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By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider

ORLANDO — The most talked-about piece of equipment on the PGA TOUR last season was the counter balanced putter.

With the USGA's ban on anchored putting methods expected to go into effect in 2016, equipment manufacturers started pumping out new counter balanced putter models last year that featured a heavier grip and shaft that increased the MOI (moment of inertia) of the entire club, making it more stable than a traditional putter.

While counterbalancing is a solution to the anchor ban, Bridgestone believes it also has a viable option with its "counter" counter balanced putter line. As opposed to adding more weight to the grip and shaft, Bridgestone flipped the script and went with a lighter shaft and grip that adds more feel to the head and promotes a square face at impact.

The yellow grip is made from EVA foam — the same lightweight foam material you typically find in the sole of tennis shoes — and weighs just 20 grams, while the graphite shaft comes in at a feathery 35 grams.

The ultra-light package also allows the club to stand on its own when you place it at address. Along with the lightweight shaft, the putter head weighs 360 grams and is made from 304 stainless steel with dual-layered grooved polymer inserts that promote a smooth roll.

Josh Kinchen, Bridgestone's marketing manager for clubs and accessories, confirmed that prototypes of the putter are currently being tested by Bridgestone staffers Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker.

"They all have prototypes right now and we just gave one to a European Tour player this week," Kinchen said. "We're seeding it right now on the PGA TOUR and hope to get it out there as soon as possible."

True Balance putters will be available in March in a blade and face-balanced mallet for $199. Steel-shafted versions will also be available, including a double-bend mallet (TD-02), for $149.

 

 

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