SWAG The Boss Putter Review

50 Words or Less

The SWAG The Boss putter is a beautifully crafted traditional mallet with a soft, understated feel.  Excellent forgiveness, but it still swings easily.  A top choice for players transitioning from a blade to a mallet.

Swag The Boss Putter headcover

Introduction

In their first five years of existence, SWAG showed that they could make blade-style putters with more precision and taste than anyone else in the game.  Now they’re aiming to claim the top spot in mallets, too.  The Boss is SWAG’s first entry into full-sized mallet putters, and, as a longtime user of SWAG putters, I was eager to see if it could meet the high standards that the company has set.

Swag The Boss Putter address

Looks

At address, the SWAG The Boss putter is a full-sized traditional mallet.  It has a large footprint, but there are no unusual shapes, angles, colors, or appendages.  It’s a very clean design that doesn’t beg for attention or create any distractions when you’re trying to putt.  Similarly, the Tour Satin Mist finish looks sharp without creating any glare.  The cavity frames the ball precisely, which I find not only aesthetically pleasing but also helpful for alignment.

For a size comparison, above I have The Boss next to the SWAG Handsome One [review HERE].  From front-to-back, The Boss is almost exactly twice as large as the Handsome One – just over 2.25″ compared to a hair over 1.125″.  The blade length of The Boss is much shorter, however, with a face that measures 3″ heel-to-toe compared to 4.375″.  At its longest, The Boss is almost 3.5″, but the hitting area is shorter.

Moving away from the address position, The Boss has all of the style you’d expect from SWAG.  The deep milling on the face would be beautiful on its own, but it’s leveled up with a small skull in the heel.  SWAG kept the sole and cavity fairly minimalist with simple, bold text.

More than any of the engraving or branding, what sets SWAG putters apart is the attention given to every proportion, curve, and angle.  The Boss is milled from one solid piece of metal, so each one is perfect.  There isn’t one element that doesn’t flow to the next.  This is the fusion of artistry and precision.

Of course, we need to finish this section by mentioning the headcover.  Slightly smaller and more rounded than SWAG’s typical mallet cover, it fits The Boss precisely.  The magnetic closure is strong, snapping shut and holding tight whether you’re driving recklessly or walking tough terrain.  SWAG’s signature skull is printed in white on black as the background for the Chicago Blue SWAG branding.  My favorite detail is the reminder on the underside to not give a putt.

Swag The Boss Putter face

Sound & Feel

The deep-milled face of the SWAG The Boss putter produces a soft, low-pitched “tock” at impact.  It’s noticeably quieter and deeper than any of the SWAG blade putters in my collection.  The deep milling also creates a slightly softer feel, like the ball is being gently ushered on its way rather than being struck.

Unlike what many of us experience in our workplace, this Boss provides clear, precise feedback.  On center, the sound and feel are more lively.  As you work toward the edges of the face, both sound and feel become more dull.  Unlike other putters which offer binary feedback, The Boss has a range of precise feels.  Small misses lose just a little of their pop; big misses feel nearly dead.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Swag The Boss putter comes with two grip options.  I tested it with the Lamkin Deep Etched, my favorite grip right now.  There are also four colors of Stacked Skull grips which are Lamkin’s SinkFit Pistol Polyurethane.  Changing the grip can change the way a putter feels for some players.

Performance

Having tested dozens of modern, multi-material mallets (MMM) over the last decade, I was curious to see how a traditional mallet compared for stability, so that’s where I started my testing.  On my Foresight GCQuad, I tested The Boss against an Anser style putter and a leading MMM.  To my surprise, The Boss held its own against the MMM and showed a marked advantage over the Anser style.  Testing outdoors demonstrated that this difference was not just measurable but noticeable: The Boss was consistently getting mishits closer to the cup than the Anser style.

With the data gathering complete, I took the SWAG The Boss to the green paying more attention to the feel.  As most readers will know, MMMs offer a lot of stability, but swinging them can feel like steering the Titanic.  The Boss, however, feels nimble.  At 353 grams, it weighs the same as a modern blade.  The small slant neck creates a toe hang of roughly 4 o’clock – not far off most Anser-style putters – and an offset of nearly one shaft.

I’ve gamed the SWAG Handsome Too [review HERE] for nearly five years, and I played other Anser-style putters before that.  The Boss has specs that are similar enough that I was able to transition easily while still knowing that I had something different in hand.  To make a pizza analogy: if the Handsome Too is Lou Malnati’s, The Boss is Gino’s East.  When you want a change of pace, you can swap them out and enjoy the differences without ever straying too far from what you love.

After all the “official” testing, I spent time on the green bouncing back and forth between my Handsome Too and The Boss.  Much as I love my Handsome Too, the results with The Boss were undeniable.  I hit some putts that evoked an audible “Yuck” which still ended up three feet from the cup, and once I was that close, The Boss was automatic.

The results were good enough that I brought The Boss putter out for a round.  I typically don’t bench my Handsome Too unless it misbehaves, but I had to see The Boss in action.  It didn’t disappoint.  Early in the round, it was very steady, knocking long putts close and close putts in.  And just as I started thinking, “I don’t feel like I’m making much of anything,” The Boss started putting like a boss.  Ten footer for par: jarred.  Fifteen footer for birdie: center cup.  And on the final hole, after a middling wedge shot, The Boss turned a 60+ footer into a tap-in.

Swag The Boss Putter sole

Conclusion

Will the SWAG The Boss putter end the five year reign of my Handsome Too and become a full-time gamer?  Early indications are that it has as good a chance as anything I’ve tested in that time.  If you’re looking for a new putter that blends forgiveness with agile feel and a gorgeous design, The Boss deserves your full attention.

Visit SWAG HERE

Matt Saternus
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11 Comments

  1. Interesting review, as always, Matt. These are high quality putters, no doubt. My original foray into SWAG was with the Cooler 2, owing in large part to your reviews. That aside, my only concern that you seem to have put to rest in your review, is the short, almost squat top to bottom length of The Boss. For longer, lag putts, it would seem to require precise ball striking or the ball has no chance to get close to the hole and often left short. As an Anser style putter, I am surprised that you made the transition so easily. If there is anything you can add or embellish regarding lag putting or grip selection, I will be eager to read. Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      I don’t think I have much to add – I found The Boss very forgiving which made lag putting quite easy.
      With regard to grip selection, I think most golf stores have both models of Lamkin grip so you can feel them before making a decision. The Deep Etched is a more traditional feel and shape, the SinkFit is more “modern.”

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Really enjoy reading your reviews Matt and this is another good one. Looks like a beautiful putter and reminds me very much of the Mizuno M-Craft 5, which is a beauty too. Keep up the great work. Best wishes.

    Kieran

  3. Anonymous

    I had a “handsome one” putter a few years ago….they have great looking covers but really didn’t feel all that good even on center hits. Maybe mine was an exception because I know another person who has one and he really liked it…but it wasn’t an anser style putter.

  4. Hey, Matt,
    Have you tried the SinkFit Skinny and Pistol vs the deep-etched? I am a convert!

  5. Swag products–obscenely overpriced !!

  6. Matt,
    I live in the UK, so will be faced with paying import duties on a Swag putter, whereas Bettinardi putters are easily available and cheaper. You recently tested the Bettinardi 2023 Studio Stock 35 which looks similar in size and profile to the Boss. How would you compare the two?

    • Matt Saternus

      Colin,

      Size is one of the biggest difference. The Bettinardi is significantly smaller than The Boss. Also, of course, they’re shaped differently.
      I don’t know how much import duties impact the price, but my advice with most things is to buy what you really want. If you want the Swag and buy the Bettinardi, you’ll always be looking over your shoulder wondering if you should have spent the extra money.

      Best,

      Matt

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