Review: Axis1 Umbra Putter

This putter almost putts itself
Have you ever thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if a putter would just made the putt rather than having to sweat over a 5-footer worth a dollar skin.”  Well look no further; the Axis1 Umbra is the closest putter you will find to putting itself. 
It all starts with a goofy scientific design.  At first look it certainly is a different putter than any other putter you have ever seen, it is kind of a j shaped putter.  The hosel area is big and slants forward and is heavily weighted.  The putter blade extends from the back of that.  There is an alignment bar that makes it mallet like.  All this creates a putter that is very easy to use for anyone.

 I honestly didn’t know much about my putting stroke nor my putter needs until I used the iPing putter app.  I learned about the difference between face balanced and toe hang on putters and which stroke style they worked better for arcing swing or for straight-back-and-straight-through. 

 After learning so much about putting, I think that might be the reason I was even more impressed by the Axis1 Umbra putter, because none of those differences apply.  This putter will work perfectly for any swing stroke.  It is what I call stroke balanced.  By that I mean if you hold it in you hands it just rotates into the perfectly square position for the putting stroke.  So if you arc or SBST it won’t matter, this putter just wants to stay square to the line.

  So all the science behind this putter says it is a great idea and should work well on paper, but does it translate into function on the green.  Like I said before this thing almost putts itself. 

 This putter took no time getting used to; it was an instant success right out of the gate.  Every round I used it I had some of my best putting rounds. 

  The sound of this putter is a ping.  It reminds me of a beached putter or an older Ping putter.  The finish is a very appealing black ion plating.  The face is polished and the back is brushed.  The grip is a nice Winn grip that is a comfortable size.  The head cover is kind of strange, but there aren’t to many options with this design, it does protect it well.  It also comes in at that perfect 350 grams at 34”

  I only have one minor factor that I’m not completely comfortable with yet; the alignment bar/lines are based off a center-shafted model. (if you draw a line down the shaft it will run into the white center line of the mallet) For me I kept wanting to align it with last gold line rather than the center white line.  I’m so used to playing a heel-shafted putter and I tend to line the ball up outside of the shaft.  To me this alignment seemed too close to the hosel area I was almost afraid I would hit the ball with it.  It was the center of the putter as a whole, but in my minds eye I would like to see it centered on the blade portion of the putter.  That would make this the perfect putter.  I know it is at the center of gravity point now, but I just kept wanting to put the ball a little further out toward the toe.  But even as I did that, it still performed perfectly.  I didn’t notice a drop off in performance.  I didn’t feel any more torque on the putter when I aligned it the way that looked best to my eyes.  So if you are like me and line things up with the center of the blade, this putter will still work perfectly.

 Maybe you haven’t seen an Axis1 Putter yet(they make a blade style called the Eagle), or maybe you think it is too strange for you, don’t overlook Axis 1 Umbra, this science works.  If I gave awards (which I don’t) this would probably be the best putter of 2011.  Find an Axis1 dealer or go online and get one for yourself; it really does almost putt itself.

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Quick hits
  +Very consistent
  +Easy to putt with
  +Works for any stroke style
  +Makes more putts
–Alignment feature to close to hosel (for me)