Rife Putter Review: Rife Sorrento

Rife Putters Sorrento Back

Rife Sorrento Banner

Comment at the bottom of the review to be entered for a chance to win a RIFE Sorrento. The Winner will be chosen 4/18!

Rife Putter Review: the Sorrento

I’m going to go ESPN’s 30 for 30 on you: What if I told you that a small company rose to the #2 spot in the putter business without marketing, without a PR strategy, and with a fraction of the R&D budget of the companies that it crashed the party on? What if I told you that the prosperity from that business model didn’t last? Well, that would be pretty believable, wouldn’t it?

In a very brief and ineloquent sentence, that’s pretty much the story of Rife putters. However, where most companies would pack up shop and have a fire sale of their assets, Rife stuck out the tough times, albeit with an ownership change not too long ago. But to get a better idea of where Rife is and where Rife plans to go, you should know where Rife has been

At one point, Rife was a major player in the putter game, competing with the likes of Odyssey and Scotty Cameron. Rife was even the top putter on the Champions Tour, and they got there by word of mouth. Word of mouth is a good thing, it develops a lore, an unspoken reverence, and that’s more effective than any ad campaign.

While there’s nothing wrong with relying on the quality of your product to do the talking — more companies would do well to take that advice — the product must be the unwavering focus of the business. Amidst all of the success, that focus was lost, and, to make a long story short, Rife went through quite the transition phase.

Rife Putters Box

Now, after moving across the country, Rife has made a resurgence over the last several years, and I was invited to their new Bellevue, Washington headquarters to do some PNW bonding.

It’s not a swanky putter studio, there isn’t an elaborate display with every generational iteration of Rife putters. They’re still moving in. There are boxes of displaced putter heads. It’s modest. It’s humble. But the focus is once again on the product.

The meeting was a casual one filled more with banter about the golf industry, where it’s heading, company philosophies, etc. than with discussion of product details and technology. I walked away from the meeting with a revived sense of hope in the Rife name. I walked away feeling like that passion for creating a quality product was alive and well, and Rife wants to earn customers’ trust back with their quality, they don’t want to buy it with commercial spots on the Golf Channel. I also walked away with a member of their Italian Series, the Rife Sorrento. So let’s get into that.

Rife Putter Review: Sorrento First Impressions

Rife Sorrento Sole

The Rife Sorrento is a good looking putter. It’s not daring, not garish or bold. Its unimposing satin chrome head and lack of paint fill or metal finish is as representative of Rife’s mission as its new HQ: the putter’s performance should do the talking, not its looks.

With that in mind, it’s better than good looking actually. It’s great looking. The black finishes, iridescent finishes, unique plating, and all of the other wild putter customizations gets pretty tiresome. Sometimes you want something simple and easy on the eyes. Sometimes less is more. And there’s something about the grooving on the face . . . with the Rife “R” on the heel, the grooving creates this classic, retro appeal to it. Think ’41 Buick Eight grill and maybe you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

Rife Putters Sorrento Hero

Feel & Sound

The Rife Sorrento mid-mallet tips the scales at 365g. It feels weighty, and it’s face-balanced, which means it takes some effort to get it moving, but once it does, it has a smooth rhythm about it.

Grips are easily screwed up, too. There’s a reason why companies like Super Stroke broke on to the scene as easily as they did, so it’s always impressive when a putter company makes a good grip . . . the Sorrento’s new mid-size grip is really good. Pair the Sorrento’s face-balanced, 365 grams with the excellent grip, and you’ve got a smooth rhythm that keeps your hands quiet.

Speaking of quiet, it’s an interesting thing, the sound of the Rife Sorrento. It’s quiet. Not muted — as that term is ritualistically beaten to death in golf vernacular — but soft, quiet. It has milled grooves, but it sounds more like a putter with an insert because of the soft pop it creates. It almost sounds like a knock on wood with an ever-so-slight “crack” at the end of the strike that reminds you there isn’t an insert in it.

Rife Putters Sorrento Back

Rife Sorrento Performance

Rife made its name by the grooves of its putters. They’re unique in that, unlike conventional putters, they start the ball rolling immediately on its line without the initial hop or skipping. What that translates into is a truer roll, a more consistent roll, and more forgiveness on off-center strokes.

Standing over the Rife Sorrento is different. Most mid-mallets have a shape to the back, whether it be rounded or otherwise. The blade-shaped mid-mallet is an uncommon thing, but it shouldn’t be. Similar to the oversized putters that TaylorMade recently introduced, the Rife Sorrento has the appeal of looking bigger but not looking big . . . if that makes any sense. It instills confidence without making you feel like you’re swinging an upside down, one-legged nightstand.

The size and the weight make lag putting easy.  The 304 stainless steel construction material provides the soft, responsive feedback that you want in a premium putter.

Rife Putters Sorrento Grooves

Rife Putter Review: The Sorrento Final Verdict

If you’re a victim of the anchor ban, the Rife Sorrento should be of consideration for you. It has all the things a yip artist wants: a heavier head, a bigger head, face balanced, and a thicker grip. There are many quality putters out there, but there are few that actually make putting easier without robbing you of the feedback that better players want.

Oh, and the price. The Rife Sorrento is $149.95. I have played a lot of putters from big manufacturers to boutiques, and I’m hard pressed to name another putter at that price point that offers this much performance. So, find a retailer near you, and take any one of Rife’s putters for a spin. They’re going to have something that fits your game, your eye, and your budget.

Categories
ClubsReviews
46 Comments on this post.
  • kaner30@yahoo.com'
    Aaron Kane
    14 April 2016 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for the review David. The Rife Sorrento looks like an ideal putter for me. I look forward to giving it a go.

  • ismith@ecisolutions.com'
    ian irving-smith
    14 April 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Fantastic looking putter. Great review!!

    • clubupgolf85@gmail.com'
      David McCreery
      14 April 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks, Ian! You’re entered!

  • evan.dyer@yahoo.com'
    Evan
    14 April 2016 at 1:07 pm

    This is a beautiful putter. Like the reviewer, I find all of the flash on some putters to be distracting. I like the grooved face, I feel like that gives me a little better feel for the putt as it comes off of the head of the club.
    The first that I heard of Rife was in the last month or so, which made me think they were a newer company. Until this review, I had no idea what kind of history the company had. As I browse the Rife website, I am really impressed. I like how clean and simple it is. There is plenty of information on each putter and great pictures to accompany.
    Looking at the price, I am definitely surprised. These are great looking putters for a really good price. Rife has caught my attention and will certainly have some looks from me as I continue to try to find the best equipment for my game.

  • Xavierm23@gmail.com'
    Xavier Molina
    14 April 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Now that’s a great looking putter at an unbelievable price point. That’s somethings I could easily game!

  • Jparkermckoy@gmail.com'
    Parker McKoy
    14 April 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I used this brand in college while competing in division 1. So god to see there resurgence and using my buddy @aceofclubsco to do some of their headcover line. The weighting they use if top notch

    • clubupgolf85@gmail.com'
      David McCreery
      14 April 2016 at 1:23 pm

      You, sir, have very good taste. Ace of Clubs also top-notch!

  • mrfwahoo@gmail.com'
    Matt Foster
    14 April 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Another great looking Rife offering. Thanks for the review!

  • sebastian.macintosh@gmail.com'
    Sebastian MacIntosh
    14 April 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Great review, functional beauty over flash!

  • Thebubbaash@gmail.com'
    Charles
    14 April 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Would love to win. I’ve been using one for a couple years now. Actually been looking at getting a new one

  • billy.wichert@aol.com'
    Billy WIchert
    14 April 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I would gladly roll a rock with that!

  • kevrolet6@yahoo.com'
    Kevin Cox
    14 April 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I could use a new putter, still using the one my dad gave back in the 70’s ,
    Kevrolet6@yahoo.com

  • Barrman93@yahoo.com'
    Brandon
    14 April 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Been using a Rife Cayman for many years great putters

  • imsupraman27@yahoo.com'
    Allen Harkleroad
    14 April 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the review David. I agree that there is something to be said about clean, straightforward design. I as well find a lot of today’s putter offerings to be distracting. This looks like a real gamer!

  • snaphookzgolf@gmail.com'
    Derek Queener
    14 April 2016 at 2:33 pm

    The 1st Rife I ever used was one I found in a pond next to #7 green at Clearwater Country Club ( I was looking for John Dalys wedge he tossed in a few days earlier ) I cleaned up the Rife and loved it! Thanks for the review. Big fan of ClubUpGolf as well.

  • Calebtaytaylor1314@gmail.com'
    Caleb Taylor
    14 April 2016 at 4:49 pm

    What a good looking putter company! Hope they go far!

  • bradorr5@gmail.com'
    Brad Orr
    14 April 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Great review! Would definitely like to see one in action!

  • kwiblin5@gmail.com'
    Kevin
    14 April 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Well that’s a great looking putter that! And at an incredible price. Love the design and looks of the new flatsticks Rife has brought out over the last few years. Great putters at a great price!

  • petertakle@hotmail.com'
    Peter takle
    15 April 2016 at 1:27 am

    I switched to a rife putter three years ago and haven’t looked back. Highly underrated quality club, and the models just keep improving the pedigree

  • gkmcc@sbcglobal.net'
    Gary McCormick
    15 April 2016 at 10:16 am

    I once tried an older Rife putter that another guy on the putting green was using (one of dozens of putters he owned, he said) and liked the feel and balance so much that I almost offered to buy it on the spot. I regret now that I didn’t.

    • clubupgolf85@gmail.com'
      David McCreery
      15 April 2016 at 10:25 am

      Non-buyer’s remorse, Gary!

  • Adam_novakowski@yahoo.com'
    Adam
    15 April 2016 at 10:19 am

    Rife putters are amazing. To me it is surprising there availability is very limited. Get your hands on one and it will be wonderful.

  • Jdezoort@gmail.com'
    Jake DeZoort
    15 April 2016 at 10:24 am

    Looks great. I’d love to have one

  • chief25@mts.net'
    Ken Mykietowich
    15 April 2016 at 10:32 am

    Great review. I sure would like a chance to use this lovely putter.

  • Blaine.uhlman@gmail.com'
    Blaine
    15 April 2016 at 10:32 am

    Really like the look and design and weighting concept of this putter. Happy to have a Rife putter in the bag and support a local Seattle company at the same time. Keep up the good work!

  • Golfman.hallee@gmail.com'
    Mike hallee
    15 April 2016 at 10:43 am

    Nice looking putter by Rife

  • mace.estep@live.com'
    Jason Estep
    15 April 2016 at 11:20 am

    Looks sweet like most Rife putters! Nice work!

  • terpfan73@gmail.com'
    Trent Williams
    15 April 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I can’t believe I read that right. $149 for a Ride putter. It sounds like Rife is getting better I might have to give them another look. Sounds like the putter I need on my golf trip to play at Pinehurst.

  • nicchoulman@aol.com'
    Nic Choulman
    15 April 2016 at 1:36 pm

    That putter is beautiful…. Would love it..

  • Slavin66@gmail.com'
    Matthew Slavin
    15 April 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Great review well written! I like the style and retro look. I would love a new putter.

  • Toddvw@embarqmail.com'
    Todd Williams
    15 April 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Looks like a winner to me. I like a heavier putter. If it good enough for Champions Tour players it is good enough for me

  • rm4miller@aol.com'
    Rick Miller
    15 April 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for the review. Would look good in my bag this summer.

  • Is76550@hotmail.com'
    Isaac
    15 April 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Very cool. I haven’t rolled a Rife in a few years. I will definitely have to try it out.

  • m.mastropolo@gmail.com'
    Michelle Mastropolo
    16 April 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Looks good ! Worth a shot Heavy

  • Daverthal@gmail.com'
    David Rosenthal
    16 April 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Beautiful putter and great article. Thanks!

  • Tlj_413@live.com'
    Tyler Johnson
    16 April 2016 at 8:34 pm

    This looks like a putter that would significantly improve my putting! I love this review! I hope that I will have an opportunity to use this sometime in my lifetime!

  • 4imesssage@gmail.com'
    Brad Till
    17 April 2016 at 7:04 am

    Rhmmmm, never heard of this brand before. Would give it a try though.

  • Balshing@gmail.com'
    Steven v
    17 April 2016 at 11:00 am

    Had rife in my bag during high school and beginning of college, still great to pull out when I feel the yips comin back, solid review!

  • wrightkristy@rocketmail.com'
    Kristina wright
    17 April 2016 at 11:38 am

    Looks nice! Wouldn’t mind trying one to see how it stands up to my Nike putter.

  • jtj1174@yahoo.com'
    josh jackson
    17 April 2016 at 6:26 pm

    RIFE putters put the best roll on the ball that I’ve ever seen. this one looks sweey.

  • jdhefferin@gmail.com'
    JD Hefferin
    17 April 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Why do pros on tour use a Rife putter? Simple, because they work! Pros can use any putter they want (aside from contract obligations), and the many that have chosen rife are not because their a home-known brand, but because it’s a brand that puts its focus into its putters rather than on marketing. Who doesn’t want to use a putter that has countless hours of design and ideas behind it. Rife rocks!

  • Morris_groves@yahoo.com'
    Morris
    17 April 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Great review! Awesome products and some of the best putters out there!! Would feel fortunate to roll this putter every round!

  • Ansley9112@gmail.com'
    Andy
    17 April 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I have an old rife and it’s perfectly balanced and a clean feel when it contacts the ball. Would love to try out the latest greatest one. Good putter!!

  • holley.taylor123@gmail.com'
    Holley
    17 April 2016 at 7:14 pm

    What a beautiful putter would look even better in my bag!

  • rmdeschamps@hotmail.com'
    rich Deschamps
    18 April 2016 at 4:09 am

    Love the look of this putter Pick me

  • Austinhuynh3@gmail.com'
    Austin
    18 April 2016 at 7:12 am

    Might consider retiring my Scotty Newport for the season. Good review, one of my top options as a replacement @austhuynh

  • Recent
    • Miura New Wedge Series Review: Not so New, but Still Good The Miura New Wedge Series. What’s so new about? Does it take wedge tech to the next level?...
    • KJUS: Cool for the Summer Summer 2016 is a hit for KJUS. Not only has KJUS released another fantastic line up of high-performance activewear for the season, but the company has...
    • Innovation. It’s a term synonymous with the golf industry . . . or so golf company executives would have you believe. The reality is innovation isn’t occurring as frequently...
    • Voice Caddie VC300 Review: Distance at the Tip of your Hat It only takes one look to know that the Voice Caddie VC300 is different from your typical golf GPS...

    RELATED BY