Best at PGA Show: Caliber Golf Putter Has the “Wright” Stuff

Caliber Golf has launched a product that has the golf equipment world buzzing featuring a putter head on the end of a carbon-fiber hockey-stick shaft, that promises consistency to make you sink those dreaded 3-4 foot putts.

ORLANDO, Florida – The Wright Brothers built something that people thought was a folly, if not downright impossible, and would never successfully launch.

Tim and Chip Wright proved them wrong. Orville and Wilbur Wright? Oh, they may have been right about aviation, too.

But we’re talking about important life-and-death stuff here — your putting.

Chip Wright (l), co-founder of Caliber Golf, has received rave reviews about his Caliber Golf putting grip and shaft, from the usually skeptical golf media.

The new Wright Brothers, Tim and Chip (not those other guys), came up with an unconventional putting solution. How unconventional? Well, it sounds like “Happy Gilmore” had something to do with it.

The Caliber Golf putter features a putter head on the end of a carbon-fiber hockey-stick shaft. This is where Happy Gilmore should butt in and say, “Tap, tap, tap-a-roonie.”

Don’t dismiss this gimmicky-sounding putter. It’s no gimmick. It works. And the important part here is, it seems like a solution for golfers who yip, flinch or can’t make an 18-inch putt to save their lives.

Gary Van Sickle, whose career in golf media spans 30 years, demonstrates how the Caliber Putter can be used in a hockey-style stance to knock in those dreaded 3-4 foot putts.

Caliber Golf, based in Kenosha, Wis., had its putters on display at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. That’s where I got a chance to test them. If you’re a purist, yeah, this whole idea probably makes you ill. Putting with my usual stance and grip, there was something about having my palm against the wider flat side of the hockey-stick shaft that help me with alignment.

The Caliber’s super-power comes when you split your grip and slide your right hand down the shaft to just above the hosel, like you’re Sidney Crosby about to fire a slapshot. That setup made short putts instantly unmissable. And that’s without hours of practice. I was immediately confident with a four-footer on the putting mat. The Wrights have tumbled on to something here.

The Caliber Golf booth was buzzing all week at the 70th PGA Merchandise Show with sales generating from a national & international audience.

Chris Wright, father of Tim and Chip, played on the 1973 University of Wisconsin hockey team that won the NCAA Championship. He uses the Caliber with an arm-lock method. “It helped me because I get too wristy,” he said. “The flat side of the grip allows you to line up your shot and square up better.”

Tim and Chip grew up playing hockey, like their dad. Their grandfather was a reserve goaltender who played in practices with the Chicago Blackhawks. So this idea of hockey merging with golf just seemed obvious to the brothers.

Golf entrepreneur Rick Zurak tries out the Caliber Golf putting grip and shaft.

“This putter takes your hands out of it,” said Tim, whose handicap dropped from 14 to 7 after he began putting hockey-style. “You’re using all big muscles and you have more control.”

Putting is believing. The Caliber is an all-purpose putter that can be used in multiple ways. I’ve tinkered with sidesaddle putting and written about it. The Caliber can easily be used that way, too. It’s versatile and if you’re worried about the feel being different, you can put your own putter head on the hockey-stick shaft.

Gary Van Sickle, from among 800 golf and lifestyle brands at the 70th PGA Show, offers high praise and predicts a bright future for the Caliber Golf putting grip and shaft.

If you’re curious how the Wrights got the club past the USGA, it’s because they turned the shaft into a grip. Cleverly hidden beneath it is a conventional golf shaft glued to the “grip.”

“I’ve always wanted my name on a hockey shaft,” said Tim. A quick check on the underside of a Caliber putter revealed “WRIGHT” in bright red letters.

Caliber Golf putters are unconventional and maybe wacky-looking to some but they are a cure for golfers with putting woes from short range.

The Caliber Golf putting grip and shaft can be customized in length and golfers might want to transfer the putter head they use now to the hockey stick-style shaft.

The Wright Brothers had an idea and it’s going to fly. Just like those other Wright Brothers.

The hockey-stick shaft by itself is available for $199. Caliber Golf offers several of its own heads on the shaft for $314-$349. The shaft with an Odyssey White Hot.putter head is $365. There are other options, including several Bettinardi putter heads.

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