STX Sync Series 8 Putter
Utilized in an incredible 12 PGA Tour victories and multiple top 10 finishes, the STX Sync Series of putters have a proven track record. Recently launched in early 2012, the new Sync Series 8 Putter, aka the "SS8" is a modern twist on the classically designed blade putter and is outfitted STX patented soft insert technology dubbed "F.E.E.L." - Friction Enhancing Elastomer Layer, which is used to increase topspin, provide superior directional control, decreased ball skid and reduced ball deformation. That's fancy speak explaining that this putter was designed to get the ball to the hole!
Recently our friends at STX approached us with an opportunity to improve our putts per round in the form of the SS8 blade putter. They asked us to test, review and share our results with the world. As a person who's all too familiar with the dreaded 3-putt I was excited to see what the SS8 had to offer. Initially I was pleased with the ascetics of the putter, but as we all know, the proof is in the pudding and after several hundred putts on the practice greens and on the course we're now pleased to share the results of our testing sessions. But before we get too far take a close-up look at the SS8 yourself...
Design: (9 out of 10) It's classic design is both eye appealing and functional. The SS8 design and STX's F.E.E.L. technology have been seamlessly incorporated without effecting the putters over all appeal and shape. Best of all it doesn't resemble a rocket ship from the 80s either!
Feel: (8.5 out of 10) This putter feels well balanced throughout the putting stroke and has a terrific grip. When striking the golf ball we were surprised with the audible feedback, which was nothing but a dull thud when hit properly. Physically the putter rarely registered much vibration and was a joy to use.
Roll: (8.5 out of 10) The F.E.E.L. system appears to work as advertised! When testing side by side with a similar blade putter the SS8 consistently rolled truer for longer.
Distance Control: (9 out of 10) On average the SS8 had 5 inches more "roll-out" than similar blade putters we tested side by side. A great advantage for golfers who constantly leave putts short. This is likely do to the STX patented F.E.E.L. system and it's ability to increase top spin and decreased ball skid. While the F.E.E.L system did appear to increase top spin undoubtedly, it didn't completely put a stop to all ball skidding. This would be impossible in our humble opinion, but our testing did in-fact show a great decrease in ball skid with the SS8. We were quite impressed.
Alignment: (7 out of 10) As with many blade style putter the alignment system leaves a bit to be desired. I truly like the simplicity of the single hash for alignment, but it's not for everyone and could probably be designed to be more visually appealing.
Value: (9.5 out of 10) Putters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. The SS8's size and price tag oddly enough match up perfectly. At $110 we find this putter to hold a great value for it's asking price. What about the warranty? Yup, they've got that covered as well. Purchase of a STX putter comes with a one year limited warranty, in which STX will replace unusable or broken products.
The Bottom Line
: If you're a golfer who is always leaving putts short or skidding the golf ball for the first three feet after contact, the STX Sync Series 8
could be your ticket to fewer putts and lower overall scores. Please understand that the SS8 won't guarantee you'll become a better putter of the ball or sink the long ones, but to be honest... we like your chances! If you're considering a putter change this season do yourself a favor and make a trip to your local pro shop or sporting goods store and ask about the SS8. Once you have it in your hands we think you'll come to appreciate it as much as we have.