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  • Forum Recap: Zebra Putters


    GolfSpy_APH

    The Testing Opportunity

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    There is little doubt that Zebra makes some of the more iconic putters to grab a golfer's attention. In 2017 Zebra was Listed in the "Top 18 Most Famous Golf Clubs in History" by Golf.com and in 2020 Golf Brands Inc acquired Zebra Golf with a mission to restore the iconic brand along with bringing in legendary putter designer Austie Rollinson appointed to design the comeback range.

    This Forum testing opportunity aimed to highlight this comeback and allow our testers to see how these putters perform!

    Zebra makes four different putter models, the AIT 1, AIT 2, AIT 3 and AIT 4. These models in Zebras words are “Leveraging our iconic design heritage, including the Major-winning striped alignment system, our new range features four modern head shapes to suit every putting stroke and every type of golfer.”

    We selected four members to select one of each of their new models. These testers were to give their honest opinions throughout their review and inform our community on how they perform. Here is what they had to say!

    What The Tester Said - AIT 1

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    The Zebra AIT 1 was tested by LinksgolfFever and this is what he said about how the putter looked. “It was a bit larger than expected/than I am used to playing, but it does grow on you(In a good way).  I like the contrast between the bold lines on the club head and the subtle designs like the ghost zebra print on the sole.”

    Sound & Feel 

    “Great sound feedback from center and off-center hits.  The center strike has a great click and you feel it in your hands.  Off center hits have a more hollow tin like click sound that you can also feel in your hands, enough difference between the two to know it.”

    Performance

    Initial impressions and putts were solid, so how did it perform on the course and where were its strengths and potential weaknesses? “I really enjoyed the putter, on the right greens (specifically the right green speeds for me) I would play this putter (with a few necessary modifications- e.g., grip, sole weights, shaft length).  The challenge I had with this outside of use on courses with faster greens is the weighting/counter weighting that isn’t present.  I found at times I got a much hotter/faster putt than planned or anticipated, probably my stroke and more use of my hands but was an issue.“

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    Bottom Line

    Linksgolfever graded the Zebra AIT 1 a solid 83/100 and had mainly all good things to say when the final review came in, with a couple caveats. “Overall this was a good putter for me.  I am excited to see where the new Zebra will go.  I think this has the potential to be a GREAT putter for someone that fits in the range of options offered.  For me the testing had a bit of a curve to it, where mid testing is where I saw the best returns from the putter, the end fell a little short of my expectations.  If you have a stroke with near zero to minimal toe flow this is THE PUTTER for YOU!!!  The downside is options that aren’t available, hopefully in the future more selection in shaft/weight/grip will be available.“

    What The Tester Said - AIT 2

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    Tester cciciora13 was our selected member for the Zebra AIT 2. Right away he highlighted the headcover saying “The zebra stripes on the back look slick!“

    Looks

    Adding more to the looks saying “This putter looks sharp! I really like the black color of the mallet with the white alignment lines- that is one reason I typically use this style of putter. It helps get things lined up. The Zebra lines around the center white alignment are subtle with the muted grey but present if you are looking for them.”

    Next up was the sole for cciciora13 “The sole of the putter is simple but one thing worth noting is the weights. Again I enjoy how they added the Zebra stripes into the design of the weights as well. It just continues to tie in the theme in subtle ways which is cool.”

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    Feel

    In terms of feel he added “I also enjoy the feel of the face- slightly firm but soft enough to give you a good feel in the hands when striking the ball. It looks nice in grey and I like the “Z” mark on the inside to emphasize the Zebra brand but not over the top.”

    His main critique with the AIT 2 was the standard Winn AVS Pistol grip as it was thinner than he was used to playing and would have preferred another. 

    Performance

    So after playing several rounds and using the putter is it going in his bag? 

    “This putter is going to stay in my bag for now. I think the Zebra lines have helped line my putts up, and assisted in my ability to start putts on line. I was happy with the 2.0 putts per hole average and think I can improve upon that the more I work with the putter and get more practice with it. The price at $250 seems a little steep…It seems suited to golfers who were fans of the original or for nostalgia.”

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    Bottom Line

    The Zebra AIT 2 was scored at 83/100 with the main deductions being due to grip and custom options. With his final word he said “The Zebra AIT 2 putter is easy to line up with the Zebra lines and has an overall firm but receptive feel when rolling putts on the green. I liked the premium feel of the headcover, as well as its performance”

    What The Tester Said - AIT 3

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    Tester aguybadatgolf was our selected tester for the Zebra AIT 3 which is a larger mallet putter that we see more commonly now. However once again it was the headcover that stood out with him saying “The head cover immediately caught my attention. It is high quality with an eye-catching design that is not overly flashy.“

    When describing the shape aguybadatgolf he said “The overall design reminds me of a Taylormade Spider. One of the most popular putters ever made is not a bad putter to look like. The one key difference is the hole in the middle of the Zebra AIT3 that reminds me of a friend’s Evnroll Zero.”

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    Sound & Feel

    In terms of sound and feel there once again continued to be a running theme with our testers. “I love the way this putter sounds. It makes a very satisfying “low click”, It sounds almost like gently tapping a heavy oak cutting board with the handle of a kitchen knife, a dull “tock” if you will. On misshits out of the toe or heel the sound was slightly louder which provided useful feedback so I could correct my next stroke.“

    When it came to feel he said “As for the feel, this is where I think the putter really shines. It feels fantastic.”

    Performance
     
    Aguybadatgolf did several head to head tests along the way and was able to come back with real data that highlighted strengths of the Zebra AIT 3 as well as it was close or similar to matching his other putters. 

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    Bottom Line

    When all was said and done with testing he graded it at 87/100 with again the main deductions coming from lack of customization options. However finishing up his review he had mainly positive notes sharing “Overall I was impressed with the putter. I had actually never heard of Zebra until I saw the testing opportunity. The AIT3 is exactly as they market it. Very forgiving and stable. I think the average golfer who buys off the rack would get along well with this putter. I personally saw a pretty big improvement in my putts per hole that resulted in 3-4 fewer strokes per round by the end of the testing period.“

    What The Tester Said - AIT 4

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    Long time member and lefty tony@cic was our Zebra AIT 4 tester. This is the only blade putter in the Zebra stable and one tony@cic was very excited to be testing. 

    Looks

    Compared to his Odyssey blade he noted the AIT 4 head was slightly wider, but also slightly shorter. The alignment marker was also wider and “There are other subdued ball marks to the left and right of the primary – not sure of their value other than promoting Zebra stripes.”

    He noted some other finer details, but in the end for the looks he had a simple statement “It’s a Zebra and proud of it.“ Then when it came to the performance on the course he managed to pick up roughly 5 strokes after his first 5 rounds and most of his 3 putts went away. With further testing with the various weights he was able to fine tune his setup to find the optimal range and options for his putting stroke. 

    Performance

    So in the end is the Zebra going in his bag? This is what he had to say “you can't dispute data. I can now walk up to a long putt and think I can make it vs. the old me looking at the putt saying looks like I’ll have to settle for a 2 or maybe even 3 putt.  That precisely summarizes how I feel about the AIT 4 in my hands – I can make this putt.”

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    Bottom Line

    The AIT 4 was a standout putter in this test and he really enjoyed using it as well as continues to do so. Rating it a 94 out of 100 it got the highest grade of all the putters in this test. 

    The Final Verdict

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    Zebra putters have a distinct design and for our testers fantastic feel, sound and looks. None of the four putters were poorly rated and all of the testers intend to make these their gamers moving forward. 

    The knocks were the same of most smaller companies. A lack of custom options. However the testers noted the customer service, shipping time and experience with the Zebra putters was top quality. Price was also noted as being fair, but maybe top end at $250. 

    When all was said and done it is impressive to see four testers enjoy using putters as much as these four. 

    To see and read their full reviews and results go to this link: FULL REVIEWS HERE!


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