I am a 47 year old that has pursued golf over the past several years. I've played on Mini-Tours and in one U.S. Open Qualifier. I have worked in different aspects of the golf industry. Became interested in golf after a chance meeting of Mr. Arnold Palmer when he was in Hamilton, Ontario for the PGA Canadian Senior Open in 1996. I had no idea then that this beautiful game would consume me and develop into one of my passions.

Forgiveness. By definition, the term means “the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.” When it comes to the game of golf and the equipment that we use, this term is most often associated with drivers and iron sets. But what about putters? Could golfers benefit from a little bit of help from the club that we use most often during a round of golf? Lateral Line Putters definitely thinks so.

Before continuing with this review, I would like to thank John Ambrose, the great mind behind Lateral Line putters. In the past, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Mr. Ambrose where I reviewed the original MOI MAXX putter in 2017. That was a putter that garnered praise from me, so when he reached out to me about a new putter that he was releasing there was no way that I could refuse.

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If you look back at that review (MOI MAXX review here) you might recollect a few things. Most notably, however, is the fact that it’s an oversized, overweight mallet putter. That putter measured 6.25″ heel to toe and it’s head weight was a staggering 620 grams.  As far as the man behind the putters himself Mr. Ambrose is a retired Continental/United Airlines pilot, engineer, a USGTF Certified Instructor, a former Director of Instruction and First Tee Coach. While being all of these things Mr. Ambrose is also a Certified Vector Green Reading Instructor. In short, the founder of Lateral Line Putters (Lateral Line was founded in 2007) knows a thing or two about golf and design.

That was then… This is now.

 

The Pre-Shot Routine

When we look at the new EXCEL putter from Lateral Line we first need to look at the specifications. There are some notable changes when it comes to EXCEL. Among these changes is the actual weight of the putter. The EXCEL putter is 30 grams lighter than its predecessor. So instead of the head weight weighing in at a portly 620 grams, it’s now 590 grams. Although the EXCEL putter may be lighter than it’s former iteration the high MOI characteristics remains the same (MOI of 24,000). Also notable, is that the impact area is 3.75″ (the former was 3.5″) which is great from the standpoint of the putter standing up. Thus the base is more stable. The width heel to toe remains 6.25″ while the footprint of the EXCEL (front to back) is 3.75″.

(The EXCEL putter is designed as a “stand-alone” putter for aligning your putts.)

The head itself is constructed from 304 Stainless Steel and features Lateral Line Putters’ patented “Ring Design”. There is a face insert that consists of poured Surlyn (a material commonly used as the cover on golf balls).

The standard length of the EXCEL putter is 33″ which is great for allowing your arms to hang more naturally. Of course, this is dependent on the individual that plays the Excel. The Lie Angle is upright as it sits at 73* although with the XL Grip that’s employed by Lateral Line the putter feels closer to 70*. The XL grip itself is 14″ long and weighs in at 100 grams.

***Lateral Line Putters joined forces with Medicus Golf introducing the EXCEL. Lateral Line wanted to get the EXCEL putter right and they have taken their time to ensure that they have done exactly that.

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The Transition

I was excited to receive the opportunity to test the EXCEL putters because I had the chance to test and review the original. The original was a putter that tested really well but it also needed to have a few changes made to it. I’m always a fan of watching products evolve, however, this time it seemed maybe a little more gratifying. I think because I gave feedback the last time and that feedback was taken to heart.

Upon receiving my package from, Mr. Ambrose I was excited to see what the Excel looked like in hand. Upon opening the parcel I observed the clean black and white headcover with the “MOI MAXX Excel” branding being evident. The red “X” is a nice little accent. The finish of the shaft is a Black PVD finish and I really like how it sort of “melds” the grip, shaft, and head together.

Taking off the putter cover I was immediately impressed by the aesthetics of the head. Instead of a black or white powder-coated head, the top of the head is black with white alignment aids (railroad tracks). Although the footprint is quite large the putter in the address position looks much smaller than its physical size. I also really like the fact that this time around Lateral Line allowed for the contrasting stainless steel and black. In the case of the original, I thought that the head being entirely powder-coated “cheapened” the product. However, those minor aesthetics change really improved the overall “image” of the Excel.

I’ve already alluded to the standard length of the EXCEL putter. At a standard length of 33″ I really liked this putter. In my case, I found that that this length really allowed my arms to hang more freely. The combination of the length at 33″ paired with the weight of the head allows for a smooth stroke on the golf ball. Also, the nature of my arms hanging more freely also allowed my eyes to be aligned over the ball more consistently. Take note, this length may not work for all golfers. My set-up in this configuration was and has been more consistent. The XL Grip effectively eliminates my hands from becoming involved in the putting stroke.

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This putt would have been missed on the low side. Initially, the alignment looked good from the address position.

Like it’s predecessor, the genius behind this putter is the fact that it will stand up by itself. This way, golfers who use the EXCEL putter can better align their putts. The “railroad tracks” employed by Lateral Line lets golfers know if their set-up is square not to mention that it will also let golfers know if their putt is aligned too high above the hole or too low. The difference between my putting using EXCEL’s “stand-alone” capabilities and not using them was astonishing. The reality is that when I used this feature as it was intended to results are significantly better. Especially on putts inside of ten feet. If my face was closed or open by a fraction the putt attempt was a guaranteed miss.

While there is an insert in the face of the EXCEL putter I would suggest that the feel is firm. However, the sound is more muted and with a soft-covered golf ball, the feel is very good. The feel/acoustics of the EXCEL putter is improved from the original. I might be a little picky but I would love to see a softer insert.

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A look at the Surlyn insert.

Forgiveness is not only important in metal woods and irons. Forgiveness can be just as important with putters as well. Is there a more forgiving putter in the golf industry than the EXCEL? Maybe, but if there is one I haven’t found nor tested it. Heel and/or toe strikes feel nearly identical to a strike off of the generous impact area. The stability of the head is second to none. It’s for reason that you can make the stroke without looking at the golf ball. As Mr. Ambrose explained here in a conversation with him.

“The idea of not staring at the ball during the stroke has great effects on performance. It not only improves on overall performance (either looking at the distance on the long ones, or the putter face on short putts) but places you in a present moment situation which takes those sub-conscious in stroke corrections out of the stroke.” –  John Ambrose of Lateral Line Putters

I worked on this putting methodology a couple of years back with Mr. Ambrose after the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. It was at Orange Tree Resort where I first met Mr. Ambrose. Although the technique felt foreign and trusting it can feel awkward the method really works. In fact, it was my distance-control that really improved.

 

The Finish

In my opinion, the EXCEL putter from Lateral Line putters is a golf product that could help golfers lower their scores. Especially, if you employ its capabilities as they were intended. The EXCEL putter is an improvement over the original MOI MAXX that was released a few years. It looks better and it feels better. Is it perfect? The answer is no but my criticisms could be viewed as being “too diva”. Honestly, if you would like to make more putts have an open mind and find an EXCEL putter to try out. If you do find one, try putting while looking at the hole.

Are there negatives to the EXCEL putter? Some may find the overall footprint a little “off-putting” and some golfers may find the features “gimmicky”. However, does it really matter what your playing partners think if you’re rolling in putts?

For more information on the EXCEL putter please click on the link here.

 

Until The Next Tee!!

#SeeUOnTheNextTee #FightAndGrind

 

 

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A season of solid performances, plus the leader in Total Strokes Gained, Rory McIlroy wins his second TOUR Championship in Atlanta to collect the $15m FedEx Cup first prize.

Carlsbad, Calif. (August 25, 2019) – Team TaylorMade athlete, Rory McIlroy, caps off a stellar season on the PGA TOUR by winning the FedEx Cup using an M5 driver, featuring Injected Twist Face technology and the 5-layer TP5 golf ball.

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FEDEX CUP “NEED TO KNOW”:

  • Wins $15m first prize to add to his $7.78m already won this season
  • Second time he has won the FedEx Cup (2016)
  • Joins Tiger as only the second person to ever win the FedEx Cup twice
  • Has now won a record five FedEx Cup playoff events surpassing Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods with 4 wins each

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP “NEED TO KNOW”

  • Started 5 strokes behind the leader heading into the TOUR Championship
  • Second time he has won the TOUR Championship
  • Second year running he has played in the final group
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PGA TOUR SEASON “NEED TO KNOW”

  • Leads in Strokes Gained (SG) TOTAL for the 2018-19 season with +2.5* (*subject to final stats)
  • Best individual season in SG on the PGA TOUR since Tiger averaged +3.189 in 2009
  • Also leads in SG stats: Off-the-Tee, and Tee-to-Green
  • Three wins this season: TOUR Championship, THE PLAYERS and RBC Canadian
  • Finished no worse than T6 in his last 7 starts of the season
  • Led the Tour in Top 10 finishes during the regular season
  • From 19 starts, he has had fourteen Top 10s
  • Second in scoring average with 69.2* (*subject to final stats)
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RORY + TAYLORMADE “NEED TO KNOW”:

  • Jumped to 25th in SG Putting in 2019 vs. 159th in 2018 with his Spider X putter featuring Pure Roll™ technology
  • Switched into TP5 from TP5X earlier this season to increase his short game spin
  • Has played M5 driver with Injected Twist Face all year since TOC Sentry
  • Recently added a P730 PW to his bag after playing a Milled Grind 48° most of the season
  • Leads in SG off-the-tee with his M5 driver
  • Has#22 stamped on his TP5 golf ball
  • Likely to jump to #2 in the OWGR* (*subject to final stats)
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RORY MCILROY WITB:

  • M5 9.0° driver
  • M6 15.0° fairway wood
  • M5 19.0° fairway wood
  • P750 4 iron
  • P730 5-PW
  • MG wedges 52°, 56° and 60°
  • Spider X Copper
  • TP5 golf ball (#22)
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Check out his complete WITB here: RORY

It’s my favorite time of the year. While it saddens me that the death of summer is nearly here (and with it the 2019 golf season will see its untimely demise in due time) it also means one thing. It’s football season baby!!

Not that crappy, boring “smashmouth football” that is the NFL. No sir (or ma’am) we’re talking about the NCAA. The pomp, the pageantry, the student bodies, and the marching bands. Football, the way that it was meant to be played. I’m not the only excited by this. So is STITCH Golf.

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As a University of Florida Gators guy… It pains me to post a pic of anything ‘Bama.

The fabricator of premium golf bags, headcovers, travel bags and more launches a new range of products. Collegiate Putter Covers. Now you can support your alma mater or favorite university in style. For more details, please see the press release as shared by Stuart Goldstein from RG Narrative. Go Gators!!

Until The Next Tee!!

#SeeUOnTheNextTee #FightAndGrind

 

Arrive in Style™

 

(APEX, NC, August 12, 2019) —STITCH Golf is pleased to announce the launch of its
officially licensed line of NCAA collegiate putter headcovers to meet the needs of today’s serious golfer and serious fan.

“Our new collegiate putter headcovers enable golfers the opportunity to proudly support their favorite school or alma mater in style,” stated Brad King, CEO of STITCH. “These eye-catching putter covers are sure to grab the attention of your golf buddies while providing the most important club in your bag with exceptional protection.”

Using STITCH’s classic and timeless designs, these blade putter headcovers come in
premium leather with the university’s logo beautifully embroidered throughout the cover. University headcovers currently available include: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi, NC State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, UNC, South Carolina, Virginia, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest.

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“Like all STITCH products, these collegiate headcovers are designed and engineered to help golfers look their best,” continued King. “By focusing on details and premium components we were able to create unparalleled headcovers for the die-hard fan”. Additional features of the collegiate headcovers include:
 Premium leather
 Plush inner lining
 Magnetic closure
 Water & stain resistant
 Fits most blade putters

Stitch Collegiate Putter Covers are available at http://www.stitchgolf.com and retail for $78.

 

About STITCH
Founded in 2011 as a headcover company, STITCH is known for designing and creating products with precise attention to detail, all the way down to the last stitch.

Based in Apex, North Carolina, STITCH gives a unique experience, whether it’s the high quality leather used in our headcovers, the durable waterproof fabrics in our bags and gear or the fashionable color schemes seen in our apparel.

STITCH products are designed to be effortlessly fashionable, allowing you to create a stylish, comfortable and color-coordinated look-on and off the course. Designed with details that perform, our line of golf bags and gear, travel bags and apparel combine function and fashion with three themes in mind: DRESS YOUR GAME™, ARRIVE IN STYLE™ and FROM WORK TO PLAY™. STITCH products are available at leading golf, country clubs and select retailers around the world and at http://www.stitchgolf.com