We have had two basic responses from testers to the physical appearance of the Alien Tutch Mallet. One is, “That’s the ugliest putter I have ever seen.” The other is, “Wow, what a cool-looking putter.” You’ll have to judge this unusual offering for yourself. One thing that everyone agrees upon is that the Tutch looks and feels heavy at first. Luckily, this turns out not to be the case. It is a well-balanced putter that swings lightly and easily.
The black Acculite shaft from Alien is made from what is called a “titanium magnesium alloy”. Rest assured, titanium is present in a very minimal amount. This is a soft alloy that is less responsive than steel. It is one that is seldom used on more expensive putters. Alloy shafts absorb vibration. This adds to the muted feel of the large, wide cavity mallet. When using softer, premium and high-spin balls, the Tutch will be too muted for many. But, when putting ultra-hard distance balls, the Tutch can feel ideal. During ball-putting tests, our premium ball users were having trouble adjusting to the fast pace and hard feel of the two-piece, Surlyn-covered distance balls. Finding the appropriate ‘touch’ on our fast putting platform was difficult. Switching to the Alien brought about immediate improvements. Scores were excellent.
On outdoors greens, the Tutch has, indeed, shown good touch. Getting the ball to roll the appropriate distance has been no problem. General alignment was intuitive, but precise accuracy proved a little elusive. The massive, golden, alignment lines really function more as broadly sweeping stroke indicators. They are far too numerous and too wide to function as sight lines capable of pinpoint accuracy. (imagine a rifle with five, thick sites) Putting the ball “into the peach basket” from twenty to thirty feet was simple work. Aligning precisely to center-cup from five feet was more difficult. That said, the Tutch produced good, easy consistent putting for us. Its natural inclination is to stay low and putt straight down the line. It is very improbable that anyone will putt this mallet with an overly handsy stroke. The black wrap, pistol grip is jumbo-sized and soft. It helps guarantees that this is a putter that few will want to flip through impact.
A patented design by Pat Simmons, the Tutch originally was marketed at a higher price. It failed to attract a devoted following among serious players, but its friendly, forgiving nature made it well suited to beginners and marginally talented putters. This large, blocky, cavity-back mallet now lists for just $29 and is available through many shops and discount department stores. For those nervous souls with erratic putting strokes, we recommend this very inexpensive putter. It is very reassuring to stare down at this behemoth with all of its big, bold, directional lines. The “Uniform Touch Chamber” and the wide, wide weight dispersion pattern makes this face-balanced putter extremely forgiving to off-center putts. It could easily become a “putting security blanket” for some players. Others will never become comfortable with the thick, heavy black looks. As one tester said, “It works well and I guess I could get used to it, but I’d always feel guilty making my playing partners look at it for eighteen holes.”