Surviving the Hot List
What does it take to be a Hot List tester? We sent a documentary crew to the 2022 Hot List testing summit to capture the people, the drama and the secret sauce that goes into golf’s ultimate assignment.
Ever since Walter Travis won the 1904 U.S. Amateur with a monstrously effective monstrosity known as the Schenectady putter, mallets have attracted great attention for their crudely curative role in improving, well, roll. Their oversize size affords room for both better stability on mis-hits and more enlightening aiming elements. Their lone drawback may have been their occasionally garish aesthetic and subsequently unwieldy navigation from backstroke to impact: They can look and swing like an exploded mailbox. Or at least they used to. More mallets, most in fact, have reeled in the spaceship looks and more importantly many have figured out how to maintain extreme off-center hit forgiveness with a center of gravity location that’s closer to the face (as opposed to so far back that you feel like your dragging the headcover along for the ride). Today’s mallet putters make extensive use of multiple materials all in an effort to make your worst putts roll pretty much like your best putts. And since most of us hit many more worst putts than best putts many more of us should be looking for one of the new mallets that just take a spot of honor right next to Travis and his beloved Schenectady.