Old putters are like ex-girlfriends/boyfriends/significant others/pet turtles. There were moments of bliss, but there’s a reason you’re not still together.
Those failed relationships all have one thing in common: you.
The hard truth is that you are usually the problem – the putting, maybe not the other. The trick is in finding a putter that compensates for your flawed stroke. That’s why real golfers usually own a stupid number of putters. We’re always searching for something better because we just don’t hole enough putts.
I don’t know many I have stockpiled in my basement and garage, and I don’t want to know. Double figures? Definitely. More than 20? Possibly.
The search goes on. Meet the Pyramid Putter ($279.95). It comes in a classic blade model (AZ-1, with AZ standing for Aztec) and standard midsize mallet (AZ-2).
What’s unique about the Pyramid Putter is its face. It has grooves – nothing unusual there, because grooves have been proved to make a putted ball roll quicker and with less skidding than an un-grooved face.
The Pyramid Putter, however, has grooves angled in three directions. The grooves are horizontal on the face center, a traditional design, but they are contained in the triangular shape of a pyramid. Toward the club’s heel, the lines run diagonally along the pyramid’s eastern slope (as viewed from head-on). Toward the club’s toe, the lines are diagonal along the pyramid’s western slope.
Why would you want diagonal lines on your putter face? Well, why wouldn’t you? It is putting’s version of corrective lenses. Those grooves impart spin, to better keep the ball on line. Hit a ball on the heel of the face, and the diagonal grooves impart a clockwise gear effect that helps the ball stay on the intended target line. Hit a ball on the toe, and the grooves impart counter-clockwise gear effect to help the ball stay on line.
You can see this better about 4½ minutes into an informational video at PyramidPutters.com. The video shows a putting robot, dubbed Steady Eddie by the Pyramid guys, holing 9-foot putts no matter whether the ball is struck on the center, toe or heel. Steady Eddie can really roll his rock (but don’t ask about his bunker game), as this part of the video demonstrates.
The Pyramid Putter was the brainchild of club designer Matt Stephens. “Manufacturers make drivers that produce gear effect to help golfers hit more fairways,” he said. “Why not make a putter that has gear effect to help golfers sink more putts?”
I spent some nice demo time with both models of the Pyramid recently, and there’s a lot to like.
“One thing I like is, you’re not looking down at a spaceship-like object,” said Colin Callahan, a custom club-fitter and golf instructor who is part of Team Pyramid. “These are traditional putter shapes.”
I agree. The second is the feel. Grooved putters usually feel like butter when you stroke the ball, and the Pyramid is no exception. Third, there’s the alignment function. The angled groove lines from the face spill up onto the top line of the putter, forming perfect symmetry with the white alignment line on the putter’s lower back flange. If the pyramid symbol doesn’t line up with the white line, then you’re not set up properly.
Fourth, I could still hit putts offline with the Pyramid, absolutely, but I definitely rolled the ball more on line. My dispersion pattern seemed tighter. Of course, the big problem with any heel or toe hit is the distance — that putt may not roll out far enough because of the off-center contact to reach the cup, but that is a convincing video on the Pyramid website.
Callahan told me that an Australian writer who tried the putter said you can “putt like a pharaoh” using the Pyramid putter. That sounds important, even stately, so I suggested that he immediately trademark the phrase, even though the first Pyramid models went with an Aztec, not Egyptian, theme.
My conclusion: When I get a Pyramid AZ-2, I expect to put it in the bag immediately and bench my current putter, with which I’ve had an on-again, off-again fling. This, however, could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.*
(*Note: It’s not the first time I’ve whispered that to a putter.)