50 Words or Less
The innovative design of the Axis1 Rose putter gives it excellent consistency in both direction and distance. Unique sound and look may take some getting used to.
How does a small putter company like Axis1 gain global recognition? Have a high profile player like Justin Rose play one of their models. Obviously that’s not an easy endeavor, but after getting Justin to try one of his putters putter back in 2016, founder Luis Pedraza was able to keep Rose engaged until his 14 club contract with TaylorMade expired at the end of 2018. Having worked on design features with Justin during that period, Axis1 debuted the Axis1 Rose putter in 2019. And in storybook fashion, Justin went out and won the second tournament he played with it – the 2019 Farmers at Torrey Pines.
At first glance, the Axis1 Rose looks like many “fang” mallet putters. It’s when the shaft and hosel on the front of the putter register that you might say, “What’s up with that?” Despite that oddity, the putter has a clean, clinical look. The medium thick topline with single black alignment line transitions almost seamlessly to the black carbon fiber body. There, the long, parallel, white alignment lines frame the golf ball nicely, and the thickness of the lines is comfortable to my eyes.
The face of the Axis1 Rose has wonderful arcing mill lines, and although the heel is dominated by the hosel, it’s masterfully milled. The sleek sole with its crisp text is very appealing.
Sound & Feel
The Axis1 Rose produces a quiet plastic ‘tink’ – a sound I equate to that of a high tension tennis racquet hitting a pebble. It’s very odd from an expectation standpoint, but I found it easy to get comfortable with.
One distinctive aspect of the Rose is that the toe points up when balancing the shaft on your finger. This “perfect balance” is achieved by Axis1’s patented heel counterweighting. I could definitely feel the extra weight in the heel during the putting stroke. Even though the shaft bend puts my hands in line with the top flange, the visual processing of the hosel in front of the face and heel weighting gave me the sensation that my hands were way in front of the putter. A physiological obstacle.
The unique hosel design puts the center of gravity in the center of the putter, aligned with the shaft. Combined with the heel weighting, the putter becomes “torque free” – no twisting. The engineer in me has to point out that only applies to center struck putts. The golfer in me describes those putts as feeling pure. Moving away from the sweet spot, my hands could sense some twisting, but it’s minimal. To amplify the sensation, Axis1 touts the Lamkin Deep Etched grip as offering “maximum feel and shot feedback.”
More on that twisting aspect – the dispersion left or right from target was tight on non-centered putts. Distance was also very consistent between strikes with the Rose. Looking over my field testing notes I had written down “beautiful roll.” The alignment lines had my aim accuracy very high – one of the benefits common to mallet designs.
I want to revisit the balance aspect of the Axis1 Rose. That toe up balance on my finger captured in the photo above is the same orientation that occurs when recreated in the address position. With a face balanced putter or one with toe hang, in the address position, the face wants to rotate open. You are physically holding it square. Not that it’s a revolutionary concept that renders all other putters inferior, but the science is thought-provoking.
Spending time with the Axis1 Rose has been an interesting experience. The directional consistency, forgiveness, and roll of the putter are really good. I think I could get accustomed to the unique sound, but the heel weight and visual incongruity would take a while to get comfortable with. For anyone willing to invest $449 in an Axis1 Rose, the commitment in time would be rewarding.