Among these clubs is the T-Balance putter ($120), a Tour Edge original that has been re-booted this fall with four new models.
Is the T-Balance technology worthy of a resurrection? Following is PutterZone.com’s Tour Edge T-Balance putter review, specifically the 05 model.
According to Tour Edge, “The T-Balance putter features a patented 90-degree bend shaft that delivers an advanced level of feel new before achieved in any other putter design. The shaft’s arched structure is stronger than a traditional straight putter shaft, thereby minimizing vibration and dramatically improving feel. You’ll feel the effectiveness of the design as the shaft pulls the head through the ball with a pure, effortless stroke.”
Tour Edge says that the lower portion of the “T”—the stability bar—places more weight directly behind the sweet spot to increase the putter’s moment of inertia (MOI, or ability to resist twisting) for increased accuracy on contact.
Comparisons to the Odyssey Backstryke putter—the other rear-shafted flatstick—are inevitable. However, unlike the Backstryke, the T-Balance putter is face balanced, and the shaft exits the hosel in a more traditional position. Also, the original T-Balance putters actually preceded the Backstryke putter by many years.
The stock loft of the T-Balance putters is 3 degrees, and the lie angle is 71 degrees. Each of the four models comes in both black and white finishes. Each comes in traditional lengths of 33 to 35 inches, as well as belly putter lengths of 41 and 43 inches.
The View from PutterZone.com
I was pleasantly surprised by the Tour Edge T-Balance putter. To be honest, I didn’t have the highest expectations for a $120 putter with so-called special technology. I’ve been down that road before, and it’s been a little bumpy. But not this time.
What jumped out at me about the T-Balance 05 putter was the pure solid feel off the face. The sweet spot is thick and sturdy, with a firm little pop at the front end. Some golfers may prefer a softer feel, but you can’t argue with the overall sureness of this putter upon contact.
Beyond the solid feel, it’s hard for me to say just how much of a benefit the T-Balance configuration provides. Some golfers probably won’t notice anything different, since the shaft and grip positions are traditional, despite the fact that the hosel is mounted at the rear. But I think that for some golfers, this rear-mounted hosel will help foster more of a sweeping—as opposed to “hitting”—stroke. There’s something about it that does seem to promote a sure, steady stroke path.
The shape of the T-Balance 05 putter is distinctive yet effective, with a nice sense of squareness and overall purpose. It’s not particularly large, which I like—it gives off mallet vibe, but borrows from the blade aesthetic as well.
My only quibbles with the T-Balance putter are optical in nature. The first one may be a matter of nitpicking, but it’s still a pet peeve of mine—the loud shaft band (the brand sticker on the shaft beneath the grip). The band on the T-Balance putters is particularly egregious, measuring more than two inches in length. Simply put, it’s a visual nuisance, but it can be easily removed.
My other quibble is the fact that the curved T-Balance hosel protrudes at an angle from the rear of the putter. In other words, it’s not perpendicular to the face. At setup, therefore, you get a bit of linear visual competition. On the T-Balance 05 model, the outer edges, rear stability bar and numerous sightlines are all square to the face and consistent with the target line, while the hosel “aims” slightly left of the target line.
The upside of this orientation is that it does afford clear look at the center of the topline (including a small sightline) and ball. But I had to work a bit to train my eyes to ignore the hosel, because, to me, it tended to make the face look hooked or closed. Intently focusing on the face angle and perimeter lines seemed to remedy the issue for me.
Lastly, on an accessories note, it’s always a good sign when your $120 putter comes with a sturdy, snugly fitting head cover with a nice magnetic closure. The T-Balance putter earns points for not skimping on the little things.
The Bottom Line
From price to performance, the Tour Edge T-Balance putter provides a smooth ride, earning “best buy” status along the way.