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un-Official review of Cleveland TFI 2135 putter

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A little about me:

I live in Franklin, MA.  I don't really have an official "GHIN" handicap but if I were to put a number on it I'd say I'm a 13 on a par 72 course ... sometimes a bit above 85 and sometimes a bit below.  Never broken 80 but had a couple of 81/82 rounds.  Usually don't get above 90 unless something really bad is going on.

 

I play weekly in a 9 hole scramble with some work guys and try to get out 2-3 times a month to play 18.  I also hit the range at least once per week.

I don't really have any 'strengths' per se.  I can hit my driver pretty well and am a pretty good ball striker.  But... nothing great.

My weakness is definitely my putting; if I had a nickel for the number of times I've been on in regulation and ended up with bogey...

 

I've never had any lessons and when I left the Marine Corps in 94 and moved to North Carolina my buddy and I started playing.  I have played off and on since then and within the last 7 years (since '09) have been playing pretty consistently.  I started in the 95-100 range, managed to get down to the low 90's after a few years and within the last couple of years have been in the mid 80's.  I'm hoping to keep that pace up and get down to the low 80's/70's soon!!

 

I live in Massachusetts in a suburb outside of Boston so the season is only about 7-8 months here, depending on the weather.  From around March and into early November sometimes.  If you don't mind wearing warm clothes and 2 gloves you can probably play a lot longer but I'm not a big fan of playing in a freezing wind on frozen ground... I'm also a cubicle dweller from 9-5, five days a week, so my "down time" is usually after work or on the weekends.  With 2 boys (9 and 12) and a wife, I have to manage my 'golf life' with my 'family life'.  It's a tricky balance sometimes.   :D

 

I love to play and enjoy the game tremendously.  I was born and raised on the west coast in Oregon's Willamette valley and love being outside with nature, the trees, streams, birds, mountains, etc.  To me golf is a beautiful walk (I always walk whenever I can) amidst the beauty of mother nature and playing the game is just the cherry on top!  I try not to take it too seriously but being naturally competitive try to do my best at no matter what I do.

 

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This is an unsolicited review of the Cleveland TFi 2135 putter.  I wasn't asked to do this nor did I "win" the opportunity from MGS or any other organization.  I just thought I'd share my impression of this putter.  

 

(Note: This review is post-purchase so it is not without bias.  However, that being said, if I didn't like the putter I would say so.  I didn't write this to justify my purchase, just share my thoughts...  I've had multiple putters I didn't like (Ping Nome recently) but just joined MGS so hadn't had the chance to write a review of the Nome...)

 

I've had a number of different putters over the last few years; started with a blade Ping Karsten, went to a Cleveland classic, back to a Ping mallet, tried an Odyssey 2 ball, a Taylormade mid mallet, a TP Mills #9 from 1984 that I got at Goodwill and now I'm on to the Cleveland TFi #6.5 mid-mallet.  I've also alternated between the 'standard' grip and different sized superstroke grips.  As described above, putting is the weakest part of my game so I continue to "tinker".  I've never had a "putter fitting"; maybe I should?  =)

 

About the Cleveland TFi 2135 putter...

This is a very unique putter in which the sight line is exactly 21.35 mm from the ground.  Coincidentally that is also the exact center of the golf ball.  

If you haven't heard much about this or done much research on it I would suggest checking it out.  There is a very interesting theory about where the sight line is on a putter in relation to where you line your eyes up over the ball.  The idea behind this putter is that you hit the exact center of the ball no matter where your eyes are and that with other putters the sight line on the bottom or the top of the putter head might not always be where you think it is.  Check out the videos below for more detail.

 

This is the official MGS review of the putter:


 

This video with Dave Pelz is a really good explanation of the 2135 theory:


 

The 2135 comes in 3 different models - blade, mid-mallet, and counterbalanced; I went with the mid-mallet since I'm a more straight back/slight arc putter.

 

What Do I expect from the Cleveland TFi 2135 #6.5?

Plain and simple - make more long putts and leave short tap in 2 putts.   ^_^

I hope that this putter will help with 

- distance control

- staying on my intended line

- staying square at impact

If this all works out this might be the putter I stick with for quite some time.

 

Performance at the Practice Green - Score 19 out of 20

So I haven't had a lot of time to practice with this at the range but during the time I have had I found a few things.

 

1. The ball does stay on the intended line.  It goes where you hit it 9.5 times out of 10.

2. Once you get the weight/feel of the putter down distance control is a breeze.

3. It has a milled copper insert and the sound of the ball off the putter face is very muted.  You know you've hit but it isn't disturbingly loud.

4. two putts are almost automatic...if you line it up right.

 

Let's face it ... alignment is the key to sinking putts.  If you can't line up properly it doesn't matter if you putt with a shovel - you aren't going to make anything.  BUT - sometimes you line things up correctly and you pull the ball left or push the ball to the right.  Is that because you're too close to the ball by a bit, too far away, or due to the fact that the putter face wasn't square at impact?

 

What I found with this putter is that it doesn't require you to "align properly" every time.  If on short putts you stand closer to the ball vs long putts... if you always stand a bit further away, or something else, it doesn't matter - you're going to hit the the center of the ball.  It's hard to explain until you try it ... but nearly every putt you hit with this thing is pure.  

 

To me, there are 2 important variables to putting:

A. correct alignment towards the intended target line

B. lining up properly and consistently over the ball every time so you strike the ball in the center of the club with a square face

 

With this putter, "B." is important but is no longer critical to success.

I'm all for simplifying the game and if I can remove some variables then that makes it much easier to perform.

 

On the practice green I was regularly able to make putts from 8 feet and in.  This is what I consider my "lag circle".  If I have a putt more than 15 feet away then I'm usually trying to -at least- get within this circle to reduce the chances of a 3 putt.

 

Once I got the alignment down and was able to manage distance based on green speeds I was able to knock a few in from 20+ feet and left my second putts within 3 feet.

 

There is one thing this putter did NOT do though - it did not allow me to just step up and whack it.  I had to read my line, understand pace and make a good stroke.  However, knowing that I didn't have to stand in the precise spot to make a good contact was certainly reassuring!

 

Performance on the Course – Score 19 out of 20

My first full round with this putter and I shot one of the lowest scores I have ever had.  I had ZERO 3 putts and was able to lag it to a manageable distance - sometimes from as far away as 40 feet.  There were a few times where I had a little bit longer second putt than I would have liked (~ 8 to 9 feet) but I was able to get it on line and knock it in the back of the cup. I had a few one putts from good wedges shots, but most important to me I didn't really "lose" strokes on the green.

 

Looks - Score 17 out of 20

So there are 3 distinct colors on this putter:

- black

- white

- copper

Between the copper face and black section of the putter there is a white insert.  As you look down at the ball you can see the white insert and it is kind of surprising at first.  Once you get used to it you don't really notice it but If I were to make a suggestion for the next iteration of this putter I'd find a way to make that black so that the only 'white' you see when looking down is the alignment line.

On the flip side, the milled copper face is really nice!

 

Sound and Feel - Score: 20 out of 20

This, for me, is where this putter excels.  The sound is a nice muted click - not too loud but you know when you've hit it.  Center face hits versus off of the toe or heel really don't have a drastic difference.  You can "feel" something in the center of the face but the sound is very similar.

The grip is unique with ribbed sections for both your upper and lower hands.  A very helpful guide that ensures a consistent grip each time.  It is also a bit larger than the standard grips with the grip getting larger from the bottom to the top.

  

Likelihood of Purchase – Score 19 out of 20

This is a bit of a misnomer since I already bought the putter and am reviewing it, but if I hadn't and it had been given to me...

I don't think that the Cleveland putters get the love they deserve.  Cleveland recently re-branded itself as the "short game" company.  The 'short game' isn't just wedges though - it's also putting.  One of the fortunate side benefits to being not as popular is that the clubs are affordable.  So - in that respect - I hope they continue to get ignored!  =)

 

This putter is very affordable at 129.99; especially in comparison to other putters.

Putter Price - 19 out of 20

Putter Quality - 19 out of 20

Putter Use - 19 out of 20

 

Finally...

I will probably never be a 'great' putter.  I've never been the type who can see a line on the green without much effort so I've tried over the years to minimize that with various types of putters.  I also don't usually buy into "the hype" of various clubs and 'newer technologies that will instantly make you a better golfer!'; however with this putter and understanding the mathematics and physics behind the concept I'm all in.  The approval of one of the most revered short game experts, Dave Pelz, certainly helps!

 

I hope this review can help you decide whether or not to try out the 2135 and if you're struggling with your putting and decide to put it in the bag for a while it helps you as much as it helped me!  Fairways and greens my friends.

 

Overall Score - 97

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Thanks for the great review! I've been looking at these, along with many others and it's awesome to see it worked so well! I've read people say they won't even look a this because it's a Cleveland putter, but they're likely putter snobs. I know Edel's focus is on alignment and this seems to fit the bill well, at a much lower price point.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Likelihood on the black finish holding up after a few weeks? The top edge already looks like it's already starting to scuff.

If nothing else, putters are all about personal preference - making any review subjective at best, particularly when it also looks like a way of justifying your purchase.

Sorry to nit pick, but I don't agree with your theory of "not necessary to align properly" either - even though you did seem to contradict yourself somewhat in this regard. Most putting experts would advocate the rule of alignment is an absolute and the ratio of holed putts would increase in anyones game if they performed this simple but critical task with equal attention of any length.

However, I did enjoy reading your review and the pics to go with it too.

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Really nice job on the review, well formatted and easy to follow. Like our fitter from across the pond I'm wondering about the alga entitling also. Perhaps it's so easy to align that you are doing it consistently without realizing it?

 

It would not bother me if the black chipped or wore down. My putter is 10 years old. It's had one over haul in the time but it looks it's age and performs like a Macallans scotch. Still it would be nice to see a follow up in a few months as to how well it wears.

 

Thanks!

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Really nice job on the review, well formatted and easy to follow. Like our fitter from across the pond I'm wondering about the alga entitling also. Perhaps it's so easy to align that you are doing it consistently without realizing it?

 

It would not bother me if the black chipped or wore down. My putter is 10 years old. It's had one over haul in the time but it looks it's age and performs like a Macallans scotch. Still it would be nice to see a follow up in a few months as to how well it wears.

 

Thanks!

 

Thanks for the feedback... I'll be sure to post a follow-up at the end of the season with more pics.

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nice write up

 

Thanks!  

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One of the most well written reviews I've read around here in a long time.

Nice job Stroker.

 

Thank you sir!

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It is remarkable to me that there continues to be room for innovation in the flat stick. Nice review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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It is remarkable to me that there continues to be room for innovation in the flat stick. Nice review!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

 

Thanks!  Pelz was kind of shocked that he hadn't thought of something so simple before.  It will certainly be interesting what the next innovation is!

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I have the 8.0 counter balance model loved look could never get used to the counter balance the mallet version looks amazing more for my game will have to pick one up if I can find one loved the look and feel just counter balance not my thing

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Very nice review stroker.........the only suggestion that i have is that you consider using a larger font......some of us old farts have trouble with the tiny letters.

 

As for the putter, I am partial to a mid mallet and i like the alignment concept.  For many years, i gamed a Slotline Inertia putter with a slot over a line for sight.  

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