Groove Equipment Limited, founded by Alec Pettigrew (former CEO of Yes! Golf Asia Pacific), has released a new line of putters fitted with a revolutionary new face insert.
Recent unbiased testing conducted by Quintic Consultancy Ltd. to analyze a putterâ€™s ability to impart forward roll on a ball has shown that GEL putters outperformed the competition by an average of 14%. The head-to-head comparison tested three GEL putters against models from Titleist, Ping, Odyssey, Taylor Made and Yes! Two GEL models finished 1st & 2nd respectively and generated 20% greater forward roll when compared to the competition.
Those are some pretty amazing results. Who wouldn’t want to put a better roll on the rock? Well, I set out to investigate these claims and see how the putter performed in the real world.
Look and Feel
Currently I play the Rossa Monza Corza putter. If you haven’t seen it, it is a sort of mallet style putter, with a very long alignment aid down the middle. It has a nice weight to it (340g), and generally I am pleased with the AGSI insert performance. The GEL Diamond is a slightly heavier (360g), and definitely has an interesting look. The loud colors of the grip and the strange styling of the putter head itself definitely grab people’s attention. The light blue aluminum insert has a very distinctive look as well.
The feel off the face is somewhat similar to that of the feel off the AGSI. Perhaps a little softer. While the weights of the Monza Corza and GEL Diamond are similar, the GEL feels a lot meatier when one strikes the golf ball. This may be due to the fact that there is more mass in the putter face of the Diamond vs the Monza Corza. Personally, I really liked the feel. The heavy weight helped keep a smooth putting stroke and feedback off the face was pretty nice. The putter feels very well balanced in your hands as well.
Here’s where the GEL shined. The AGSI insert on the Monza Corza has been touch and go for me in terms of preventing skidding. This may be improved in the AGSI+ inserts, but I wouldn’t know I have yet to try them. The insert on the GEL Diamond, however, is wonderful. Time and time again I would hit 20+ foot putts that would almost immediately start rolling rather than skidding. I always had a problem with this with the AGSI. Anytime I would try to hit longer length putts, I would get a fair amount of skid. Not so with the GEL Diamond.
Really the only time I had a problem with the GEL putter was on shorter putts on fast greens (inside 6 feet). This is probably due to a lack of practice with the putter. I am very comfortable with the Monza Corza at this range, and generally feel like I’ll sink anything inside this range. I don’t quite have that level of confidence with this putter and missed a fair number of those short par putts (at least on the fast greens).
Lastly, regarding the alignment. One of the features I love most about the Monza Corza is the alignment aid on the back of the putter. With the GEL Diamond there really is no such alignment aid, at least not at first glance. With the diamond shape on the back of the putter you would think it would be difficult to align. However, it was actually very simple. That little triangular shape on the back of the putter was actually quite helpful in aligning, for some reason. It’s almost like zeroing in on your target. It worked out quite well for me, especially at longer distances.
The second time I played with this putter, I had one of my better putting rounds ever. I sunk a few 20+ foot putts and several in the 10-14 foot range to save pars. The longer range ones I didn’t sink, often ended up quite close to the hole. Not bad considering the little time I had to get accustomed to the feel of the putter.
I have played with this putter for about a month now. I have had 3 of my best rounds ever using this club, dipping into the 70s each time. It has worked out great for me on the slower municipal greens, especially on long putts. I’m a little out of practice on faster, smooth greens, so I cannot really speak to its performance there. I definitely can attest to the reduction in skid, especially on long putts.
The GEL Diamond is certainly an interesting new putter in the market place. If you currently use a putter without some form of skid control, and notice that your long putts start off by skidding 5 feet instead of rolling, you should definitely do yourself a favor and check out an anti-skid insert putter. While I have not tried out the anti-skid offerings from every manufacturer, I can definitely see how the GEL Putter insert has helped reduce the skid on my rolls.
The GEL Putters are priced with an MSRP of $165, so getting a GEL putter in your hands certainly would not break the bank. If you are not a big fan of the styling of the Diamond, GEL offers 5 other putter styles:
- GEL Jade – Traditional Blade
- GEL Sapphire – Over-sized Mallet
- GEL Ruby – Traditional Toe Heavy Blade
- GEL Opal – Center Shafted
- GEL Emerald – Interesting…400g
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