50 Words or Less
Bloodline putters have the eye-catching ability to stand up on their own. Exceptionally heavy swing weights. Mediocre feel.
In the world of retail, standing out is key. Bloodline putters stand out more than any others because of their unique ability to stand on their own.
This is more than a parlor trick designed for retail. The main benefit of Bloodline putters is that you can line up your putt from behind the ball then step in to putt it. Will this help you shave strokes off your game? We tested one to find out.
A couple years ago, the red finish on Bloodline’s putters would have been a shock. Now, with TaylorMade and Odyssey making red the new standard, it barely registers. Nonetheless, the finish has a premium look and appears quite durable.
There are two models in the initial Bloodline release, the RG-1 mallet and the R1-J blade (seen here). Both are fairly traditional head shapes – a widebody Anser and a half-circle mallet – with white alignment lines. The heads are CNC milled from aluminum and have stainless steel sole plates. Kudos to Bloodline for keeping the branding very minimal.
Sound & Feel
With its ultralight shaft and grip, I expected the Bloodline putter to have an unusual feel to it. I was right. Unfortunately, in this case unusual does not mean good.
The combination of the aluminum head and graphite shaft create a feel that is both firm and dull. The ball simply feels dead when it’s struck well. There is reasonable feedback through the hands, but striking the ball feels better when you miss the center.
The main performance benefit of the Bloodline putter is that it stands on its own. This allows you to address the ball, aim conventionally, then step away to check and adjust your aim before hitting the putt. It’s a unique feature, and it could be brutal for pace of play.
When I first used the Bloodline putter, I saw that I was aimed right of the hole. I adjusted the putter, stepped back in, and felt like I was aimed left despite knowing that my aim was correct. The result? Missed putts. Over time, I’m sure that I could adjust to the “correct” aim and make strokes that matched that alignment. The question I can’t answer is whether that would translate to putting better than I do right now.
A byproduct of the putter’s ability to stand on its own is an unbelievably high swing weight. The Bloodline I tested came in at G-0 with a head weight of 395 grams. Those are both numbers that are much higher than I typically use, so it took a while to figure out distance control. I did find the head to be fairly forgiving which helped ease the transition.
Finally, to make the putter stand up, Bloodline uses a built-in grip. This grip is slightly oversized, though it felt average compared to most modern putter grips. If you want to play the Bloodline putter, you need to be committed to this grip because it’s the only one you can use.
If you’ve ever stood behind another golfer who is putting, you know that people aim all over the map. Is it worth $500 to find out that you do, too? That’s what it will cost to add a Bloodline putter to your bag. While I’m undecided on the virtues of this alignment system, I will caution you against thinking that it’s a quick fix. You may be able to use this to “fix” your aim, but it won’t happen overnight.