What we say...
Cleveland reckon their new Frontline putters, come at putter design from a completely new angle.
Cleveland maybe best known for making premium tour and cavity back wedges, but their crack team of short game specialists have come up with a brand new family of forward centre of gravity putters, which they say putt straighter more consistently.
Cleveland say for decades MOI (Moment of Inertia) forgiveness has been the golf standard in putter stability. By placing weight as far from the centre of the putter as possible designers reduce the amount of twist the body experiences at impact. But it turns out say Cleveland, not all MOI is created equal. If you really want stability that guarantees straighter putts you need weights in the putter face.
How does it work?
It’s pretty standard practice for mallet and MOI style putters to have weights in the rear of their heads to increase stability on off-centre impacts. But the brands research has shown while rear weights increase MOI, they also position the centre of gravity towards the back of the head which they say is a problem.
A putter with a rearward centre of gravity say Cleveland is less accurate than an identical putter with its centre of gravity positioned in the face. So with the new Frontline range has to 47g of tungsten positioned in the face, bringing the centre of gravity forward and improving accuracy.
The tech’s so efficient say Cleveland that while a high MOI model with a rearward centre of gravity will miss from 10 feet if hit one inch off centre, the exact same putter with a forward CG will hole out from 15 feet when hit a similar distance off centre.
Cleveland Golf say
“We are very excited about Frontline because it is a completely new approach to putter design,” said Jacob Lambeth, Research and Development Engineer at Cleveland Golf. “By pairing an extreme centre of gravity with a speed optimized face, we’ve designed a putter that maximizes directional and speed consistency. Combined with slick black cosmetics, great shapes and hosel options for different stroke types, Frontline really is the whole package.”
With Frontline, the challenge was creating a putter that’s powerful enough to counteract miss-hits and provide consistently straighter putts. The foundation of Frontline is Tungsten Forward Weighting, which places two Metal Injection Molded (MIM) tungsten weights in the face of the putter.
For decades, most mallets have weights in the rear of the putter to increase stability on off-center impacts, but this design places the center of gravity in the back of the putter. Frontline does the opposite, bringing the center of gravity forward for more accuracy on the greens.
WATCH: BEST 2020 PUTTER VIDEO
Frontline features Cleveland’s Speed Optimized Face Technology (SOFT), which normalizes ball speed across the face for consistent distance performance on every putt. Every model in Frontline features an individualized SOFT pattern to mitigate speed and distance loss, especially on off-center strikes.
Frontline offers three different mallet options, including Cleveland’s 2135 Technology to help with proper alignment when standing over critical putts. Finally, Frontline offers two different hosel types to help provide a superior fit: single bend and slant neck. The single bend option is ideal for straight stroke types, while the slant neck option fits best for golfers with a slight arc stroke.
Key innovations inside Frontline:
Forward Weights: With Tungsten Forward Weighting and the center of gravity positioned closer to the face, Frontline provides better stability through impact for straighter, more accurate putts.
Speed Optimized Face Technology: Cleveland’s proprietary Speed Optimized Face Technology normalizes ball speed across the face, ensuring consistent distance performance on all your putts.
2135 Technology: Featured on the Elevado, Cero and Iso models, achieve perfect alignment on every putt, regardless of where your eyes are at address.
Additional Hosel Configurations: Find a superior fit with two different hosel configurations to suit every player’s stroke types.
Frontline comes as standard with the Lamkin SINKFit Pistol Frontline grip, each is available in 34” and 35” length options. The SRP in the UK is £149. The Frontline Elevado, Cero and Iso all feature single bend or slant neck hosel options.
Verdict: Cleveland Frontline Elevado putter
Cleveland went out on a limb with the Frontline, saying for the first time high MOI doesn’t always add up to more accuracy when it comes to putters.
Cleveland’s theory was that by loading the Frontline’s face with tungsten (47g), off-centre putts aren’t pushed as far off line as they are with a higher MOI model. Our two testers couldn’t completely agree whether the new thinking would help golfers hole significantly more putts, but what’s undeniable is the Elevado has a cracking, compact shape.
The head is completely unfussy and clean and there’s plenty of straight edges to aid consistent alignment and the weight set-up means you get a really muted sound and feel, which some will love and others won’t.
But that’s not all – you also get the hottest grip of the year, Lamkin’s SinkFit, all for less than £150. It’s a hell of a lot of putter at that price.