When the Axis1 Eagle putter was unveiled at the PGA Merchandise show, it was first met with gasps—and then with numerous awards and accolades praising its groundbreaking performance attributes.
According to the company, the Axis1 Eagle ($299) is “the world’s first 100 percent perfectly balanced putter,” with the center of gravity placed exactly on the sweet spot of the striking face and in line with the axis of the shaft.
The golf industry is inundated with inventions that promise to be the next big thing. Is the Axis1 putter one of the few creations to actually merit that title? Following is PutterZone.com’s Axis1 putter review.
The Axis1 putter was developed by industrial designer Luis Pedraza, whose accomplishments include working on the Mars Rover. As an avid golfer, he says he recognized a “critical flaw” in conventional putter design.
According to Pedraza, “The Axis1’s patented technology evolved from a simple insight that all major brand putters are designed to naturally open up while a player is addressing the ball and swinging the club…This tendency to open up is due to the weight of the club not being balanced with respect to the location of the shaft. This means that before a golfer even begins to swing the club, he or she is already compensating for the club’s natural tendency to push the ball off line.”
Pedraza’s solution was to find a way to place the putter’s center of gravity exactly on the sweet spot of the striking face and in line with the axis of the shaft. He says, “This balance provides a golfer with a putter that remains perfectly perpendicular to the direction of the putt, no matter how lightly he or she holds the grip, and because the putter will not torque when it strikes the ball, it ensures more on-line putts and lower scores.”
As for the unconventional look of the putter, he says, “Within the golf industry, products like large head titanium drivers, hybrid irons and tight lie woods have also encountered some initial resistance to the unfamiliar shape. However, if a given technology is sound, the consumer eventually recognizes the benefit and embraces it.”
The Axis1 Eagle is made from 17-4PH stainless steel with a copper insert for a soft feel. Stainless steel counterweight screws are incorporated into the head for final balance calibration. The loft is three degrees, the lie angle is 70 degrees and the head weight is 340 grams.
The View from PutterZone.com
When I first held the Axis1 in my hands, I sat there staring at it, wondering how this odd-looking thing could possibly work. Even my four-year-old son was puzzled. He took one look at it, cocked his head and said, “How do you putt-putt with that?”
Yet a funny thing happened when I took the Axis1 out to the putting green. It worked like a charm.
As promised, the Axis1 has no bias on the balance front. As you take the putter back, the head offers no rotational resistance. It flows like an extension of your forearms for a pure, consistent stroke. This sensation may not be for everyone—a friend of mine said he missed the feeling of toe resistance, particularly on longer putts—but I’ve got a feeling that it will be a revelation for many golfers.
The lack of weight bias in the Axis1 is confirmed when you balance the shaft of the putter on an outstretched finger and give it a twirl. Whereas a traditional putter will lurch when you do this, the Axis1 spins around your finger like a top.
The feel of the Axis1 is soft and buttery off the face, but with a nice sense of rebound for substantive feedback. The putter also seems exceptionally forgiving on miss-hits toward the toe and heel.
With the Axis1 putter, engineering trumps artistry, an understandable compromise considering the achievement of placing the center of gravity in line with the sweet spot and the axis of the shaft.
That said, the asymmetrical look of the putter will frustrate some golfers. Even if you overlook the shallower question of aesthetics, there’s a lot of visual competition when looking down at the putter, with the shaft curving back and to the left, and the protruded heel curving back around into a slightly convex flange.
A related annoyance is that, for me, the putter wants to set up slightly closed. This is easily remedied with a slight nudge of the hands at address, but it’s something I’d like to see improved upon in future iterations.
To achieve what the Axis1 achieves, it must be shaped in a way that challenges visual conventions. But could this be done in a way that’s more visually seamless for a better alignment experience? I don’t know, but I’d really love to find out.
There are revolutionary aspects to the Axis1 that I would like to see taken to the next level through improved visual presentation. But for now, the Axis1 putter offers an exciting alternative for the adventurous golfer, particularly those who are troubled with stroke inconsistency.
The Bottom Line
The Axis1 Eagle putter delivers on its promises of exquisite balance, soft feel and ample forgiveness. It promotes a relaxed, fluid stroke by offering no weight bias in relation to the stroke path. Some golfers will resist the asymmetrical look of the Axis1, but others will embrace its innovative performance attributes.