GEL Ruby Putter
Teacher’s Comments: Putts as true as any I have ever used.
Few ever notice, but when a ball is struck by a putter, it gives a little hop, then skids for a moment before starting to roll toward the hole. The hop is caused by the loft of the putter. However small, a ball sitting on a green causes a small indentation, and putter loft is necessary to get it up and rolling.
After the hop, the ball has more forward momentum than spin. so it skids until its forward speed matches its forward roll. As anyone who has ever experienced one in a vehicle knows, skids are very hard to control; this also is true of a skid with a golf ball. The skid on a golf ball is unlikely to be very straight.
In pursuit of a more accurate putter, many companies are working on eliminating that hop and skid, and starting the ball rolling mroe quickly. Some have tried it with soft inserts that are designed to keep contact with the ball longer; others are using a milled pattern on the face, or a grooved insert.
Two of the biggest names in the grooved insert anti-skid designs are Yes! with its C-Groove and TaylorMade with its ASGI (Anti Skid Groove System Insert). Add to that list Groove Equipment Limited (GEL), a company founded by the former CEO of Yes Golf Asia Pacific. Alec Pettigrew.
GEL makes six putter models, all featuring an aluminum insert that has been cut with grooves designed to get the ball rolling faster (i.e., less skid). The six models—each named after a precious stone—range from a standard toe weighted blade to more exotic designs.
I have been playing with the Ruby model for a month now, and am very impressed with the results. Essentially the same size, weight and shape as my Scotty Cameron putter, the GEL Ruby is nonetheless much more accurate.
There’s no real way to describe in words just how well this putter performs, though. I could tell you about how I’ve knocked down every three to five footer I’ve faced; or about the thirty footers I had no business making; or about the number of one putts I’ve scored. But the biggest measure is in the number of complements on my putting that I’ve received from playing partners.
The putter’s performance just terrific.
If I have a complaint about the putter is that it looks awful (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder). The head’s tarnished finish doesn’t appeal to me, the aluminum insert is a strange blue, and the grip has very loud blue and yellow stripes. Further, the GEL logo looks like it was designed by a middle schooler.
Overall, it just looks cheap—like the kind of putter you find in a KMart.
I think that the company needs to talk to a professional designer. A premium putter needs exude quality.
That said, I still would play with it every day. I’m just not sure that people would give it a second look when there are so many more handsome putters on the shelves of the pro shops.