When it comes to putters, Cleveland Golf is perhaps best known as the parent company of the premium Never Compromise putter brand. But with its new Visual Performance putters, Cleveland Golf itself aims to make its own mark in putting technology while still offering relative value.
Is Cleveland Golf going out on a limb—or is the company on to something? Following is PutterZone.com’s review of the Cleveland Golf’s Visual Performance 2 blade putter ($109).
Cleveland Golf’s Visual Performance (VP) putters are engineered as a solution to the common putting problem of misalignment, which often resides at the crossroads of optical and physical malfunction. Misalignment can be visually subtle, yet the consequences can be very overt as your ball sails wide of the hole.
VP putters, therefore, are designed to get your alignment on track by providing visual cues that aid both your setup and your eye position. These cues fall under the banner of Dual Axis Alignment technology. The stated result is improved aim and ultimately better distance control. The VP line consists of two blades and a mallet.
On the VP blade models, the Dual Axis Alignment technology consists of a notched elliptical polymer insert that juts slightly beyond the back of the crown, along with a yellow sightline that spans the upper sole of the blade. With a correct setup, and with your eyes over, and in line, with the ball, the insert’s notch will embrace the yellow sightline to communicate proper alignment (similar to the LieAline system found in Rife Putters).
According to Cleveland Golf: “Using Dual Axis Alignment technology, golfers are now able to determine when their hands move out of position as well as detect when their eyes are not directly over the ball. These are the two major contributors to pushed and pulled putts. By addressing both of these issues, VP putters increase impact consistency. The results are true roll and better distance control which leads to more putts made and lower scores.”
The Cleveland VP2 blade putter features a C-neck hosel and a soft elastomer face insert. The head weight is 340 grams regardless of length, and the loft is 3 degrees. All three VP putter models are available in standard, flat and upright lie angle configurations (note: the flat and upright lie angle versions are hard to find when purchasing online).
The View from PutterZone.com
The Dual Axis Alignment technology worked for me, but for reasons more personal than intentional.
I find my setup to be easily repeatable—and if you already have a consistent setup, the Dual Axis Alignment becomes more of a static, as opposed to active, feature. In fact, as an experiment, I had to contort my hands and body into uncomfortable positions in order to make the yellow sightline not meet the notch.
But as a static feature, I did find the Dual Axis Alignment to be a nice focal point for enhanced concentration. My eyes were drawn to the visual connectivity of the notch and the line, helping clear the mental clutter and other potential distractions that we all battle when putting.
The VP2 performed admirably over several practice sessions. The face insert is supple without being squishy. Miss hits are assertively communicated, both in terms of sound and feel, but the putter nevertheless remains fairly forgiving.
The VP2’s clean, flowing lines and c-neck hosel are elegantly composed. At address, the putter’s sharp corners and symmetrical dimensions make for a rather rectangular presentation, despite a slight tapering from toe to heel. The black finish is matte along the crown for reduced glare, but polished on the sole and rear for added style. There’s not a ton of sizzle here, but, then again, there’s nothing wrong with steak.
The notched white insert is the only thing that looks bit unfinished to my eye. I understand the need for contrast when creating the different parts of one visual system, but I think that silver would have accomplished sufficient contrast while adding a little more polish to the presentation. Silver would, in fact, fit right into the VP color scheme—it is used on the Cleveland Golf logo in the cavity, as well as on the grip and accompanying head cover.
At $109, the VP2 is priced right in between the Nike Ignite blades ($89) and the TaylorMade Rossa blades ($129). For my dollar, the VP2 is much more sophisticated and feature-packed than the Nike Ignite blades, and well worth the extra $20 by comparison.
The Bottom Line
Cleveland Golf’s Dual Axis Alignment technology is a cool tool for ensuring a proper fit at the point of purchase, and for helping golfers achieve a consistent setup for more consistent results.