My name is Jason and I am a mallet guy. Iâ€™ve been a mallet guy for 10 years, and I am not afraid to admit it. Sure Iâ€™ve seen and even played with some blade putters that I have liked, a recent review of the Slotline SS-385 actually had me thinking that I wasnâ€™t a mallet guy for a while there. I used the blade for a while for review and afterwards kept playing it for a little bit while I put my old trusty mallet in the closet for storage. Things were fine really, but you know there was something that just kept on bringing me back to the old trusty mallet, just to check in on her and see how she was doing. You know, Iâ€™m in a happy relationship with this new blade now and allâ€¦.but really I just wanted the mallet to be happy. Right. One more horrible day on the greens later and guess whoâ€™s having lunch togetherâ€¦.just to â€œcatch upâ€. Well Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve all heard the stories time and time again, lunch today, dinner tomorrow, and sure enough before long my mallet was back in my bag happily strolling down fairways together again almost like the blade fling never even happened.
Fast forward about three weeks and imagine my surprise when THP tells me they have another review for me to do. Slotline againâ€¦.but oh, itâ€™s mallets this time. Did you say mallet(s) as in plural?! Yes, mallets as in four of them. Uh-oh, this is not going to help the on again/off again/just back on again relationship with my putter one single bit. But hey, I signed up for the task so you better believe I was more than ready to risk permanent and irreconcilable damage to my relationship with the lovely mallet in my life for the sake of the job! Imagine how youâ€™d feel if a big box showed up on your doorstep and inside was four absolutely stunning putters, I was beside myself. Christmas morning as a kid was great and all, but this was better by a mile!! Sorry Santa. All included for the Slotline mallet line review were the SS-384, the SL-584F Center Stroke Mallet, the SL-782, and the SL-783 Stealth (recently featured in Golf Digest Mass Hysteria article). So I was set with my very own small scale version of a putter shoot out, I couldnâ€™t wait to get started!
â€œStainless steel with tungsten weighting take your game to the next level.â€
â€¢ 30g Tungsten weighting to significantly increase MOI
â€¢ SLOT and LINE alignment system to guarantee proper position on every stroke
â€¢ Tri-milled face reduces contact surface area providing true loft and flat face, getting the ball rolling faster to keep putts on line.
â€¢ Black-chrome finish provides non-glare surface at address
â€¢ Premium head cover included
â€¢ Available in 33â€, 34â€ and 35â€ lengths
â€¢ 340g head weight
The first impression I had of the SS-384 was that it was certainly the most traditional looking mallet of the Slotline offerings. The shiny black finish on the bottom of this putter makes it a gorgeous putter to look at and the balance and feel at address definitely help to produce the confidence you need to be able putt your best. At address the SS-384 has the familiar SLOT and LINE that makes lining up all of the Slotline putters a piece of cake, taking it even further to help alignment more is the fact that the sight line extends across the entire top of the putter as youâ€™re looking down at address. This helps in ensuring that your alignment is good before taking that stroke.
The SS-384 is a solid putter that gave back a great sound after striking the putts for me. The ball immediately starts rolling on line thanks to the tri-milled face which is engineered to produce a solid, crisp feel at impact. Getting the ball on line and sinking more mid to short range putts is what really impressed me about the SS-384, after a few holes of confidently holing out those 6 footers I was feeling like I could sink every putt I looked at. According to Chad Lehr, Product Manager for Slotline last week there were more SS-384â€™s in play on the Champions tour than Rife Barbados, Rife IMO, Odyssey Sabertooth, Rossa Spider, and Cameron Red X. Those are some huge names in the putter business and to have more players playing SS-384 without being paid to is a pretty impressive feat! The SS-384 Stainless Mallet will run you $99.95 from TGW or like all Slotline putters, directly through www.slotlinegolf.com.
SL-584F Center Stoke Mallet
â€œThe original Inertials with updated materials and manufacturing technologyâ€¦.the models that started it all.â€
The SL-500 series offers many of the same features as the SS-300 such as the tri-milled face, the SLOT and LINE alignment system, a black finish, and the proprietary mid-size Winn Grip.
Beyond that the SL-584F offers:
â€¢ Forged first and milled into final shape from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum
â€¢ Forged Aluminum body provides soft feel at impact
â€¢ 132g Tungsten blend- extreme back, heel and toe weighting
â€¢ 340g head weight
â€¢ Available in 33â€, 34â€ and 35â€ lengths
Of the four models of Slotline mallets that I tested for this review I would say this is the one that I found myself having the hardest time getting comfortable with. When practicing with the putter it still offered the crisp feel at impact, getting the ball on line and keeping it there were also not any harder than the other mallets either. I think it had to do with the fact that part of the bottom of the club was shaved away to achieve the shape and design they are after for this putter. To me itâ€™s just a little different and I think it ended up making me feel different about the putter in the end. Had I not had the three other models right next to this to compare this to I perhaps wouldnâ€™t have even noticed the difference at all.
The SL-584F is available from TGW for $159.95.
The SL-700 Series
SL-782 CNC Aluminum
â€œCNC milling and Tungsten weights keep the ball on line and rolling trueâ€¦ which means fewer putts and lower scores.â€
Consistent with the other putter offerings from Slotline the SL-700 also has the tri-milled face, of course the SLOT and LINE alignment system and the black finish weâ€™ve come to expect.
The â€œpremier collectionâ€ of the Slotline series, the SL-782 features 99g Tungsten- full perimeter weighting stability. Even making the switch from other outstanding putters from Slotline to the cream of the crop which is the SL-700 series, you immediately know youâ€™re putting a fine quality piece of equipment. It does take a few minutes to get used to the roll you get with this putter, after hitting my first few putts way too far I realized that it doesnâ€™t require the same effort to equal the same output in distance when hitting putts with the SL-782. I found this to be helpful in getting longer putts started on the proper line and ultimately ending up closer to the hole much easier because I knew that I wasnâ€™t going to have to take a violently hard swipe at the ball to cover the length of the putt I was practicing. This allowed me to keep my putting stroke tight, more in control, and ultimately more effective. Easier longer putts were certainly not the only benefit to the SL-782, I found this putter to be incredibly easy to get me lined up properly and ready to make a good stroke. The long alignment aid extending the length of the putterâ€™s top also helped me stay mindful of how my feet and shoulders were lined up for my putts as well, this made it easier to know that a proper stroke would produce a putt on line and likely in the hole or very close to it. The one slight drawback for me was the size of the 782, while not obnoxiously big, it was certainly bigger than most putters Iâ€™ve used.
Last and certainly not least is the SL-783 Stealth which is also among the SL-700 series from Slotline which features the 100% CNC milled 6061 aircraft grade aluminum for incredibly solid feel and uncompromised quality and consistency. This putter flat out looks cool both at address and as your watching someone else putt with it from behind. The SL-783 Stealth has 62g Tungsten with extreme back weighting all increasing the headâ€™s MOI to more than 6,000. At first I found myself attracted to the Stealth more than the other putters I tested because it looked different and cool. In the end I found myself putting with it more because it was flat out awesome. As with the 782, the long alignment line ended up being more beneficial to me as I stood over the ball; I paid more attention to my proper footing and shoulder alignment before stroking the putt. While the equipment certainly helps, having the proper setup first is even more important. Both the 700 series putters made me more aware of my misalignments than any putters Iâ€™ve ever used. This in turn got my arms swinging properly and ultimately helped me to roll straighter putts that found their way in the hole more frequently. Both the SL-700 series mallet putters are available for $200, not cheap mind you, but also not much different than other manufacturers premier putter lines either. If youâ€™re still not convinced that Slotline Golf is back for the long haul, go out and checkout some of Chad Lehrâ€™s posts on www.twitter.com/Slotline. Iâ€™m telling you, they are back and ready to get back on top of the putter game!
So I guess in the end youâ€™re either a mallet guy or youâ€™re not, it all comes down to finding the right putter for your game. Not many putter manufacturers have the array of offerings in the mallet department than Slotline either. If youâ€™re a mallet guy (or gal) and youâ€™re thinking about trying a new putter, do yourself a favor and shop the offerings of Slotline, youâ€™ll be glad you did. My favorite Slotline mallet predictably ended up being the SL-783 Stealth, not only is it a cool putter to look at, itâ€™s also a cool putter to useâ€¦and best yet, itâ€™s a cool putter to hold onto as youâ€™re watching your 25 footer for birdie drop into the cup! Now that this review is over Iâ€™ve got a couple of extremely jealous putters to deal with at home!!!
Here is to keeping it in the short grass