The Equipment Insider

New thinking infuses Bloodline putters

Co-founded by Brad Adams, son of late TaylorMade Golf founder Gary Adams, Bloodline touts a novel stand-alone feature that helps golfers address putts more consistently

Before the late Gary Adams founded TayorMade Golf in 1979, he solicited some responses to his stainless steel metalwood from leading golf equipment experts and company executives. Many laughed at Adams and dismissed his prototype with comments along the lines that it would make a great paperweight.   

Forty-one years later, we would be hard-pressed to find a golfer under the age of 41 who has not hit a driver other than one made out of metal.

Adams died too young in 2000 at the age of 56, but he passed along a DNA for innovative golf products and a bold marketing talent to his son, Brad Adams. During the 1990s, Brad co-founded both Odyssey Golf — with, among others, graphite shaft inventor Jim Flood — and Never Compromise, two putter companies that at the time featured a highly innovative use of thermoplastic and polymers in both their clubheads and putter-face inserts.

Today, Brad Adams has teamed with another industry veteran, shaft engineer and designer Larry Bischmann, to found Bloodline Golf, whose cutting edge putter designs seek to challenge and invigorate the golf equipment industry. As a side note, Bischmann led the team that developed Mitsubishi Rayon's Diamana shaft line, which was used by Tiger Woods.

Bloodline putters, whose heads are appropriately red in color, distinguish themselves by being able to stand up alone on the green without the need of a golfer’s assistance. They do so in what Bischmann calls a “true lie and loft” position, meaning at the same standard lie angle of 70 degrees or so and with the standard 4 degrees of loft of most conventional putters in today’s marketplace.

Bloodline — Ernie Els
Ernie Els was so impressed with the performance of Bloodline Golf's stand-alone putter that he became an investor in the company. Els won the PGA Tour Champions’ 2020 Hoag Classic while using the Bloodline R1-J Blade putter.

Packaged in what Adams calls a “Tour quality head,” Bloodline’s stand-up technology allows golfers to align their putts from well behind the ball and straight down their lines. When golfers address the ball, they just place their hands on the grip in the exact same set-up position every time — again, because the putter always stands at the exact same lie angle on the green. Bloodline’s stand-up feature reduces tension in golfer’s hands and arms — because the ground supports and absorbs the weight of the club — while its improved aim eliminates the need to make putter path compensations during the stroke.

Putting teacher and optometrist Dr. Craig Farnsworth agrees that “golfers generally aim their putts better from behind the ball, with their eyes in binocular fashion looking straight down the line of their putts” rather than in the address position, he said. Farnsworth points out that Ben Crenshaw, considered one of golf’s best all-time putters, would crane his neck out over the ball while in his putting stance. This allowed Crenshaw to turn his head and look straight down the putting line with both eyes.

Adams acknowledges that stand-alone putters have predated his Bloodline models.

“Those early models needed heavy shafts and large putter heads, and this meant that they would only stand up in an extremely upright position, which most golfers would find both uncomfortable and ineffective,” Adams said.

The solution was to develop an extremely lightweight carbon fiber shaft that would extend up and morph into a very light, but large grip. Also, a patented two-touch-point design feature — tungsten steel weights positioned on the sides of the putter's sole plates to stabilize the club’s contact with the ground — was added. Like magic, and after quite a bit of creative thinking and hard work, the putter stood up alone.

Bloodline — Back View
A lightweight carbon fiber shaft and tungsten steel weights on both sides of the sole plates, which stabilize the putter's contact with the ground, assist in allowing the putter to stand on its own.

Bloodline putters are offered in perimeter-weighted blade and mallet-head styles. Both models feature unique interchangeable aluminum-milled hosels. Golfers can quickly and easily remove and insert hosels of different lengths and degrees of bend into either of two putter heads. All of Bloodline’s putters conform to the Rules of Golf.

A few years ago, Bloodline caught the eye of another member of golf’s royalty, World Golf Hall-of-Fame member Ernie Els. Speaking about what initially drew him to the putters, Els said that “on the green you have to be lined up correctly within a millimeter of your intended line.” Els had a tendency to line up too far to the right.

“But now that I’ve got the Bloodline,” Els said, “I can absolutely line my aim point to the exact spot where I need to be. I started using it on the putting green as a practice aim and alignment tool, then eventually moved into using it in my game on the course.”

Els was so impressed with Bloodline’s putters that be became a company investor and brand ambassador in 2018.

Els used a Bloodline R1-J Blade model putter to win the PGA Tour Champions’ Hoag Classic in March. He's not alone in winning with a Bloodline putter. Fellow hall of famer Vijay Singh has won three times on the PGA Tour Champions, Adam Svensson won on the Korn Ferry Tour and rising LPGA star Angel Yin used one when to finish second at the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open.

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