Without going into too much detail, times are tough right now for me on many fronts. I’ve got a bit of that “being kicked while you’re down” syndrome. Don’t worry, HOG isn’t going anywhere.
I should be able to make a big withdrawal from the bank of karma one of these days. In fact I think I’ve built up a big enough karma credit to retire soon.
Golf and life…
My slogan here has been “Golf, life. In that order.” Recently though, my game has suffered big time as a result of not being able to concentrate. I really can’t concentrate on any shot, even during the best part of my game which is putting. If I’m missing three footers, something is wrong. It seems that my current slogan needs to be changed to “Life, golf. In that order.”
As great as I’ve felt about being able to hit balls, play on the simulator and play a few holes over this past winter, my game is a wreck right now.
For many years, golf has been a way of releasing and forgetting about the stresses of life for me. Unfortunately they’re not quite separate right now.
This is a followup to a round of golf I played last month in Orlando at the Disney course Lake Buena Vista. I’ll be doing a review of Lake Buena Vista soon.
Blogger vs Blogger
I’ve had the pleasure of playing golf with a few fellow golf bloggers now. Luke Swilor and I have had some awesome matches. He’s won two and I won the last one.
Last month in Orlando I hooked up with Orlando Golf Blogger Dave Lair. Dave is a very nice cat with a good natural golf swing. His handicap is fairly high right now but I assure you it will be going low if he keeps at it. One problem with Dave is that he is pointing the wrong way. He’s a lefty. 🙂
We decided to play a Nassau style bet. It would be four total $1.00 bets: Front, back, totals and an automatic back press. The format would be match play with handicaps. We had to do handis because the differential in our handicaps was too high.
I played fairly solid for a round on a foreign course and for being so rusty. Dave hit some good shots but had some driving issues which hurt his score and unfortunately for him I won all four bets.
I still have the $4 and I look forward to giving Dave a chance to win it back from me soon!
I get many odd golf equipment submissions for review. Many of these submissions may have new designs or technologies, but their true usefulness isn’t all that great. When I initially opened the box with the Axis 1 Putter inside, I thought I’d received yet another not-so-useful piece of gear. I was wrong.
Axis 1 Overview
The Axis 1 Putter is obviously a departure from normal putter design. The Axis putter is precisely designed to put the absolute center of the club’s weighting on the sweet spot. This is done primarily by moving the weight of the putter’s heel forward of the club face.
When I pick up any new putter the first thing I do is see if the putter “wants” to stay square to the target line. My moderately unscientific way of determining that is to place the putter in my address position, then lighten my grip so that the putter head is free to move. I support the shaft just enough to keep it from falling to the ground.
If the putter head moves off line then I know the “default” position the putter wants to be in is not square. If the putter head stays square when I loosen my grip, then the putter wants to be square. I figure if I’m putting and off a little with my stroke, a putter which tends to stay square will help during those times.
The Axis 1 wants to be square.
I was just messing around with the Axis and discovered something I’ve never noticed on any other putter. Sometimes you’ll spin the a club in your hands for fun when you are bored. If you do that with any standard putter, it becomes very obvious that the balance of the putter is off center. When you spin it, the putter throws its weight from side to side and the whole club shakes back and forth.
When I spin the Axis 1 putter in my hands the putter is perfectly balanced. There is absolutely no weight shift at all, no shaking or moving from side to side. In other words there’s exactly the same amount of weight on either side of the shaft, and the shaft itself is perfectly centered with the face. It is hard to explain and I hope you get the idea.
Looks and Feel
The initial look of the Axis 1 is hard to get used to. It just doesn’t look like a standard putter or anything you’d be used to visually. But when you get over that initial impression, the putter itself is very beautiful.
The feel of the putter was what won me over instantly, before I even knew about the whole Axis balance concept.
There are a couple of stainless steel counter weights in the head of the putter which allow you to tweak the weighting. There’s one weight in the toe and one in the heel.
Trust me, no tweaking of the weights is needed.
The face of the Axis 1 is milled like many putter faces these days. The milled grooves start the putt out on a great roll, rather than starting the ball out skidding. This makes the putts roll more true and straight.
For extra added feel (and beauty), there is a copper insert in the club face (pictured).
The Axis doesn’t just have an every day shaft either. There are stiffening grooves and a vibration dampening core, making the putter feel very solid.
Winn AVS Grip
I’m a Winn grip fan and the Axis does include a Winn grip. No need to switch grips for me since the Winn AVS grip the Axis comes with is super soft and silky.
Pricing and Availability
There are two Axis putter models to date. The Axis 1 “Eagle” is the model I have and the one in my images here and in the Axis 1 Gallery. The Eagle retails for $325, with a street price around $299.
There’s a limited edition Axis 1 Putter called the Collector’s Series. 100 special putters from Axis are engraved and signed. Retail on the Collector’s Series is $400.
From what I’ve been able to gather, the Axis 1 series is currently available in right hand only. No lefties just yet.
I’ve enjoyed using the Axis on the course. Many of my opponents comment on how odd it looks. As soon as they see my putts dropping and they have to fish into their wallets to pay their losing bets at the end of the round, they’re much more interested in the Axis.
There are as many golf blogs out there now as there are empty coors cans in a certain suspended long driving PGA Tour player’s RV.
But Barry Rhodes golf blog will be doing something different, and likely more useful for the average golfer. Barry’s blog is focused helping golfers understand the rules of golf. Check it out.
EEZ-READ’s Robin Austin just kills me. First of all, I doubt I’ve met a cooler cat. I love his vibe and his passion for golf and his products. The thing that really gets me, is that he’s got the “Austin Powers” vibe with his accent, his shades and even his looks. Combine that with the fact that “Austin” is his name and just sends me over the edge.
EEZ-READ 2009 Fantasy Golf Sponsor!
Robin and I have been pals now for a couple of years. For the 2nd year EEZ-READ will be a sponsor for the HOG Space Fantasy Golf League! Thanks Robin!
EEZ-READ Putter Video:
EEZ-READ iPhone Golf Application: