It takes brass tacks to jump into the putter ring, and Indi Golf clearly already has those as illustrated by the fact that they founded their company around the release of a non-conforming wedge design that drew a lot of reactions across the industry. One thing is certain about Indi, they will never cut corners or sacrifice quality, so when they bring something new to the table, I’m always eager to take a closer look.
Fortunately, I was able to do just that by spending time with the new Indi putter designs, the Ramone and Allison.
Honest to goodness unique shapes in a market flooded with carbon copies. Not only unique, but good, very good. Putters that somehow manage to eschew the typical feel and feedback that come with using aluminum as a base material, they will blow minds in terms of sound/feel. At times though, the line between classy and clumsy is crossed when it comes to branding and engraving, clouding up what would otherwise be uniquely stunning putters.
The Indi Golf Way
Indi Golf is all about making products that help golfers better enjoy the game, and yes, they are the ones who brought non-conforming wedges into the market. What is often lost because of that last part is that everything they have produced has been insanely high quality, and I say that not simply based on THP reviewing the products before (here and here) but because I actually went out and bought one of the wedges and was blown away.
The thing about them wasn’t the grooves, it was everything that went into the design in terms of weighting, balance, feel, and forgiveness. Frankly, those very same things are what make the company’s foray into putters so interesting. Utilizing high grade aircraft aluminum for the putter heads, the shapes themselves combined with the face milling and utilization of high-density tungsten at the perimeters of the putters create a high MOI design which they refer to as “Colossal Sweet Spot”.
While I am going to be talking about each putter a bit individually, I want to also address the roll and sound/feel here first. I want to yell this for the people in the back, these putters do not feel anything like any aluminum putter I have ever rolled. What I mean there is aluminum usually has a springy and almost hollow/tinny feel that makes it seem like the ball is practically bouncing off of the face, that doesn’t exist with either of these. Instead, these offer a dense yet plush feedback to the ears and hands that I’d bet a significant sum of money would shock even the most hardcore of putter fiends.
Where the roll is concerned, as much as I think the “Colossal Sweet Spot” branding is a little campy, I used a putting gate to create strikes all across the face of both putters and the distance and direction retention was stellar, rivalling the biggest and most obnoxious spaceship style putters out there, but in an aesthetic package that most are going to have no problem looking down at. What I’m saying is, think the performance of high MOI in a more palatable package, something a lot of companies try, and fail, to do.
Indi Golf Allison Putter
The Allison is the full mallet putter in Indi’s duo of flatsticks featuring a half moon shape that comes in a duo of neck options. First, there is the double-bend and face-balanced model aimed at putters with minimal arc. Second, the model I worked with for this review, is a slant neck design with about a 35° toe hang that plays well with a slight arc stroke.
Indi is offering two finishes and the Allison I got in hand features a satin-chrome that is on the brighter and more vibrant side of the spectrum. What I mean by that is that it is definitely satin, but in truly direct sunlight there was a little more feedback to the eyes than some may like, and part of that could very well be the size of the putter.
This one is definitely a full mallet, but it balances taking the half-moon shape design we have seen done a thousand times and keeping it fresh. It is a little deeper in its curvature than I have seen and the way that the cavity and flange lines are milled make it frame the golf ball quite well. In fact, the dual alignment lines in the flange combined with the way the bumpers set up almost precisely the same width as a golf ball is pretty comforting when taking aim.
At 350g, it’s also a lot lighter than the visual had me expecting it to be, but that again comes back to the use of aluminum as the base material. As mentioned previously, the sound/feel and the roll on this one left me with no negatives to report. I think the way they applied the tungsten and also the crosshatch face milling created the perfect storm of feel that is going to surprise anyone who rolls it.
The only thing I might mention on the Allison in a somewhat critical light, is the sole is extremely busy with a lot of branding, logos, and fonts going on making it almost a polar opposite to all business message it sends at address.
Indi Golf Ramone Putter
This one was the rockstar of the two putters. I don’t mean that as a detraction from the Allison, but rather a commendation on just how well Indi did on the Ramone. This is the blade option that isn’t just a rehash of an Anser shape, instead it’s something unique which is hard to do.
Though it does feature the traditional multi-tiered bumpers of most blade putters, the overall shape including the topline has some curvature to it with the middle of the putter being the tallest/deepest. Additionally, the slight curvature of the rear flange creates a nice visual flow at address with the cavity itself maintaining the width of a golf ball as was the case with the Allison.
The Ramone is a full shaft offset plumbers neck design with 45° of toe-hang making it the friendliest to stroke with some arc to it. More interesting is that it is only 340g, something we just don’t see much in the putter segment as the trend keeps heading heavier. Frankly, I think that was a large part of what made it so fun to roll. The aluminum helped to keep things light, but the tungsten regained what light putters traditionally lack, stability.
Indi sent in the Ramone in its matte black finish and real being real, this is one of the best applied black finishes I have seen on a putter, and it made me honestly wish the Allison I worked with had the same finish. More than that, the use of blue as the accent color in the alignment lines let the whole thing pop a little more at address.
As was the case with the Allison, the roll and sound/feel here is pretty killer. There is literally nothing about this one that would have led me to believe it was milled out of aluminum if I hadn’t known it entering the review, I would have just assumed it was stainless steel. I cannot emphasize enough what a compliment that is to Indi for doing their due diligence on these designs and getting it right. Again, the only thing I can nitpick is the business of the sole, but at least on the Ramone it flows a little more than it does on the Allison.
A Unique Battle
Obviously, the name recognition will be the biggest battle for Indi to tackle, in two ways. First, the connotation of producing non-conforming gear is one that will linger for some. Let me say this, I think that this part of it is flat out silly and it’s something I frankly wish more companies would do, but there are some stuck in their “tradition” that just cannot accept something outside the box.
The other is going to be the price and accessibility issue. At $449.99, these are in premium putter price range and that is absolutely going to create some shock and hesitation. However, it’s a double-edged sword all companies must face, price too high and people scoff, too low and people glance over the product as cheap. The only way to combat this is to get the putters into the hands of the people, and though Indi themselves will have to address that on their own long term, I was surprised enough by these that I’m going to do my part and get both putters reviewed here into the hands of THP’ers for long term feedback. Keep a keen eye on the new THP Forum for more on this, and jump in the discussion with your own thoughts, questions, and feedback.
Options: Allison (Slant, Double Bend), Ramone (Plumbers Neck)
Finishes: Satin Chrome, Matte Black
More Info: www.indigolfclubs.com