With their milled faces and $69 price tags, Cleveland Classic Series putters sound like they’d be a great bargain. In fact, they’re some of the most wallet-friendly putters you can find – and they’re made by a name brand golf equipment company, too!
I’d heard that despite their low price, they deliver the type of performance that low-handicappers demand. Jerry Kelly, a PGA Tour pro, bought one off the rack and won the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Apparently, you can’t judge a putter by its price tag.
Low price + high performance = the recipe for a great buy. That’s reason enough for doing one of our putter reviews. We love passing on information about good quality golf equipment that can be purchased for less than top dollar.
There are several models of Cleveland Classic Series putters, but like the name of the line implies, they’re all inspired by classic putter designs. Several are traditional blade-style putters, but others are small mallets. None of them are flashy like some putters that are on the market. You simply won’t see any outrageous, over-the-top designs with Cleveland Classic Series putters, just simple, elegant, classic lines.
These are well-made putters, built meticulously in order to deliver fine performance. Each model has a precision CNC-milled face (imagine that, at only $69!) to promote a soft but solid feel, and they all use heel-toe weighting to increase the Moment of Inertia (MOI), enhance forgiveness and reduce unwanted club head twisting. The heads of all Cleveland Classic Series putters are made of 17-4 stainless steel.
I tested a 34-inch Cleveland Classic 4 putter – a heel-toe weighted Anser-like blade. The look is reassuringly comfortable and familiar – seeing it made me feel like I had found a long-lost friend.
I could tell that it was well built just by looking at it. Cleveland Golf didn’t cut any corners to permit the low $69 price tag of the Cleveland Classic Series putters. Or at least the company didn’t cut any truly significant corners – the face is precision-milled to promote great feel and accuracy, and the overall appearance matches that of any putter costing $100 more. The head cover was the only place I really noticed any kind of cost-reducing shortcut. It has a Velcro closure instead of using magnets (magnetic closures are nice, but this isn’t a big deal in my book). Well, now that I think about it, I would have preferred a slightly “cushier” grip, too. But everyone has their own preference for their grip. If the stock grip of a putter doesn’t suit you, it’s cheap and easy to replace.
The bright red grip does make the Cleveland Classic 4 putter stand out a bit from other Anser-type blades that are available. But I quickly learned that this putter’s superb feel is what really makes it stand out from much of its competition.
The Cleveland Classic 4 was in my bag for 3 rounds, and although I tend to prefer mallet putters (I like the stability they give me in my backstroke), I quite liked the Classic 4 blade. It’s hard to describe its feel - I’ve used putters that felt softer, but this one just “felt right.” It gave me good feedback without even the slightest hint of harshness. Each time a rolled a putt I liked the mellow sound and feel a little more. And by the end of my first two rounds, I knew I would miss the Classic 4 when the test was over. That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a blade-style putter, considering how much I like mallets.
The milled face was as nice as the milling I’ve seen on putters costing three times as much as the Cleveland Classic Series putters, and the rolls produced by the Classic 4 putter were solid and smooth. A single white sightline is there if you want an alignment aid, but the line isn’t overly obtrusive if you’d rather ignore it and line up the face some other way.
The Bottom Line: There’s a lot to like about the Cleveland Classic Series putters: their clean, elegant lines; their high quality, solid construction; their superb feel; and of course their price. The price is the real kicker, of course, because it’s almost ridiculously low for putters of this quality. But in the end it all comes down to performance, and based on my test of the Classic 4, the Cleveland Classic Series putters can put plenty of balls in the hole. They’re not flashy, but between the blade and the mallet versions of the Cleveland Classic Series putters, just about every golfer could probably find one that he or she likes. And at $69, it could be a real steal.