C&L “350 Milled” Putter Review

More than once, a putter has arrived that didn’t live up to the promise of the person sending it. I’ve sent a few back. I’ve taken second opinions on others. I’ve spent hours re-writing reviews to see if I could be fair and constructive at the same time. When I opened up the box from C&L Putters I immediately looked it over where I always do…in the parking lot of my PO Box. I usually take a quick look, then put it back in the box for the drive to my office where it’s photographed and video is taken. I did the same thing with this putter, and had to smile. These guys “get it”…in a big way.

Before I get into this one too far, I’ll say that we’re re-working the review procedure on Putter Talk. I think having a “Points” system has it’s up-side…and down-side as well. Putters are subjective, and I would like to see more people choosing a putter based off of what THEY think…not the reviewer. We’re always happy to offer opinions, but ultimately, judging a putter on it’s own merits seems like a better way to go. More debate about this in the Community Forums if you wish…here we go.

Craftsmanship:
The mission that Chip and Lee (Get it…C&L?) wanted to accomplish was to offer a hand-stamped, 350g ‘Tour Quality” 100% milled putter…for under $300. Several prototypes/months/phone calls later, they had a nice clean design, and a domain name that would become what they are known as: 350milled.com.

The CNC Milling is top notch, the handwork is fantastic, the stamping is well done, and thoughtful. Often, you’ll see people that just start whacking stamps on a putter in the hopes that they’ll have something attractive in the end. This is not the case with the C&L. All of the stamps disappear at address.

Headcover:
This putter came with an AM&E White headcover, with pretty simple stitching. I don’t see it as ever being a “Collectable” cover, but it’ll protect the putter quite well…and that’s what you want in a headcover in the first place. Right?

Grip/Shaft:
This is the first time we’ve seen a putter come in with an Iomic grip. While I have 1-2 that we were sent to review a while back, that project got put on hold, so I was pretty excited to see this one.

The material is very nice, and offers a pretty unique feel. It isn’t slippery like the Winn grips can get, and it isn’t porous like some of the bargain-grips you see at the golf store. There is a dense feeling that is hard to describe until you have it in your hands. There are ‘Ions’ that are supposed to relax your hands…I’ll leave that to a scientist to review. The way that C&L matched the paint-fill to the grip was a nice touch too.

Nippon Shafts haven’t been seen too often on a putter. Normally, you see True Temper or Royal Precision, (Now the same company) so the Nippon was a nice surprise.

I can’t comment on the flex much, but I’ll say that there didn’t seem to be too much torque at all. The overall feel of the putter head was similar to every other putter I’ve used at this length and head weight. This is a situation where not being different is a good thing.

As an upgrade, C&L offers a Graphite Fujikura shaft for an additional $100. I can’t comment on the feel of this shaft, but those that have tried graphite shafts generally like them.

Material:
Soft carbon steel makes for a great putter. Black Oxide makes for a great finish. You’ll find both here on the 350 Milled…living in perfect harmony. I’ve putted with several different carbon steel putters before. There is a buttery feel that you just can’t get from Stainless. The thick top-line makes for a crisp sound. You really need to try one yourself to see hear what I’m talking about.

Address:
At address, the top-line of this putter is abnormally thick. With a head weight of 350g, it has to come from somewhere. My only complaint is that the top-line is a little too shinny for my taste, but I think it was me realizing that it’d been a while since I’d played with a shinny BO putter on a sunny day.

You’re looking down at yet another outstanding homage to the timeless Ping Anser design. The lines are simple, the Black-Oxide finish contrasts the ball well…now it’s time to concentrate on the 4-footer at hand.

“Skip to the end” Overall:
Nobody can dispute that the quality of this putter is FAR past what you would expect for under $300. In fact, I’ve seen putters costing twice as much that I’d put the C&L up against. There are plenty of people that can whack on a putter to make it say whatever you like. There are few that take the time to make it look “right”. C&L definitely have a niche market, and the cater to it perfectly.

In 3-4 weeks, you can have a 350 Milled putter stamped up exactly how you want it…and for less than you’ll spend at the “Big-Box” stores on some of the big name putter makers. I think an interesting idea would be to get the upgraded Fujikura shaft. For only $100 more, you’ll get a completely different experience, and still be under $400 with shipping.

Chip and Lee tell me they are working on another design already. I can hardly wait to see what they come up with.

Discuss C&L Putters in their section of our Putter Communiy

High-Speed Video Clip:

Download this clip: cl_350milled.mov (Quicktime required)

Stats:
Company: C&L Putters
URL: http://www.350milled.com
MSRP: $289.00
Length: 34-1/2″
Loft: 4-deg
Lie: 71-deg
Head Weight: 350g
Swing Weight: D-7
Material: 11L17 Carbon Steel (303 Stainless in October)
Grip: Iomic
Head Cover: AM&E
Manufacturing Type: 100% CNC Milled
Made In: USA

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