The Cleveland TFI 2135 putter features a new alignment device that aims to ensure that you are striking the middle of the ball from the middle of the face.
It may look just like a raised alignment line on the back of the putter, but there is a significance to the 2135 in the name, because 21.35 mm is the exact radius of a golf ball.
Most blade putters have a sightline on the base flange of the club which Cleveland say isn’t the best place for proper alignment. An analogy would be sitting in the passenger seat of a car and looking at the speedometer. Your better half may be doing 30mph, but from your angle it looks like 35mph so you get into trouble for raising the speeding issue because your eyes are not directly in line to read it correctly.
Cleveland say that 80% of golfers have their eyes on the inside of the line of the putt and therefore if the sightline is on the
base of the flange it is going to give you a mis-perception of where to actually put the ball to line up with the centre of the putter.
If you align incorrectly you could mishit to the toe or the heel and then you are going to get a different direction and impart rotational spin on the golf ball.
Therefore the sight line on the TFI 2135 putters is raised 21.35 mm raised from the base to the exact centre of the golf ball, so that your eyes will always remain in the centre of the putter and the ball.
As you can see from Cleveland's handy alignment demo below, the red stick goes through the centre of the ball at 21.35mm off the ground and does not go over the traditional alignment line.
By being aligned correctly and getting more centre strikes you should improve your distance control and accuracy.
In practice the alignment line worked very well and at address it didn't really look like it was raised up compared to other putters, plus you have the confidence of knowing that you should be lined up correctly.
I did wonder if it the line could be a little bigger but when I spoke with the designer Adam Sheldon, he said that they wanted to keep it thin to promote more accuracy as you line up.
He revealed the raised 2135 line is actually a little curved front to back, but that is pretty hard to make out.
The 2135 face uses the same True Feel Innovation (TFI) face that first appeared on the Cleveland TFI Smart Square Putter. It is an aluminium insert which is infused with copper and then laid on top of a white co-polymer material.
Both of these materials are much lighter than steel so Cleveland are able to save about a third of the normal weight of the steel face and move it to the rear of the putter to help increase the MOI of the head to make it more resistant to twisting.
The feel from the face is very good and I like the look of the copper colour face. With the two low density materials on the front it sounds a little hollower than other insert putters.
The Cleveland 2135 TFI putters come in three different models starting with the 1.0, which is a traditional blade style putter that has a 350g head with Plumber's Neck hosel in a heel/toe weighted design.
It looks very good at address and depending on your point of view, the two white bits on the heel and toe where the white co-polymer material extends beyond the steel head will either be a little distracting or another useful alignment aid.
In the slightly smaller 6.5 mallet the white flashes are less visible as the shaft hides one of them on the face balanced 365g head, which was probably my favourite of the three for look, feel and performance.
Finally, there is also the 8.0 counter balanced mallet version that looks more like a deeper 1.0 model and comes in 35 and 38 inch lengths with a heavier head at 405g and a 70g heavier grip to create more stability.
Overall I do like the Cleveland 2135 TFI putter. Like the Smart Square alignment system, Cleveland has done their research and identified a technical problem and come up with a novel solution that makes sense and that always lines up well with me.