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It Ain’t Heavy, It’s My Putter: Testing Daly’s K4 flat stick

For the amateur golfer, it has long been one of the putting games most vexing dilemmas: whether to prefer the bulky, branding-iron stability of the mallet putter over the more feel-friendly but decidedly less idiot-proof blade-style flat stick.

On the one hand, the heavy perimeter weighting of a wide mallet can be a tremendous help in keeping twitchy hands at bay, and in resolving issues of speed control – especially when it comes to long-distance lag putting.

The tradeoff, of course, comes when the ball is closer to the hole. With the nerves in play, the fine motor control of a lighter, more manageable utensil becomes paramount; when a stabby stroke pulls a heavy mallet off-line, its simply too bulky to regain control, resulting in the most frustrating of golfs misses: the short putt.

All I want from Christmas is my two-putt, please: Put a K4 under the tree

All I want from Christmas is my two-putt, please: Put a K4 under the tree

Enter the compromise solution: the Heavy Putter Mid-Weight Series from Boccieri Golf.

Lighter than the early models that made Heavy Putter something of a household name, the Mid-Weight series offers the perfect balance point for players looking for the heft and stability of a mallet with the more traditional aesthetics and manageability of a blade.

Make no mistake, however – its still heavy. As the Connecticut-based company itself has acknowledged, the original Heavy Putter, while based on sound theory, was simply too heavy for many players, who considered it a quantum leap to go from a standard model to one weighing upwards of 900 grams.

In the Mid-Weight, Boccieri believes it has found a happy medium. Available in five different head shapes and both a black and silver satin finish, the MW models weigh 750 grams, including a 400-gram head (about 125-150 grams heavier than standard), and a 200-gram counterweight in the grip.

The result is a confidence-inspiring, well-balanced putter thats heavy enough to function almost like a training aid – allowing a player to practice grooving a stroke with the larger muscles of the shoulders and the back, and taking the short-twitch muscles out of play – but still manageable enough to be playable. Its the perfect fix for the player who struggles with speed control on longer putts but demands the more understated aesthetics of a smaller, more traditionally shaped putter.

Theres nothing wrong with the optics here, either.

The K4 Mid-Weight, a Laguna-style blade with minimal offset, is a sharp-looking putter with a flared toe to give the club a more symmetrical appearance at address, along with a grooved face to promote a smoother roll in the fashion of a Rife or Yes! flat stick. A series of grooves along the back of the putterhead also help give the club a sleek, streamlined look at address.

John Daly, a recent addition to the Heavy Putter staff, wielded a K4 during a strong rebuilding year in 2009 that included a runner-up finish at the BMW Italian Open in June.

Ive always had real problems with long backstrokes and never following through, causing deceleration – thats probably the worst thing you could ever do in putting, Daly says in this video endorsement posted by the company earlier this year.

(The K4) makes my putting stroke a lot shorter . . . and it automatically makes you release the putter.

Anyone with a problem holding on to the putter through the ball, a typical symptom of tension or stress that causes a lot of blocked putts and stabby strokes, will definitely find it easier to develop a smoother, more pendulum-like stroke with the Heavy Putter, and get into the habit of allowing the putter head to square up through impact.

The extra weight takes some getting used to, however, so be prepared to make a commitment to this putter if you decide to take the plunge. That, or make the decision to use it as a practice aid if you think youd prefer to stick to a standard-weight gamer. But theres little doubt that a little time with the Heavy Putter will allow you to better understand what sort of a putter you are.

It comes in a sharp silver finish, too

It comes in a sharp silver finish, too

The K4 is available in either a matte black or a stainless silver finish and carries a newly reduced MSRP of $119.95 US, down from $169.95 when it was first introduced. The price drop, according to the company, was the result of a purchase program that leveraged increased production volume and significant economies-of-scale in the manufacturing process with no compromise in product quality.

In other words, they were able to make more for less, passing the savings along to the consumer without taking profits away from the retailer level.

The Mid-Weight series boasts five head shapes, including some more traditional mallet-style heads for those whose preferences might run more towards the Zebra-style putterhead. And if the latest news from Boccieri is any indication, the company has definitely found a sweet spot with the Mid-Weight Series.

The party line:

Boccieri Golf’s Heavy Putter Doubles Market Share

New MID-WEIGHT Series Purchase Program Spurs Rapid Sales Increases Nationwide
(RIDGEFIELD, CT) — Boccieri Golf confirms that its renowned Heavy Putter has doubled market share over the past 12 months, with sales fueled by the recent announcement of the MID-WEIGHT Series purchase program, resulting in a 23-percent month-to-month market share increase for the brand in September.
Challenging the industry trend of declining equipment sales, September represented one of the highest monthly sales periods to date for the Heavy Putter. This continues the levels of rapid adoption by discerning consumers and professionals nationwide which began immediately after the MID-WEIGHT Series was introduced early this year.
We are confident that our market share will continue to increase as our products are ideal for customers looking for performance and value in this economy, says Stephen Boccieri, President and CEO of Boccieri Golf. We’re looking forward to a stellar holiday season at retail, as was predicted by our consumer testing which showed 7 out of 10 golfers preferred the MID-WEIGHT Series to what was currently in their bags.
Premiering late this summer, the MID-WEIGHT Series purchase program made these distinctive putters more affordable to all demographics. It leveraged increased production volume and significant economies-of-scale in the manufacturing process with no compromise in product quality. This momentum allowed the company to maintain retailer margins while passing savings on to consumers by pricing MID-WEIGHT models at $119.95 (previously $169.95).
With a total weight of 750 grams, the MID-WEIGHT Series is lighter than previous Heavy Putter models yet heavier than traditional offerings. It is available in a five classic designs offered in a rich black “PVD” or silver satin finish, and features Boccieri Golf’s innovative system of added weight in the head and grip. This causes the body to engage its larger muscles for a consistent swing path, uniform pace, precise distance and directional control, tightening end-over-end golf ball roll.
Not just a retail phenomenon, Heavy Putter users have recorded victories on the PGA, European, Champions, Asian, Nationwide and Canadian Tours. The company’s popular MID-WEIGHT Series was used by John Daly during his best professional outing in five years — a runner-up finish at the BMW Italian Open earlier this season.
MID-WEIGHT Series models include:
CX2 — Classic blade design that is face balanced; plumbers-neck hosel with a full shaft offset.
H1/H3 — Medium-size face balanced mallet; high MOI rating for forgiveness on off-center hits.  Features a thin face to improve feel at impact; available in both heel (H3) with a double bend with half shaft offset and center-shafted (H1) models with a striking parabola channel alignment aid with a single long site line.
J2 — Deeper flanged blade offers the forgiveness of a mallet with a sleek top-line; face balanced with a plumbers-neck hosel with a full shaft offset.
K4 — Classic “toe-droop” blade with thin top line; short slant neck hosel with half-shaft offset.
L3 — Traditional small face balanced mallet; heel shafted double-bend half-shaft offset, a unique three-line alignment system, center top line and two lower lines frame the ball, while thin-face design promotes crisper feel at impact, improves MOI.

About the Heavy Putter
Heavy Putter is carried in all 50 states and more than 35 overseas markets.  It is found in many of the finest off-course shops and most prestigious golf courses, country clubs and resorts worldwide and since its 2005 introduction, has captured victories on the PGA, European, Champions, Nationwide, Asian, Canadian and European Challenge Tours.
The Heavy Putter Original, Matte and Deep Face Series models, which spawned a global following, each incorporates the company’s pioneering weighting technology, including a 475-gram head (conventional heads are 330 to 350 grams) and a 250-gram weight installed in the grip end, producing a balance point 75 percent higher than conventional putters.
Contact: 888.PUTTER.4, info@heavyputter.com, www.heavyputter.com, www.boccierigolf.com.

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James McCarten

When James McCarten isn't at the Ottawa offices of The Canadian Press, where he works as parliamentary news editor, he's either on the golf course or putting off his latest freelance golf-writing gig to spend time with wife Lisa and school-age kids Claire and Lucas. With 20 years of experience in Canadian journalism, James also suffers from a financially crippling addiction to all things Scotty Cameron.

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