Cleveland Smart Square Putter Review

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (22)

50 Word or Less

Anyone who needs help with alignment would do well to check this out.  This putter sports a firm insert and a look that belies its modest price tag.

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (26)

Introduction

We’ve seen the alignment story used successfully before, Odyssey’s Versa, and, to a lesser extent, TaylorMade’s Ghost putters are examples, and now Cleveland is entering the fray with the Smart Square putter.  An evolutionary step forward from Odyssey’s 2-Ball, the Smart Square uses two white squares to help the golfer aim the putter.

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (16)

Looks

I think Cleveland Golf has a claim to the title of “most under-rated putter maker,” and the aesthetics of the Smart Square only bolster that claim.  The look of this putter is simply better than I would expect at this price point.

At address, all you see is matte black with white alignment aids, an optimal combination to help you focus.  The sole has a stealthy black-on-black-on-black look, combining matte black, gloss black, and black paint fill.  The black insert is marked only with a bold white Cleveland Golf logo.

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (8)

Sound & Feel

Generally, when I hear “insert” I think “mushy,” but such is not the case with the Smart Square.  Cleveland opted for a very firm insert on the Smart Square.

The high-MOI mallet design covers up small misses, both in terms of performance and feedback.  However, if you’re more than a couple dimples from the center, you’ll definitely feel it.

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (19)

Performance

While I get the concept of the Smart Square putter, it’s not one that I can fairly evaluate: I don’t use mallets, I don’t use face-balanced putters, and I don’t like any alignment aids.  Thankfully, I found many people who were more than happy to test the Smart Square for me.

The first comment that I got was, of course, about the alignment.  Everyone I gave it to commented on how easy it was to line up.

When people had the chance to swing the putter and roll some putts, I continued to hear nothing but good things.  Among the most frequent comments were, “I like the firm insert,” “This swings/balances really nicely,” and “Hey, this thing makes a lot of putts.”

What’s funny is that I did not hear anyone comment on the similarity to Odyssey’s 2-Ball putter.  While it’s not a comparison that Cleveland shies away from (their marketing calls Odyssey out pretty directly), real golfers didn’t seem to care what the Smart Square looks like, they simply enjoyed putting with it.

Cleveland Smart Square Putter (10)

Conclusion

Based on testing the Smart Square with over a dozen different golfers, I’m convinced that Cleveland has a winner on their hands with the Smart Square.  If you struggle with your alignment or even if you just like face-balanced mallets, the Smart Square is worth a trip to your local pro shop.

Price and Specs

The Cleveland Smart Square putter retails for $139, $179 for the Almost Belly version.

It is available in a double-bend, heel shafted configuration as well as center-shafted.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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3 Comments

  1. That putter looks so good at alignment!

  2. Joe McKloski

    I played my last 2 rounds with this model and will play it again tomorrow.
    The alignment aids are fine and really work, but the most amazing property of this putter is it’s huge sweet spot! I can hit 20 or 30 practice putts and the small variations in the contact point seem unnoticeable. This quality is a real help in proper distance control.

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