Expert Review: Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11 Single Bend PutterPublished on 05/28/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the putter, which I tested for one day in March of 2023.
All photos courtesy od Dylan B.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the putter, which I tested for one day in March of 2023.
I would miss right with my old blade; however, when I tested the Cleveland HB Soft Milled #11 Single Bend Putter, I immediately improved and dropped the majority of putts at a reasonable distance, putting the rest very close for an easy tap in. This is more of a mid-handicapper putter that can still be an option for the low-handicapper.
About the club I tested
- Model: 2023 Huntington Beach Soft Milled #11 Putter
- Shape: Mallet
- Hosel Neck: Single Bend
- Balance Point: Toe Hang
- Shaft Length: 35”
- Grip Type: Oversize Pistol
- Finish: Black with white, red, and blue accents
- Average Score: 82
- Handicap: 12
- Experience: 3 years of playing golf
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-Handed
- Stroke Type: Straight
- Golf Ball Used: TP5
- Height: 6’1”
- When I tested the putter: March 2023
- Days tested: 1
- Where I’ve used it: Practice green
- Weather and Wind Conditions: Inside on test green
- Green Speed: Fast
- Grass Type: Practice turf
How it performs
What I was looking for
Coming from a very severe toe hang-bladed putter, I was after a putter that would provide more forgiveness on mishits, as well as a putter that would roll straighter for my stroke type, which is straight back and through. During testing, I putt with some traditional mallets, which seemed to have a very large head behind the ball, and this putter had a smaller mallet head with flanges, not making it appear too large.
Why I chose to test this club
I kept missing easy putts with my old blade. I tested out face-balanced putters in the store and came across this one, and I barely missed any putts inside 10 feet. I tested others in the store, but this one stood out to me as I liked the feel in my hands, the look in the playing position, and the feel through the stroke. After testing the stock version in store, I ended up purchasing the Premier version of the putter, as they both perform the same, but I preferred the black and gray finish, and it was worth it to me for the extra bit of money.
What I love about it
- Face Feel: On all contact points, the putts still roll end over end and right where I aim. No matter where I connect on the putter's face, they also feel the same.
- Forgiveness: On all off-center strikes and even off-far toe and heel strikes, the putts still roll consistently and exactly where I aim, mostly due to its Soft face milling allowing for the contact on every strike point to be the same.
- Weight: It is consistent through the stroke and weighted evenly to feel well-balanced.
- Length: This putter comes with a few different length options, and I picked 35”, and it has been perfect for me, being 6’1”.
- Aesthetic Appeal: I love the all-black shaft with the dark satin gray head finish and the black alignment line, with the club's sole also black. The dark colors also allow for better focus on sunny days. It is visually appealing, but some parts of the satin finish are minorly (inconsistently) shaded.
- Grip Feel: I love the oversized grip with a flat front to feel where the head is facing through my hands and maintain a consistent grip every time.
- Customization: I tested with the HB oversize grip, rather than the stock Golf Pride grip that comes with this putter stock, and I like the oversize grip more as it is a thicker grip that has a bit more dexterity to it that allows me to take any grip I need to, and still feel comfortable and still have a good feel of face angle.
- Balance: The face-balanced design allowed for a very even feel through the stroke, coupled with the hosel single bend and lie angle being perfect for my putting stance to be stood right over the ball at just the right height.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Alignment: The alignment line on the putter could be longer and flow into the face on the crown of the head, but it stops between the flanges. I feel the longer alignment, flowing into the face of the putter, would help as it would be continuous into the line on the ball, whereas, for shorter putts, it would ensure a proper angle.
Best Putt or Round with this Putter
During my testing for around 30 minutes or so in the store with this putter, I barely missed any putts around or inside 10 feet, and if I did miss, they were left for an easy tap-in. Most of the misses were human error and not the putter's fault. It rolled consistently, into the grain, down grain, and on all strike points.
Value for the money vs. other options
During my in-store testing, I looked at a variety of other options from all different price points ranging from Bettinardi, Scotty Cameron, Odyssey, Mizuno, TaylorMade, and more. I looked at the most expensive to some of the cheaper options, and I couldn’t find a better value for the price. I narrowed my decision to the TaylorMade GT Red and this HB Soft Milled #11, as I was putting very well with both during testing, but I liked the HB putter as I felt it fit my stroke type better and was more forgiving and consistent across the face. I then ended up purchasing the Premier version of this HB Soft #11 because I liked the black and gray finish.
Putting in store with this putter was better than I have ever putt. I left the store convinced of purchasing this model as the mallet style and face balance design worked much better for me. This putter rolled very well in all scenarios across all points of the face when deliberately trying to hit far off the toe and heel.