In 2008 Never Compromise did not release a single new product and despite many users on the PGA Tour, most casual golfers simply forgot about them. That is what we learned when we held our annual Putter Shoot Out a couple of weeks back. Quite a few of the testers had completely forgot about the brand until they saw the headcovers and noticed the name again. However I would venture to say that none of our participants in that Shoot Out will forget them again anytime soon.
Never Compromise proudly introduces their latest NCX-RAY line of putters. The NCX-RAY putters feature â€œSuspended Face Technologyâ€ (SFT), which includes a dual-density insert that uses isolated ribs embedded in a softer composite. This provides ultimate dampening yet responsive feedback. Utilizing the advantages of an ultra-lightweight face material, designers were able to relocate up to 80 grams (25%) of the head-weight into the extremities of the putter, producing maximum MOI for consistent ball-velocity across the face. SFT technology also limits the surface area in contact with the ball, which improves directional dispersion. Additionally, the NCX-RAY putters incorporate a gray and red alignment feature, which helps golfers achieve a consistent set-up and improved alignment.
The NCX-RAY is available in four different models:
NCX-RAY – Full Mallet
NCX-RAY Tau – Blade with Plumberâ€™s Neck
NCX-RAY Sigma â€“ Geometry Mallet
NCX-RAY Beta â€“ Small Mallet
Never Compromise was kind enough to send over a blade and a mallet for us to review and both were included in our Putter Shoot Out. We received the NCX-RAY Full Mallet and the NCX-RAY Tau blade and on first appearance alone we were all pretty impressed.
It seems with today’s golfers people either are fans of inserts or do not like inserts at all in their putters. This Never Compromise series may change that view entirely. Never in all the putters that we have picked up and tried have we come across a face like these. The translucent face that gives the putter its name is filled with thin metal ribs embedded into it that look futuristic or almost magnetic. Do they work? They did in the putter shoot out, but I am still a reviewer that must try things out for myself before accepting the fact that I witnessed 18 testers do extremely well with both putters and have a top 5 finish.
Off to the putting green I went with both putters in place and worked them each out for about an hour. Here are some of the things I noticed.
1. The feel off the face is not “squishy” or “rubbery” like with many inserts and feels quite nice. However it is different depending on which X-RAY you try.
2. The sound of the ball coming off the putter is like harmony. A light tone sound with the mallet and a soft milled type tone with the blade.
3. The mallet has the best alignment aid I have ever used on a putter HANDS DOWN!
I have found myself going back and forth from mallets to blades over the past few years and really do not have a preference to either one. Out of these two Never Compromise putters I definitely preferred the mallet. At setup the two stripe alignment aid is simply the best I have ever used. The confidence on putts that are 10 feet and in is almost astonishing, and we all know just how important confidence is when setting up. Letting the short ones get away from you is something that makes scores go up in a hurry.
My personal opinion is that I love the futuristic looks of the X-Ray line, however I am sure that many traditionalists will have their thoughts on them as well. In the end, Never Compromise is entering unchartered waters when it comes to putter appearance and since The Hackers Paradise is about style, I am all for it. We can guarantee one thing, nobody is going to accuse the line of looking plain or unoriginal. The face insert is strong looking and if you like the appearance of it, the gain in confidence is a huge plus. Does the technology in the face to give it these odd looks work? I don’t know, but it sure seems to.
After our putting green tests, I decided to put each putter in my bag for a few rounds. First up was the Tau blade and I must say that I really love the looks of this putter. The silver back bumper working around the rest of the dark finish is great looking. The Tau has a softer face and almost milled like feel when putting. One thing I noticed very quickly is that if you have a tendency to miss your putts off the heel and toe, this blade may be for you. Each time they were missed, the putt seemed to lose zero speed or angle and it was as if the ball was struck perfectly. The only issue I had with the blade version is that it seems as if it has a much larger amount of offset than I am used to. However ultimately, that is a matter of personal preference and for me the adjustment was not too hard to make. The soft feel, along with the ball coming off the face so nicely make this hard to pass up.
The NCX-RAY Mallet is something different altogether. I have said it before and I will say it again, in my opinion it has the best alignment tool on a putter I have ever used. The deep red lines that frame the golf ball at setup just beg to help the golfer out. It is as if the putter is telling you the ball is going in before your stroke is even made. The insert on the mallet is different than that on the blade in both feel and sound. The feel is slightly firmer and the ball jumps off the face as without any skidding or hopping. The sound is a light tone and quite pleasant. I found myself draining just about everything inside of 15 feet with this one. After 3 full rounds with the Never Compromise I think it may be the best mallet I have tried on 2009.
Overall I think Never Compromise has a big hit on their hands in the new NCX-RAY putters. Both putters tested worked extremely well and fit two different types of golfers which was very nice. Soft feel in the blade and fabulous alignment in the mallet. Both of them are definitely something to look for if you are in the market for a new putter. With a price of only $149 THP thinks that Never Compromise has a strong contender in the “Most Bang for the Buck” Category this year. We were unsure when we opened the box before the Putter Shoot Out, then we were unsure after 18 golfers in the Shoot Out told us how good they were. There is no reason to be unsure anymore. Tested and approved in the eyes of this reviewer. For more information on the complete line from Never Compromise, check out their website at www.nevercompromise.com.
Till Next Time
Never Compromise appears to have a hit on its hands with its new NCX-RAY putters, which offer cutting-edge visuals as well as rock-solid performance. The Tau blade boasts a supple yet responsive feel, while the Alpha mallet excels in matters of alignment. Both putters boast remarkable directional consistency and overall accuracy on miss-hits as well as pure strikes. For $149, the Never Compromise X-Ray putters ultimately deliver serious bang for the buck.
The MAP on the all models of the NCX-RAYâ„¢ putters is $149.99 and will begin shipping on May 22, 2009. For more information on the entire NCX-RAYâ„¢ putter line, please visit www.nevercompromise.com. High resolution images of the new putters are available to download from the media section at www.clevelandgolf.com. Please call for user name and password information.