Ping Anser 5 - Is the face balanced Anser actually any good?

Ping Anser 5
The Ping Anser 5 is a rare putter indeed. It's not rare in the sense that you can't get hold of one fairly easily - just look at the ebay listings below, but it's rare because it's a face balanced Anser.

Almost every other anser style putter, made by Ping or any other manufacturer is toe-weighted. What on earth does that all mean? Well the difference is that toe-weighted putters naturally support a putting stroke that moves on an arc, opening and closing the face in the back and through swing, whereas face balanced putters tend to keep the face squarer to the target throughout.

So, in short, you'd be interested in the Ping Anser 5 if you like the traditional Anser shape, but have a straight-back-and-through stroke which attempts to keep the face square to the target throughout. If you're still a bit puzzled by this, have a read of our article on the different golf putter types, which should clear things up!

How does it look behind the ball?

There are only two differences between this putter and a regular Ping Anser in terms of appearance. The Anser 5 has a longer neck than standard and this neck attaches at a slightly different point on the putter head than normal - closer to the middle of the putter head between the heel and the toe ends.

The effect on overall appearance is that there appears to be slightly more heel to this putter than a standard Anser.

The light gray color of the putter isn't something that appealed to me. Even though the material in the putter head is milled steel, to my eye at least, the color didn't make it didn't look in any way substantial.

The more traditional milled look of the Ping Redwood looks far better.

How does the Ping Anser 5 feel?

I'm afraid to say that the feel of the Anser 5 was also a bit of a let-down.

Despite the milled material, the feel of this putter is disappointing, the feedback from the face to the hands seeming decidedly dull. This is a real shame, given that Ping putters in general are renowned for terrific feel.

How does it roll the ball?

No similar complaints here, however. The roll from the Ping Anser 5 was excellent.

If you're absolutely desperate to find a face balanced Anser, then this is obviously the putter for you - I don't know of any other alternatives.

But if what you want is the Anser shape, or a face balanced head, but you're not desperate to have both together, then  I'd have to say there are other, better alternatives available.

Others to consider:

Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Studio Stainless Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Studio Select The "more affordable", but rather unimpressive Scotty Cameron.

Ping Karsten Anser Ping Karsten Anser Unbeatable on price and right up there for feel and design.

Ping Anser Ping Anser 2 The Anser is the putter that has been copied a thousand times - now available from Ping at a variety of prices.

TaylorMade Rossa Kia Ma Daytona TaylorMade Rossa Kia Ma Daytona Good looking Anser style putter - Part of TaylorMade's resurgence as a designer of high quality putters

TaylorMade Ghost TM-110 TaylorMade Ghost TM-110 Beautiful square-designed Anser with great aimlines - well worth a look!

TaylorMade Rossa Daytona TaylorMade Rossa Daytona Setup Well constructed Anser style putter - excellent if you're after a good putter at a lower cost - gunmetal color looks classy - feels good too!

Ping Redwood Anser Ping Redwood Anser The design which has won more pro events than any other, made with top quality materials. This Ping is a winner!

Yes Donna (C-Groove) Yes Donna Wide bodied anser-style head with the amazing C-Groove for a terrific roll.

Yes Carolyne Yes Carolyne A straightforward heel and toe design with great roll from the C-Groove

Nike Method 001 Nike Method 001 The best of the Nike Method putters. Favored by Tiger Woods while he was contractually obliged to use a Nike putter. A standard looking Anser style putter, with nice roll and feel. But not good enough to stay in Woods' bag once Nike gave up on the golf equipment industry.

Nike Method 004 Nike Method 004 Face balanced version of the Method 001. Favor this putter if you routinely pull your putts or you're trying to produce a straight-back-straight through stroke.

See some of the history and early advertising for the Ping Anser here.

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Not sure if a Ping Anser 5 is for you? Click here for our article on choosing a putter to fit your stroke.

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