Last year Cleveland Golf introduced a consumer friendly line of putters called Cleveland Classic and we have been raving about the wallet friendly group ever since. PGA Tour pro Jerry Kelly listened and purchased the $69 putter off the rack and that week won a million dollars at the Zurich Classic. To end the year with a bang, Cleveland Golf is adding to the line with 2 more designs and we got a chance to try them out recently and put them through the normal THP Testing. What we found was that you cannot judge a “book” by its price tag. Over the course of this review you will see that we decided to play a little trick on some innocent testers at a local putting green to get their unbiased thoughts on the putters. For the purpose of this review we are using the Cleveland Classic 4 putter.
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From the Company
Inspired by the classics but crafted for performance. The new Cleveland Classic putters are designed with a precision milled face that provides a soft yet solid feel during the stroke. The classic red grip also enhances feel and control. All models have heel-toe weighting; increasing moment of inertia for added forgiveness limiting unwanted twisting on off-center hits. All models are manufactured from 17-4 Stainless Steel and come with a hand polished satin finish which minimizes glare and provides a long lasting durable finish.
At 1st glance you will see a striking, great looking piece of equipment. The headcover does have velcro rather than magnets, but we cannot expect much more from a golf club in this price range. The putter itself is a timeless, classic design that is similar to the Anser style that so many adore. The cavity of the putter has the name “Cleveland Golf” in white and black and the bumpers list both the type of metal used and the putter weight (340 grams) in red. The bottom of the putter has the Cleveland Golf Logo in shiny chrome and the model number in red (Classic 4). It also features the loft (70) and the lie (3) in red numbers. The face of the putter features a nicely milled texture that adds to both the feel and the aesthetics. The solid red grip to match the headcover add some contrast that makes the Classic 4 stand out in the crowd.
THP’s Trick Testing
Armed with the Cleveland Classic 4, we went out to a local public facility’s putting green and introduced the world to the new “high end Cleveland Golf putter”. We were able to have 26 people test out this club and we printed out a phony info sheet that had hot buttons such as a high price tag ($299.99). One by one golfers were able to try this putter out and compare it to their current club of choice. When they were finished we gathered their feedback and then gave them the real info sheet showing the specs of the putter and the real price.
For our testing we setup golf balls at 5, 10, 15, 25, and 30 feet and each person was told to putt with their current putter and the new Cleveland Classic putter and alternate shots. After each person completed the testing, they were asked to fill out a “score card” that asks questions about Look, Feel, Sound, Performance, Price, and Overall. Each golfer performed the testing using the same ball and that was a Srixon Z-Star to keep the testing even. The results were one sided as 19 of the 26 people that tested the new putter out preferred it to their current flat stick. The #1 reason given in feedback as to why they liked this new club was Feel.
After the testing was completed we showed each golfer the actual Cleveland Golf spec sheet and people were astonished with the price and makeup of this putter. The look on the faces of each person was that of amazement, confusion, joy, and a little bit of jealousy all rolled into one. We heard quotes like “if my wife knew I paid $249 for my putter and saw this, she would kill me” and a whole lot more. We learned a lot about clubs and marketing of clubs in general during this test. If someone were to do blind testing would they be able to tell the difference? What was apparent was that so much opinion seemed to come strictly based on the cost of the putter and hearing the words “high end”. An interesting experiment to say the least.
I put the Cleveland Classic 4 putter in my bag for 7 rounds of golf and had playing partners try the club out as well. What I found was a solidly built, great looking putter that can suit just about every player out there. It is not the softest putter I have played, nor did we expect it to be, but I am not sure that should be the ultimate criteria in purchasing a putter. Neither should marketing or that a great tour player uses them and wins. However what surprised us was just how good this putter felt in each stroke of the ball. It has distinct feedback that is not harsh at all and with each roll you find yourself liking it more and more. Like any club, THP believes in performance and getting the ball into the hole. This putter works flawlessly in the overall performance area and 2 of my playing partners liked it even more than I did.
One thing we all did agree on is that none of us cared for the grip that is used in the new Cleveland Classic putter. It is slightly hard and rough and we would have preferred something a little easier on the hands. But lets face it, with the price tag of this beauty, you can easily add a $10 grip to it with no issues at all. Outside of that, not a single tester had any complaints.
Look – One of the best parts of this club is the look. Classic design, but incorporates so many key things that we wish more companies would show us. Lie, loft, weight, metal were all right there for us to see. The milled face looks as good or better than most out there.
Feel – Soft enough to get great feedback and few testers noticed any difference between this and most others.
Sound – Is normal sounding a description? If not, the sound can be described as less of a tone and more of a soft and mellow stroke.
Performance – Not a single noticeable difference in performance especially by people that normally play this putter shape.
Price – This could give a serious wow factor to just about anybody. A putter that works this well could be priced significantly higher. Heck, even at $99 it would be a “best buy” kind of option. But at $69 it is as good as it gets in terms of price/performance.
Cleveland Golf has a great sequel and followup to the line they put out last year. More options for more golfers is never a bad thing and at this price point is something special indeed. We found that our testers enjoyed everything about the Cleveland Classic 4 and with a price of only $69 should be tried out by anybody looking at making a change with their putter this year. For more information on this club or any other Cleveland Golf equipment, check out their website at www.clevelandgolf.com.
Till Next Time