'Some players are always searching for the Holy Grail'June 5, 2018 Golf Equipment
He designs the best-looking putters on the market, but which model does the man himself use? James Savage gets all the answers from Scotty Cameron in his latest Tech Talk
Scotty Cameron putters are arguably held in higher regard than any other piece of golf equipment.
They are collectable and often very sought after. Some can sell for very significant amounts of money.
Scotty Cameron has been making putters for club golfers and the best players in the world for decades.
But what’s are his design philosophies? How does he tailor putters for the top tour players and what putter does he use himself out on the course?
How have the materials and techniques in Scotty Cameron putters changed since when you first started making putters?
“We’re still using stainless steel, raw carbon steel and some other metal variations for Tour putters like copper here and there.
“But, overall the advances in milling process with the CNC machinery we employ has allowed me to experiment with different ideas within tighter timelines.”
Does it open up more possibilities to allow you to be even more creative with Scotty Cameron putters?
“Most definitely. Our multi-material methodology of mixing lightweight aluminium components with heavier stainless-steel parts has come about easier and more complete with tolerances that are as close and precise as a high-end watchmaker.
“I’m able to work towards a design with the technical capabilities because of the engineering involved. The machinery helps to feed creativity and vice versa.”
How do you get the right blend between looks and feel and putting performance? Are you driving both factors or do you take a lead from the R&D guys on certain things?
“My R&D department involves the golfers on the worldwide professional golf tours.
“They come through the putter studio every day from all parts of the globe looking to do the same thing: putt their best.
“We put them under the lights and cameras and give them the information we gather to then inform us what they’d like to do.
“They make their living putting, so when you’re dealing with the top of the pyramid players, you’re getting the best feedback imaginable.
“But, of course, we have to distil that information into actual designs that work. Like cars or surfboards or guitars, any number of “looks” and “feel” can produce the desired result.
“My job is to listen, learn and try my best to create something that will give the player confidence.”
People make their minds up about a putter as soon as they put it in their hands. Does your new four-way balancing help give players the right feel before they’ve even hit a putt?
“That’s the idea. By shifting the balance point of the sole, we’ve accounted for the weight of the grip and shaft, which usually pulls the putter closed before you even set up for the putt.
“Four-way sole balancing equates to a putter that sets up square and is easier to align from the get-go. Just setting the putter down can give you the right feel.
How important are the face inserts in Scotty Cameron putters? Are they beneficial to all players? And how have you been able to improve them over the years?
“I’ve always maintained that sound and feel are completely related. And, face inserts allow me to tune both.
“I’m not sure every design innovation is beneficial to all players, but I can tell you that I’ve been experimenting and improving upon the design and implementation of inserts and inlays for nearly 25 years.
“From the early days working with Terylium and elastomer to now with our various inserts made from stainless steel integrated with a vibration dampening system that involves a high-tech, shock absorbent adhesive, we’ve vastly improved the reliability, performance and design of our face inserts.”
How much input do tour players have? And which model does Scotty himself use? Tech Talk continues on the next page…