When Taylor Made released a driver with movable weights, people both cheered, and jeered the innovation. The USGA rules don’t allow you to change any part of your club while a round is under way. I think they over-estimate the game of the millions of 30+ handicappers everywhere in their ability to be able to shape shots armed with a wrench and a pocket full of weights. The last laugh came from Taylor Made’on their way to the bank. I’m surprised that it took this long for a decent weight-adjustable putter to come to market. We’ve all seen the ‘2-Bar’ infomercial, but most golfers don’t trust no-names, especially from a 2-hour commercial on a Sunday morning on The Golf Channel. Enter Never Compromise (Cleveland Golf’s premium putter line) with the GM2 Exchange Series putters.

With a market now full of premium-priced putters, it takes a gimmick now and then to shake things up. Does the GM2 series stack up? Let’s take a look.

The CNC milled putter revolution continues with this putter. According to the web site, The Never Compromise GM (Gray Matter) putters are all “CNC Milled 304 Stainless Steel. That’s fantastic’but the demo model that I was given was clearly milled from a cast mold. I know this because at the inside of the neck, at the base, you see casting remnants. The rest of the putter has lots of nice mill-marks, but this little tid-bit tells me that it’s not starting life as a square piece of metal in a CNC machine.

I think the mill-marks on the face are too extreme. When I was testing the Gray Matter putters on a high-speed camera I think the marks may have been catching the ball, pushing it off-line. This causes a putt to skip, and anything can happen when a ball bounces like that.

The Weight Changing system is pretty ingenious. You remove the sole-plate with the included tool, and then change to one of three weights, in ine if two positions. Included with the putter are two 5, 10 and 15 gram weights. I think it’s nice that they are different materials. The 5g looks to be brass, the 10 is a carbon steel, and the15 is lead. All are color-coded with stickers so that you can see the weights you have in the putter by looking at the sole plate. The weights have a rubber seal that keeps them from rattling around in the sole plate.

It’s refreshing to have every possible combination come WITH the putter. Taylor Made made a mint selling special wrenches and weights for their drivers. I salute Never Compromise for having the class to include the weights, wrenches, instructions, and a carrying case with every putter. Bravo.

I’m usually pretty critical of headcovers. The Never Compromise headcover isn’t bad at all. The magnetic clasp makes it easy to get the putter in out of it’s sheath, while not disturbing the other people that are putting like Velcro covers do. It’s not too flashy, and doesn’t scream “Steal Me either.

Winn strikes again. This is the more rounded version of the Winn gips, but it matches the ‘three dot’ scheme and compliments the putter. It’s a bit large for my taste, but with most premium putters, you want ‘the good stuff’ if you are shelling out $250+ for a putter, so the Winn grip is great.

The 304 Stainless Steel that Never Compromise uses is soft, but I think the finish they put on it is a bit distracting. I get the whole “grey in the middle thing, but I think the end doesn’t justify the means. One of my earlier test putters had the grey section chipping off the inside of the cavity. This is inexcusable when you are paying a premium for a putter.

Like any other Anser-Like head, the address is great. The black-gray-black “Gray Matter scheme lets you line putts up easily, without shoving it down your throat like the 2-ball system. The gray section is the exact width of a ball, making the sweet-spot easy to find. It’s also very easy to block out of your mind. The topline is flat, and the light milling on the bumpers and flange deflect direct sunlight so it’s easy to look at on bright days.

Feel: The feel of this putter is very nice. The combination of the 304 stainless steel, and the adjustable weights gives golfers everywhere a ‘tour feel’ that they may not get with US market putters. As a rule, tour players use a little heavier putter. A 350g head is common with a 34 putter. “Stock putters are usually 340g for that length. Asian markets often get to buy 350g heads because the populations are generally shorter, and the 33- 350g combination is the favored club. From time to time, you’ll see “Tour Weight in an eBay description, and that is often true’but it’s usually an Asian market putter.

“Skip to the end Overall:
I like this putter more than I thought I would. Once I figured out the weighting, I was dialed in pretty well. I ended up at 34 – 350g. Exactly like my current gamer. It’s nice to try a heavier putter without having to buy a new putter, or trust a 5-minute judgment call in the store. I’m not going to say that 90% of the population will know what to do with different weights in different spots, but I like the options.

With the competitive Premium Putter market heating up, the GM2 Exchange Series is positioned pretty well. I’d like to see what the ‘second generation’ of these putters brings us. If golfers chalk it up to ‘gimmick’, they’ll go away. If the popularity of the Taylor Made drivers tells us anything, I have a feeling that we may see an expanding market for adjustable weight putters like this one.

Craftsmanship: 7
Feel: 8
Headcover: 8
Grip: 7
Address: 7
Overall: 7.4
MSRP: $280.00
Length: 33, 34, 35
Head Weight: 330g – 370g (Adjustable)
Swing Weight: Variable
Material: 304 SS
Grip: Winn
Manufacturing Type: Milled
Made In: USA