It may be a bear market on Wall Street, but it’s increasingly a bull market in the under-$100 putter category.
Indeed, with its new 300 Series putters ($99), Slotline Golf joins PING, Cleveland and other familiar name brands dabbling in this magical price point.
Do the Slotline 300 Series putters offer sufficient bang for your 99 bucks? Following is PutterZone.com’s Slotline SS-385 blade putter review.
Slotline Golf was a giant in the putter industry in the 1980s, but later fell on hard times and vanished from the market. Last year, however, the Slotline brand was reborn under new ownership, resulting in three new lines of putters released last month.
Each of the new putters features Slotline’s original emphasis on high MOI and incorporates the signature “slot and line” alignment system from which the brand got its name. For more on the Slotline story and founder Duke Duclos, click here to read PutterZone.com’s Slotline Raider putter review.
The SS-385 belongs to Slotline’s 300 Series, which consists of six putters featuring classic profiles. At $99, the 300 Series putters are the least expensive of the three putter lines launched by Slotline last month (the 500 Series putters cost $159 and the 700 Series putters cost $199).
The Slotline SS-385 is cast from 431 stainless steel and incorporates tungsten weights (30 grams total) in the heel and toe to increase the putter’s MOI.
The SS-385 features a “tri-milled face” designed to “reduce contact surface area, providing true loft and a flat face, getting the ball rolling faster to keep your putts on line.” The loft is 3 degrees, the lie is 71 degrees and the head weights 340 grams, inclusive of the tungsten weights. The toe hangs at approximately 5 o’clock.
The View from PutterZone.com
The Slotline SS-385’s rich black finish, high-quality grip and elegantly milled face are all positive signs right out of the box for a putter that costs just $99.
The black-and-gold Slotline brand motif—including a cool heirloom lion logo—brings an added touch of visual class to the putter. The included slip-on black head cover features excellent embroidery. The stock mid-size Winn grip is the same one that is found on Slotline’s more expensive 500 and 700 series putters.
At address, the SS-385 appears very clean and crisp. It borrows from the traditional Anser design, but opts for a slightly curvier interpretation along the flange, heel and toe (although the corners are sharp from the top view). The slant neck hosel presents a clear view of the head. A gold sightline runs along the top sole and pops vividly against the black chrome finish. This sightline visually intersects a notch (or slot) in the rear topline to assist with achieving a consistent setup.
A second gold alignment line runs along the crown parallel with the face to assist with squaring the putter. Some will find this second line distracting, while others will find it helpful. Those in the former category—myself included—can easily obscure the line with a Sharpie pen or black paint.
The Slotline SS-385’s sweet spot is soft and juicy in the hands, providing a rewarding feel that outperforms the putter’s price point. Miss-hits result in snappier feedback, but the putter never veers into harshness no matter how errant the strike.
I found my putting to be quite consistent and accurate with the SS-385. Was it due to the forgiveness of the advanced perimeter weighting, or just my affinity for the putter’s clean look and supple feel? I’m not sure, but I won’t argue with results.
The Bottom Line
With its 300 Series putters, Slotline has gone the extra mile for $99, offering solid performance along with some sweet design touches. The Slotline SS-385 putter combines ample forgiveness with rewarding feel, making it a leader in the “best buy” race.