Teachers Comments: the Radi-Eye applies an old principle to a new stick to good results.
One upon a time, when woods were made of persimmon they were carved (or players sanded them) with slightly curved faces to take advantage of the “gear effect.” With a little bulge built into the clubheads, balls that caught the outside edges of the face had a tendency to spin back toward the center. Theoretically, this will make your shots stay closer to the target line. The design in many cases was quite pronounced—much more so than any metal “woods” that still employ the idea today.
What the folk at Radi-Eye have done is to employ this principle in putter design. The faces of their “flatsticks” are not flat at all, but convex. It looks rather strange, but makes me wonder why it hasn’t been done before. (perhaps it has, but for some reason didn’t catch on.)
In practice, I found the design effective. Once I adjusted my putting stroke (I normally play a straight-in shaft on a mallet style putter) I found I really liked the way it performed. Non-scientific experiments convinced me that off center impacts did indeed pull a little back to center with this stick. Due to the short distances and slower ball speeds, however, the effect will not be as pronounced as with a driver or wood—there just won’t be as much spin. Perhaps not surprisingly, I thought it performed especially well on lag putts.
The inventors of the putter claim that it can compensate for 4.5 degrees of push or pull during a putt. I think that’s probably about right. You won’t notice it, though, if you already have a putting stroke that consistently allows you to hit the sweet spot.
Other than the curvature of the face, the Radi-Eye looks like any other blade putter on the market. In a putter police lineup there wouldn’t be any other distinguishing characteristics. But then, a bulge on a flatstick should be enough. The head is milled form a single piece of 1018 steel, and can be configured as a long or belly putter, thanks to the 360 gram weight. I would, however, like to see them expand the design into other styles, such as a mallet, and straight-in shafts.
I think the Radi-Eye would be worth a look for players who have trouble making contact with the sweet spot on their putters. They’ve got a 30 Day Refund policy (minus shipping), so this could be worth your while.
You can see a video of the putter in action below: