • High MOI so super forgiving
  • Premium Stroke Lab shaft

Evnroll quality with arm lock benefits

The pro at my local course has one of these and I have to say it’s turned my head. I’ve been gaming an Evnroll for a season or two and I was intrigued to see how the arm lock shaft and grip would affect my stroke.

The Evnroll Midlock has a patented grip which is designed to make it feel like you have a normal putter in your hands. I didn’t find it too strange after a few putts and I have to say that it is super stable. The Sweet Face technology is designed to reduce your misshits and the narrow grooves on the face get the ball rolling forward far more consistently than other putters I have gamed.

When it comes to alignment, this putter has two clear white lines to frame the ball and a small white dot to make sure you’re aiming dead centre. The black finish looks really sleek and makes your ball of choice stand out and look high at address.

The model even has a hole in the bottom to help you pick up your ball. In all it’s a very impressive package and this is reflected in the price. 

Pros
  • Arm lock style with patented grip
  • Sweet face to help with off centre hits 
  • Fetch pocket on the base to help you pick up the ball 
  • Premium Evnroll finish 

Popular tour level putter with high level of forgiveness 

There’s a number of reasons the TaylorMade Spider EX is so popular on tour. They look great, and they have a reputation of being really stable and forgiving, things that even the best players in the world want from their short stick.

The Spider EX is the compact model in the Spider range and this short slanted version gives you a great amount of feel through the putting stroke. The face on these putters is a little shallower than other brands and I find it makes you really focus on your putts, ensuring the ball comes off the face as smoothly as possible.

The high MOI design means that off centre strikes still perform really well and I really like the clean alignment aids on the top of the head.

Pros
  • Compact design for enhanced alignment 
  • High MOI is very forgiving 
  • Shaft options for every player 

Not a putter but an essential piece of equipment for any player 

I’m biased as I designed this alignment marker, but I truly believe it is one of the best golf products on the market. I like taking time over reading my putts, but I don’t want to hold up play. This marker means I can make a preliminary gut based read when I mark my ball, leaving me to make a minor adjustment when it’s my turn to play.

It’s a beautiful size and weight and the detailing is mesmerising. If you don’t want to change your putter, consider this as the next best thing to enhance your putting game. 

Pros
  • Cheaper alternative to a new putter
  • Speeds up play
  • Improves your green reading skills
  • Amazing size and weight
best golf distance measuring device

Best Golf Distance Measuring Devices 2021

If you're serious about improving your golf game, you need to know how far you are hitting the ball.  This is even more ESSENTIAL if you're trying to break 90 or 80. Under or over clubbing could be the difference between a par, bogey or double and I believe with a distance measuring device, you can remove these unforced errors. 

So what are the best golf distance measuring devices? I’ve chosen a mix of options to cover all bases. Let’s take a look at what distance measuring device could  improve your game. 

GPS, Rangefinder or GPS watch?

It used to be that the only way to work out your distances was from the markers on the course. These are OK to a point, but they are based on specific lines to the green from specific points in the fairway. Are they to the front, middle or back? Some courses make this clear but in my experience they are few and far between. Also, if you are way offline, which lets face it, we all are during a round, these markers are pretty useless. 

Modern technology now allows us to know how far the green, pin, trap or water hazard is down to the yard. There are pros and cons to all devices. Here’s what to look out for. 

Handheld GPS

Positives

  • Can be stored in or attached to your bag. 
  • Bigger screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good price points 
  • Nearly unlimited selection of downloadable courses

Negatives

  • Limited to use for golf 
  • Can be a bit clunky to use 

GPS Golf watch

Positives

  • Highly portable 
  • Many models are multi-functional 
  • Automatic shot tracking on some models 

Negatives

  • Limited battery life
  • Some screens can be fiddly 
  • Not everyone likes wearing a watch while playing

Rangefinder

Positives

  • Unrivalled accuracy
  • Ability to pick any target (some models vibrate on acquisition) 
  • Lightweight 
  • Long battery life
  • Slope adjustment option
  • Hybrid GPS/Laser options are now available
     

Negatives

  • Pricey for a single use piece of kit 
  • Slope function isn’t allowed for tournament play

The Best Budget Golf Rangefinders

  1. Bushnell Phantom 2 Handheld Golf GPS (best all round option)
  2. Garmin Approach S40 (best golf watch)
  3. Shot Scope PRO L1 Laser Rangefinder (best quality budget rangefinder)
  4. Callaway Hybrid Laser GPS/Range Finder (best hybrid distance device)
  5. Bushnell Tour V5 Shift (best rangefinder on the market)

Improved screen on this impressive device

If you’ve been around golf for any decent length of time, you will have heard of Bushnell. They are considered to be the number 1 manufacturer when it comes to distance measuring devices, and the Bushnell Phantom 2 Handheld GPS proves why they keep coming out on top.

The Phantom 2 is a neat little package and is easy to use for golfers of all skill levels. This version has 40% bigger text on the screen than the previous model making it easy to read, and with 38,000 courses preloaded, it’s ready to go right out of the box.

The new GreenView technology, with movable pin placements for super accurate distances to the flag, works really well. Another great feature is the 'Dynamic Green Mapping' which provides measurements to the front, middle and back of the green regardless of which angle you are approaching from.

One of my favourite things about this device is the high powered magnet which lets you stick it to your bag or buggy - you just need to remember you put it there before leaving the course!

Overall an excellent little package! 

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • 38,000 preloaded courses
  • Excellent battery life
  • Big readable screen even in bright sunshine
  • Accurate data

Far and away the best golf GPS watch on the market today 

I have to admit, I used to think that golf GPS watches were a bit rubbish. How could they be as accurate as my rangefinder and how would you see all of the information you needed on that tiny screen?

Then I got a Garmin Approach S40 and everything began to make sense. This is such a cool piece of kit and it has genuinely changed my game. The interface is really easy to use, and the partner Garmin Golf App for smartphones makes loading courses and analysing your post round stats a total breeze.

You get front, middle and back measurements to green and the option to pick a pin placement. Distances to hazards are also on offer as is wind direction. The best feature however, is the auto shot tracking.

This is AMAZING. The watch detects when you hit a shot and you then quickly note which club you used. After your round, you will see every shot you played in perfect detail on the app. This is such a useful tool to see your club distances and also to see where you can improve specific parts of your game.

You can further enhance this feature with trackers which you can attach to your clubs. I haven’t seen the need to do this yet as the data I’m getting from the watch is so good. An excellent piece of kit which you can get for very reasonable prices. 

Pros
  • Understated styling 
  • Clear easy to read screen 
  • Amazing shot tracking functionality 
  • Excellent battery life
  • Includes step/sleep tracking and multisport functions

Solid rangefinder from a respected golf watch brand 

Shot Scope are best known for their golf watches, so does their expertise in that area transfer to the rangefinder market? The Shot Scope PRO L1 retails at a price point which is significantly lower than some of the other manufacturers yet offers features found on many premium models. Does it stand up?

I found this rangefinder to be very solid. It's pretty basic in its design and build, but was very reliable when providing distances on the course. The Target-Lock Vibration feature was very helpful as it let you know you had got a read on your desired target and the slope feature appeared to give accurate numbers. The red/blacks optics switch worked well, but I didn’t really need to use it.

This is a very light rangefinder, weighing in nearly 100 grams less than my Bushnell. This might suggest the build quality is cheaper, but I didn't find this to be the case and at the end of the day it’s a little less weight to carry around.

This is perfect for a golfer who wants a rangefinder but doesn’t want to stump up the $$$ for a premium model. 

Pros
  • Excellent price point for the features included 
  • Target-Lock Vibration
  • Slope distance adjustment
  • Lightweight design
  • Nice accessories 

The complete package, but is it worth it?

When I play golf, I use a laser rangefinder and a GPS golf watch. I like the accuracy and freedom that a rangefinder gives me and now can’t live without the shot tracking capabilities of my watch. When I saw this hybrid rangefinder I thought it could be the best of both worlds, but does having two sets of features create a better product?

The Callaway Hybrid Laser GPS/Range Finder has a small 18mm by 18mm screen below the viewfinder which displays GPS tracked front, middle and back distances to the green. The GPS has 30000 preloaded courses which are picked up automatically when you switch the device on.

I found having two different sets of yardages to work from positive in some situations. For example, when a flag is tucked away or the wind won’t allow you to get at it easily, I reverted to GPS middle of the green number automatically. It was really convenient to have the number right there and it removed analysis paralysis.

The screen is easy to read and the rangefinder operates as expected. The GPS gives you hazard information but it’s quicker to just use the rangefinder to work out those distances. The USB battery performed well for the GPS, giving you a round and change from a full charge, while the rangefinder is powered by a long life CR2 battery.

It’s a cool little device which will attract Callaway loyalists. 

Pros
  • Lots of features in one package
  • Easy to use both features 
  • Good battery life on GPS 
  • 30,000 preloaded courses 

Probably the best rangefinder on the market today 

The Bushnell “Tour V” range is the rangefinder equivalent of the Pro V1 to the golf ball market. Bushnell are always looking for ways to optimize their flagship product and the Tour V5 Shift model is focused on the speed that a target is acquired and confirmed on the course.

This rangefinder feels like a quality piece of kit and justifies its higher price point. All of the buttons and sliders are easily accessible and robust. I personally found the yards to metres button to be a great addition as it saved any messing about with numbers out on the course. The slope feature worked excellently and the target acquisition on this model is simple second to none. A small ring appears on the screen to confirm you have locked on and a little vibration acts as secondary confirmation.

Like all of the Bushnell’s products, the accessories that come with this device are premium and the case is particularly eye-catching. I’m a big fan of the BITE magnetic cart mount as it means your beautiful rangefinder isn’t sliding about in the buggy, potentially getting lost or scratched!

If you have the $$$, this is definitely worth getting, it’s that good. 

Pros
  • Rapid target acquisition
  • Premium construction and design 
  • Excellent accessories 
  • Strong BITE magnet 
DRIVER FOR DISTANCE AND FORGIVENESS

Best Driver For Distance and Forgiveness 2021

If you’ve found this article, I’m assuming you are looking for the complete package. You want that big stick in your bag to fly straight and far, even when you make a bad swing. I hear you, who doesn’t want to have their cake and eat it? 

When looking for the best driver for distance and forgiveness, we have to look past the marketing which the brands put in front of us. If you believe them, every club they have ever made drops bombs and reduces misses but as we all know, that’s rarely the case. So are these holy grail drivers out there? I think they are but we have to manage our expectations and look at things a little differently. 

Let’s take a look at some clubs on the market and see if we can find the best driver for distance and forgiveness to suit your game. 

Understanding the jargon 

Before you choose a new driver, it’s a good idea to learn what some of the terms the manufacturers use to describe the potential performance gains their clubs can provide. 

Here’s a quick run down of the top driver jargon terms:

MOI

Moment of Inertia. The higher the MOI of a club, the more forgiving it is. Due to weighting inside the club head. 

Roll and bulge

Roll is the curvature of the face from the crown of the club to the sole. Bulge is the curvature of the club face from the heel to the toe. Both features have a huge influence on ball flight, due to the science behind gear effect.

Aerodynamics

Shape and other characteristics of the head which affect how it interacts with the air when you swing the club. The less drag, the higher the club head speed and further your ball will fly.

 
Adjustability

Most modern clubs allow the player/fitter to adjust the loft/lie of the club head and sometimes the club's weighting. Finding the perfect combination of loft, lie and weight configuration can lead to further drives.

 
Sweet spot

The area of the face which creates the optimum launch and spin conditions when the ball is hit.


Launch angle

The angle at which the ball is launched into the air after being struck. This is an important number to get dialled in as there is no “right” launch angle, it depends on your swing.

 
Hot/thin face

Thinner faces generate more ball speed and are described as “hot”. The higher the ball speed the further the drive.

 
Low CoG

Centre of Gravity. Moving the weight of the club back and low in the head will result in a low Centre of Gravity. This is helpful when trying to get the ball in the air. A ball which is in the air longer tends to fly further.

Best Driver For Distance and Forgiveness

  1. Ping G425 MAX Driver  (best overall for distance and forgiveness)
  2. Cleveland Golf Launcher Turbo Driver (best for the casual player)
  3. Tour Edge Exotics C721 Driver (best for straight drives)
  4. Cobra FMax 20 Offset Driver (best for slower swing speed)
  5. XXIO X Driver (best for high handicappers)
  6. Ping G410 Plus Driver (best value option)
  7. TaylorMade M5 Driver (best for better players)
best golf driver for beginners

Quality update to the popular PING G line of drivers

I’m a PING driver convert. These clubs are so easy to hit and when combined with the right shaft for your game, they are a SERIOUS weapon to have in your bag.

The PING G425 MAX is the latest version of the G series driver and is a really good update to the G410. The club feels super stable throughout the swing and at impact. Due to the low CG and high MoI technology. Down at address, the G425 MAX has a rounded profile which looks very confidence inspiring. There is a weight in the back which allows you to optimise for a draw or fade depending on your preference.

Most importantly, when you hit this thing it stays seriously HIT. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I don’t feel like I can hit a bad shot with a PING driver. They also now include Arrcos tracking in the grip as standard which is super cool. Definitely worth a try. 

Pros
  • Inspiring club head shape
  • Adjustable weights
  • Arccos tracking as standard
  • Awesome matte finish 
Best Driver for Beginners & High Handicappers – Most Forgiving Drivers

Super simple bomb machine for all players 

Made famous by golf personality Mark Finchshiels, the Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver is a low budget bomb producing club which will suit golfers of all levels.

Cleveland are normally recognised for their wedges (which are really good) but not necessarily their woods or drivers. I think that people are missing a trick by writing Cleveland off as they produce really solid clubs which can easily keep up with some of the offerings from the premium OEMs.

There are four key pieces of technology used in the Launcher HB Turbo, creating a driver which Cleveland says launches easily, adds more speed and results in higher and straighter drives. There’s a Turbocharged Cup Face, HiBore Crown, Ultralight hosel and Deep weighting. To translate this into words we all understand, the face is hot, the top of the club is aerodynamic, the hosel is light because it’s not adjustable and the CoG of the club is low because the weights are low. Does that make sense?

Down at the ball this club looks A LOT like a PING driver. This isn’t a bad thing at all and, seeing as though Cleveland is a fraction of the price, will be a winning factor in many choices. The ball flies off the face and the head felt really stable through impact, even on off centre strikes. I think everyone should give one of these a try to see if they can help your driving game. 

Pros
  • Really sleek look
  • Lots of technology in a reasonably priced package
  • Simple to use 
  • LONG drives almost guaranteed 

Extreme forgiveness from a brand made famous by the Champions Tour

Tour Edge has a lineup of players who exclusively play on the Champions Tour. Now, don’t let this lead you to think that their clubs are made for “seniors” because they suit every type of golfer.

The Tour Edge Exotics C721 Driver is designed to be extremely forgiving. When you first see it, with its elongated head profile, it’s screaming “High MOI”. When you hit the club, it doesn’t disappoint. Good hits are rewarded with straight shots with a lower flight. Bad swings which find the club face stay on the planet which is all we are after in reality!

I found it quite easy to control the spin with this club, with the ball having a pretty consistent shape and flight. I was using the 10.5 degree head with a stiff Project X shaft which felt like the right combination of launch and spin.
The club sounds awesome, producing a more classic sounding metal sound rather than the common carbon fibre thud you hear today. Definitely a contender and worth trying out if you haven’t seen any Tour Exotics gear in action.

Pros
  • Max MOI for excellent forgiveness
  • Thunderous sound off the face 
  • Great shaft options to suit all players 

Super light driver which is ideal for slower swingers

Ok - this club is VERY light. Like, so light you barely realise that you’re holding it in your hands. While this isn’t suited to my swing, it is PERFECT for seniors or players with slower swing speeds.

The lightweight design, combined with the super offset hosel make this Cobra FMax 20 Offset Driver a slice eliminating machine. Cobra are famous for producing draw biased clubs and this club doesn’t look as off putting as other clubs of this type.

If you are really struggling with a drastic left to right shot shape and want a club which looks the part, this is the one for you. 

Pros
  • Lightweight construction
  • Draw bias - perfect for slicers
  • Looks really good

Excellent option for high handicappers or players with moderate speed 

The XXIO X Driver is a premium option. But do you get enough of a performance increase to justify the price tag? Here in Asia, XXIO is a more widely recognised brand (it’s part of the Dunlop group who make Srixon and Cleveland) and I know a lot of guys who have XXIO clubs in their bags. These guys will NEVER let their clubs go and think that speaks volumes.

The XXIO X Driver looks awesome, the matte blue sparkle finish turns heads, and the sound off the face melts faces. Something I’ve found with XXIO clubs is that they always feel very forgiving. There’s little, if any jarring on off centre strikes making every shot feel like you’ve hit it out of the middle. This is a great feature for higher handicappers who are looking to build confidence. It might feel a bit “dead” to players who are looking for more feedback.

The club is the longest out there but it’s very good in terms of shot dispersion, producing a consistent and reliable ball flight. If you have a bit of cash to splash, or want to invest in a club which will be in your bag for years, XXIO could be your new favourite brand. 

Pros
  • Simply stunning looks and sound
  • Excellent craftsmanship 
  • Forgiving face 

An older model which set the bar for all drivers 

PING stepped into the wild world of adjustable drivers with the G410, offering players more options to fine tune their game. The already solid hosel was upgraded and a weight track added to the rear of the club head.

The matte black head and signature Turbulators are still in place, but at 445cc the head was slightly more compact than previous models. The sound off the face is medium in volume, a definite reduction on the usual PING noise associated with the brand.

I found this club to be probably the most forgiving I’ve ever tried. I just couldn’t hit a REALLY bad shot with it. It’s not as long as my G400, but that’s probably because the G410 spins a little more for me which will make it far more forgiving for many players.

If you want to pick up a bargain, check out the G410 MAX now! 

Pros
  • Available at bargain prices 
  • Excellent levels of adjustability 
  • Smaller club head looks great 
  • Excellent sound 

Infinitely tuneable club head perfect for gear heads

I gamed the M5 for a season and had a love-hate relationship with it. When we got on, I was rewarded with laser straight drives which pushed my average distance to another level. When we fell out, I struggled to keep the ball on the planet.

Now, I was using the tour version with a shaft that was WAY too stiff. I have since wound my ego in and I’m playing a club which is better suited to me, not my mental projection.

The M5 is a great club. It looks sweet behind the ball and makes a sound like a cannon when you hit it. Twist face and speed resin technology mean you’re getting as much distance and accuracy out of the head as legally possible, and the weights allow you to find your optimum face angle and spin rates.
As it is now an older model, the TaylorMade M5 can be picked up for a very good price so if you’re a better player thinking of an upgrade, hit the link here to get a bargain. 

Pros
  • Lots of tech in head 
  • Ample adjustability 
  • Super hot face 
  • Cheap deals to be found