I truly believe in my heart that putters are the most personal club in the bag. When something is so personal, it is only natural that the market will form and morph to accommodate it. There is no better example of that than the custom/boutique putter market. If a golfer can dream it up, it can be found somewhere. One company who brings such dreams alive is Whitlam Golf, and one such example is the new Whitlam CU-1 putter.
About the Company
From the Website:
“Whitlam Golf Putters are a blend of today’s technology and yesterday’s designs. Whitlam putters are the most precise milled putters in the golf industry. All of our putters are CNC milled and conform to the USGA’s strict guidelines governing the manufacture of golf equipment. In addition, we are proud that all Whitlam putters are made entirely in the USA.”
WHITLAM CU-1 PUTTER:
- 2 Models: Solid Copper and Solid Copper with Anodized Flange Insert
- 2 Neck Styles: Double-Bend Heel Shaft and Center Shaft
- 355g Headweight
- 3.5* Loft
- Right AND Left Handed
Coming into this review I tried to think of one word to describe the looks of the Whitlam CU-1 putter and to be honest, it really cannot be done. The first thing that hits you with the CU-1 putter is undoubtedly the color and the finish. In fact, when I first opened the box, I thought it was amazing. I actually thought that it was a copper plated finish. Wrong.
The CU-1 is literally milled from a solid billet of copper. For those that have not seen a copper putter in hand, it is absolutely one of the best looking materials out there. Not only does it look good, the material is also a throw-back to days of the past when it was commonly used by many companies in the industry. Copper is truly a classic material that provides a clean and eye catching look, but it still needs to be accentuated with a solid head shape, and the CU-1 is just that.
The style of the CU-1 is a sleek and simple mid-mallet design that would be a very classic look even if it weren’t made of copper. The putter has a roundness to it that suits the eye very well with step-down curved outer milling to accentuate the single site-line layout of the center of the flange. Even with the subtle roundness, a slightly thicker topline and squared off back-end really “squares” the putter to the ball at address. Additionally, when looking at the sole one can notice a bit of a “tri-plane” level to it, which makes the putter very easy to properly sole at address and prevent being “toe-up” at address.
From an engraving standpoint, the CU-1 keeps it clean enough that it doesn’t detract from the rest of the putter in my opinion. I know that the engraving on the sole may actually be considered “busy” to some, but for me what matters most is at address, and with only a simple and clean cavity logo, the CU-1 remains all business from there. I must also mention that even though paint can obviously be changed, Whitlam has done an excellent job of selecting colors that accentuate the copper rather than detracting from it.
Copper is an incredibly unique material in the golf industry today, but that was not always the case. Once upon a time it was widely used not only in putters, but also irons and wedges. It is because of this history that the material had developed what might be considered a bit of a “cult” following. The reasoning for such a following can actually be traced back to the belief by many that it provides a “softer feel” than the use of Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel in a putter head.
Typically, all feedback in a putter is considered to be the “feel” of the putter. As always however, I abide by the lines of feel being related to sound more so than anything else. In copper, the “feel” is usually considered softer than the other metals, yet still more firm than an insert putter. They key to copper is the sound it puts off, and the Whitlam CU-1 is a perfect example of that very thing. The audible tone and feedback that comes off of the CU-1 is what I would refer to as a deeper and richer sound than that of carbon or stainless steel. This deeper tone gives a less ‘clicky’ sound off of the face and leads to the perception of a softer feel for the user. The actual sound you get from this putter is incredibly unique to copper putters. If you have never rolled one then it can be a bit difficult to grasp.
I put the Whitlam CU-1 through its paces, not only in multiple rounds on the course, but also extensively on my putting green. I quite enjoyed my time with it. The CU-1 in the double bend heel shafted version is a nearly face balanced mid-mallet that is incredibly well balanced through the stroke. The overall balance combined with the 3.5° of loft on the face provided for a very consistent and quick forward roll on every putting surface that I used it on. Occasionally in the putter world one can come upon a design that is aesthetically pleasing yet functionally flawed that can suffer from twisting through the ball or a feeling of needing to manipulate the stroke. This was certainly not the case with the Whitlam Cu-1. In fact, I found myself able to simply allow my putting stroke to flow with no worries whatsoever.
Most people will immediately look at the CU-1 with a remark of awe on the beauty of the copper material it is built from. However, it should not be lost that the CU-1 is a truly well thought out head shape that Whitlam has brought to fruition. It does not just look good, but also functions well. As mentioned before, the use of copper is much rarer than it once was, and as such, it should not come as a surprise that it does have a higher price tag than other Whitlam designs. The CU-1 comes in right at $500 for all different versions of the putter. Surely a shock to some, but considering the materials and craftsmanship involved, very reasonable for the putter market that Whitlam covers.
For more information please check out Whitlam’s website at www.whitlamgolf.com.