Few people have heard of the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter, but that could
change after the May, 2012 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
Aaron Baddeley is known for his putting skills, and he played one of
these unusual putters during that tournament. The TV coverage of the
Wells Fargo made a big deal about it, with the commentators sharing some
information about the YAR putter’s features and overall
The YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter is designed by the mysteriously-named “Dr. V,” a woman whom the TV commentators described as an aeronautical physicist. Among other things, Gary McCord and the other TV announcers talked about how this particular putter bucks today’s trend toward high Moment of Inertia (MOI) putters. Instead of aiming for a high MOI, the YAR GXI-WB does exactly the opposite.
And, it’s square. In fact, it’s really square. The shape makes it funky-looking (to me, anyway), but its design does have a few unique side benefits – like picking up the ball for you when you’re done putting. McCord also told the TV audience how it will put a ball marker down on the ground for you (and then pick it back up, along with the ball). More on those side benefits later.
YAR’s own website (www.yargolf.com) asks whether the putter is magic, science or both. In light of Dr. V’s scientific background, I went to the website thinking the company probably claims the putter provides some pretty magical performance based on scientific principles. As it turns out, I was right, although I don’t understand the physics.
Here’s what I could find out about this largely unknown putter. It’s going to be the subject of a lot of buzz after Baddeley’s adoption of it at the 2012 Wells Fargo.
First, the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter has a different look than every other putter out there. Let me say it one more time: this putter is really, really square. And there’s a big circular hole right behind the face. A powder-coated protective finish is applied to the 316 stainless steel head using state-of-the-art Aerospace Grade ISO Compliant materials and procedures. It comes in several colors (the company calls them “flavors”), including “Sapphire” (light blue), “Hot Flash” (red), “Black Magic,” “Granite,” “Phantasm” and a limited edition “Gold Signature Series.” The last one must include some real gold, because the website notes this “flavor” will cost more than the others due to current gold prices.
Despite its off-the-beaten-path appearance, a few things about the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter are intriguing. Its designer, Dr. V, doesn’t play golf but she is an aeronautical physicist. Apparently, she was inspired to create a putter while watching a friend with arthritis play. Her design is based on her expertise in physics, aeronautical engineering and the use of advanced materials. The goal was a putter that would help average golfers putt more consistently (and provide some side benefits along the way).
The science behind the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter is beyond my comprehension. I can’t even explain it properly.
So, I’ll just sum it up by saying Dr. V designed the YAR GXI-WB Wide body putter to have the lowest MOI possible. That design philosophy distinguishes the YAR from almost every other putter on today’s market. Instead of focusing on increasing the putter’s resistance to twisting by having a high MOI, the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter is engineered to provide a pure pendulum swing throughout the entire stroke. The result, says Dr. V, is an extremely stable putter that gives you more accuracy and more confidence.
But do you remember I mentioned some side benefits earlier? Well, Dr. V also wanted to design a putter that could be used by people with physical limitations. Its size and center shaft allow it to fit inside the cup, and the central hole lets you pick up the ball (from inside the hole or on the putting surface) without bending over. And the extreme stability of the YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter allows it to be used effectively by one-handed golfers or players in wheelchairs.
But that’s not all. When you use the putter to pick up the ball from the green, it also marks the position (again, without bending over). A small magnet on the sole picks up the ball marker when you’re ready to take your putt. Although they might sound like minor benefits to some, these features can make all the difference for golfers with arthritis or other physical limitations.
The Bottom Line: The YAR GXI-WB Wide Body putter looks unusual, but it deserves some recognition for its unique features – especially those designed to help golfers with physical limitations continue playing.