Earlier this week, we brought you news of the new Cleveland TFi 2135 putters, and now we are going to drill deeper into the details, courtesy of the following interview with Adam Sheldon, brand manager for Cleveland Golf. The TFi 2135 putters feature a trailblazing alignment technology that consists of a raised sightline, as seen in the photo at left. In this interview, Adam explains how the raised sightline fixes a common optical problem with traditional sightlines.
What is 2135 alignment technology?
The 2135 technology is simple yet revolutionary. The number signifies the radius of a golf ball, 21.35mm. When looking at all the putters in the market place you will find a wide variety of sightlines, alignment lines, and alignment features. These all have their benefits and can help people feel more comfortable with aligning the putter and the ball.
However, they are fundamentally wrong unless they are positioned at the exact radius of the golf ball or if you happen to setup with your eyes directly over the ball line every time.
If you think about a golf ball from the address position when putting, the diameter of the ball will never change if you move your eyes over the target line or directly over the ball to an inside eye line position. Most people, in fact about 80 percent of golfers we tested, have their eyes on the inside of the target line and only a few people actually manage to get their eyes directly over the ball.
This is the premise behind 2135. By raising the sightline to the exact radius of the golf ball, every golfer can be properly aligned with the golf ball in the center of the face no matter where their eye position is. Let’s face it, how many of us can say we get into the same address position every time?
Below are some images that demonstrate the optics of a 2135 sightline position (red) and a traditional flange sightline (white) when the eyes are set up inside, over and beyond the target line. These images show how the 2135 sightline sends the right alignment message regardless of setup position.
What happens when you set up with your eyes inside the target line and you use a conventional sightline to supposedly align the center of the putter with the center of the ball?
When inside, the eyes will make you address the putter to the ball with a heel biased strike so the putter in general will want to twist and close, but due to the loft on the face it will impart sidespin forcing the ball to spin to the right. There will also be distance lost due to the off-center hit.
This seems like it had to be one of those “a-ha” moments. We’ve all been staring at conventional sightlines forever. Can you describe the moment when you thought, “Hey, wait a minute, what if…”
During the development of the TFi putters we were looking at all different types of alignment in blade putters and during a nice drive home in L.A. traffic the mind started wondering and questioning the status quo. It’s amazing what you can do stuck on a freeway in L.A….
Here are a couple of other thoughts that helped this idea come to life. The first example is that if you ever look at driver alignment lines on deep faced drivers, they tend to be heel biased. This is because of the location of the alignment in relation to where the golfer is at address. Very similar to the 2135. The other motivator was that working with some of the top PGA Tour pros, I have had many requests to simply remove any alignment lines on putters. This, I now understand, is because of the misperception which the 2135 solves.
What has been the feedback on tour?
Tour feedback has been very positive. We will be sending samples out to the tours around the world for any players that wish to try the technology. The feedback from Dave Pelz was amazing, he feels very strongly about what we are doing to help people with their short game.
Thanks, Adam! Look for the Cleveland TFi 2135 putters to hit shelves in mid September.