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Rife Aussie IBF Putter Review

G’day, mates—let’s put some shrimp on the barbie and take a closer look at the latest putter from Rife.

The new Rife Aussie IBF Tour Series putter is “the first in a line of all-black putters paying tribute to the many great golfing talents from ‘down under.’”

So does the Aussie IBF ($189) live up to its name? Following is PutterZone.com’s review of the Rife Aussie IBF Tour Series putter.

The Storyline
Rife Putters was founded by Guerin Rife, who spent a decade plying the putter trade before gaining serious market traction with his new company and distinctive 2 Bar putters.

In the span of just four years, Rife Putters has gone from young upstart to seasoned veteran, enjoying success on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and other circuits.

The Aussie IBF Tour Series joins the 2 Bar Hybrid and Island Series Cayman models as newcomers for 2008. The Aussie IBF is, in fact, a new incarnation of the original GR6 Aussie model, which features a stainless steel finish.

According to Rife, the Aussie IBF is “inspired by one of greatest putters to ever play the game of golf, Ian Baker-Finch…The Aussie is a traditional plumber-neck flange style putter design. It is 100-percent CNC milled from 303 stainless steel and is coated in a dramatic non-glare satin black finish.”

The Aussie IBF features Rife’s signature RollGroove face, which is designed to impart quicker, truer roll. It also features Rife’s LieAline system, whereby a notch in the crown is designed to visually connect with a white sightline to indicate proper alignment and foster a consistent setup. However, it does not feature the self-serve lie adjustment technology found on the 2 Bar putters.

On the sole, grip and included head cover, the Aussie IBF bears the five-star constellation known as the Southern Cross, which is only seen in the southern hemisphere. The effective loft is 1.5 degrees and the stock lie angle is 70 degrees. The head weight is a sturdy 345 grams.

The View from PutterZone.com
As I’ve remarked before, Rife just has a knack for making cool putters, and the Aussie IBF is no exception. Even when Rife makes a traditional Anser-style putter like this one, they manage to make it look cooler than most.

The Southern Crosss constellation on the grip and kangaroo sewn onto the head cover add just the right amount of playful style without veering into goofiness. Best of all, when it comes to putting, the Aussie IBF means business, rolling the ball with firmness and authority.

The sweet spot isn’t huge on the Aussie IBF, but hey, it’s not called the Tour Series for nothing. This putter isn’t going to coddle you. If you miss the sweet spot in the slightest, you know it immediately. But when you do connect with the sweet spot, it’s very rewarding, signaling a pure, beefy resonance to the hands and ears.

Rife seems to be making a statement with the Aussie IBF’s 70-degree lie angle and 1.5-degree loft, which are both shy of the “norm.” The lower loft is designed to work in tandem with the grooves, and particularly appeals to hard, fast greens.

The LieAline notch is a helpful tool for ensuring a consistent setup. Those who require a different lie angle than 70 degrees, however, will need to have the lie adjusted immediately upon purchase; otherwise, the disconnect between the sightline and the LieAline notch will drive them crazy.

The Aussie IBF’s black finish is beautiful and looks great at address. This finish can scratch, however, if you happen to pick up some heavy grit or sand during your stroke. Personally, I don’t mind a putter with a few battle scars.

In an earlier review of the Rife Hybrid, I noted that the Hybrid logo ironically resembles the logo for Hummer automobiles. Now comes the Aussie IBF, featuring the same white-on-blue Southern Cross constellation design found on Foster’s beer cans. Could this all just be a coincidence, or is Rife messing with us? Either way, it’s kind of cool.

The Bottom Line
Rife hits another home run with the Aussie IBF Tour Series putter. The Aussie IBF earns its asking price with rock-solid performance, exquisite quality and a mischievous personality. By incorporating fresh technology within a classic design, the Rife Aussie IBF does, indeed, do justice to its New World moniker.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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