My Shot: Scotty Cameron

GxgolferGxgolfer Site Founder & Co-OwnerSF Bay Area, CARules Official, Administrator Posts: 26,544 admin
edited Dec 19, 2005 in Putters #1
Interviewed by Guy Yocom
Click for Complete Article>>>Here

Age 43 • San Diego, CA

I custom-make three to four putters a year for Tiger. He wants backups. They're almost identical, but because I make them by hand, they aren't exact duplicates. Tiger likes a little dot on top of the putter, which I insert with a drill bit and then fill with paint. One day I get a call from Tiger. He says one of the dots on one of the putters is bigger than the others. I check them, and sure enough he's right -- it was too big by an almost immeasurable margin, about the thickness of a piece of paper. It so happens that every drill bit wobbles imperceptibly. I haven't made a putter for him since without that little dot on my mind.

As great as many quality putters were and are, I always thought it odd that the dots or sightlines on top of them weren't always directly above the sweet spot. Golfers who instinctively used the sightline as a guide wound up not getting results from what was actually a great putter.

Is my Newport putter a takeoff on the Ping Anser? Of course it is. Is the American Classic similar to the Bulls Eye? Certainly. But is it wrong to take off on their original designs and try to make them better? Absolutely not. Schwinn didn't invent the bicycle, but I dare you to call the Grey Ghost model a knockoff. My approach to putter design is the same.

One day I saw a pair of wild-looking golf shoes left over from the early '70s. They were high-top shoes, similar in design to basketball shoes, only leather and designed for golf. Since they were in good condition, I put them in the lobby of our studio as a lark. When Lanny Wadkins, Tom Kite and other players from that era came through the front doors and saw them, they stopped in their tracks. They fawned over the shoes and reminisced about the bell-bottom slacks, wide belts, bat-wing collars, shoes with buckles and so on from the old days. These crazy shoes, which I paid $1 for, provided a portal to a great time in their lives. It reinforced how a simple physical object can touch something deep within a person. When I design a putter, I want it to evoke something, so that through it the golfer can feel a connection of some kind. That's what art does.

There's a restaurant near my office called Nacho's Taco Shop. It's a small place but wildly popular. There's a line out the door at lunch, and I've ordered takeout there for Hal Sutton, Robert Gamez, Mark O'Meara and many others. Now, the owner could open five franchises tomorrow and be very successful, but he refuses to do that. He dominates his niche in the marketplace, he's the best at what he does and he has control over every facet of the operation. Could I branch off into wedges and drivers? I suppose I could, but Nacho's Taco Shop is a breathing example of why I should stay focused on what I know best.
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  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Guests Posts: 0
    edited Dec 19, 2005 #2
    Interesting article in GD. Scotty was wise to acknowledge the importance of Karsten in the development of SC putters, as should Bettinardi, Kirk Currie etc etc. There are few truly innovative products in golf. Most are incremental refinements of existing stuff, and those that aren't are monstrosities like the Pod driver (do a search in golfwrx if you haven't seen one). Even metalwoods existed in the 1930s.

    Most industries are not any different, but SC has carved a niche through a combination of great work, good timing and clever marketing - with special editions and all the headcovers. I speak as someone bought in to the whole deal, so good luck to Scotty.
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