Review -Lateral Line Putters
Variety. I think it’s a suitable adjective to describe the vast array of products through the golf industry. Consumers that support the industry have seen products in all shapes, sizes and colors. Whether it’s from a corporate giant or a newcomer to the industry. Often times, when something new and different emerges many discerning golfers won’t look at something “different” because it is simply that. Even if said product can truly help golfers improve their scores.
Late in 2016, I was contacted by Irlianna Samsara and Holly Geoghegan of Golf Marketing Services to see if I was interested in having a look at one of their clients products. Upon researching the clients website I had to have a closer examination of the product. That product in question was the MOI MAXX Putter from Lateral Line Putters.
Lateral Line Putters is the creation of former commercial pilot and Jefferson, Ohio native John Ambrose who I was fortunate enough to meet this past January (more on that in a bit). Mr. Ambrose is the innovator and President of Lateral Line Putters which was formed in 2007. Since the birth of the brand they have seen growth in both product development and exposure. Lateral Line Putters has seen over half of its customer base through referrals from other customers. Moreover, Mr. Ambrose has great support with his company through his wife Robyn who has run businesses over the past 20 years. Lateral Line Putters is proud of the fact that they offer the consumer a wide range of customization options. When coming up with the design of L2 putters Mr. Ambrose fell back on his applied use and knowledge of physics. The knowledge that Mr. Ambrose possesses about putting is quite significant. This was something that I would quickly learn when I met up with him and Holly G after the PGA Show at Orange Tree Golf Club (Orlando). Not only is he a USGTF Certified Instructor, a former Director of Instruction and First Tee Coach but he is a Certified Vector Green Reading Instructor.
Now that I’ve given some background and insight on the man and mind behind L2 putters let’s take a look at the model that I tested. There is a lot to consider when you look at the ideology and specifications that surround the MOI MAXX putter. The first thing that we look at is its numbers. When you place this putter into your hands right away you notice the heft. Using the chassis of a mallet putter the MOI MAXX putter measures in at 6.25″ (from Heel to Toe) and a head weight of 620 grams. The putter is center-shafted which allows for unprecedented face balance and combined with the head weight of the putter this allows the golfer to have a stroke more akin to that of an actual pendulum. This is also a by-product of the weight which also takes out the hands from the stroke. Another special feature of the MOI MAXX putter from L2 Putters is the 200 gram 16″ grip. The MOI MAXX putter also has a unique capability in that it can stand by itself. Using the rails seen in the address position golfers can line up their spot from behind the putter and adjust to hit the right spot (assuming you read the green right). If it’s windy out and the putter falls over coincidentally moving the ball don’t worry…. the new Rules of Golf has you covered (replace the ball without penalty). The rails also have another feature thrown into them and this is absolutely crucial. By using the rails, golfers can correctly align themselves to the ball. In other words your shoulders, hips and knees are correctly stacked over the ball.
When it came to the actual unboxing of my L2 MOI MAXX putter I won’t soon forget it. I opened up the box and removed the simple black and white headcover. I was actually astonished by the size and had concerns about looking down at it. Considering the average heel to toe on a putter is roughly 5″ the extra inch and a quarter was noticeable. Moreover looking at the design I was worried about the acoustics and how that would translate to feel. So photography complete I took my MOI MAXX into “The Dungeon” to roll some putts on my Big Moss. So I placed the first ball down and left the putter to stand alone while lining up the putt. Feeling pretty confident that I had lined up properly I struck my first putt. It was short as I was unsure of the initial head weight. However, the acoustics weren’t a “clank” like I thought that it would be. So I repeated my routine… dropping a second ball and lining up the putt from behind. I actually corrected my initial line by slightly twisting the putter to the left and put a stroke on it. In the hole. So I would drop another ball and go towards a different hole from a different length…in it went. Now I’m really intrigued and I heard myself state “the sonuvagun works” (have to keep it G-rated). I made stroke after stroke and putts were simply falling. Consequently, I would make a few putts without lining up the putt from behind and my line was off. It’s no wonder why I frequently lip-out a putt or miss on the high side.
My time in the basement with the MOI MAXX putter revealed a few things to me. First it found a glaring error in my eye and secondly it found and corrected a fault in my stroke. From time to time I fall victim to not being set-up square and the rails fixed this problem. You never know when you’re going to get bonus golf in the winter here in Niagara Falls (on the good side). But when there is no snow and the weather is unseasonably warm you get out and play. So off I went to St. David’s Golf Course on New Year’s Day and I would play nine holes in pretty chilly weather (35*F). I was on the first green going for birdie with the MOI MAXX putter in hand. So, I went through the routine and lined up the putt. Making a slight correction of the line and birdied my first hole of 2017. A nice start. I would actually birdie my first two holes of the year and I really look at the MOI MAXX as the root cause. My putting continued to be very good for the duration of the round en route to an opening 33 for 2017. My confidence in this putter was confirmed. Post-round I made a video stating that maybe due to the outside temperatures the putter proved to be more “tinky” than I had initially thought. But this isn’t meant to be construed as intrusive.
In a conversation with Mr. Ambrose I had brought this up and John took it to heart. Not in a bad way like you might assume but he took it as a challenge. Mr. Ambrose isn’t one to sit back on his laurels and just believe that his putter is great the way that it is. Instead, he looks to improve even more. So when we got together that day at Orange Tree Golf Club he had a newer updated version with him for me to try. With one little addition to his design Mr. Ambrose addressed and fixed the acoustics issue. The updated version of the MOI MAXX was more muted, has an additional alignment aid (this one horizontal) and also featured a larger grip. This felt even better in my hands and any semblance of getting “handsy” with the stroke became null and void. We spent a lot of time together that morning and he also showed me a couple of cool features. About halfway back the sole slopes upwards. He showed me that to maximize immediate forward roll sole the MOI MAXX using the slope. This adds loft and imparts immediate forward roll. Also, due to the nature of the MOI MAXX and it’s resistance to twisting this is the most forgiving putter on the market. The weighting on the heel and toe saw putts purposely struck off of the heel and toe result in putts that felt like they were off of the sweet spot (the sweet spot is 3.5″)Truth be told, I left Florida with an entirely new putting stroke methodology.
Folks, have an open mind. If you’re in the market for a product that will help your game and lower your scores then look no further than L2 Putters and its MOI MAXX model. Maybe “size does matter” after all. I have long been “pro-heavy” and the MOI MAXX simply reinforces that belief further and simply holes more putts.