Need To Know
IF it’s good enough for FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel,it’s good enough for you and me, right? Ever since the American bagged the new putter in April his play on the greens has drastically improved. We thought it was worth giving the PING Karsten TR B60 a bash nonetheless because - frankly - it's our job.
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The first thing you will notice is the bronze finish on this putter. As a black or silver finish stalwart, I wasn’t too sure about this. I was so sure the glare would be unbearable that I had my suntan lotion and sunglasses at the ready. I did have to get the suntan lotion out, but that was only because the sun was beating down on me at Muswell Hill Golf club; nothing to do with the putter. There is no more glare than you would experience with a silver-finish putter which was pleasing.
My dad has the original PING Anser at home which came out in the 60s, and I’m told can now fetch a hefty sum, so I like the idea that the forward-thinking company are tipping their cap to their history. This is a company which is known for continually producing world-class putters and the bronze finish is a reassuring reminder that they know what they’re doing, even if the user doesn't.
The technology incorporated in this flat stick is anything but dated. PING has implemented True Roll technology by using variable-depth grooves in the face of the 17-4 stainless steel head which is designed to control ball speeds off the putter face.
When I test a putter, I never read the blurb that comes with it so that my final decision is not influenced. The fact I wrote down ‘easy to control distance’ about five times, is no coincidence. Whether it’s the True Roll technology or something else, I was able to stop the ball wherever I wanted and believe me, that really is a feat when I’m the one holding the putter.
In addition to this, the feel and sound were also to my taste. It has a soft but solid feel and a quiet but energetic sound – you’ll need to test it to see whether it is to your taste, but for me: full marks. PING has implemented a elastomer back-cavity insert and in terms of feel and sound, it pays dividends.
The half-moon headshape provides the manoeuvrability of a blade with some stability thrown in for good measure. It suits players with a slight arc the best, but almost all swing types will suit the Karsten TR B60. I’ve been switching between a blade and a half-moon for some years now, like David Cameron U-turning on his policies, but I settled on the Karsten B60 because it offers control from distance but also gives a helping hand on those short, nerve-wracking putts that so often settle matches.
With so many players moving towards high MOI putters, essentially mallets, blade and half-moon putters are being forgotten or viewed as too hard to hit. Of course, you do not get as much stability as an over-sized flat stick, but by no means is it a hard task to get the ball rolling in the direction you want it to go. What you lose in stability, you gain in feel and control – the putting purists will love this, that’s for sure.
I’m hardly a monster at 6 foot 1, but I do like to get a putter that is at the longer end of the spectrum. PING’s adjustable telescopic shaft does the trick and with the turn of a wrench I am able to adjust the length. It’s such a simple solution to the problem it’s a surprise all manufacturers aren’t offering it. The putter is available with a fixed shaft as well if you know exactly what length you want.
A putter that offers superb control and feel. The PING Karsten TR B60 provides the maneuverability of a blade with added stability, and the bronze finish is a nice touch.
RRP: £129 (fixed) £150 (adjustable)
Tested atMuswell Hill Golf Club