On long and short putts, the copolymer insert kept a consistent soft feel. And the insert isn’t overly soft either, which can kill off the important vibrations from mishits golfers need to monitor the success of their strikes.
Unlike Odyssey’s Versa putters, the company chose to make the insert black, matching the body color of the putter. Traditionalists will appreciate this detail, as it keeps a somewhat traditional look at address and keeps the emphasis where it should be; lining up the path of the squares to the aim point.
I also enjoyed the stock Winn Pro Pistol grip, which is firmer than Winn grips I’ve used in the past. That’s a definite plus for good players, who often prefer a firm, tacky surface to help them relax their grip pressure.
When are squares better than circles? Apparently, studies show people can align things better when using squares as guides rather than circles. Well, at least according to Cleveland. That's the marketing ploy for their new Smart Square Putter. Even the name is trying to suggest it's better, as the use of "smart" in the title would naturally lead one to believe it's smart to play this putter. Well, let's take a look at the putter and see.
From GolfWrx.com, (http://www.golfwrx.com/142147/cleveland-smart-square-putter-editor-review/)
Pros: Square alignment aids make it incredibly easy to aim, and the face insert feels soft and rolls the ball well. There won’t be any glare issues, even on the brightest of days, thanks to the matte black finish.
The selling point of the Smart Square is that alignment system — the two white squares that sit on top of the matte black putter head. The combination of parallel and perpendicular lines creates what Cleveland calls “Dual Axis Alignment,” which frames the golf ball and helps a golfer visualize the proper path to the hole.
Aiming the Smart Square putter is so simple, provided you’re not a golfer who likes a line in the middle of your putter. It’s black finish contrasts wonderfully with the two white squares on top of the putter head, giving golfers both parallel and perpendicular reference points.
To claim that you have taken the principles of a putter alignment system that did nothing short of rattle the foundations of what putters could do and how they could look doing it is a BIG claim. The 2-ball has been one of THE most successful heads/alignments around for a very long time now and shows no signs of letting up. Big talk here.
The dangdest thing here though, the hollow squares work as more than just a basic alignment method that you get with the circles. The width of the squares frame the ball perfectly and the combination of lines parallel to the face as well as down the line to the target give an impressively clean alignment visual. The most impressive thing to me so far with it though however is that because the squares are hollow you also get a reminder as to your face angle, you can tell instantly at address if the face angle is open or closed (eerily effective for me, and coming from the putters I typically game, that is saying something), I really do not think it would be as effective if the squares were solid.
Much like Odyssey’s idea to finish its Versa putters with contrasting black and white lines for better alignment, the concept of swapping the 2-Ball’s circles for more alignment-friendly squares seems obvious after the fact. And the squares seem to be just the right shape and size. They hug the edges of the golf ball when the putter is properly set up, which will help golfers find the center of the putter face at address.
Cons: Golfers who like a line indicating the center of the putter face are out of luck with the Smart Square, as are those who want something other than a face-balanced putter.
Bottom Line: Sometimes, it’s the small things that make a difference. Such is the case with the Smart Square, which like Odyssey’s Versa putters from 2013 use a small cosmetic change to add considerable alignment benefits.
I was a BIG pessimist when I first heard about the idea and saw the press materials as I’ve been a big voice in the same designs being used by everyone and there being a lack of creativity out there in putters now. Well, the Smart Square has figured out how to be both of those things at the same time. I did not expect that at all.