I have been testing the new Backstryke Marxman putter for a few weeks. I think the first comment from most people is that the the putter looks a little odd. It is a little strange to see the shaft connected to the back of the putter and not the face. This was a little easier for me to get over as I use a Scotty Cameron Futura putter and let’s face it, compared to it, no putter looks that strange. Unlike my irons, I generally don’t care how my putter looks. I judge putters more on set up, feel, roll of the ball and the most important thing, whether I can make putts with it.
When I tried the Backstryke in Golf Galaxy, the first thing I noticed was how easy it was to set the face square to the target line. I really like being able to see the entire face as I set up to the ball. I also noticed that the putter forces your hands to be pressed forward at address. For golfers that tend to keep their hands even or behind the ball at address, the Backstryke may be a bad option. However, having a hands forward set up will definitely promote a tighter, more consistent roll. Like my Scotty, this putter definitely sets up square and is very easy to align to the target. Overall the Backstryke passes the set up test.
On the practice green, I immediately noticed that the ball was rolling much tighter with the Backstryke. I think this is due to the forced hand placement as well as the fact that this putter is very easy to release. Odyssey claims that the hand press promotes an upward stroke imparting faster top spin. I don’t know about all that, but I do feel as though my ball is rolling better than ever.
The putter definitely has a different feel than any of the putters I have used in the past. Maybe this is due to the fact that the shaft is disconnected from the face. It could also be the insert. Either way, the feel was a bit odd with the first few putts, but I was able to get used to it very quickly.
I have played four rounds with it now and I feel very confident standing over any putt inside 10 feet. The roll of the putter is very consistent and I am definitely making better strokes. However, I am still struggling a bit longer putts. The ball seems to fly off the face on putts over 25 feet and I am having trouble consistently lagging the ball close. I think the weight difference of the Backstryke and my Scotty may be a contributing factor in my poor lag putting. The tighter roll could also be causing me to hit longer putts farther than I did with my Scotty. During my last round I lagged the ball better on longer putts, but this is something that I need to work on.
Although I can’t say that my putting stats have decreased since changing putters, I am still averaging 32 putts a round, I will say that my confidence in the Backstryke is growing. I really feel like I am going to make more putts, especially from within 15 feet. For us amateurs to make more putts, we need the confidence to putt aggressively. We don’t play on the speedy, perfect greens that the pros get week in and week out, so imperfections in the greens contribute more to us missing putts. We need to be more aggressive so that the ball will stay online causing more 3-4 footers coming back. The more confidence you have in making those short comeback putts, the more aggressive you can be with your first putt. With my new Backstryke, I feel as though I can make every short putt I stand over.
Overall I like the concepts behind this putter, improved alignment as the shaft is not in your eye sight and a hands forward set up. I think the combination of these two items will lead to better putting. I would definitely recommend the putter.