The Rife IMO putter is ready to roll—and to swim upstream, too.
Many putters today preach the benefits of high MOI, which is achieved by distributing weight away from the head’s center of gravity and toward the rear perimeters. High MOI allows a putter to resist twisting and turning on miss-hits, resulting in more forgiveness and enhanced accuracy on errant strikes.
But how about engineering a putter to actively minimize miss-hits in the first place—and to thus render ultra-high MOI largely immaterial?
Such is the stated performance pitch of the Rife IMO putter (which stands for Inline Momentum, and which also seems to be a mischievous wordplay on MOI). On the IMO, the bulk of the mass is distributed straight down the spine of the putter, not along the perimeters.
This new offering by Rife Putters is set for release later this month at a street price of $149.
Here’s how Rife Putters’ Matt Molloy put it in a recent interview with PutterZone.com: “The IMO line is based on the premise that most golfers don’t benefit from ultra-high MOI putters, because their miss-hits aren’t far enough off-center to take advantage of the technology. We feel that a putter with 80 percent of the mass directed behind the sweet spot, which is quite large on the IMO, will give the majority of golfers a very stable hit but will also help them swing the putter more on plane as the mass is very directed towards the ball.”
The IMO design also aims to combat deceleration, a mechanical flaw that plagues many golfers. Decelerating the putter head through impact destabilizes the stroke and results in errant putts. The center-weighted design of the IMO intends to maintain acceleration through the ball.
Molloy went on to say that Rife will continue to offer putters with higher MOI, but that the IMO serves its own unique purpose.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. At the end of the day, will the IMO simply continue to swim against the MOI stream, or will it turn the tide on how we perceive putter design? Stay tuned…