The Rife Deep Blue putter isn’t brand new on the market, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of date or out of style. It also doesn’t mean it’s not capable of helping a lot of golfers. Far from it – in fact, this putter is the winner of a 2010 Golf Digest “Hot List” award in the mallet putter category.
The thing is, in order to take advantage of the Deep Blue’s several benefits, you’ll need to get used to a putter with a square head. For some of you the square head will be an obstacle; for others, not so much. The shape of the Deep Blue isn’t my personal favorite, but I’ve learned over time that on the golf course, strong performance trumps beauty every time.
Those of you who have read our review on the Rife IMO putter (posted on another page of this site) know I’ve become a fan of Rife putters – so much so that I bought the IMO I tested. Well, the Rife Deep Blue putter has an entirely different look than the IMO, but it uses some of the same technology to help golfers roll the ball smoothly and hit accurate putts.
I started wondering if this big, square-headed mallet would be as effective as the IMO, so I decided to test and review the Rife Deep Blue putter. After all, the “right” one- or two-year old club can give you great performance for a price that’s lower than that of the “latest and greatest” models, and that’s the type of information I love passing on to our readers.
Despite not being this year’s model, getting hold of a demo Deep Blue was easy – I just borrowed one from a friend. Here’s what I found out about the putter. The information below is a combination of research and the results of my on-course testing.
First, about the name: yes, the Rife Deep Blue putter uses blue as an accent color, but the “Deep” in the name comes from the fact that a great deal of the putter’s weight is positioned deep in the two rear corners of the head. Yep, this is a high-MOI, square-headed mallet putter, and it’s been designed to provide extreme head stability throughout the putting stroke.
The body of the head is made of stainless steel, but an ultra-lightweight, CNC-milled blue aluminum face insert helps keep the weight of the club concentrated at the rear. The milled insert uses Rife’s patented “RollGroove Technology™” - a groove system which consists of precisely milled and spaced grooves that are designed to grab and put an immediate forward spin on the ball, reducing the likelihood of hopping or skidding. Lightweight, hollow side rails complete the square head and also help to keep the club’s mass positioned at the rear.
The result is a big, fairly heavy mallet putter that has a light swing weight because of the way the weight is balanced. And all that weight at the rear gives the putter an exceptionally high MOI and a great deal of club head stability. It also helps maintain the forward momentum of the putting stroke, helping to prevent deceleration – one of the main causes of poor putting.
Okay, so how did the Rife Deep Blue putter do on the greens?
Well, it’s square and it’s big, so it takes a little time to get used to looking at the Rife Deep Blue putter. I have to say that the putter’s simple, straightforward right angles did make lining it up a little easier. The right angles used to make up the square head, the heel and toe rails running along the putter’s sides, and the three front-to-back alignment lines (positioned directly behind the ball) combine to make it easy to align the face perpendicular to the target line.
I’m a straight-back and straight-through putter - my normal stroke doesn’t arc. With some putters, the head tends to wobble in my backstroke. But the Rife Deep Blue putter made it very easy for me to keep the head stable. The sound and feel at impact were solid and reassuring, and the ball came off the face very pure, dead on-line without any hops, skips or jumps. Distance control was good, but what I really liked was the accuracy of the Rife Deep Blue putter. The best way I can describe it is that my misses didn’t miss by much.
The Bottom Line: I might be tempted by the Rife Deep Blue putter if I hadn’t just bought the Rife IMO putter I tested the other day. The Deep Blue is a quality putter that delivers solid results. The head is super-stable and the RollGroove Technology™ in the face insert puts a consistently smooth roll on the ball. I think Guerin Rife came up with another winner.