Cleveland Frontline Elite Rho Putter seems to use every technology available to maximise forgiveness which it does very well. The 2135 Technology raises the sightline to ensure good alignment. Quite a soft feeling putter for its size thanks to that tungsten grooved insert.
Lot of technology for the money
Simple visual alignment
Forgiving on off centre hits
Feel could be firmer
Wants to sit back at address
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The Cleveland Frontline Elite Rho putter is one of the three mallet putter shapes in the Frontline range and is also new to this putter franchise. The wide head has a familiar shape for mallets these days with weight pushed back into the two rear corner wings of the steel head.
However the similarities stop there as the Frontline Elite Rho is a hi-tech putter that combines an ABS core, hard resin plastic, aluminium sole, steel sole weights and a tungsten face to deliver the best performance possible.
The stand out feature is the Tungsten SOFT insert that is milled with Speed Optimised Face Technology (SOFT) groove lines so that the ball speed is optimised across the face.
Less groove lines on the outer edges mean that more of the face makes contact with the ball to increase the ball speed and make up for the loss of power if you hit it here. The sound is a little on the quiet side and the feel is reasonably soft for a mallet putter of this size.
The tungsten insert is 27g heavier than the last version at 35g and this moves the CG closer to the front of the face to ensure the putter is less likely to rotate if you do hit it off centre. The tungsten insert is made by melting the metal into a mould and then when set, the grooves lines are milled in.
Everything about the Frontline Elite Rho is there to make one of the most forgiving putters. The two steel weights in the sole can be adjusted to suit shaft length and swing weight in conjunction with counterbalanced grips in a choice of standard sized Lamkin Sinkfit Skinny Pistol and oversized Lamkin Sinkfit Pistol putter grips.
The sole has a lovely contoured look to it and allows the Rho to sit very well at address as long as you get your hands in the right position as the weighting means it does want to sit back on its tail.
The Frontline Elite Rho comes with a choice of a steel shaft or a composite graphite shaft with a steel tip section that aims to improve your rhythm. The UST All-In shaft does feel very good, although the effect is hard to make out unless you have a launch monitor on hard to work out if it is technically better for you. Otherwise just go with the better feel for the shaft and for the extra £50 lighter your wallet will in on top of the standard RRP of £249.
With all the technology going on, the Rho does feel quite heavy and that may be important to those who need some help steadying their stroke. The raised lines of the 2135 Technology look better in the double white line version and do a good job of aligning the centre of the ball with the centre of the putter whether your eyes are over the ball or not.
Overall the Cleveland Frontline Elite Rho putter is a clever design packing a lot of technology into a decent mid-sized head to maximise forgiveness for those who struggle to hit the middle of the face consistently.
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Martin Hopley is one of the foremost UK equipment reviewers with over 20 years' experience. As the former founder of Golfalot.com he was an early pioneer of online reviews and has also been a regular contributor to other titles. He is renowned for his technical knowledge and in-depth analysis, which he now brings to Golf Monthly.
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