February 11, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
If there's one thing Scotty Cameron isn't short on, it's ideas. Titleist's putter guru manages to come up new creations every year and, without fail, his flatsticks are quickly scooped up by a fervent following of "Cameron collectors" who treat his putters like works of art.
Cameron is without a doubt one of the hottest names in the equipment industry, but his popularity goes beyond the recreational golfer. His putters have been the choice of more players on the PGA TOUR since 1997, including Tiger Woods, who used the same Cameron model for all 14 of his major victories.
With a new line of GoLo putters coming to retail in April, Cameron took the time to discuss the process that goes into creating a new putter, his design inspirations and the wildest putter request he's ever received.
What's the process like taking a putter from concept to creation?
CAMERON: It's usually about eight months to a year. We do all our milling in-house, so that allows us to work with tighter time tables, if need be. For example, the Futura X that Adam Scott used to win the Masters ... we went from him winning the tournament to having it in the marketplace in two months. That's unheard-of, but having the ability to do everything in-house allowed us to handle the tight turnaround.
What do you currently do in-house, and how did it allow you to turn the Futura X into a retail option in two months?
CAMERON: Like I said, eight months to a year is still standard, but if we need to go we can go. Right now we work in our milling factory 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have 320 people in our milling, buffing and welding operations. It's a big company, but I still like to run it like a small company by controlling the design and milling and every aspect about it.
Where do you get the inspirations for your designs?
I get a lot of inspiration from outside the industry. Whether it's watches, cars, motorcycles, my creations typically have bits and pieces from other industries.
For instance, I was reading a book on old motorcycles and decided added to add the holes from the exhaust pipe on an old Honda 250 to the top of the new GoLo Dual Balance putter grip. There's a weight inside the grip, but I still wanted that hole design to show up. Design thoughts come from everywhere.
You get a lot of player feedback. Do you ever find it difficult to satisfy all those requests when you're designing something new?
CAMERON: Not really. A lot of players give great feedback — like Rickie Fowler. The face height was really important to Rickie on a putter we recently worked on, because for him if the face gets too tall he feels like he has to press forward to hit the center of the face.
But when it gets too shallow, he feels like he has to come up on it. He doesn't want to come down, he doesn't want to come up, so the distance of height needs to be just right to give him a comfort zone. And it makes perfect sense.
That's a smart, well thought-out request. Of course, I've been doing this for over 30 years so with the well thought-out I've also received some wild requests.
What's the wildest request you've ever received?
CAMERON: That's an easy one. About 18 years ago, Brad Bryant came up to me and told me that he was putting so well with his wedge that he wanted to see if I could build him a wedge with a putter face — at four degrees — welded to the wedge. Of course, I told him no. I said if he wanted a wedge, he should go see Bob Vokey.
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