The idea of adjusting a golf club’s head weight is nothing new. Some players used to apply lead tape to their clubs to adjust the weight. Today, however, some clubs -- mainly drivers and fairway woods -- are built with slots, cylinders or holes into which the golfer may place small weights. The golfer’s goal occasionally is to swing a heavier or lighter club, but more typically he’s trying to correct a swing flaw. If a golfer slices, for example, he’ll place more weight toward the shaft and less toward the club head’s toe, making it easier to square the club face. Shortly after adjustable drivers appeared, the Florida-based putter manufacturer Rife began selling putters containing adjustable weights.
Rife is a fairly new golf manufacturer that sells a variety of products, but it is best known for its putters. The Florida-based company began making putters in 2004. As of 2012, the company asserted that more than 100 pro tour players across the world used its putters regularly. Rife manufactures standard-length blade and mallet putters, as well as belly and long putters. Many, but not all, of the company’s putters feature adjustable weights.
Adjustable Rife mallet putters contain two parallel cylinders sitting behind and perpendicular to the club head. Players may place weights into the cylinders to alter the feel or balance of the putter. According to Rife’s website, PGA Tour players who use the company’s putters tend to put the heaviest weights into the club when playing faster greens because the weight helps them maintain a smooth, consistent putting stroke. The company advises casual players to try different configurations to see which works best for their games.
Typically, golfers place equivalent weights in both Rife putter cylinders. But players may use a heavier weight in one cylinder to smooth out an uneven stroke, just as they do with adjustable drivers. If a player consistently misses putts to the right of the hole, for example, the company recommends that she try using a lighter weight in the outside cylinder. This may allow the player to more easily square the club head at impact. Alternatively, you may put the lighter weight closer to the shaft if you consistently miss your putts to the left.
How to Adjust a Rife Putter
To adjust a Rife putter’s existing weights, simply place the short end of an Allen wrench into the hole in the weight’s head. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to loosen the weight. Remove and replace the weight, then tighten the new weight by turning the wrench clockwise. It takes about a minute to remove and replace both weights.