Grab ahold of the new Sacks Parente putters and immediately you might lose your balance. And that’s the point. Designed with what founder Steve Sacks called “ultra-low balance point technology,” these lightweight putters at once seem to float and at the same time swing themselves. That’s the point, Sacks says, and that’s what’s wrong with the usual steel-shafted putter.
The Sacks Parente putters, named for company founders Sacks and Rich Parente (founder of Hickory Stick, the forerunner of Callaway Golf), use an ultralight graphite shaft (sub-40 grams or approximately 1 gram per inch of shaft length) and special reduced weight grip (35 grams or less, or half the weight of many typical putter grips) to shift the majority of the club’s balance within five inches of the head. The lightweight grip is designed to encourage a natural release of the hands in the stroke, while the shaft maintains a low torque despite its light weight. The idea is that by concentrating the heft of the system in the head, a player can more easily produce a natural pendulum motion and can more freely control the clubhead’s path and face angle by not having to work so hard to do it.
Sacks believes that this design, which also includes extreme perimeter weighting for a higher moment of inertia (MOI) or stability on off-center hits, leads to a more stable and consistent delivery of the club because the weight is spread out between the head and the golfer with the shaft and grip not getting in the way of that connection. Specifically, the benefit lies in the position of the center of gravity (CG) of the putter head-shaft-grip system through the “ultra-low” balance point.
“With a traditional putter, [because the shaft is so much heavier] the shaft CG is masking what the head CG is doing,” Sacks said. “For ultra-low balance point putters, the shaft has less mass and, thus, interferes less with the head’s feel than with a traditional putter. While we tend to lump everything under the concept of ultra-low balance point, I think it’s also true that by keeping the near the shaft and maintaining extremely high MOI designs, we are further encouraging the head to stay square and keep pace with the shaft on the downswing. All of these small, subtle changes have a large impact on putting dynamics.”
The Sacks-Parente lineup of putters includes unique takes on traditional shapes. The latest is the Series 18, a heel-shafted, flanged blade with a cavity sole and high density tungsten in the extreme heel and toe. The combination of multiple materials provide high stability in a blade-like form and also utilizes a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum face insert for soft feel. The lineup also includes the Series 39 Blade, a thin blade style in a shape reminiscent of the Bull’s Eye putter. The head is made of 303 stainless steel with an aluminum face insert and tungsten heel and toe weighting. The Series 54L Large Mallet and the Series 54M Mid-Mallet both combine aluminum and tungsten.
Pricing for Sacks Parente putters starts at $600.