Indeed, with its new Two Bar Hybrid putter, Rife aims to unite the best qualities of two existing models into a single stick. Is this marriage built to last?
Following is PutterZone.com’s Rife Two Bar Hybrid ($199) putter review.
Rife Putters hit the ground running when they released their first putters in 2005. The original Two Bar mallets and blades—so named for the distinctive weight bars protruding from the back of the face—were met with widespread acclaim.
In 2007, Rife launched its Island Series putters, skipping the Two Bar technology for more traditional designs, which included the successful
Now, with the Two Bar Hybrid, Rife has merged the
The Hybrid is the first Rife putter to feature a face insert. Under the banner of “Dual Response technology,” this insert fuses anodized aluminum with high durometer polymer for enhanced feel.
The two “adjustable speed weighting” bars can be loaded with one of two pairs of included weights for a total head weight range of 345 grams to 360 grams.
As with all Rife putters, the Two Bar Hybrid also features the company’s patented RollGroove face groves, which are designed to impart truer roll; and the LieAline fitting system, whereby you can easily ascertain your correct lie angle and personally adjust the lie to fit your setup.
The Two Bar Hybrid comes with a LieAline bending tool, an instructional DVD and a head cover with a magnetic closure and a zippered pocket for storing the extra pair of weights.
The View from PutterZone.com
I’ve always found Rife putters to have an intangible coolness about them. Rife can take a traditional blade putter and somehow make it look fresh and hip. Rife can air infomercials without veering into “as seen on TV” territory. Rife can pack its putters with tons of features and freebies yet not seem gimmicky. Even the company’s putter model names, such as Aussie and
Now, Rife has taken the unusual step of merging its two most popular putters into one putter—and, not surprisingly, the results are pretty cool.
The Two Bar Hybrid effortlessly incorporates the Two Bar technology without disturbing the fundamental beauty of the
The blue Dual Response insert has a firm, crisp feel with perhaps a bit more suppleness than the original non-insert Two Bar mallet. I like the fact that Rife, while incorporating an insert for the first time, hasn’t gone the squishy route. The roll remains very solid off the face of the Hybrid.
I sank a 15 footer with my very first practice putt with the Hybrid, which made for a particularly pleasant first impression—one that endured over several sessions. I found the Hybrid to be very stable and excellent in matters of distance control. The Hybrid’s high MOI also helped keep my putts on the straight and narrow.
Rife’s self-serve lie adjustment technology is a brilliant piece of added value. With a few quick, gentle tugs, I was able to adjust the Two Bar Hybrid by a few degrees to fit my setup. The Two Bar adjustable weighting system is another nice feature. I like a heavier putter at 34 inches, so I happily loaded the Hybrid up to 360 grams. The bars themselves act as nice a three-dimensional alignment aid.
My only quibble is cosmetic in nature. On the bottom of the putter, the word “Hybrid” is stamped in a blocky font that resembles the Hummer logo (rather ironic for a putter named Hybrid), accompanied by airbrush-style blue striping. It all looks a bit awkward and out of place.
But what really counts is the top view, and from this vantage the Two Bar Hybrid is clean, quiet, confident and, of course, cool. While far from small, this putter manages to look sleek and shapely, making it one of the most visually appealing mallets on the market today.
The Bottom Line
The Rife Two Bar Hybrid is a high-performance putter that combines a distinctively sleek design with innovative customization. The Two Bar technology achieves its finest expression to date in the Hybrid, and the new face insert adds a fresh twist to the Rife experience. By maintaining its cool with the Two Bar Hybrid, Rife scores again.