Rife Iconic Putter Review

Rife Iconic Putter (18)

50 Words or Less

“Click.” Firmer feel, good looks, same ole roll.

Recommended For:

All skills levels. Great for a golfer looking to get a better end-over-end roll on their putts.

Rife Iconic Putter (30)

Look

Rife did a great job making their putters look a lot better in their “reincarnation” (not familiar? Read HERE) era.  The Rife Iconic is no exception.  It’s a simple Anser-style head with a site dot on the top line, the signature “Rife” logo in the cavity, and the “Circle R” on the face which had previously only been on tour issued Rife putters.

This putter is also offered in two finishes. The one we reviewed is the newly developed PVD finish from Rife called “Phantom” while the other finish is “Sterling,” a traditional matte silver.  The Phantom finish is really a fantastic looking finish, but I wish it were a little more durable.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to wear like a black oxide or oil can finish, but it is fairly easy to ding and scratch.

I’m also a big fan of the polished sole with minimal branding.  I feel it really brings a certain element of class and “high end” appearance lacking in previous generations of Rife putters.

Rife Iconic Putter (17)

Sound & Feel

Both sound and feel were the most noticeable difference in this new era of putters from Rife.  I feel like this is the most important portion of the review, so buckle up for a little bit of a read.  It’s important for me to admit that I am a long-time, massive Rife fan.  With absolutely zero exaggeration, I can confidently tell you I have just over a dozen Rife putters in my possession.  I thought the Rife Aruba was the best feeling, sounding, and performing putter I have ever used.

“So what” you ask?  Well, I want to try and paint a picture of where Rife has gone with their new range compared to their old range and what you can expect.  The Rife Iconic still feels great.  It’s very responsive and surprisingly forgiving on off-center hits.  Rife has definitely maintained their excellence when it comes to feel, but it’s a different feel than in the past.  Traditionally, I found Rife putters to feel extremely soft.  This putter definitely has a firmer feel, almost as if the face is made of a harder metal than the traditional 304 stainless steel used by Rife.  All that said, you absolutely will not be disappointed with the feel of this putter.

Sound is absolutely the biggest change in the new Rife Iconic.  Some might even tell you that’s what leads to the firmer feel.  Sound vs Feel is a whole different discussion for a different day, but the sound you hear off of the new faces is nothing like the old Rife putters.  The older Rife putters had a much more muted sound when you struck the ball, but the Iconic had a very distinct click.  Have you ever noticed that when you watch golf on TV, there’s a certain click you hear from all of the putters, but you never hear that sound when you’re on the putting green?  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed that and I’ve always been in pursuit of that sound.  There’s just something about that “click” that sounds right to me.  Well, I found that sound in the Rife Iconic.

I think a large reason for the new sound and feel is the Roll Groove face.  I immediately noticed that this Rife Iconic had the same Roll Groove face, but the grooves seemed significantly smaller. The old grooves were much deeper than this generation.  My instinct tells me that this most likely means more of the face is making contact at impact but I don’t have any high-speed camera footage to verify this claim.  I can only tell you that the grooves do not look or feel the same to me, and I firmly believe this is the biggest contribution to the new sound and feel from Rife.

Rife Iconic Putter (5)

Performance

I’ll be honest, I was extremely skeptical about the Rife Iconic when I received it. Between the different grooves, and a head shape that I don’t typically prefer, I was worried about what I would encounter on the putting green. Thankfully, my gut was wrong.

I had to spend a little time adjusting my eye to the head shape, but once I did, I was shocked.  As I mentioned before, the sound off the face was that elusive “click” I’ve yearned for all these years and I felt like I couldn’t swing the putter off its line if I wanted to.  My putting game has been a little shaky this year which has lead to a bit of a squirrely stroke, but somehow the Iconic would get itself squared to the target on literally every putt.  Trust me, there’s no way the operator was that reliable.  This quickly helped me build confidence with the putter and I was able to consistently make putts inside ten feet and get my lag putts into easy two-putt range.

Rife Iconic Putter (4)

Conclusion

The Rife Iconic is certainly an interesting statement from Rife 2.0.  When Innovex took over Rife, I’m sure there was a struggle to figure out how to keep the current loyalists happy while at the same time making big enough changes to draw in a new crowd.  Rife has definitely delivered with new designs and updates to older ones.  Personally, I’m excited to see what else Rife has to offer throughout its range.

I have not been able to review the whole line yet, but I will tell you that I think the Iconic is worth giving a roll and will hold up against any other premium putter you’ll pick up at your local golf store.  The distinct sound, feel, and reliable performance of the Rife Iconic make it a true contender in my gamer rotation, and I would have no reservations about recommending this putter to anyone looking to make more putts.

Price and Specs

Price: $220

Lie: 71º
Loft: 2º
Weight: 350 grams
Lengths: 33″, 34″, 35″
Finish: Phantom and Sterling
Material: 304 stainless steel

Bill Bush
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3 Comments

  1. Roger Buhl

    I have a Rife putter that has shaft problems, snatched off at the hosel twice. Tried to have it repaired at local golf store and was advised had to be sent to manufacturer. Can you provide shipping info?

    • Matt Saternus

      Roger,

      I don’t have Rife’s shipping info, but if you visit their website and contact them, I’m sure they will give it to you.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Byron Keith Fite

    I have owned rife putters for 20+ years, (when I first saw the ad for the 2 bar.. The first one I used for about 5 years, but the shaft broke right at the hosel. Man that broke my heart! I ended up purchasing 2 more, and I just bout this Iconic.z 1 putter, because I’m getting older, and the greens are getting faster. It is a used putter, but I hVe always loved rife putters. Even thouh I collect putters, a few Scotty’s, Taylormade’s, Ping, and , well you get the point, but I always go back the the true roll of the Rife.

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