Never Compromise Reserve Putter Review

The return of Never Compromise Putters

2024 Never Compromise Putters

After twelve years, Never Compromise is back. Some of you may have fond memories of the company’s past, while the name may be completely new to others. To quickly break down their history, Never Compromise putters started appearing on Tour in the late 1990’s, and quickly found a great deal of success. In the early 2000’s, Cleveland Golf acquired the brand and went on to deliver the iconic Voodoo series, which featured contrasting colors for alignment, advanced materials like tungsten, and unique shapes. The company occasionally popped back into our minds with names like X-Ray, Gambler, and Sub-30. The Gambler series was particularly loved, as it married traditional milled shapes with (at the time) unheard of customization opportunities. Eventually, Never Compromise’s parent company SRI decided to focus their putter innovation under the Cleveland Golf brand, which managed to evolve from a bargain brand to one known for its technology and premium feel at affordable prices.  

2024 Never Compromise Reserve Putters

As fans of the brand, we’ve selfishly hoped SRI would bring Never Compromise back, but knew it would be tricky. The company not only had to figure out how to stand up against competing OEM’s, but they also had to avoid stepping on the toes of their sister brand. They’ve managed to bring a concept to market that could very well accomplish both of these things, offering a premium-level milled putter line with a forward-thinking fitting program that will give consumers the opportunity to experience a fitting, watch their putter being built, and then take it home all in the same day. 

Why Fitting?

While performing market research, Never Compromise came across an interesting statistic. Even though the putter is the most used golf club in the bag, it’s the club that is least likely to be fit to the golfer. Results from a survey performed by Golf Datatech revealed that 66% of consumers were fit for their driver, while only 19% were fit for their putter. In our own informal poll, 55% of respondents said they didn’t think putter fitting was accessible enough, and even when its accessible, it’s often not cheap. 

In some ways, putter fitting has become much more complex than ever, with some processes utilizing motion sensors, high speed cameras, and lasers. While there certainly is a need for that level of intricacy for some players, the most basic aspects of a putter fitting, like determining the proper length, the best weight, or toe hang, are rarely addressed by a fitter prior to a purchase. An improper length alone can cause a chain of negative cascading effects starting at a golfer’s setup and eventually through the entire putting stroke. Never Compromise is looking to solve that issue by giving consumers the ability to go through a fitting that gives them the best chance to build and maintain a repeatable, natural stroke. 

What Does the Fitting Consist of? 

Select golf shops and certified club fitters will provide the end-to-end fitting and club building service utilizing Never Compromise’s Fit Pack, which contains everything needed to fit and assemble a putter on site. 

It all starts with a fitting tool designed to determine the proper length for each individual. Rather than relying on standard wrist-to-floor measurements, Never Compromise’s tool utilizes an adjustable handle with a mirror base. The golfer assumes their standard putting posture, and the handle is adjusted so that it reaches their wrist crease. From there, the location of the golfer’s eyes on the mirror are noted, and a fitting matrix supplies the recommended length. It should be noted that this length is suggested in ¼” increments, far more detail than the standard, off-the-rack 1” we typically see.  

After some time demoing the suggested length, the fitter will guide the golfer through the process of choosing a head shape that fits their stroke best. Five different head shapes are available, each in two different finishes, with three geared towards strokes with a slight arc and two designed for a straighter stroke. 

At this point, the golfer can choose either of the stock grips (NC Pistol or NC Pistol Overize) or choose from a selection of aftermarket grips from Super Stroke, Lamkin, or Golf Pride. Finally, a set of weights is selected, guided mostly by the chosen length of the putter, so that it has the proper balance. 

After all this, the fitter will turn into a club builder and assemble the putter right there on site, cutting the shaft to spec, screwing in the correct weights, and finally installing the grip. Once the putter is built, one final step remains – letting the golfer try the new putter and making any last-minute adjustments. If, for example, they prefer a heavier feel, the weights can be adjusted after some time rolling putts. 

2024 Never Compromise Reserve Putter Features and Options

Aside from differentiating themselves from Cleveland’s Huntington Beach line through the previously discussed fitting process, Never Compromise Reserve putters stand on their own due to materials and manufacturing processes. Each head is 100% precision milled from 303 Stainless Steel, providing the opportunity for the tightest tolerances, eye-pleasing details, and soft feel. 

The Shapes available for 2024 Never Compromise Putters

As noted earlier, five shapes will be available in the NC Reserve line:

  • Never Compromise Reserve 1 – a classic heel-toe weighted blade with a plumber’s neck hosel that features moderate toe hang. 
  • Never Compromise Reserve 2 – a face-balanced, wide blade with a single bend shaft. 
  • Never Compromise Reserve 3 – a slant neck, mid mallet with moderate toe hang. 
  • Never Compromise Reserve 4 – a face-balanced, fanged mallet. 
  • Never Compromise Reserve 4s – a slant neck, fanged mallet with moderate toe hang. 
The face of the 2024 Never Compromise Reserve Putters Contrast Finish

Two finishes will be available, Tour Satin and NC Contrast Finish. Those of you familiar with Never Compromise throughout the years will immediately be familiar with the latter, as the NC Contrast Finish was one of the things that set the brand apart in its early years. The point of this high-quality, anti-fingerprint PVD finish is to aid with aiming and alignment. 

As we discussed earlier, two stock grip choices are available, along with a solid list of aftermarket options. The stock grip is soft, tacky, and is certainly premium enough on its own, but having the additional options is great as well. 

Never Compromise Reserve 4S

Reviewing golf equipment is always a great joy, but it does come with some limitations. While we were able to get a new Never Compromise Reserve putter in hand, logistics made it impossible to enjoy the new fitting process. We do hope to get a chance to utilize the service in the future, but this didn’t stop us from spending close to six weeks working with the product in advance of this review. We sampled the 4S, which is Never Compromise’s take on the slant-neck, fanged mallet. 

At setup of the 2024 Never Compromise Reserve Puters

It doesn’t take long to appreciate the premium nature of the NC Reserve 4S. The Tour Satin finish is soft and velvety to the eyes and fingers, and the entire head has several inviting details thanks to the milling process. Intricate milling lines run the length of the fangs, which have eye-pleasing, sloping shoulders from front to back. It’s a great looking head that blends rounded and angular sections nicely, framing the ball and providing plenty of stability through the putting stroke. 

The face milling of the putter

The 303 Stainless Steel material doesn’t require overly aggressive face milling to provide a high-end feel, which is evident in the fine milling pattern on the NC Reserve 4S. It’s a classy, understated look and the red “NC” logo contrasts nicely against the satin finish. Small details like the sloped transition from the slant neck into the head of the putter are clean and reflective of what should be expected from a high-end, milled putter. 

The 4S’s sole is simultaneously classic and modern. Deep red paint fill in the large NC logo again contrasts perfectly against the stainless steel, while a pair of weights lends a contemporary feel. The same horizontal milling visible on the top of the fangs is also present on their underside, framed by slightly softened edges. 

The fanged mid-mallet is a favorite for a reason. It provides great visuals for alignment, promotes stability, and is arguably the coolest looking shape out there. Luckily, the 4S is the same head and shaft combination I played in 2023 (in the form of the Frontline Elite Series from Cleveland), so there was an instant comfort level putting it into play. The 4S is a great example of what makes this shape so popular. It’s well balanced and very easy to work with. 

From a feel perspective, there was plenty to like about the NC Reserve 4S. We spent a great deal of time focusing solely on this aspect, including several direct comparisons to other high-end options, as it’s always a point of interest for consumers. It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that we didn’t find the NC Reserve to be the “softest” putter we’ve ever used. Many options utilize aggressive milling techniques or polymers to bolster feel, while the 4S is relatively traditional in its design. Instead, we found a pleasing, solid feel at impact with a very familiar touch of softness to the ears. 

Center impacts were void of any offensive click, though there was the expected change in pitch at impact locations away from center. In summary, our subjective takeaway was that the NC Reserve 4S felt exactly how we expected it to. This is a classic milled 303 Stainless Steel experience and one that will meet most consumer’s expectations: Not too firm, not too soft, and more than responsive enough to let us know exactly where we are making contact.

2024 Never Compromise Reserve Putter Details

  • Available with either KBS CT Tour shaft or UST All-In. 
  • Launch date: February 16, 2024
  • Price: $449
  • Fitting and assembly available at select retail locations. 
  • More information at
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Ryan Hawk
Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.
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