With its new Cottonwood II putter, Piretti Fine Putters promises superior quality with an artisan touch, as well as a few features that stand out from the crowd.
But does the Piretti Cottonwood II putter ($250) truly distinguish itself in the increasingly crowded ultra-premium category?
Following is PutterZone.com’s Piretti Cottonwood II putter review.
Piretti Fine Putters was established by Mike Johnson, who launched the company with the Cottonwood PN putter in early 2008.
In an earlier interview with PutterZone.com, Johnson said, “Our guiding principles are to make the best putters possible out of the best materials possible, and to make them appealing enough that people are proud to putt with a Piretti putter and show it off to their friends…We refuse to cut any corners during the manufacturing process, which is why we choose to mill all of our putters out of solid billets of material. Piretti will never offer a cast putter because we feel we get much tighter tolerances by milling them in a CNC machine.”
The Cottonwood II is the successor to the original Piretti Cottonwood PN putter. It is a heel-toe weighted blade with a plumber’s neck with full shaft offset. However, it departs from the traditional Anser style by offering an extra-wide flange and a heavier weight of 365 grams.
According to Johnson, “With the sight line and extra width of this putter, it is the easiest putter of this style to line-up on the market. The extra weight was added to this model to help smooth out the putting stroke and improve accuracy.”
The Cottonwood II is milled from a solid billet of 11L17 carbon steel. The loft is 2.5 degrees and the lie angle is 71 degrees. The toe hangs at roughly 4 o’clock.
The relatively low loft of the Cottonwood II is a signature of Piretti Fine Putters. Says Johnson, “We’ve found that most golfers are playing with too much loft on their putters, which causes the ball to skip at impact. Too much loft means a golfer will have distance control issues and will have a more difficult time getting their ball rolling toward the hole.”
The View from PutterZone.com
Wow, the Piretti Cottonwood II is an aesthetic knockout. The exquisite black finish, the artful logo etching, the tasteful paintfill colors…It all merges into a uniquely beautiful and harmonious package. Simply put, this is one sexy stick.
The finish of the Cottonwood II reminds me of the gunmetal exterior on the SeeMore DB-4 putter. It’s black, but not deep black. There’s a mirrored quality to it—not enough to throw serious glare, but just enough to add to the “wow” factor. The surface is smooth and glassy, except for the face, which shows a fine milling pattern. Upon closer inspection, the hosel and cavity reveal rough swirls from the milling process, bringing a delicious bit of grit to an otherwise flawless presentation.
A while back, I got my hands on one of the early versions of the original Cottonwood, and it struck me as a bit aesthetically awkward, and the feel of the putter didn’t blow me away either.
My, how things have changed.
The feel of the Cottonwood II embodies everything that you would want and expect from a milled carbon steel putter: supple and luscious on the front end with a sense of underlying firmness in the finish. The feedback of the Cottonwood II is finely tuned, and when you strike the ball just right, you are rewarded with a heavenly pure sensation that keeps you coming back for more.
The wider flange of the Cottonwood II is a welcome sight at setup, especially for golfers who love the classic Anser-style shape but who would like a little more girth for added visual confidence. As for the lower loft, it’s summertime right now in California, and I found the Cottonwood II to put a tight roll on the ball on the hard, fast greens.
For me, the Cottonwood II flirts with being too heavy. I tend to prefer a lighter putter, and 365 grams on a 35-inch stick begins to take me out of my comfort zone. That said, those who prefer heavier putters will love the heft.
What I like about the heavier weight is that it adds to the putter’s distinctiveness. This is a putter with a definite point of view. It’s not trying to take the well-worn path to the common ground of the putter world, where it would simply blend into the growing crowd.
Instead, the Cottonwood II presents itself as a compelling alternative. By riffing on the classic Anser style with its wider flange and heavier weight, it manages to be both familiar and different, offering the golfer a new place to go without having to leave the island. And at $250 with a full suite of custom options, it boasts a competitive edge in the ultra-premium category.
The Bottom Line
The beautiful look of the Piretti Cottonwood II putter is matched by an equally gorgeous feel, and the wide flange and heavier weight add a layer of distinctiveness. With the Cottonwood II, Piretti Fine Putters hits its stride with a vengeance, earning the company a firm spot in the artisan putter conversation.