Let's explore the many factors that make Honu putters work so well. Please click on links in text for more interesting and fascinating details.
Please view the two videos below to see the physical benefits that help you make putts!
A Question of Balance
Honu putters are carefully balanced to be completely stable, without twisting and wobbling.
Most other putters will "twist open" - rotate so the face points away from the target line - when gripped lightly. The grip pressure needed to keep the putter on-line causes accuracy-robbing tension. Other putters also wobble as you move them back and forth, rotating in one direction on the way back and in the other on the way forward. It's as if the putter had a mind of its own. You must compensate to square the putter. The compensations change with tempo, making you miss putts under pressure or when you have to ease up on a putt or hit one harder.
Honu putters avoid both twist and wobble. The putter obeys your every command. You can hold it as lightly as you wish and still putt true. You can get those delicate down-hillers perfectly on line, and you can "ram it in the back of the hole" without pulling it.
Here's how it works: the Honu shaft goes directly through the head's center of mass. The technically inclined might want to check out the gory details of mass balancing (link). This idea - shaft through center of mass - has been around for a long time, so long that several patents on it have long since expired!
When you try a Honu, you will notice immediately that it doesn't "fight back" like other putters. People often say "it feels so light" - but Honu putters weight the same or more than most other putters. It feels light because you don't have to work against gravity and spin torque to keep it aligned.
One customer said that the Honu feels very smooth. The shaft location behind the impact point is a big part of that, as shown by this vibration analysis (link).
Bamboo Body and Face
Honu's body and face are laminated bamboo, a renewable material with extraordinary feel. It has the perfect hardness to strike the ball solidly without the "clangy" feel of metal. The face is all of the same material, eliminating a common problem with metal putters with softer face inserts (link) - hitting the ball on the metal instead of the softer insert.
The bamboo feel almost has to be experienced to believe it. The "organic" ball strike sensation is so satisfying. If you've ever drilled a line drive over second base with a wooden baseball bat, you probably know what I'm talking about. People whacked stuff with wooden sticks since long before there was metal. Could human brains be adapted to wood sounds?
The semicircular shape and bamboo material combine for a pleasing sound and a pure impact sensation because of the way sound travels in solids. Metal putters have a clanky sound, while Honus have a pleasant musical sound like a wooden drum. Check out this video showing wave patterns in an ordinary putter and a Honu.
On a Roll!
Putting is more accurate and consistent if the ball rolls soon after leaving the face, with minimal hopping and bouncing. Honu putters are engineered to roll the ball as quickly as possible, with these design elements:
Large flat sole as a position reference
Neutral loft to drive the ball forward, neither up nor down
Soft - but not too soft - face to engage the ball without hopping
Vertical mass aligned near ball equator