Need To Know
Cleveland HB Soft 2 Model 11 Key Features:
- Speed Optimised Face Technology: densely grouped groove lines in the centre of the face expand toward the heel and toe, balancing the energy transfer across the striking area to normalise ball speed
- Stroke Specific Design: carefully assembled design to suit players with a straight back and through stroke
- Straight Stroke Grip: oversize pistol grip helps your hands stay quiet during the stroke, while still maintaining feel and control
Designed to provide golfers with truer strikes and a more consistent swing feel, Cleveland's new range of HB Soft putters feature a densely grouped set of grooves in the centre, which expand towards the heel and toe in order to provide greater energy transfer across the face.
What will that do? Supposedly, it helps maintain speed across the face, resulting in more putts making it to the hole and on a straighter line.
Each putter has also been designed with a specific stroke in mind. We tested out the Model 11, which has been constructed to benefit players with a straight back and through stroke, and that is also meant to be complimented by an oversized grip designed to keep the hands quiet through the stroke.
While straighter putts and better distance control are promises we like to hear, in order to see if they are true, we headed down to Walton Heath to test out the putter and see if we could start holing some putts.
Let's get into it.
Cleveland HB Soft 2 Model 11 Looks and Feel:
Our first impressions of this putter sitting behind the ball were very positive. The fanged mallet design is an absolute classic, and Cleveland has stuck with a tried and tested formula.
Featuring a single alignment line, the overall appearance at address is very classic. The blade length does look a touch on the short side compared to perhaps the Odyssey 7, but all in all, it provides a very pleasing overall visual design.
The face features what appear to be quite deeply cut grooves, with the Cleveland logo positioned close to the heel. While the look of the face of a putter is relatively unimportant, we have to say we are big fans of this one.
The deep grooves look very premium and stuck out to us from the get-go as being one of the finer design details on the putter.
Flip the club over, and Cleveland has gone for a minimalist aesthetic that features a clean silver body and black pinstripes on the two fangs.
While we are big fans of the look of this putter when it comes to the sound and feel at impact, we have to admit we weren't completely convinced.
From the first putt we hit, we noticed a very loud metallic pingy noise at impact, and this remained consistent from strikes across the entire face.
Typically, we prefer quite a muted noise from our putters, but this putter is definitely on the louder end of the spectrum.
In terms of feel, this putter is also very firm. Again, we would typically lead towards a slightly softer face, but as always, this is just purely our preference.
Cleveland HB Soft 2 Model 11 Performance and Forgiveness:
While the feel and sound this putter produced weren't quite to our taste, we were really impressed with its performance.
From putts of a variety of lengths, we found that controlling our distance was incredibly easy, and even when struck from across the face, the level of forgiveness was also top-notch.
When using a putter for the first time, it's often tricky to get your speed down from the get-go; however, with the model 11, we found we had a great deal of control over line and length from the first putt we hit.
While the performance of a putter is hard to compare statistically, in terms of our experience using this model, it can comfortably compete with some of the more expensive models on the market.
Cleveland promised improved distance control and accuracy, and it's fair to say it has certainly delivered on its claims.
All things considered, in terms of both performance and forgiveness, this putter gets a big thumbs up from us.
Should you buy the Cleveland Hb Soft 2 Model 11 Putter?
Telling someone whether or not they should buy a putter is like telling someone who they should marry, and by that, we mean you need to spend a little time with both before you commit to a long-term future together.
Personally, we found the HB Soft Model 11 very easy to putt with, and our distance control, in particular, was on point. With that being said, the noise and feel produced will likely divide opinion.
If you like the look of this putter, make sure you go and test it out. You may like the sound and feel, but you may also hate it.