The story of the SeeMore putter is similar to that of the American bald eagle—a magnificent creation once pushed to the brink of extinction, only to stage a stirring comeback. Indeed, the once-beleaguered SeeMore Putter Company is again flying high under new ownership, with a victory at the 2007 Masters adding wind beneath its wings.
But does the company’s new m1 putter live up to the SeeMore legacy—not to mention its eye-popping price tag? Following is PutterZone.com’s review of the SeeMore m1 milled putter ($325), one of four putters in the company’s new mSeries line.
One could say that the SeeMore story essentially began during the final round at the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, when Payne Stewart sank one-putts at holes 16, 17 and 18 to win the tournament by one stroke. His putter that day? The distinctively innovative SeeMore FGP.
SeeMore’s calling card—then and now—is its patented RifleScope Technology, a simple yet proven concept that has stood the test of time. It consists of a red dot on the crown of the putter along with a blackened lower portion of the putter shaft. With a proper setup, the blackened shaft visually intersects and hides the red dot to communicate ideal alignment.
The SeeMore Putter Company, however, ultimately failed to capitalize on its good fortune and proven technology. The company suffered from mismanagement and flirted with obscurity while producing some lackluster putters. In retrospect, the untimely passing of Payne Stewart in late 1999 added a tragic note to the SeeMore story.
The original SeeMore FGP putters, however, remained in play on the PGA Tour—most notably in the hands of Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson, two of the hottest young putters on the professional golf circuit. In other words, while the company was fizzling, its old putter was enjoying a youth-inspired resurgence.
Fast forward to 2006, when SeeMore was acquired by putter industry veterans Jim Grundberg and Jason Pouliot, who set out to restore the SeeMore legacy with a new vision and a new line of super-premium putters. They hired Andre Shmoldas, formerly of Never Compromise, to design the next generation of SeeMore putters (resulting in the mSeries), and they retained Pat O’Brien as a consultant. O’Brien, who was a close friend of Payne Stewart, is a former SeeMore tour representative who became the putting instructor to the aforementioned Vaughn Taylor and Zach Johnson.
So when Johnson won the 2007 Masters with his trusty FGP putter in hand, it was as if fate had been itching to smile once again upon the SeeMore Putter Company, bringing the original FGP full circle while also shining the spotlight on the new mSeries putters.
The mSeries putters, which were introduced earlier this year, are precision milled from 303 stainless steel. The head features a back cavity insert milled from 6061 lightweight aircraft aluminum, which increases forgiveness and enhances feedback. In addition to the m1, m2 and m3 putters, the series includes the mFGP, which is a milled version of the classic FGP model. The company also offers an exact copy of the original non-milled FGP for $149. All of the putters in the mSeries are available with custom length and lie options.
The View from PutterZone.com
My expectations for the SeeMore m1 putter were very high, based not only on the price, but also on the fact that I have been following and admiring the latest chapter in the SeeMore story. High expectations often result in disappointment—but in this instance, my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. This putter is an absolute stunner.
Let’s start with the overall design. Shmoldas managed to maintain much of the visual equity of the classic SeeMore FGP while incorporating a multitude of improvements, resulting in a putter that is both familiar and on the cutting edge. It’s a textbook example of how to step into the future without uprooting your brand.
The performance qualities of the m1 are phenomenal. It offers the feedback and playability of a tour-caliber blade within a context of surprising forgiveness. Miss-hits are clearly felt and heard, signaling disaster—but disaster rarely comes. In other words, you benefit from the knowledge of your mistake while evading many of the potential consequences.
Meanwhile, when you strike the ball well, you are rewarded with supple yet solid feedback, both in a tactile and auditory sense—a signature of first-class materials and milling. The RifleScope Technology is effective, communicating a proper setup and encouraging a naturally arcing stroke that befits the toe hang of the putter.
The result of all of this, at least for me, is uncommon confidence, consistency and accuracy, both in terms of aiming and distance control. I simply putt better with the m1 than most other putters, with the ball more frequently finding the hole.
The m1 is center-shafted without offset. None of the SeeMore putters has offset, as the RifleScope alignment system necessarily requires the shaft to line up with the blade’s crown at address. Similarly, the RifleScope system encourages a setup in which the putter head is centered in your stance.
SeeMore’s alignment features coincide nicely with my preferred setup and putting stroke. My lone caveat, therefore, is that what works for me doesn’t work for everyone, as setup and stroke can be highly personal.
Cosmetically speaking, the SeeMore m1 is beautiful in the manner of Audrey Hepburn: it’s not flashy, it just oozes old-soul class and simple elegance. It looks more impressive in hand than in photos. It comes with a black Golf Pride grip and deluxe putter cover with magnetic closures.
As for the $325 price tag, I have no problem with it. If you pay for Porsche and you get a Camry, that’s a problem. But if you pay for a Porsche and you get a Porsche, then it’s all good, is it not? This putter is a Porsche. It’s also liable to stay in your bag for the next 20 years. Can you say the same for your $300 driver?
The Bottom Line
The SeeMore Putter Company is back in a big way. The m1 putter is a masterwork and its performance properties are remarkable. If you are ready to make a serious long-term investment in your putting game, and if the RifleScope alignment system fits your stroke mechanics (or mechanics to which you aspire), then the m1 belongs on your short list of choices.