Is ◼◼ > ⚪⚪ True ?? by @igolfreviews
While the equation above might look silly, the question is, are squares better than circles? Cleveland golf believes that their 2 Smart Squares alignment aid is better than the Odyssey 2-ball alignment aid. Before I get into the details, let’s be honest, this is a David and Goliath sort of match. Odyssey has had the best selling putters for years and the 2-ball has been the mainstay of their line. Cleveland has a tough road ahead trying to dethrone the circles. But with that said, I’ve personally never been a fan of the 2-ball putters. I’ve tried almost every version over the years and never really found it to be that great of a putter for my eye. Between the inserts and the alignment, a 2-ball has never won the putter slot in my bag. The Smart Square on the other hand fits my eye and the results really have been excellent. So for me ◼◼ > ⚪⚪ is true.
So what if you love your 2-ball putter, will this convert you? I’m not sure, Cleveland says the smart squares are 23% more accurate in their testing. That means at least 1 or 2 strokes on the green throughout a round. That is a big deal in my mind. If you’ve ever tried lining something up that has a curve you might be able to see why this premise is true. While the ball that you are hitting is round, the desired path to the hole is straight off the putter face on line. I found the Smart Square putter is easier to line up because of the parallel and perpendicular lines. Square to the target and like train rails into the ball. I think a demo day challenge would be in order to see if the equation is true for you. I personally found this to be the best alignment aid made right now.
Alignment is half the battle, the other half is speed. How many times have you had to say, “I had the right line, if only I hit it harder or softer” Speed has much to do with your stroke, I also believe the balance of the putter and the feel off the face can dramatically alter your speed control. The Smart Square has excellent balance at 360 grams. As many companies find the benefits of the heavier head, Cleveland uses that just slightly heavier weight as not to feel funny, just a little beefier. The large mallet head also spreads that weight out for a nice balanced feel front to back of the putter head.
The second speed factor is the face. If you’ve read my reviews, you know that I am not a huge fan of inserts. No matter how hard I try, they just don’t seem as consistent to me as a metal face. Cleveland did both, a metal face cushion by a polymer insert behind the face. What it does for me is offer that solid metal feel at impact so I can sense the distance off the face, yet dampen vibrations so that if feels really good. It has a slight metal “click” to it which I like, yet on the muted side for a metal face because of the polymer.
The distance control on the Smart Square putter was some of the best I’ve seen. Even if I misread the line of the putt, I almost always left it close to the hole. This produced many tap in 2 putts. It was really easy to get a sense of how far the ball would travel off this putter even from day one.
The little details of the putter are nice too. The headcover is a simple velcro mallet cover and the grip is a standard size Winn grip. All of which work together nicely on this putter. One really cool feature that I believe will be included with the retails putters too, is the square ball marker. It is about the size of a poker chip, only square. It works nicely too in getting the right line to the hole when you return the ball to the green. Overall it is a solid package from Cleveland.
Is Cleveland going to take over the putting world with its Smart Square putter? I’m not sure die hard Odyssey fans will give up their 2-ball putters, even if they should. But for me, the Smart Square putter is far more successful on the greens. I found it much easier to line up, I had much better distance control, I liked the feel off the face and quite simply, I made more putts. The only downside for me is that it is face-balanced. I have an arched stroke and with a face-balanced putter I tend to hit pulls. So what that meant on the green was slightly more concentration on my stroke and alignment to make sure I accounted for that arch. With the heel shafted or center shafted Smart Square putters they are going to set up excellent for minimal arch golfers or straight-back-straight-through putters. With all the high end putters that see my “gamer bag” often, this one made the rotation because it is easy and works. So are ◼◼ > ⚪⚪ ? YES they are for me.