The Equipment Insider

Scotty Cameron: Open eyes, ears refine putter tradition

Scotty Cameron, a longtime manufacturer of golf’s more recognizable putter line, uses Tour player input to help shape the models that he puts into their hands — and the hands of rank-and-file amateurs

It has long been one of the unique and attractive parts of golf that regular players can use the same equipment as the best players in the world. Well, sort of. Tour-issue equipment has few similarities to what rank-and-file amateurs have in their bags. From special clubheads to exotic shafts to wedge grinds, Tour players’ clubs are just different.

Except perhaps for putters. And many Scotty Cameron models come as close as possible to what Tour players carry. Of course, there are Tour-issue Scotties, marked by a circle-T stamped on them. You can find them on eBay for sometimes astronomical prices.

But the reason most off-the-rack Scotty Camerons are so close to Tour models is because the designer himself gets almost all of his inspiration from feedback by Tour players. Take the line of Special Select Scotties introduced earlier this year. To the untrained eye, they don’t look much different from previous models. The new features are small adjustments that make the most difference to those who make millions using the putters.

“Scotty is always trying to keep his finger on the pulse of the latest trends on Tour,” said Mike Bradley, Titleist’s director of marketing for Scotty Cameron putters. “He kicks off each season by going to Hawaii and talking to players about what he’s working on.

Scotty Cameron — 2020 Putters
The 2020 line of Scotty Cameron putters feature subtle — some might suggest imperceptible — changes that have streamlined the various designs. But, says Mike Bradley, Titleist’s director of marketing for Scotty Cameron putters, "if the player doesn’t like looking down at it, it’s probably not going to stay in the bag.”

“And our Tour reps are his eyes and ears all year and bring back data and feedback from players. His studio is a laboratory, as Tour players constantly come in throughout the year. He’s looking for shape and face heights and grip and alignment and neck design.”

The Newport and Newport 2 are in the Special Select line and have been Cameron staples since the mid-1990s. The Newport has softer lines and the Newport 2 is a little sharper and angular to the eye. On Tour, the difference between the two is a personal preference.

“Scotty often says that a putter can perform great but if the player doesn’t like looking down at it, it’s probably not going to stay in the bag,” Bradley said.

Those two blade putters have been modified from previous models based solely on feedback from Tour players. The plumber’s neck has been moved back — or onset — to give the player a better view of the entire blade. The result is that the shaft has been offset to properly position the player’s hands in

relationship to the blade. That offset was made possible by more offset in the elbow of the neck and the socket where the neck connects with the head.

The inserts were discontinued from the previous Select models, per Tour players, and the putter is milled from a single block of 303 stainless steel. Cameron slimmed down the Newport blades, milling out a significant amount of weight and lowering the height of the blade.

The putters became lighter and to address that issue, the tungsten heel and toe weights went from 10-15 grams to 30-40 grams, depending on the length of the putter. As a result of the heavier weights, the Newports have a slightly larger sweet spot.

The other putters in the Special Select line include the Newport 2.5, which is designed like the Newport 2 but with a small slant neck. The others are all mid-mallets and include the Squareback 2, which features the angular lines of the Newport 2 with the wider body of a mid-mallet. The Del Mar is a heel-shafted, smaller, more compact mallet. The Fastback 1.5 is a little larger mid-mallet with a small slant neck. The Flowback 5 features a mid-bend shaft and the Flowback 5.5 has a slant neck.

In the mid-mallets and the larger Flowbacks where there are larger putter heads, Cameron uses more traditional 10-15 gram heel and toe weights. The weights get heavier as shaft length gets shorter, which ensures the feel will remain consistent, no matter the length.

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