Today’s episode of “strange golf clubs you find in your dad’s basement” features the “Transparent Olympic Mallet Putter.” This unique putter features a high MOI (moment of inertia), olympic rings which provide a visual aid to the golfer for alignment, and a custom protective cover.
Wilson 8802 Putter – click to zoom
(In the voice of Tom Hanks) Wiiilllson!!!
The Wilson 8802 putter has been at the center of numerous major championships and great victories on many professional tours. The 8802 design has been seen in use by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson. The Wilson 8802 is one of the all-time greats. It has stood the test of time and today is still a great putting choice. Let’s take a look at the Wilson 8802 putter.
The 8802 is a heel-shafted blade putter. In english, the shaft is attached to the end of a thin putter head. This is perhaps one of the most popular designs in the history of putters. There’s a reason it is so popular, it works.
The head is milled from 304 stainless steel, a fairly soft metal. The softness produces great feel and feedback for the player, and helps the player control distance.
To perform well on modern greens and modern green speeds, the head weighs in at 335 grams.
The face of the 8802 features some precise milling patterns which are designed to produce a true and straight roll. See photo below:
Milled face on the 8802 Putter – click to zoom
Standing over this putter the player is not distracted by busy and complex designs, nutty shapes, or fancy graphic art. The look is as clean as clean could be.
The slightly matted silver finish is easy on the eyes and does not produce annoying glare which more shiny putters can produce on sunny days.
The soft 304 metal helps the putter produce a nice feel, which gives the player great feedback. Off-center putts still roll well and true, but the putter’s feedback will let the player know the shot was not on the center of the face. Center-face putts are butter.
On The Course
I’m normally a heel-toe weighted, center-shafted or center-axis-shafted putter player. So I figured the balance and weighting of this blade putter would be problematic for me. Not the case. Somehow, despite being a heel-shafted blade, the balance of the putter is fantastic. I never had an issue with keeping the face square at impact.
The face milling helps roll the ball pure and right on line. There were never any surprises with regards to the roll or the line.
In its simplicity, there’s no alignment line on the top of the putter to indicate the sweet spot and line up the ball. There’s an element of doubt when I line up as I’m not 100% sure I’m lined up on the right spot.
The putter is only available in 35″ versions, right handed. Sorry lefties or short people! I’m not tall and I have long arms, so 34″ putters or even shorter is good for me. Because the 8802 is 35 inches I have to choke down quite a bit to perform my natural stroke.
Wilson 8802 Putter
One of my pet peeves is head covers. At least 18 times per golf round the player will interact with the putter cover. The last thing I want is a crappy cover which does not protect the most important stick in my bag. Even worse is when that cover is hard to use.
The included head cover for the Wilson Golf 8802 Putter is very sharp looking and does its job well. The putter is well padded and protected from dings. The soft metal in the putter makes it even more susceptible to such dings and dents from other clubs in the bag.
The cover seals via Velcro, which I’m not a big fan of. Velcro wears out over time. A better solution would be a magnetic seal. Even better would be a design which uses no magnets or Velcro.
The reasonably priced $179 Wilson Staff 8802 Putter is the most expensive putter in Wilson Golf’s lineup and for good reason. It is a fantastic putter with great feel and performance. The 8802 design is a proven winner through decades of victories by some of the world’s greatest putters.
Have you been salivating over the new “white” putters lately? Entertaining fad. Right now the hot golf items are white putters and black drivers. Personally, I’ll wait until the fad is purple with green polka dot putters and black/yellow zebra striped drivers. Better yet, let’s just put skulls on all the gear. Then I’m in…
If you are an aspiring white putter guy who wants to jump on the bandwagon, but the economy isn’t quite treating you right, read below.
Bionik 101 Nano White Blade
The Taylormade Daytona white blade putter runs about $130. It is a nice putter. But if you want to save $100 and get a blade putter similar, then check out the Hireko “Bionik 101” putter in white. Their price, with grip and shaft (assembled) is under $30 (below).
I putted with a Bionik 101 yesterday and it is actually a good putter, despite being so inexpensive. The head of the putter is made out of zinc, and the insert is aluminum a milled pattern in the face which gets the ball rolling nicely.
Bionik 105 Nano White Mallet Putter
If you are the guy above, the white putter guy, but you like mallets then you are also in luck.
The Taylormade Rossa Corza Ghost putter is a nice white mallet which will set you back $160. You’ll be the “cool guy in the group” if you own one. But if you’re a bit tight on the funds, probably from not making putts and losing bets on the golf course, you should look at the Bionik 105 Nano White mallet putter (below). They’re only $27.95 so you can save over $130 over the TM Ghost.
The 105 also has a milled aluminum insert in the face, but this pattern is a little different than the pattern in the 101.
I played with this putter yesterday as well. I put it in play on the 3rd hole. By the 5th hole I had the feel down and drained a 60 foot downhill birdie putt with it. It works, unfortunately for my golf opponents whose skins I won with this putter. Three holes later I drained about a 30 foot birdie.
The 105 works. If you miss putts with it, I’d bet $30 it is operator error.
Hireko web site
More Hireko white putter images
I don’t switch putters very often. In fact, the last time I switched was because my old putter was stolen. I’ve switched and I’m very happy with my new putter by Grant Mackay of Dornoch Putters. This thing is amazing.
I missed the DHL guy a couple of times. I didn’t know what he was delivering. On the 3rd day he finally caught me and handed me a golf club box. The problem was that the top 1/3 of the box was gone and there was the handle of a golf club sticking out about 1.5 feet. I looked at the return address and this thing had come clear from Scotland. I asked the DHL guy about the condition of the box and he said “this is the way it was when it got to me.” Surprisingly the putter had survived a trip from Scotland to Utah with half the box gone and/or destroyed.
I tested the putter out on the practice green a few days later and shot some pictures of it, as I do for all my reviews. I wasn’t quite done testing it on the practice green, not confident enough to try it on the course yet. The next day I forgot to put my regular putter back in the bag and found out the Dornoch Putter was in play when I arrived at the 1st green in my Thursday money game. Uh oh. That could be expensive.
As it turned out, it was expensive… for my opponents. I putted so well that day, that the putter hasn’t left my bag since.
2010 putter week continues with putter review number three…
I’ve mentioned my bad back many times here, and have reviewed some items which help golfers deal with bad backs or help prevent back injuries. The “Double Duty” Divot Repair Putter may seem a bit silly to a serious golfer who doesn’t have back issues, but to an older player or someone who can’t bend over well and wants to enjoy golf, there’s an option for fixing ball marks which helps prevent back issues.
The Double Duty is a center shafted putter with a 36″ shaft. The back of the 360 gram stainless steel head has a divot repair tool. I thought that was one of the nuttiest things I’d ever seen in golf until I thought about it through the eyes of the older, fatter calorically challenged or back issue ridden golfer.