Friday, September 23, 2016

Product Review: L2 MOI Maxx Putter

I have, literally, tested or played with more than a hundred putters over the years. Some have obviously worked better than others. I think I’ve settled on being a “blade guy.”

That said, there’s a new putter on the market that has me curious ... and it is most certainly NOT a blade. Introducing the MOI Maxx from L2 Putters.

The MOI Maxx is “physics inspired,” according to John Ambrose, president and lead designer at L2, and has the highest Moment of Inertia (M.O.I.) in the industry.

Beyond M.O.I., this putter has the largest sweet spot I’ve ever experienced. With an impact (sweet spot) zone of 3.5 inches, off-center putts will roll truer than similar competitors.

We’ve heard the negatives:
Too big. It’s 6.25 inches from heel to toe. The average putter is about 5 inches.
Too heavy. The head weight is 620 grams. The average putter is 360 grams.
Too different. This is not your father’s putter.

In fact, during the testing process we had completely different results - leading to mixed reviews.

First, the positive ... One tester made the first four 10-foot putts attempted. Using the recommended pendulum stroke, it “almost seemed like cheating” because the putts were “dropping at an alarming rate.”

On the counter ... One tester tried using a conventional putting stroke and could hardly get any putts to drop from the same distance. The weight and size were too “unmanageable” with a standard stroke.

Unlike other putters, the MOI Maxx isn’t one I’d suggest taking out for a round after 5-10 minutes on the practice green. This is a commitment - much like one you’d make throughout a swing change from your instructor. A few minutes on the range will not suffice.

The main benefit we’ve seen with the pendulum stroke is taking away the “little muscles” that often lead to the dreaded yips. By using your shoulders and allowing the mass of the club to get the ball rolling, many inconsistencies are removed.

In their words: “A consistent smooth, pendulum tempo is the greatest asset of the Lateral Line putting stroke. The same tempo that only varies in length to determine distance gives a golfer a yip-proof motion. The shoulder motion supplies the energy, and the L2 putter does the rest. Unlike other styles, the Lateral Line system is all about backstroke. The conventional, Side Saddle, or Face On motion, uses a shortened backstroke in order to maintain club head control. Due to the nature of the restricted motion, this does not allow for enough backstroke freedom to vary distance. This restriction means that any stroke energy will need to be made up with muscle, not momentum. This ‘muscle’ stroke not only distorts tempo, but opens the door for the effects of adrenalin, the source of the yips.

“It will require a conscious effort for you to free your backstroke motion in order to create a steady tempo that will accommodate any distance of putt. The weight, head balance, and huge sweet spot of the L2 gives you the club head stability that other clubs lack. Tapping into this club head ‘freedom,’ opens up the backstroke motion allowing for the range in stroke to vary putt requirements.”

Aesthetically, we really liked the two lines on the top of the club when lining up for a putt. This putter also stands on its own, so you can line up, step behind the putter to verify alignment, and take your stroke with confidence. If you liked the concept behind Odyssey’s Two-Ball putters, you might want to give the MOI Maxx a shot.

What’s not to like? Well, you’ll need to work on the pendulum stroke. Changing your putting stroke may not be a bad thing if you’re looking to break away from more-traditional putters - either blade or mallet. There’s also the aforementioned weight. The MOI Maxx is approximately twice as heavy as a conventional putter. That not only makes a difference while putting, but also if you carry your clubs to play.

Putter preference and the putting stroke are as individual as any aspect of the game. If you feel confident with your putter, you can seemingly make anything. Lose that confidence and you’ve talked yourself out of dropping the shortest of putts.

The L2 MOI Maxx putter sells for $169 and is available online at If you’re ready to commit to the pendulum stroke, check out the website and let Ambrose get you into one of his putters.

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