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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.