The Wilson Staff Vizor putter looks somewhat odd, and it might take a
while to get used to seeing it as you’re standing over your putts. Is it
worth taking the time you’ll need to make that visual adjustment? Can
it really help you get a better bead on your putts, like Wilson claims?
I decided to find out whether this putter could help me drain more of my putts. Here’s some information about this unusual mallet putter, followed by a synopsis of my impressions from using it on the greens.
According to Wilson, the Wilson Staff Vizor putter utilizes a principle accepted by virtually every putting expert: consistent putting results from a consistent eye position at address. The company says the technology built into the Wilson Staff Vizor putter helps a golfer’s eyes “lock into” the ideal position for this kind of putting consistency.
Wilson says its Vizor putting “system” is a three-step process: the first step is reading the line; the second is aligning the face of the putter along that line; and the third step involves adjusting the eye position until the eyes are properly locked onto the highly visible, red and silver alignment aid. The result, according to Wilson, is a consistent, repeatable putting stroke that’s made along the intended putting line. It calls this integrated alignment design “I-Lock Technology.” The name is clever, but how is this system different from any other alignment aid?
The company explains that because improper eye position (looking down inside or outside the intended putting line) is a major factor in erratic putting, the Wilson Staff Vizor putter is designed to “lock” your eyes directly over the putting line you’ve identified. According to Wilson, when your eyes are positioned inside the target line, there’s a natural tendency to push the ball to the right, and when your eyes are positioned outside the target line, you tend to pull your putts to the left. The Wilson Staff Vizor putter indicates when your eyes are aligned properly (over the target line) - you won’t see the red bars of the alignment aid. If you see the red bars, your eyes are misaligned. You then know you need to stop and make an adjustment. Red = Stop. How clever.
There’s more to this mallet putter than its ingenious alignment aid, however. The head is primarily aluminum to give it a soft feel, but it resists twisting because of the high Moment of Inertia provided by the much heavier stainless steel used around the perimeter (despite the aluminum, the head is fairly heavy because of this stainless steel). A urethane face insert is, according to Wilson, “tuned to match the hardness of a golf ball.” And finally, thanks to its double bend shaft, the Wilson Staff Vizor putter is face-balanced.
But what you really want to know is whether all this “stuff” works. Can a Wilson Staff Vizor putter help you sink more of your putts?
All I can say is that it worked for me – to a certain degree. Thanks to the I-Lock Technology, I always knew when my eyes were positioned correctly. But eye position is far from the only variable involved in putting accurately. First, you need to determine the right putting line. Unless you correctly identify the line, it won’t matter whether your eyes are aligned properly. You also need to get the speed of your putts correct. A putt can be hit on the perfect line, but skip over the cup if it’s struck too hard. It can also come up short if you hit it too softly.
So, you need the right line and the right speed no matter which putter you’re using. But if you do everything right - read the putt correctly, have the right speed and put a smooth roll on the ball – your putt should drop in. The Wilson Staff Vizor putter can’t read the greens for you, and it can’t tell you how firmly you should stroke the ball. But, it can ensure that your eyes are lined up over the line you’ve identified. And I figure that’s at least one-third of the battle. The putter’s other features – its resistance to twisting and soft feel – are icing on the cake.
The Bottom Line: There’s no doubt that the Wilson Staff Vizor putter has an unusual appearance. This is probably a putter which takes some practice to get down pat. But once you realize that its looks are intended to help you zone in on your line, everything about your setup could start falling into place. Because of the head’s heaviness and the clever alignment aid, golfers with straight-through-and-back putting strokes might like the Vizor better than golfers with arcing strokes.