50 Words or Less
The Axis1 Tour HM putter makes the transition to torque-free putting easy. Unusual hosel design is exceptionally well hidden. Incredible results on long putts.
Axis1 was founded in 2006 with the concept of creating a perfectly balanced putter. While that core idea has remained the same, what’s changed is their ability to infuse their technology into traditional putter shapes. With former world #1 Justin Rose on board [we reviewed his signature model HERE] and more visually appealing putters in their line up, Axis1 is poised for huge success in 2020.
Learn more about Axis 1 on the Plugged In Golf Podcast HERE.
Axis1 takes a unique approach to creating a perfectly balanced, torque-free putter – they put the hosel in front of the club face. In some of their earlier models, this created a truly unusual appearance that was more than some golfers could get past. With the Tour-HM, they’ve done a brilliant job of shaping their technology into something any golfer can use.
Moving past the hosel, the Tour HM is a traditional mallet in size and shape. The contrast between the silver top line and the black flange makes it very easy to imagine that you’re swinging a blade.
I want to give particular credit to Axis1 for the shaping of this putter. Often, putters with strong technology components come up short on aesthetics. The Tour HM has very nice proportions and smooth lines that guide the eye naturally from one section to the next. I especially like the way that the cavity frames the golf ball at address.
Sound & Feel
The Axis1 Tour HM putter is exceptionally quiet at impact. It creates a “tock” that is percussive, not dull, but very quiet.
Because the impact sound is so quiet, there’s not much auditory feedback from the Tour HM. The sweet spot ends up feeling quite large because most putts near the center of the face produce the same sound. When you miss the center substantially, the feeling is more dull.
For those not familiar with the concept of torque-free or “perfectly balanced” putters, here’s a quick explanation. Conventional putters all have toe hang, meaning that when you hold the shaft parallel to the ground, the toe drops to somewhere between 3 and 6 o’clock on an imaginary clock face. A torque-free putter will keep the toe pointed to 12 o’clock. The benefit is that the face stays square to the path automatically. This video HERE from LAB Golf, another torque-free putter maker, demonstrates it best.
I’ve tested other torque-free putters in the past, and the Axis1 Tour HM gave me all the same benefits that I expected. By taking my hands out of the equation, I felt like I could just rock my shoulders and the ball would end up in or near the cup. With the Tour HM, the ball does feel like it comes off the face very slowly, but once I got used to that, distance control was a breeze. For me, the near-elimination of three putts is the best thing about a torque-free putter.
Where Axis1 is different from the other torque-free putters – and where they have a huge advantage – is that their putters don’t require special fitting. The Tour HM putter weighs 355 grams and feels just like my other putters, minus the torque. I could easily switch between the Tour HM and my gamer without any adjustment period. Axis1 putters are available at major golf retailers where you can go to the putting green and try them yourself. This grab-and-go ability is not only a major advantage for Axis1, it makes it much easier for the player to make the switch.
I’ll be honest, Axis1 putters were off my radar for a long time because of their looks. With the Tour HM, however, they’ve created something that not only performs brilliantly, it looks good, too. Though I’ve been happy with my putter, the Tour HM is making a serious push to go in the bag.
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Thanks for another helpful write-up, Matt. So……in theory, and I am choosing those 2 words carefully, isn’t what Axis and LAB Golf are doing with these “torque-Free, hosel front” putters also similar to TM is doing with their Truss line? It seems everyone is seeking to minimize or eliminate twisting at impact, but just going about it a different way. The aforementioned OEMs doing it one way, and Odyssey going in another, albeit focusing on the shaft instead?
No, the Truss putter is *trying* to increase MOI with that enormous hosel/neck piece. Odyssey’s Stroke Lab shaft has nothing to do with torque, it’s purely redistributing weight.
So this is basically the same concept as the Directed Force? Just couldn’t get past the looks and size of the 2.1
Yes, both are torque-free putters.
Requesting your expert opinion: looking at bottom of HM with its “skid plate under outer “rails,” do rules allow rails on bottom of putter as they do on other clubs? Would you see rails having a practical benefit?
I assume this putter is USGA compliant, though I don’t know that for a fact. As for a practical benefit, no, if you’re dragging the putter on the ground, things are going to turn out badly regardless of the sole design.
Good article, My two putters “toe-drop” between 12-3 o’clock and I feet this is a great part of the reason that my medium-long putts fade right. What say you?
To be precise, putts don’t fade or draw, but they can be pushed or pulled. The direct reason for a push is that the face is open to the target at impact. This *could* be the result of too much or too little toe hang, but it could also be lie angle, length, grip, etc.
What’s the difference between “torque free” and face balanced?
A face balanced putter has the toe pointing at 3 o’clock. A torque free putter has the toe pointing to 12 when the shaft is resting on our fingers parallel to the ground.
Matt, thanks for another great review. Is “torque free” and “stroke balanced” the same thing. If so, was the Odyssey “Toe Up” putters
their attempt ta achieve the same?
Yes, and good memory, I had forgotten about Odyssey taking a bite at this apple.
Matt-Loved the concept when I had the original/Justin Rose model, however I couldn’t get past the HOT face and the sound. Does the new model have the same hot face and sound?
I did not test the Rose model, but the Tour HM is the opposite of hot off the face.
I’ve owned both and found the Rose model a little hollow sounding and a bit jarring. The Tour sounds great, smooth at impact…and only has that slightly hollow tone on bad toe side mishits (which is good feedback). I returned the Rose model, but the Tour is firmly in the bag.
Great review as always. Question, torque free putter or Stability Shaft?
They’re not really comparable, so I’m not sure how to answer that.
Their website indicates that it is RH only.
Any follow up to this? Are you using the Tour HM? Is it still performing like a champ or has the honeymoon period worn off? I am very interested in this type of putter technology.
The Tour HM hasn’t gone in the bag yet – I’m still putting with a SWAG putter – but it’s ready to go should I need to change up. I’ve had it on the putting green since the review and it continues to be an impressive putter.
While the body produces a natural arc I think most guys would tell you they’re trying to putt straight back and straight through. With that thought in mind I switched from a 5 o’clock toe hang to a face balanced putter. I could not be happier, putting the lights out. There are many reasonably priced putters out there. I got a Ray Cook new for only 50 bucks. Works better than my $200 putter.
Hi Matt, you described a torque free putter as one which oriented at a 12 o’clock position. Yet a truly torque free putter does not have an orientation. It turns freely independent of any orientation. The L. A. B. video confirms that. Just saying…
There are putters that are dynamically balanced like the Kronos Anchor putter and the face stays where you put it so you can swing freely.
Additionally, toe up putters just put the weight in the heel unlike the Axis 1 patented dynamic balance which puts the CG at the sweet spot.
I believe that was the case of Edels toe up as well as Odysseys which necessitate a toe strike if I’m not mistaken.
Anyway, Rose went from 89th to what 3rd in the putts made category since making the switch.
So, i’m more of a blade guy and looking at their bladed models to get the same torque free twist free results
I’m a 12 handicap. Cause, I 3 putt a lot of greens. Please help me . I live on a golf course and dread putting. Don’t know if I need a blade or a mallet.thank you.
My best advice is to get a putter fitting.