The R&D department at Cleveland Golf have always prided themselves on innovation, especially in the short game. Whilst many companies have tried to put a square peg in a round hole, struggling to find a suitable alignment aid for putters, Cleveland have taken that approach quite literally.
The Cleveland Smart Square putter features two squares, positioned behind the ball, that frame the ball and improve alignment and accuracy. Cleveland say it is the "simplest, more advanced alignment technology" they ever created.
Using the image above, Cleveland teased us with the idea behind the new innovation. Clearly suggesting that the two square design is greater than the very successful 2-ball design from Odyssey, Cleveland claim they have research and technology that proves their new design is better and easier than "one of the most popular putters of all time."
The R&D team at Cleveland Golf did some intensive work into what makes a good putter, looking at some successful putter designs and exactly what it is that golfers focus on when they are putting. Thus, the Dual Axis Alignment was created.
As well as providing a look at address that frames the ball and creates a visual path to the hole, the two squares on the Smart Square putter also produce two perpendicular lines that will help golfers see if they are misaligned.
Following their testing, Cleveland say that the Smart Square helped players align themselves 23% more accurately than with "one of the most popular putters of all time." They might not be able to say it, but we all know that is the Odyssey 2-Ball putter.
The Cleveland Smart Square is more than just an easier-to-align putter. Cleveland have packed a load of technology and customized options into the Smart Square, all at a price under £100.
The large, 360-gram clubhead is available in two different shaft options: heel or centre-shafted (shown above). Each provides a high-MOI, face balanced design engineered to improve the performance and distance control of putts hit off-centre.
To help provide an even more consistent roll, Cleveland have created a new black, Copolymer insert. The understated insert is fitted to the face of the Smart Square and offers a soft, smooth roll.
As is the case with the rest of Cleveland's products, they have placed a large emphasis on fitting and finding the specific model, length and specifications for each golfer's game.
Therefore, the Smart Square putter is available in four different length options and two different shaft options. The three standard lengths - 33, 34 and 35 inches - are available with either the centre-shafted or heel-shafted option. The final option is the most interesting, the Almost Belly.
Reacting to the recent anchoring ban, Cleveland created the Almost Belly option in many of their putter ranges. In the Smart Square, the Almost Belly option is 39 inches long and features a heavier clubhead and grip.
The 400-gram clubhead is 40 grams heavier than that standard length clubheads and combined with a 158-gram, counterbalancing grip (2.5 times heavier than normal) creates a putter that offers all the stability and ease of a belly putter, without actually anchoring it to your body.
If you are a leftie however, you will only have the option of the heel shafted standard length Smart Square for now.