Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Product Review: Caney Putterworks M11 Putter

Club making is an art. So it’s no wonder a product from Caney Putterworks looks more like a work of art than a utilitarian putter. But don’t be fooled by its beauty ... the M11 is a perfect blend of form meeting function.

Noah Caney, founder and designer, shared his thoughts on what goes into a quality putter.

“Putting is all about feel and confidence,” Caney said. “Too many companies are just producing new putters for the sake of having something new, or they are painting old designs and calling them new. I wanted to create a putter with exceptional feel and beautiful looks that was also functional (form, function and feel).

Stainless steel may be the norm when it comes to putters, but wood?

“Wood has very nice tactile qualities, so I wanted to create a putter that incorporated wood, but was still a functional putter someone could use everyday,” Caney explained. “What I came up with was a wood core for feel, and a metal perimeter for weight and balance. Removing the metal from the core helps the putter feel balanced and makes it more forgiving.”

Caney knew it would be challenging to find the right wood.

“Most woods are unstable and will expand and contract significantly,” he said. “Cocobolo is a unique wood that has special qualities that make it perfect for my putters. It is extremely dense and hard. It will actually sink in water. It also has a natural oil that makes it practically water proof.

“Cocobolo will not expand or contract in extreme wet or dry climates,” Caney added. “It also has a soft, but solid feel when striking a golf ball. Pink Ivory is another wood with similar qualities as Cocobolo, and it is naturally bright pink. Other woods can be used if stabilized with resin.”

American Golfer was intrigued, so we took the M11 out for a three-part test. First, we tested Caney’s creation in a controlled environment - our golf room. Our indoor putting surface mimics an actual green, but is enclosed and ideal for listening for, as well feeling, the contact between putter and ball.

Next was the two-part field test. First on the practice green and then on the course. On the practice green we tested from 5, 15 and 30 feet. A putter that is consistent within five feet is no good if it doesn’t help you lag to within a makable range when farther away. The on-course test was the final stage - taking what we learned into “battle.”

“Many people have said they are reluctant to use my putter because they are too beautiful and are afraid they will get ruined,” Caney said. “They are durable and can be used in any weather. They are designed to be used everyday, and the wood will not wear. I have used one for almost two years now and it looks brand new. They can get scuffed, but no more than your TaylorMade driver or Scotty Cameron putter.”

With that in mind, how did the Caney Putterworks M11 fare?

Right away, I liked the M11. The feel was incredible. For example, alternate putting a premium ball and a discount ball with your own putter. The premium ball not only feels better, but also sounds better. With the M11, the harshness of the discount ball was softened, while the feel of the premium ball was enhanced.

On the practice green, it’s not surprising that the M11 performed best from 5 feet, and better from 15 than 30. My concern however, was that the lighter weight of the putter would hurt distance control. That wasn’t the case. The ball felt consistent off the face each time and distance remained stable.

Like any new club, there’s a feeling-out process. I generally putt with a putter that provides alignment assistance. Once familiarized, I quickly became comfortable with both the stroke and alignment of the M11.

When ordering your Caney Putterworks putter, visit www.caneyputterworks.com. Choose from the standard Golf Pride grip or Winn pistol grip in standard, midsize or jumbo (or standard with a pink ribbon). For an up-charge, you can choose a black or pink Cabretta leather grip from The Grip Master. Other grips are available upon request, but time will be added to the ordering process.

Once grip is determined, specify left- or right-handed and a length. Caney offers his putters in lengths from 33 to 35 inches in half-inch increments. All parts - other than the grips - are made in the United States and the putters have been submitted to the USGA and conform with USGA rules (decisions 2011-999 and 2011-1000).

Put a putter from Caney Putterworks in your bag. While your friends are admiring the appearance, you’ll be draining putts and dropping strokes.

Contact: NEOhioGolf@yahoo.com

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