When I heard that Ping was getting into the milled market, I was quite excited, yet apprehensive. It seems with the popularity of the milled putter, everyone thinks they can just throw an old design on the table, and end up with a winner. NOT the case in May attempts that I've seen. More often than not, the mill marks are too harsh, the material quality is poor, and the overall feel of the putter is weak. When you pull a putter out of your bag, you want the confidence of a seasoned trial attorney…not the 14 year old that hopes he gets to kiss his dance partner- Ping Red Wood Putter
When Karsten Solheim introduced us to his "Anser" putter in 1966, I don't think that he had any idea how far reaching his design would stretch. From its meager beginnings scratched into the dust on an old 78rpm record cover in Red wood City CA, the Anser is without a doubt the most solid advancement in putters of our time. Every modern putter manufacturer has one homage or another to the Anser. Whether it's a Never Compromise Milled Series 1, a Bettinardi BB-1, or the acclaimed Scotty Cameron Newport…the Anser is the grandfather of them all.
The Redwood line is Ping's first crack at a series of 100% milled steel putters. This is an interesting turn of events, because it's the other innovators that have taken Solheim's design ideas from casting putters in "Manganese Bronze" to the CNC machine. There are three heads in the Redwood line. The Anser, Piper, and Zing. This review concentrates on the Anser head. I was also given a Piper and Zing to play with, so I can speak to the quality of the rest of the line, but the Anser started it all for a lot of people, so I'll concentrate my efforts there.
This is also exciting for other Ping enthusiasts because it marks the return of a "non-insert" version of the Anser. The G2 and G5 versions were as far from the original design as any other modern 'spaceship' mallet is. There have also been several variations on the Anser head over the years. This is one of the best in my opinion, as it gets back to the roots of the original design. Other Ansers have tried to re-invent the brand, but this one says in a very calm voice, "I'm a putter, now sink this one."