Sub 70 Sycamore 004 Mallet Putter- Official MGS Forum Review by Dick Erdmann
A little about me. I’m retired, almost 70 and no pro, but my grandkids do think I’m the cat’s meow on the course. I estimate that 95% of my play is on courses that average 5700-6000 yards. About 95% of my golfing occurs between April and mid- November. I would classify myself as a fair-weather golfer. Mid- Michigan is home and I play the vast majority on public access courses. I enjoy the sport as recreation and for emotional release. Currently my handicap index is 8. I have played golf since 10, learning from my dad, playing during summers as a junior and on my high school team. Spent 20 years in the Army and played occasionally. Once retired, I picked up the sport again and actually devoted time to practice. As I have aged and losing some flexibility my distance has dropped. I feel I’m playing the best golf of my life right now in part due to technological advances and becoming a more strategic golfer stressing accuracy and repeatability. My current putter is an Odessey Versa Works 7- 350g. (Shown below)
This has been in my bag since 2016. It was a huge improvement over my past blade style putters from mixed match sets. Putting well has always alluded me in some respect. Reading greens consistently as well as repeatable swing has contributed to 3 putts on average, one to 2 times per round. My current basic putting stats for this season are shown below:
My goal is to improve my putting overall. I’m not looking for huge differences. What I’m looking for is sustainable improvements. Reducing the 3 putts. I plan to concentrate on distances from 21 feet and in. I plan to test this putter on the course, but concentrate on the local practice green. My measurement tools are what everyone possesses. One pace for me equals 34 inches. It takes 7 paces and a foot to reach 21 feet for me. I settled on testing at 21 feet and less because I feel any putt longer is difficult to measure for an accurate and consistent lag, for me anyway.
Why test this product? The DTC model is of interest, but I’m not 100% sold on it yet. I’m curious about their graphite/steel shaft. Sub 70’s 004 Mallet is heavier and being able to adjust head weight is of interest to see how it might impact my swing, if I can actually tell of any difference. Sub 70’s website ordering was efficient but with the custom choices available, average golfers need to have a decent understanding of what this all means. It’s hard to place an order without seeing or feeling the product. Again, this is me. Ultimately it comes down to how does it look, how does it feel, am I making more putts, can I afford it? All of these will decide if it goes in my bag.
I was to get out twice earlier the week for 2, nine hole rounds. Monday I shot even par, wait folks, this is on a 5695 yard course. Just saying, not that exciting but it was the best round I had this year. I had 17 putts. Not bad but ZERO 3 putts. Today I did another 9 holes in the middle of the national emergency alert test, no less. My shots were generally short of the green. I only had 14 putts. Not ready to commit that the @GolfSub70 004 Mallet was the savior of my round (40). The greens were aerated and sand treated over the past 2 days so it made putting ...fun. I will 100% say that the added weight of the 004 Mallet helped in overcoming the bumps. So far on practice greens I have noticed that missed putt dispersion is much closer than my other putter. I like the tight dispersion. Going to rain for the next 2 days and temps back down to low 50's. Indoor testing now.
The shape of the 004 Mallet is nothing new but what I did like is the black putter head. The white aim line was a nice contrast and very much directs my eyes to that area.
The putter face milling has a distinct pattern as well as the entire putter head. The putter head bottom is covered with sycamore leaf etching as well as the company logo for Sub 70. The head cover is equally well decorated. Not obnoxiously so, but enough that it captures your attention. The steel/graphite shaft combination just naturally blends with the putter head.
How do I describe the feel or sensation when I hit putts. It is solid with a deep click which I personally like. Even when I purposely hit off the heel or the toe the sound is very similar. I could tell for sure that I mishit it, it’s just that it isn’t a devastating or wimpy sound. The feel is solid, whether it was a light tap or a forceful wrap to get the ball up a hill. It felt good. You know that feel when it happens, and it happens a lot with this putter. As far as the shaft goes, I don’t have any equipment that could help me quantify if the material combo was better or worse than any other putter shaft. All I can say is I liked the feel. The lack of hit vibration in my hands was noticeable and I did like the added weight of this putter. It appeared to balance well with my swing and was easy swinging. Didn’t feel I needed to give it extra ump on longer putts. Scoring: 10 out of 10
I’ve been testing this putter for 3 weeks now. A total of 12 hours on a practice green and 4 hours on my indoor putting mat on rainy days. Each session lasted about an hour to avoid back fatigue. I used my current putter and the Sub 70 004 mallet putter. My testing consisted of hitting three putts from 3 feet, then 6 feet, backing up to 9, 12, 15 18 and finally 21 feet. I recorded each putt as to the result. Sunk it, long left, long right, short left, short right, left even with the hole and right even with the hole. Using my putting mat indoors I could only use the 3 and 6 foot distances.
One thing I noticed from 9 foot and beyond putts, my dispersion was closer when using the Sub70 mallet. I can’t quantify it other than my visual perception. But it was noticeable to me. My results on the 3- and 6-foot indoor putting mat were very similar to the results experienced from the outdoor practice green so I didn’t create a separate tracking sheet for the indoor mat. Something I had never quantified before were my short putts. I’ve always known that a short putt has a 100% chance of missing, but never really tracked until now. Overall, I saw an improvement of over 6% fewer short putts using the Sub70 mallet. As you’ll see on the screen shot below, my “make” percentages from almost every distance was higher when using the Sub70 mallet putter. Also noticeable was my longer putt misses were approximately 20 percent less using the Sub70 club. At first it wasn’t computing in my brain until I viewed how much higher the make rate was for the Sub70. Then it dawned on me, yeah right. Fewer missed long putts should equate to more made putts. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Scoring: 10 out of 10
I mentioned before, on the practice green, I was seeing what I felt was a tighter dispersion of my misses. While playing the course it was hard to compare since I was hitting one ball. But in looking at it over the past 3 weeks I do believe that is still a valid observation. The Sub70 004 mallet is an easy putter to align, I like the white aim line against the black body. It fit my eye well. This aspect is certainly an individual choice for sure. This time of year, the greens have been recently aerated and are running a bit slower as the greens repair themselves. As I putted during my round, I liked the added weight compared to my old putter. Cleaning this putter was easy and tended not to collect as much sand or clippings as my old putter. Based on the limited play for this year, the Sub70 004 mallet did edge out my old putter by a slight margin. The below posted chart shows my putting stats for 2023 before the test and 2023 doing the test. Granted my 2023 season 9-hole rounds involved 45 rounds versus seven rounds with the Sub70. One thing I plan to tinker with more over the off season and into the spring start up is trying to dial in a preferred weight adjustment for me. I believe I had mentioned this earlier that more of my misses were to the left than the right. Trying to even that out should equate to more made putts as well. Scoring: 20 out of 20
The Good, the bad, the in-between:
It’s really easier to call out the bads on the product. From my perspective there really are not any bads. The only glitch I came across had to do with the web site order process and that was addressed in my first impressions. The good? The added weights are nice. I like the way it swings. That pendulum feel is much more noticeable and feels like I’m in-control of that movement. The packaging was well done and very sturdy. I liked the way the aim line on the top of the putter contrasted nicely with the black putter head. It helps guide your sight along that line. The grips are really totally dependent on the person and many kinds are available when it is ordered. The only in-between I noticed for me was the bend in the shaft. I was used to a double bend which wasn’t available. I opted for the single bend. When I started to putt with it, that threw me off a little bit. Surprisingly though I adapted to it pretty easily and it is second nature now. So far, the numbers look very promising, it is too bad our season had come to an end a little earlier that other years. That is another reason to look forward to 2024 and establish some specific goals around putting performance. Scoring: 19 out of 20
Play it or trade it?
For sure, I’ve seen enough positives to leave in my bag. I think the numbers I captured definitely show positive improvements. How can I say no? Scoring 20 out of 20
No doubt, the Sub70 004 mallet is a quality putter. The CNC workmanship is readily identifiable. It will replace my Odessey Versa 7. I like the looks and the feel when I’m standing over the ball. The swing feel is noticeable. A heel or toe mishit is noticed but doesn’t result in a disaster. One thing to note it will not break the bank. I bought my OD seven years ago and paid around $250. Ordering the 004 mallet today would cost just a hair over $200 and it is made in the USA.
Final Score: 97 out of 100
Thank you MGS and SUB70 for this test opportunity.