More than 40 years ago, Karsten Solheim created a putter that would literally ignite a revolution in putter design—the PING Anser. Today, the Anser remains the most popular, most iconic and most copied putter model on both the professional circuits and retail marketplace.
In a testament to the Anser’s staying power, PING has now launched a new line of high-end putters dedicated to the legendary design: the PING Precision Milled Anser putters.
The PING Precision Milled Anser line ($325) consists of six models, each with varying degrees of balance that can be matched to the golfer’s stroke type, as indicated by colored shaft bands. Historically, the Anser featured a plumber’s neck offset hosel, but the new line breaks the mold, enabling PING to offer different Anser models to fit a range of stroke types.
Is PING doing justice to the Anser by offering six new variations, or simply overdoing it? Following is PutterZone.com’s PING Precision Milled Anser putter review.
The PING Precision Milled Anser putters follow the Redwood Series as PING’s second foray into the high-end milled putter market. They are also the first putters to feature an integrated putter fitting system that corresponds to a smartphone application, specifically the iPING app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Among other things, the iPING app measures the golfer’s average degree of face rotation during the putting stroke, registering as Straight, Slight Arc and Strong Arc. An accepted aspect of putter fitting is that the balance of the putter should match the golfer’s stroke type. For example, a “face-balanced” putter is generally a better fit for a straight-back-and-straight-through putting stroke, while a putter with “toe hang” will appeal to an arcing stroke, with the degree of hang corresponding to the degree of the arc.
The strength of the PING system is that it takes all of the jargon out of the discussion and provides the same putter head design in a variety of color-coded balance configurations. Thus, the model with the blue shaft band (Anser 5) is designated for players who employ a straight-back-straight-through putting stroke (0 to 3 degrees of face rotation). The putters with a green shaft band (Anser 1, Anser 2 and Anser 3) are for golfers with a slight arcing stroke (3.5 to 7.5 degrees of face rotation), while those with a red shaft band (the Anser 4 pictured above and Anser 6 pictured below) are recommended for golfers with a strong arcing stroke (7.5 or more degrees of face rotation).
The varying degrees of balance in the new Anser putters are achieved by matching the same general putter head design to a variety of hosel types and hosel lengths. Additionally, while very similar in overall appearance, each new model exhibits slight variations in the topline and toe radius to give each Precision Milled Anser putter its own distinct look.
The Precision Milled Anser putters are forged and milled from 303 stainless steel, and they feature a satin nickel finish. The head weight of each model is 345 grams, and the loft and lie angle can be customized.
The View from PutterZone.com
First off, I must stand and applaud PING for integrating the concept of putter fitting so seamlessly into their new offerings. I am passionate about helping golfers reap the benefits of putter fitting—see my book Putter Perfection—so I find it exciting to see PING creating practical innovations that will further bring putter fitting to the masses.
On that note, according to the iPING app, my stroke registers as a “Strong Arc.” Personally, I wish it were more in the “Slight Arc” category, but the numbers don’t lie. So the app recommended one of the two models with full toe hang. I opted for the Anser 6 because I liked the look of the stubbier hosel compared to the Anser 4 model.
The Precision Milled Anser putter exhibits a modern aesthetic, and there’s no pretense of a handcrafted look. From the high-tech fonts to the sophisticated satin finish, this putter exudes it own moniker: precision. Even the grooved milling pattern on the face is lean and linear, compared to the more curved patterns often seen on milled faces.
PING has been known to get a bit carried away in the cosmetics department, but admirable and appropriate restraint has been applied to this high-end putter line. In other words, the Precision Milled Anser looks the part. The face is tastefully free of logos, and the burgundy and black paintfill scheme is elegant. I’m not crazy about the little serial number along the top heel of the face—it’s inconspicuous but still a bit annoying.
This may sound strange, but to me, this putter feels like it looks: sleek and cool and modern. It offers a confident click upon contact, with a signature crispness that reaches the hands and ears with equal clarity. That’s not to say it feels hard or harsh—there’s some give in there, too. But if you prefer your putter to feel warm and plump, then you may want to look elsewhere. This is a putter of a different breed, and it’s made for golfers who seek something more crystalline in the feel and feedback departments.
The custom PING Golf Pride grip and the accompanying head cover are both high-quality accessories that do justice to the putter’s price point. Ultimately, there’s nothing artsy about the presentation of the Precision Milled Anser putters. The Anser may have a remarkable history, but these new versions almost look like they came from the future.
On a closing note, I must add that I really enjoy practicing with the Precision Milled Anser 6 in tandem with the iPING app. Simply put, the app is a phenomenal tool that can provide invaluable feedback. Sometimes I just lose my consistency—I’ll wake up one day and simply be “off.” At such times, the app helps lead me out of the woods. It tells me when a slight adjustment to my grip or posture is bringing things back into line. I can’t recommend the app enough, and using it in tandem with an app-generated fit is a cool way to build confidence and consistency.
The Bottom Line
With its new Precision Milled Anser putters, PING delivers a sleek and modern interpretation of its iconic Anser model. Better yet, this new line offers golfers an unprecedented range of personal fitting options for the Anser design, ensuring that there is finally an Anser for everyone.