Since launch of the new S-Blade putters by Spherical Blade Limited at The Celtic Manor Wales Open in May 2007, interest in the product has been steadily growing. “Spherical Blade is in business to provide the golfer with an essential piece of playing equipment – a putter – that is technically differentiated and which delivers proven performance benefits” says Ian Smith, the company’s founding director.
The S-Blade putter
The Spherical Blade putter, known generically as “S-Blade”, is a new design, which is R&A rules-compliant and has a patent granted in the UK and patents pending in Europe, USA and Japan.
The product looks like a conventional putter but, crucially, the face is very gently spherical in shape. It works like this: the radius of the ‘north-south‘ convex curve on the face of the putter is very precisely measured to ensure the point of impact on the ball is always just above its equator. That means the club always impacts the top half of the ball, to ensure immediate top over bottom roll. This negates the tendency for the ball to skid or bobble off the face of the typical flat-faced, or lofted putters currently on the market.
Also, any golfer can suffer from a tendency for a last-second manual ‘twitch‘ on impact with the ball, which slightly opens or closes the face of the putter, thus sending the ball marginally, but sufficiently off-line to cause a missed putt. The ‘east-west‘ convex curve on the face of the Spherical Blade putter minimises the effect of that tendency, thereby keeping the ball on a truer line.
The combination of the two precisely measured curves on the S Blade putter face, which have the same radius from the same point, hence the spherical shape, make for a much more accurate putt.
Feedback from users on the technological advantages of the putter design and the desired end result, i.e. fewer putts per round, has been extremely positive. From average amateur club golfers, through current and former Tour professionals, to former European Ryder Cup player, Manuel Pinero, the response is the same; the immediate top-over-bottom roll off the putter face is undeniable. With negligible skid and bobble and hence more speed and distance control, the end result is a more accurate putt.
At present the S-Blade is available in three centre-shafted styles, (i) a standard weight 300g steel head, finished in silver and black with red, or yellow sight-line; (ii) a heavier phosphor bronze head finished in metallic two-tone copper-bronze and (iii) a lighter 270g steel grey head.
For 2008, and available for order now, will be a range of nine styles, including heel-toe and offset shaft configurations. As Ian Smith explains, “we believe the range of styles we are working on will satisfy all tastes, but the important point here is that whatever the style, the spherical shaped face will be the same to ensure consistency of performance on the greens.”
Retail price in the UK is around £130