Expert Review: Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11 Slant Neck Putter

Published on 04/18/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the putter, which I tested for two days from March to April of 2023.
David L. Brown, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert David L. Brown

All photos courtesy of David L. Brown

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the putter, which I tested for two days from March to April of 2023.

My take

The Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11 is a tremendous putter with a great feel and consistency. It has a soft, milled face design that creates smooth contact on putts from close and far away. This putter would be ideal for that golfer looking to take that next step in their game, whether breaking 90 or winning their club championship.

About the club I tested

  • Model: 2023 Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11
  • Shape: Mallet
  • Hosel Neck: Short Slant
  • Balance Point: 12”
  • Shaft Length: 35”
  • Grip Type: Traditional
  • Finish: Silver

About me

  • Average Score: 79
  • Handicap: 7
  • Experience: 22 years of golf
  • Right/Left-Handed: Right-Handed
  • Stroke Type: Straight back and through, traditional grip
  • Golf Ball Used: 2021 Maxfli Practice Ball
  • Height: 5’10’’

Test conditions

  • When I tested the putter: March and April 2023
  • Days tested: 2
  • Where I’ve used it: Indoor Turf
  • Weather and Wind Conditions: Inside
  • Green Speed: Medium
  • Grass Type Turf

How it performs

Alignment
5/5
Balance
5/5
Forgiveness
5/5
Feel
4/5
Grip
3/5

What I was looking for

I prefer mallet putters over any other type of putter, so I wanted to try the HB Soft #11 because it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Secondly, I am a feel putter and wanted something with a soft face that would allow me to feel the putt through contact more consistently.

Why I chose to test this club

The Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11 putter is top of the line from its appearance down to its performance. The soft feel in the face, paired with its balance, allows the ball to roll pure off the face with consistency. Putting is all about feel, and this putter checks all the boxes, especially for its overall value. The HB soft series is one of the best values per its performance on the market. I am considering purchasing one of the HB soft series putters and might go with the #11 due to its overall aesthetics and face feel.

What I love about it

  • Face Feel: The SOFT technology has a balancing feature that really allowed me to feel the club striking the ball and creating a consistent stroke over and over. Lag putts with this putter are quick to dial in as distance control is at a premium due to the face feel working its way up to the hands.
  • Forgiveness: It’s very forgiving. Even when the putt isn’t stuck perfectly, it still rolls pure because of its milled metal design. The SOFT face technology is geared toward forgiveness and giving each putt a real chance of finding the hole.
  • Weight: The 370g is ideal as it is a heavier putter and stays down and through, especially on a straight back and through swing path.
  • Alignment: Sharp alignment with all-silver features and the single white line allowed me to line up each putt confidently.
  • Length: I prefer a 35-inch putter being 5’10’’, as it allows me to swing my arms back and through with ease.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Amazing. Pulling this out of the bag was a nice feeling. The steel shaft down to the silver mallet head really made the putter stand out.
  • Balance: This putter has a high MOI (Moment of Inertia), creating an easy rhythm to the putting stroke. Each putt has an even stroke back and through, leading to its high make rate from putts within 10 feet.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Grip Feel: The traditional grip isn’t bad, but I prefer the pistol grip with my grip setup. I would change the grip out, and then it would truly check all the boxes.
  • Customization: The putter doesn’t have any adjustable weights, so if someone wants a lighter head, they do not have the option to reduce the weight.

Best Putt or Round with this Putter

I demoed this putter on two different occasions to gain a feel for how it would perform. Consistency was the name of the game. I made 10 5-footers in a row and 8 out of 10 10-footers. I will take those numbers all day for a guy who doesn’t play as much as he used to.

Value for the money vs. other options

The HB Soft #11 retails at around $149. If someone is looking for a higher-end mallet putter without paying more, then the #11 is the putter to buy. It performs just as well, if not better, than the Mizuno M.Craft and Scotty Cameron Select series of putters, which are double and triple the cost.

Final verdict

Overall, this putter unlocks potential. The potential to make more long putts and be even more consistent knocking down those 5-10 foot pressure putts without breaking a sweat.

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