George Stead

In the ever-evolving world of golf equipment, the 2024 Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 8S putter stands out from the crowd, but not for the usual reasons you'd expect, at least when it comes to putters...

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

It's a flat-stick that blends sleek branding, classic shaping and some modern precision milling technology. Aimed at golfers seeking both style and performance and potentially value for money, this new Cleveland putter promises to enhance golfers' game on the greens in more ways than one.

Here at Golfalot, we've reviewed a number of Cleveland's recent putter releases, some which we haven't been massively impressed by, like the Frontline 4.0 and others that we've found to perform very well, like the HB Soft Premier 105.

HB, standing for Huntington Beach the place of Cleveland Golf's Californian Headquarters, since their original release in 2016, has marked a putter range with understated quality and a premium yet affordable outlook.

Who Are They Aimed At?

The HB Soft 2 8S putter is designed for golfers of all skill levels, particularly those who value a balanced feel and consistent roll, however its wide blade shape means that it could be ideal for golfers who like a traditional looking putter but are looking for extra stability and slightly more added weight.

Having a closer look at the Cleveland website suggests that it's a headshape catered for golfers with a slight arc stroke. But whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, this putter aims to improve your putting accuracy and confidence.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

The Tech

As suggested, the HB Soft Cleveland putter lines don't come with too many thrills, hence the use of classic shapes throughout the line-up.

However there is some bit of tech to get our teeth into:

Speed Optimized Face Technology (SOFT) ensures a consistent ball speed across the face, helping to improve distance control on off-centre hits.

The clearly noticeable Precision Milled Face is said to enhance the putter's feel and feedback, giving golfers more control over their putts.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

The short-game specialists have also optimised CG Location by strategically positioning the centre of gravity to help stabilise the stroke and ensure a smooth roll.

It's a pretty simple design here - no inserts, no fancy shafts, no alignment aids or even perimeter waiting, and it makes for a refreshing change in my opinion.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 8S Putter Review

Looks: No-nonsense approach leads to great looks

The HB Soft 2 8S boasts a sleek, (fairly) traditional blade design that I think will appeal to purists and modern players alike - it manages to strike a great balance which I really like in the looks department. The only thing that could put golfers off a little is the wide blade style. If you're somebody who wants a totally traditional style, I would urge you to check out the #1 model in the HB Soft 2 range.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

During testing, the clean lines and matte grey finish reduce glare and distractions keeping things really simple, which once again I liked, it allowed me to focus solely on my stroke and the putt in hand. The alignment aid is also simple yet effective, providing clear guidance for accurate aiming.

All in all there is nothing too much to not like here, I'd go as far to say it's one of the best looking putters I've seen so far in 2024.

Feel: Heavy overall but soft off the face

The feel of the HB Soft 2 8S is one of its standout features in my opinion. The precision milled face combined with the SOFT technology provides a soft yet responsive touch.

The most noticeable thing when I first started hitting putts on test was the heavy weight of the head, this is something that Dan mentioned in his review of the HB Soft Premier 10.5 Putter from 2022.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

Despite its weight this putter feels well-balanced in hand, promoting a smooth, controlled stroke. Any golfers who feel that they struggle from a jerky or inconsistent stroke - this added weight could really help them.

I really liked the feel of the grip too, it was extremely tacky, a little thicker than standard and true to form, very soft to touch. It offered a really comfortable hold, enhancing the overall feel during play.

Performance: A solid performer in all areas

I found that, performance-wise, the HB Soft 2 8S delivers on its promises. The consistent roll provided by the SOFT technology ensures that putts maintain their intended line and speed, and there is plenty of forgiveness too, even on off-centre hits.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

The optimised CG location helps keep the putter head stable throughout the stroke, reducing mishits and improving accuracy although it's worth mentioning that if you hit a bad putt, this isn't a miracle worker and if ultimate forgiveness is what you're after - you're best looking at a mallet design with some rear weighting.

Overall, despite the added weight taking a little time to get used to if it's not something you're familiar with, this putter excels in providing reliable distance control and a consistent roll from all distances.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 8S Putter Verdict

The Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 8S putter is a well-rounded option for golfers seeking a blend of classic design and modern technology. Its performance, feel, and aesthetics make it a strong contender for me this year in the putter market. Then when you add to that it's competitive RRP of £139, it really does become a really appealing prospect for multiple reasons.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

If you're testing multiple putters in the search of something new this year, there is nothing too noticeable that will make this putter jump out, but linking back to the start of this review, that is exactly why I think it does a great job. It's a real silent assassin.

Would I Use It?

I've always liked heavy putters, as I think they help me take the putter head back on a better line. At first I was shocked at how much the weight effected my putting, but after I while I began to see the full effects, so yes I would happily use this putter.

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 8S Putter Pros & Cons

Cleveland Golf HB Soft 2 6 Putter Review

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Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Cleveland HB Soft 2 8S Putter

Cleveland HB Soft 2 8S Putter - Product Details

UK Launch18 January 2024
UK Launch RRP£139
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Senior
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Weight365 grams
Club Length34 inches
Shaft TypesSteel
Putter ShapesBlade
Putter InsertNo
Putter Face GroovesYes
Manufacturer's WebsiteCleveland Website

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