Review: Evnroll Putters by Jeffrey Reed
by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioGolf.com
When you consider that about one-third of your strokes during a good round of golf are putts, then you quickly realize how important putting is to lowering your handicap index.
It’s also important to use a flat stick that instills confidence, and which performs well on a consistent basis.
Without a doubt, amongst all of the great golf gear on the market today, the Evnroll Putter is creating the biggest buzz here in Southwestern Ontario. If you attended the Freedom 55 Financial Championship at Highland Country Club, then perhaps you were able to roll the rock with one of the many Evnroll Putter models on display.
How well did the Evnroll Putter ER6 mallet perform for me? After eight years with the same putter, I immediately put the ER6 into my bag. They say that good golfers fall in love with their putters and their 3-woods. After three solid rounds with the ER6 – not to mention some great short, medium and lag putts at the F55F Championship Evnroll Putter showcase – this stick stays in my bag.
While the Evnroll Putter name is new to the industry, it arrives with some impressive pedigree. The company was founded in 2015 by American partners Guerin Rife and Stephen Riley. You no doubt recognize the name Guerin Rife. The Evnroll Putter CEO and chief designer has been creating putters for 25 years, starting with the very first cavity mallet. Best known for creating the famous Two Bar putter, he has designed over 40 models that have been used to win over 100 tournaments worldwide on all professional tours. Rife is also the inventor of face groove technology – something I’ve trusted for years on the links – and founded the original Rife Putter Company in 2000.
Company President and Director of Operations Stephen Riley qualified as a PGA professional in 1998 and established a hugely successful golf accessories distribution company throughout Europe and the U.S. He has built up extensive manufacturing facilities in both the Far East and the U.S., specializing in injection moulding, stitching, embroidery, QC and worldwide distribution.
Here in Canada, a dynamic duo with their own strong golf bloodlines are rolling out the Evnroll Putter name at green grass clubs and retailers via the Toronto-based company McCrosbie Resources, Inc. Notable amateur golfer Wayne McDonald, a long-time friend of Rife’s, and former Mississauga Golf and Country Club head golf professional Gar Hamilton, are now introducing Canadians to the Evnroll name.
McDonald was a two-time All American at the University of Indiana in the early-1970s, and captured the Canadian Junior Boys title, plus the 1969 Canadian Men’s Amateur title. He also started Golf Training Systems in the U.S., and helped introduce Guerin to the golf industry. So, when Guerin finalized development of Evnroll technology, he asked his good friend to assist in establishing Canadian distribution.
McDonald and Hamilton competed against each other as young amateur golfers. In 1966, they teamed up to help Ontario with the Interprovincial Junior title. Both have excelled as senior golfers, too. Hamilton is a past winner on the Canadian Tour, and has competed in 13 Canadian Opens. He’s a four-time PGA of Canada champion, a Canadian Senior PGA past winner, and a Canadian Super Senior champion.
McDonald, who has lived and worked in Atlanta, Georgia for the past two decades, said despite the fact Evnroll Putters was established in 2015, “We’re not even a full year into the market here in Canada. Yet we are receiving tremendous feedback, and making major inroads with our products. In fact, their performance really sell themselves when they’re in the hands of golfers testing our putters.”
In the end, presence on the PGA Tour, and to a lesser degree the LPGA Tour, can make or break any golf club. However, a good product will sell itself. Case in point: my previous putter had no presence other than on the Champions Tour, yet it stayed in my bag for eight seasons.
Already, though, the Evnroll Putter is being used on the LPGA Tour, and is in the hands of at least one PGA Tour and one Champions Tour golfer. Expect that list to grow long – and soon.
Boasting “the sweetest face in golf,” Evnroll Putter design, technology and manufacturing ranks amongst the best in all of golf. Its secret: pure roll.
“With groove technology, it’s the spacing that matters,” Rife explained. “My patent that I have filed … concerns every form of that: milling, ovals, rectangles, arches, upward arches, downward arches. It’s about energy transfer.”
According to McDonald, “Most golfers don’t hit the ball in the middle of the blade. With our putters, the average golfer is improving by at least three putts per round. Their distance is more consistent. Our grooves are designed to move the ball back to the centre. The ball tends to roll back to the middle, even on a miss hit off the heel or toe. So there is a consistency factor, and an alignment benefit.”
That “double positive,” as defined by McDonald, is all about gear-effect: off-centre putts roll back to the middle. The grooves are deeper, but with less space on the inside, and shallower with more space on the outside.
Another key is the fact the grooves are milled into the face; there’s no insert here, and that means no irregularities or spaces that can produce putts that roll poorly or bounce towards the hole.
Here’s the Evnroll Putter design story.
• Each design has two small, unpainted dots on the top line of the putter 1/8” to either side of the center cavity sightline. This gives the golfer a subtle alignment reference for consistent lie angle positioning. The dots also assist the golfer on aligning breaking putts. Align the ball in front of the toe-side dot for right-to-left putts and the heel-side dot for left-to-right putts. This keeps the ball travelling on the high side of the target line.
• Golf companies typically provide one putter head design in a single weight. If the finished 34 in. putter has a swing-weight of D-7 then the 33 in. putter will have a swing-weight of C-9 and the 35 in. putter will be E-5. At Evnroll, putters are milled to a specific head weight to maintain a more constant swing-weight for each length. Then an extra 15 grams is added to the head for more stability and use a 120 gram grip as a counter weight to bring the swing-weight back down for improved distance control. The best of both worlds: lighter swing weight for distance control and more overall weight for greater stability and accuracy for short putts.
• Every Evnroll putter head is precision milled in Carlsbad, California from a block of extruded (billet) 303 stainless steel, then hand ground, finished and assembled to exact specifications.
You can read more about the Evnroll Putter technology and its benefits, as well as the many models available, at the company website, https://evnroll.ca.
I’ve put the ER6 mallet into my bag (MSRP $489). I’ve played a mallet putter for almost nine years now, and combined with my many hours on the practice green, it is the biggest factor to my maintaining a low handicap index.
I chose the black ER6 putter – I like the contrast with the ball. I’m a fan of the double-bent, heel-shafted putter, and I like a little weight to my flat stick. The ER6 produces in spades. In fact, it’s available as three models, all with different tungsten weights in the back of the sole, depending on the shaft length. My 33 in. model has a 385 gram weight; the 34 in. has 370 grams, while the 35 in. has 355 grams.
Here’s more on the ER6 putter from Evnroll:
• Head Material – Black anodized 6061 aluminum, 303 stainless steel rear-center weight
• Face Loft – 2 degrees from the shaft
• Lie Angle – 70 degrees
• Stock Grip – Custom EVNROLL non-taper 1.2
• Length – Measured from centre of leading edge to butt
• Balance – 12 degrees toe down
• Shaft – FST stepless, .370” tip
• Shafting – Single bend mounted directly into the head
The Evnroll Putter line is available online, as well as at local green grass shops, and at London Golf Town.
Choosing a putter wisely is the key: if it looks great at address, feels great in your hands, creates a pleasing contact with the ball and, most of all, produces hole-outs and close lag putts, then the putter is for you.
Check all of those boxes for me, with the Evnroll Putter ER6 in my hands.