Ping Anser 5 - Is the face balanced Anser actually any good?
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.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
A straightforward heel and toe design with great roll from the C-Groove
Nike Method 001The 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 004Face 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.