Never Compromise Voodoo putter

"It sits beautifully behind the ball and fills you with confidence as you take your practice swings, the weight feels good and it's very pleasing to look at."

Bob Warters's picture
Mon, 5 Apr 2004
Never Compromise Voodoo putter

Never Compromise Voodoo

Price: £119

Distinctive black and grey-headed Never Compromise putters first came to prominence in the late 1990s in the hands of several top pros on the US LPGA Tour.

Though they never quite caught on on the men’s worldwide circuits, the heel-toe-weighted clubs gained a reputation for being easy to align and with a soft feel, perfect for fast greens.

Late last year Cleveland bought the brand, determined to find a putter to match their success with wedges and irons and a burgeoning following in deep-faced metal drivers and fairway woods.

The Voodoo is the first model designed by Cleveland and is a face-balanced mallet with heavy tungsten heel-toe weighting and deeper centre of gravity.

The makers claim the head has been designed to reduce backspin and skid whether you use the traditional heel-mounted model or offset centre-shafted.

As I’ve described before, these large-headed, bottom-heavy putters, which have to be manipulated in a pendulum style, are an acquired taste, demanding a specific skill, which you’ve either got or you haven’t.

To be honest they’re not for me, so I entrusted its handling with Glenn Sharpe a five handicapper, who’s a dab hand with the Odyssey 2-ball putter.

"As a two-ball putter user it would take something special to tempt me away from my trusted ‘friend.’" Said Glenn. "The shape of the Voodoo follows the recent tendency towards a blade/mallet head but it has a wide grey band on the top and a nice bold line to point at the intended target, which makes it easy to line up.

"It sits beautifully behind the ball and fills you with confidence as you take your practice swings, the weight feels good and it's very pleasing to look at," he says.

"However, my excitement was curbed when I hit my first putt and the ball jumped off the ground and stuttered to a halt short of the hole. It felt right and it looked right so I tried the same putt again just in case the ball had settled into in an impression in the green.

"Unfortunately I got the same result and after close examination discovered the putter appeared to have more than the standard loft and didn't seem to get the ball rolling nicely."

Glenn continued: "I used it for the rest of the round, and though perhaps I’m not the most aggressive of putters, found a regular tendency to come up short."

The latest drivers and fairway metals tend to have a built-in low centre of gravity to help get the ball airborne and with greens in the UK being softer, the Voodoo makers probably feel the putter's low CG will help get the ball on the move and rolling.

And with pros spending upto two or three hours a day on the practice putting green, they will eventually develop a technique to adapt to the club. For amateur the tendency is to seek instant results.

Verdict

Glenn said he was disappointing because he liked the look a feel off the clubface. "It was fantastic to line up," he added "but maybe it just didn't suit my ‘left hand low’ putting style."

It may suit other potential Voodoo users and is definitely worth a try to feel the excellent tactile grip and its balance. But we reckon you have to develop a stroke to suit the putter not try to make the putter fit you.

Golfmagic rating: 8/10

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