Surviving the Hot List: Season 2

What happens when you drop a golf-crazed Hollywood actor and a retired NFL player into the most grueling gig in golf? At the 2023 Hot List summit, Golf Digest's cameras followed Michael Peña and Danny Woodhead's quest to ace their new jobs as rookie club testers.

Mallet Putters

The best new mallet putters in golf should no longer be stereotyped as some sort of life preserver for golfers who stroke the ball on the greens like, well, they’re having a stroke. Fact is, 15 of the top 25 players in the world currently use a mallet. Why? In simple terms, more often than not, mallets are just better when you are less than your best. And if you are anything but a robot you are less than your best a very high percentage of the time. What’s especially helpful and intriguing about the latest mallets is they have moved off the need to reach for the grotesque oversize shape to achieve the benefits of stability and aim and alignment that mallets exude. Multiple materials like heavy tungsten pushed toward the heel and toe and the perimeter adds greater stability for a much more traditionally sized shape, and some even have weighting pushed more forward than mallets of the past so there’s a blade-like heft with mallet-level stability. Also, welcome in the latest mallets is the use of multiple hosels to help strokes with more rotation (or less) feel the face angle more naturally. Finally, we think the best mallets on this year’s Hot List reflect a new commitment to pleasing aesthetics. In short, mallets aren’t anything to be embarrassed about anymore. They’re as cool as the No. 1 player in the world.