Originally started in 1972, Slotline is a company that old school golf purists are likely familiar with, however many of the younger generation golfers today might be more likely to have a familiarity with Scotty Cameron, Ping, or Odyssey when it comes to premier putters. In the 1980â€™s Slotline was a putter powerhouse selling over one million of their original Inertial putters, today the new Slotline (under a new parent company) is looking to reinvent themselves with a whole new line of putters. In 2008 Dynamic Brands reintroduced the Slotline brand with 14 new designs featuring the signature SLOT and LINE alignment aid as well as an emphasis on high MOI properties. With three separate models (SL-700, SL-500, SS-300), Slotline offers a wide variety of putters to suit the unique preferences of todayâ€™s golfers.
The Slotline SS-385 putter carries a price of $99.95 and features 30 gram Tungsten sole, heel and toe inserts for optimum weighting and a significant increase in MOI. Immediately after opening the package I was impressed with the sleek, stylish look of the 385, a classic blade putter with a premium head cover and great looking Winn grip. I have always been attracted to the looks of the blade style putter but felt my game was best suited to a mallet putter head. Was this Slotline going to break me out of that mindset and open my eyes to a whole new world of putters?
Immediately I was attracted to the putter; the proprietary mid-sized Winn pistol grip made the putter seem to rest in my hands perfectly and this was before I even stroked my first putt with the thing! Cast from 431 stainless steel and featuring a tri-milled face to reduce contact surface area providing true loft and a flat face, getting the ball rolling faster to keep your putts on line. You can immediately feel the difference the milled face offers. The sound, the feel, and the roll this putter produces are a thing of beauty. After rolling several putts across my carpet for a number of days I was eager to get this thing in action to see how it held up on the greens. Typically in a review situation like this I would prefer to use the club on the practice green or during some casual rounds to really get a better feel for the thing before throwing it into the fire of a competitive match, but because of the positive connection we had from the outset I felt it was safe to jump right in and use this beauty at the venerable BustaBall Classic.
New putter in bag, I set out for three rounds of match play to try to help my team bring home the captainâ€™s cup in the 2009 edition of the BustaBall Classic. What I was originally impressed by on the course was my ability to properly gauge the distance control of longer putts with the Slotline, something that has always been a thorn in my side when it comes to putting. Maybe it was the blade design, or the perfectly balanced weighting system, but whatever it was it continued to allow me to roll long putts to within gimme range throughout BustaBall. While the distance control helped me cut down on the annoying three putts, I also found the short range putts were dropping with more and more consistency as the weekend wore on, all the while increasing confidence with the slot and line method of alignment. It sure is nice to know that youâ€™re lined up exactly how you need to be and as long as your read is right, youâ€™ll sink that putt! This is especially helpful when under the pressure of a match play event and your opponent, knowing youâ€™re using a different putter, decides not to concede very many putts.
The Slotline 581 carries a price tag of around $159.95. Forged first and milled to final shape from 6061 aircraft grade alluminum. The SLOT and LINE alignment system guarantees the proper position on every stroke. The hosels are forged and milled separately to provide strength and consistency and the Tri-milled face reduces contact surface area providing true loft and flat face, getting the ball rolling faster to keep your putts on line. The look and feel of this putter was different from the last model and I was a bit nervous. This putter is almost a full inch longer (3/4) than a traditional Anser style putter.
Once armed with this one we set out to the practice green for some practice and playing. The feel coming off the face of this putter was extremely soft and you could tell the difference when putting. The alignment (Slot and Line) works tremendously and I found myself sinking putts. At first the putter seemed a little bulky, but once on the green, it worked like a charm. It has the same mid-sized grip that I really liked previously and once again I found myself after a few putts really settling down and making more and more. The putter felt as though it started rolling the ball for me. It was a great feeling and so far both putters that they sent, I really liked. One thing I have learned with all putters is that results are what matter, and the results with the 581 were astonishing. Both rounds that I used this for had my putts lower than they have been in a while. Could be many factors, but for this comparison, we will say it was the putter. Putter looks are subjective, but these looked fairly normal on the course at setup with the exception of the extra length. Because of that, there was no time for adjustment really. They worked well.
Slotline SL-784 Raider
This putter carries a price tag of about $199.99. It has a 100% CNC milled 6061 aircraft grade aluminum for incredibly solid feel and uncompromised quality and consistency. Aluminum body provides soft feel at impact and tungsten weights significantly increase MOI. The SLOT and LINE alignment system guarantees proper position on every stroke and the Tri-milled face reduces contact surface area providing true loft and flat face, getting the ball rolling faster to keep your putts on line. Being their “cream of the crop” putter I was extremely excited about trying this one out. Like the 500 series that we tested, this putter is quite large as well with the same oversized length as the last putter we took out.
Off to the course I went and found myself on the putting green and I could not help but compare the 3 putters. The 700 series putter worked quite well and was soft as can be coming off the face. But I found myself making the more putts with the 300 and 500 series than with this one. The Slotline Raiderâ€™s head weighs 340 grams, because of two 83-gram pods inserted into the heel and toe. The perfect weighting worked quite well, especially when I mishit a putt. The Raider did not give me the best results on the course, but it did feel the best out of all of them. However the entire line from Slotline worked extremely well. Going in I had no idea what to expect, but coming out, I am sold on this complete line from Slotline.
At the end of the weekend there was another team celebrating their BustaBall Classic triumph unfortunately, however I have no regrets for throwing a new putter in the bag just before the event. While I had my struggles throughout the weekend one area of my game that wasnâ€™t struggling was my putting. Before this review I felt that I would always be a mallet style putter guy, but with the Slotline there certainly was an immediate love connection and as the weekend progressed it only gained strength. I canâ€™t even remember what it was that initially sent me toward the non-traditional mallet putter, but I certainly know beyond a doubt what it was that brought be back! They have a putter for just about anybody in their new line and at every price point. If youâ€™re in the market for a great putter, I highly recommend the new line of Slotline Putters; this is not your fatherâ€™s Inertial! For more information on any of the putters reviewed, check out their website at Slotline Golf.
Here’s to keeping it in the short grass,