Cleveland HB Soft Milled Putter Review
Cleveland HB Soft Milled Putter
Teacher’s Comments: As beautiful to play with as it is to behold.
Late last season, Cleveland Golf sent one of their new HB Soft Milled putters for review. It has been a spotty couple of months for golf here in Michigan, but I’ve managed to get in enough rounds to conclude that this is a putter that plays as good as it looks.
The best part, though, is the price. You can pick one of these up with the UST shaft for $250 (that’s the price at Carls Golfland), or with a regular shaft for $200. An equivalent Scotty Cameron is twice that.
The HB Soft Milled “4” version that I tested is a traditional blade design, slightly larger in appearance than my Scotty Cameron Newport. The shaft is a UST All-In — a multi-material design that is designed to minimize shaft flex while offering better feel. It has a graphite upper and steel lower portion.
Cleveland casts the heads, then CNC mills the face and back before giving it a polish and finish.
The look is smooth and clean — beautiful even.
In my hands at address, the HB Soft Milled 4 lines up slightly open. There are, however, a lot of variables to account for in that: my own grip and stance, the length of shaft and the grip style. Your own setup could produce different results.
That said, the ever-so-slightly open line works well with my stroke.
In spite of being a cast putter (as opposed to entirely milled from single block), the Clevland HB has a notably soft feel. I am certain that has more than a little to do with the milling pattern on the face.
Sole-to-grip balance on this Cleveland putter is noteworthy and adds to the overall experience. It swings easily and smoothly. The putter head feels as though it is staying in line with the grip, which is a sensation I prefer.
The alignment aid on the back consists of of a single groove framed by the toe and heel bulges. It is simple. I like simple.
Overall, I have been putting quite well with the milled Cleveland HB Soft. It is a little hard to get a full accounting on winter greens, but my experience has all been very positive. The ball gets rolling quicky and smoothly. I found my distances with the HB Soft 4 after just a few holes.
The Cleveland HB Soft 4 compares quite favorably with my Scotty Cameron Newport and its BGT Stability Shaft.
The milling on the face is said to impart consistent distance and roll, even on off-center hits.
The diamond shaped pattern on the putter face is denser in the center. Cleveland calls it Speed Optimized Face Technology (SOFT), and it is varied according to the putter model. The idea, Cleveland says is that it “normalizes ball speeds across the entire putter face for a pure, consistent roll regardless of putter shape.”
That’s what we all are looking for in a putter, right? Consistency is king, and few are so good that they can’t use the help.
Cleveland offers ten models of its HB Soft milled putters, ranging from blades of various depth to compact mallets to full mallets to winged mallets. There are plumber necks, slant neck, single bend and center shaft options. Each is tagged as best for either a straight stroke or slight arc. Further, Cleveland offers grip options optimized for different stroke types.
“The HB SOFT Milled putter line delivers milled precision at a remarkable value,” said Haley Wian, Business Planning Manager at Cleveland Golf. “With a variety of head shapes, alignment options, and a fitting system to match any stroke type, there is an HB SOFT Milled putter to help upgrade your putting performance.”