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    J.R. Smith’s show-stopping putter makes appearance at BMW pro-am

  • News

    J.R. Smith shows off new putter in BMW Championship pro-am

The transition of two-time NBA champion J.R. Smith from the hardcourt to the fairways has been well-documented. After his retirement from professional basketball, Smith enrolled at North Carolina A&T and became the most famous member of the school’s golf team.

Smith has played in the Aggies’ starting five and also competed in the recent Western Amateur. On Wednesday, he played in the BMW Championship pro-am alongside Tony Finau, a fellow hoops enthusiast as a fan of his hometown Utah Jazz and the cousin of NBA player Jabari Parker.

Smith stood out Wednesday on the range at Wilmington Country Club and not just because of his 6-foot-6 frame. His orange hair and gold Rolex made a statement, as did his custom purple putter.

Equipment is our expertise, so we will take a closer look at that putter here.

A look at the bottom of J.R. Smith's custom-made putter. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

As a collegiate golfer, Smith takes his game seriously, so the putter isn’t just for show. Smith went with a friend two weeks ago to Bettinardi’s headquarters in Tinley Park, Illinois, where he got fit for a new putter in the company’s “The Hive – Studio B” fitting studio.

“I’ve been fortunate to be in a situation where people want to help me, and help my golf game get better,” Smith said. “So it worked out. One of my boys who took me (to Bettinardi), he had a purple (putter). Then it was like, alright, I gotta outdo him, or we gotta match a little bit. So we both went with the purple.”

Besides the unique color, Tom Sopic of Bettinardi’s Hive Team said Smith’s putter also has custom neck and face engravings. Smith “instantly fell in love” with the putter’s look, including its purple head and matching 38-inch shaft, Sopic said. The putter is longer than your standard flatstick because of Smith’s above-average height.

“He’s obsessed with the game of golf, and it has become a major passion in his life,” Sopic said of Smith. “He hit seven putts in a row on Quintic (a putting analysis system) that had perfect numbers in all categories right after he got his new putter. The iconic Stinger Bees on the sole are a staple within the Bettinardi brand, and a major symbol of The Hive.

“His putter is a one-of-one, with a star-engraved 1.5-degree face piece, fitting for the superstar that is J.R. Smith”

The face of J.R. Smith's custom-made putter. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)

The putter also has an oversized purple Bettinardi cord grip to better fit his hands, which are – obviously – large enough to palm a basketball.

We also took a look inside Smith’s bag to see what other clubs he has besides his unique putter. Check out the specs of his entire bag below:

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (8 degrees)
Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TSi3 (15 degrees)
Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 7 X

Hybrid: Titleist TSi3 (20 degrees)
KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 95 X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-9 iron)
True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Onyx X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (46-10F, 52-12F, 56-10S and 60-04L)
True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Onyx X100

Putter: Bettinardi Inovai 6.0 “J.R. Smith” custom purple

A bird's-eye view at the top of J.R. Smith's custom-made putter. (Courtesy of GolfWRX)