Welcome to Devil Ball's Proving Ground, where we put the latest golf equipment through its paces. Today we get a chance to tool around with the limited edition Yamada putter line, with the Imperial version from the group.
There are few golf clubs out there that have bag guys at local golf clubs gawking while you're inside paying for your tee time, but I've run into this problem twice with the Yamada Imperial.
Tohru Yamada, a name that doesn't ring home like Scotty Cameron does but might just be as popular with true players of the game, has developed a line of limited edition putters that feel as good as they look, and that isn't really an easy thing to pull off. My Imperial showed up with the copper finish (the softest of the three finishes), and just taking it out of the box was a treat.
How does it perform? Just as good, if not better. The putter is perfect for me because I've been told non-offset styles are the best for my game, and the feel is great for the fast greens of Arizona. Golf clubs are made to perform first and look great second, but this one is nearly as pretty a putter as I've ever seen.
Yamada has made putters for the likes of Darren Clarke, Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman, to name a few, and this line of putters is a huge hit on Australian and European Tours alike. Before you know it, they'll be popping up in random groups in the United States, and they should. If you're a putter freak like a lot of Scotty followers, you need to get your hands on one of these and try it out (the classy Grip Master grip just adds to the appeal).
I've loved how soft it is off the face, and the simplicity of the design. It seems most popular golf companies are doing whatever they can to make the wackiest looking flatstick (and to be fair, most are far from flat anymore), but the Yamada look is exactly what you'd want if you still insist on carrying a 2-iron and hate it when people don't putt everything out.
I'm sold, and I'm sure you'd be as well. They're beautiful, and my Imperial already has a spot in the golf bag next to my wedges. It will be a while before something comes along to bump it out of that spot.