Next to my Miura 4-hybrid, my putter was the longest-tenured club in my bag. This is no small accomplishment for said flatstick. I test and review a dozen a year and, you see, I have a wandering eye and a fickle heart when it comes to putters (and ONLY putters—I want to be very clear on this point!).
So when the Indi Golf Allison matte-black mallet ($450) arrived at my door, I thought, “Well, she seems nice enough.” But that was all.
After a little small-talk, I removed Allison’s head cover and stroked a few putts on the living room carpet. Her weighting was a bit heavier than I expected, but the contact was soft and gentle, allowing for an aggressive stroke without losing distance control. Most of all, though, alignment—for whatever reason—was perfect from the start. Every single putt was dead on line; long or short, maybe, but never off line.
OK, I thought, but this is just my living room floor. We need to take you out in public and see how you behave.
Hampered a by the burgeoning pandemic, Allison and I only got out together a few times before the courses in my state closed down. On the practice green of Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet, Illinois, again she delivered one ball after another directly at the hole. Distance control became less of an issue. But the real test was the course, as those greens are nothing like the practice green in terms of break or grain. I came up short a lot on the shaggy spring putting surfaces, but again, never off line.
At first I worried that the Allison’s lie angle was a bit flat for my normal set-up, but once I worked out my stance at address, the design lent itself to my straight-back-and-through stroke. The matte black finish on the aircraft-grade aluminum putterhead contrasts nicely with the ball and makes alignment easy. The face feels soft, despite having no insert, and the tungsten weighting creates a sweetspot that feels like it covers nearly all of the face.
“Stop looking at me that way!” I said to my usual putter as she stared up to me from the trunk after that round. I had to lay my golf bag on top of her to get her out of my head.
Then the courses in Illinois were closed. But the courses in nearby Indiana remained open. By this time, I had taken my old putter out of my trunk and put her in the house, propped up by the back door. Allison and I were taking a road trip.
At Harrison Hills Golf Club in Attica, Indiana, Allison poured in every putt under 5 ft, and a few much longer. It was a beautiful day, despite the pandemic, and Allison and I maintained social distance from other couples. Nothing short of a slo-mo video montage could have made that day more perfect.
It’s been two months now. My old putter is in the basement. She’s bitter. But the heart wants what the heart wants.
With Allison, my aim is true.*
*Yes, I know the Elvis Costello song is “Alison” with one ‘l’ – let it go.