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Dixi - a story of a putter


Arracc
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A story how a putter came alive...
"Once upon a time..."
"In the wanning hours of the presidency..."


There are many ways to start telling a story …mine begins like this:

Ugly, wrong, ugly, ugly, ugly...
The year was 2004 and there “they” were... on display. All those putters that would take me to the next level of confidence. The putters that could/would unlock unknown feats and accomplishment on the moss. All those putters that I had looked at fondeled and tried… in vain, none of them really “worked” for me. I had at this time a TP Mills (Spalding) putter that I regretted buying the minute after I left the shop… I also had a Poolputter that misbehaved to frequently.

I had also ”won” a carbite putter at ebay… a bellyputter it said… well lo and behold when the putter arrived it was a 45” bellyputter which probly is a bellyputter if you are 7’ tall or so, well Iam 6’1” so it never stuck with me… another miss spent dollar.

“Skit,Scheisse,s***… why can’t I find a decent putter... “ was a thought that probably whisped around in my head when I tried all those putters… and honestly how hard can it be to design and develop a putter of your own? My trade being a product designer, so I had all the experience and tools to run a project like this, even with the risk of realizing that in the end it might be to expensive to realize…

(It might be appropiate to mention that I was a newbie to golf and had been playing for just over two years at this time.)

Thankfully the putter tech level is fairly low so it was an ideal challenge for me.

From words to action – Project Dixi* begun the 1st of July 2004

The motto was: “facta non verba”**

* Dixi – latin for ”I have spoken”
** also latin – Deeds not words

Objective: Create a conforming golf putter

Deadline: May 2005

The first step was to gather as much information as possible regarding putter theory and putter design. From all corners of the wide web I found bits and bobs that slowly started to gel into some ideas and concepts. A certain Geoff Magnum (a brit adrift in US…) had a site that contains pretty much anything worth knowing about putting ( http://puttingzone.com/Science/index.html ).
After digging in to all this info, I got a pretty clear picture of the market for putters and of all the major and minor ”players”. The initial feeling was “Jeez a lot of weirdos out there!”... just to realize how quickly I was becoming a member of that club.
Some of you are probably aware of the July issue of GolfDigest 2004 ft some extreme inventors… http://www.golfdigest.com/features/index.s.../gd200407putter inventors.html )

Well the design process is hardly ever dead straight from A to Z, and neither was my project a grade a project in regards to structure and due process… my pen started to draw putter-concepts and ideas way before I settled for a project brief. “doodling” is a vital part of the process but without a detailed objective it is futile and pointless. The doodling is the first phase of the search for “it”… where “it” equals the solution for all demands in terms of functionallity aestetics as well as production and in no small means economy. So what were my objectives?

Well starting with my own desires, Pelz putting bible and Magnums theories and links I finally arrived at this spec.:

The Putter should:
a. Have a high swingweight – to minimize wrist action and promote a straight pendlum stroke
b. Have a long ”sight line” – to facilate aiming at the target
c. Have a high moment of inertia MOI – to be ”forgiving” on off-center hits
d. have a unique feature – to difrentiate it from the “mob”

After a little bit of schizofrenic discussion and test with various putters I decided to aim for a head weight of 350-450g that would feel “right” at a certain length (35”).

Meanwhile the “design process” continued… The B demand hinted to a long sight line parallell to the stroke action and the C demand prompted me to put the maximum amount of weight way back. This gave at hand that the putter would be of a mallet kind.

Demand D which I thought would be the hardest ”nut to crack” turned out to be fairly easy since sometimes the ”ideas” just tend to pop up when you least expect it to do... as when I was about to face Mr Sandman (unsure if he is familiar to US citizens).

The idea was to make a single putter head that could be used by both “lefties” and “righties”. The concept felt neaveau
And I spent many hours browsing through patent databases at USPTO and EPO scrutinizing patents high and low from Morris Jr up present… I kind of recall getting 2600 hits on putter utility patents…

I never found anything that matched my claims so I applied for a patent in late fall of 2004.

For the sturdy reader who have read uptil here, I would like to say that the project had been running for about 4 months and countless of evening hours. I had probably made some 12 complete designs of putters before settling for one. Next step would be the big one… production!

As I assumed there is nothing as a free lunch... so to make one (1) putter, with all these unique parts, was out of the question... so I had to do a small batch to even get a quotatin. I settled initially for 20 pcs, but after the story leaked about my little project, friends and local people put “blind” orders so I decided to go for 50 pcs.

Now it was time to flex the wallet and face the fact that it would cost me a seasons worth of maintainace for a fairsized sailing yacht or an extended vacation for two somwhere exotic – when all costs where summed up... but hey I was having a ball and 15 pre-orders!

Family with connections in is great but it is still hard to get a decent price for all parts at one place. So things where made all over the place Highspeed CNC milled aluminium heads where made in Sweden and rods bent in China...

Just as the year ended the first parts dropped in and in Feb 2004 the first three clubs were ready.

I had an unkown relative working at one of the major players PING so it felt natural to send one in that direction for evaluation and comments.
PING and other big players have policies that they don’t accept unsoliceted(?) material... but is good to have people “in the know” who can pull a few threads get some pro comments.

Chris DiMarco had this to say of the initial sample:

“This is a well-designed, quality product that finished should look good in its own. It strokes smoothly and feels good at impact”

” The sweet spot for me is wide. The sound at impact good, the ball comes off the face of this putter and moves like teflon over the green.”

” Overall with a few tweeks its a damn fine putter.”

I hope to get more pro reviews as times goes by…

The only unresolved part is the headcover which I thought was easy to solve...


Conclusion:

Facta non verba

The project is finished and without any marketing efforts I’ve sold 30 of the total of 50 serialized putters.

The way the shaft is connected to the head enables you to customize the angle you want lean the shaft back or forth. At a neutral position the shaft is slightly off set by 5mm. The sight line inlay is either white with a black stripe or black with a white stripe.

Material: Grade 6063 Aluminum CNC-milled & anodized in natural silver (16pcs) and black (4pcs)
Dimension (WxDxH): 108x105x26 mm
Weight: 340-406g depending on weight module (steel/lead or tungsten)
Shaft: True temper putter shafts
Grip: Winn 17 blue (Paddle style)


Price tag: 300 USD + shipping


I will try to get a recent photo of the black putterhead posted as well...

These are all early shots of the initial three putters...

Silver head unassembled without stripe.
8003151_ea25ea1ff3_m.jpg

Silver head lined-up with a white stripe
8003149_186f8cf1a5_m.jpg

Black & White silverstyle
8003148_ba6113f648_m.jpg

The initial three
8003150_bcc73e26a3_m.jpg

golftowel with logo
11486598_d12735de3c.jpg

Logo
10359979_709eeddcbe_m.jpg
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Arracc,

 

Wow, that's quite a story. :kewlpics:

 

As a habitual tinkerer, I have often drawn or thought about new putter designs. Your story does give one pause as to whether or not I could devote the time necessary to bring to market a new design. I must say I like the look of your creation. The head is simple but different. I wish you nothing but success and hope someday soon we will the "dixi" on TV.

 

Cheers

 

Ice

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Ping g400 20.5 DVS 85
Titleist 818H1 23* Diamana 90

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thank you all

 

The choosen design was probably the most neutral of all the concepts, and strived to be a blend of a traditional flanged blade and a MOI-mallet.

I'm actually quite proud of the design and it seems to work for more people then its somewhat biased creator :kewlpics:

Most buyers who have a pendlum stroke has shaved of a few putts on average.

One have to remember that this putter (like all MOI-mallets) are best suited for non-arced strokes...

 

I will add more pictures soon.

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What can I say??? 'Impressive' doesn't even begin to describe it.

 

Great job Arracc. I hope it turns out to be a big success for you.

 

:kewlpics:

Titleist TS3 Even Flow 75X
Taylor Made M2 Tour 3HL Kuro Kage
Titleist 718 TMB 3-5 Project X PXi 6.0
Adams A4 Tour 6-W DG X100
Cleveland RTX 2 52, 56
Brodgestone Prototype 60
Taylor Made Spider Tour Red

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Thanks Albie and Damo... always nice to get comments and reactions ... and especially nice ones :kewlpics:

 

If there are any viewers out there who find the design down right ugly, please comment that too and what of the design that does not please your eye... It´s a learning session too and I don't have any sore toes so step right up and give me some constructive critisism.

 

Albiefresh wrote:

 

It looks like the shaft go in either side so the same putter can be left handed or right handed. Is that correct?

 

Yep thats right... the connection to the side gives me the oppertunity to make "lefties" and "righties" by just using different "necks" as well as enabling simple custom settings of the shaft-loft(?) angle...

 

btw What do you call the angle that determins how far a shaft leans "fore" or "aft"?

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