Two weeks ago, DeLaCruz Golf Designs (DGD) began shipping its first putters, which come with some big ideas and a price to match. But do these ideas translate to performance?
Following is PutterZone.com’s DeLaCruz Golf Designs B-2 blade putter ($325) review.
Co-founder Dick DeLaCruz is a familiar face in golf industry circles. DeLaCruz was the first vice president of Callaway Golf and later had his name on a signature line of putters by Cobra Golf. At Callaway, he oversaw production of the industry’s first computer milled (CNC) putters. He is joined in his new venture by his son Richard.
While PING and others have been known to offer sound slots on the shallow sole behind the putter face, DGD putters are the first to boast a slot cutting through the entire face itself, from the topline to the sole. According to DeLaCruz, this “sweet slot” creates a sound chamber for unprecedented audio feedback. He is tight lipped about this metallurgical feat, revealing only that he discovered the difficult slotting process while touring an aerospace plant.
DGD putters are milled from virgin blocks of 303 stainless steel. The faces are then carefully ground on a tool room grinder, removing all milling marks to achieve precise flatness. Next, 28 micro grooves are milled into the center of the face, with the intent of gripping the ball to initiate immediate forward roll. Says Dick DeLaCruz: “There are some putters out there with very deep grooves, but because of their spacing they do not impart the same tracking effect.”
The proprietary optional black finish is also one of a kind. Whereas most black putters are finished with black chrome, black nickel plating or black oxide, DGD’s black putters are finished with a different process that DeLaCruz holds close to the vest. He says that this maintenance-free finish resists rust and scratching—a claim that is backed up by a news clip on the DGD web site showing DeLaCruz running a piece of metal across the putter with no ill effect.
The B-2 blade’s head weighs a heavier-than-standard 400 grams. The standard loft is four degrees, and the lie angle is 71 degrees. DGD Golf is based in Carlsbad, California and the putters are milled from American metals.
The View from PutterZone.com
The new DGD blade blew me away right out of the box. It excels on every front—looks, materials, craftsmanship, technology and performance. In one word: Wow.
The proprietary “sweet” slot is a marvel. Perfect strikes are met with a pure, resonant “ping,” while miss-hits are signaled like keys on a piano, depending on the degree of error both vertically and horizontally across the putter face. The different notes can range from a dull thud to a high-pitched “tink.” The result is a putter that literally enables you to hear and feel every nuance of your performance.
The grooved face launches the ball with an immediate forward roll, making for excellent accuracy and distance control. The ball literally hugs the green with a tight topspin, as if gliding along a pool table. Such roll is a huge performance asset, as skidding and hopping can wreak havoc on accuracy.
Despite being packed with innovative features, the DGD blade manages to look sleek and sexy. The hosel connects to the shaft via a rare male coupling, creating a seamless flow between hosel and shaft. The soft black finish effectively neutralizes glare and lives up to its durability claim. The head feels more hefty than heavy, promoting a smooth, confident stroke
The black Lamkin all-weather rubber grip is joined to the shaft with a DGD-machined anodized aluminum collar, which adds a uniquely stylish touch. The magnetic closure in the included head cover offers a pleasantly firm snap. Even the box the putter is shipped in is superior.
What’s clear from all of this is that the DeLaCruz family considered every last detail when designing this putter, and that no stone went unturned in the pursuit of quality. For this reason, the DGD blade earns every last penny of its asking price.
It should be noted that the DGD blade might also sound a bit loud to some golfers, even those who already use a stainless steel putter. But I’m an avowed “heavy metal” fan, and the assertive sound of the DGD blade is music to my ears.
The Bottom Line
The DeLaCruz blade putter is a masterpiece of both form and function, and a crowning achievement of an industry pioneer. Few putters can match its ingenuity, and even fewer can match its performance.