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Scotty Cameron interviewed by Golf World.

ManchesterGolfer

AKA.... Obi-Wan Ho-Nobi
Jan 4, 2006
3,467
0
This took me ages to type out!!! Some intresting points he makes but it's long!!!

[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]Scotty Cameron[/FONT]​

[FONT=times new roman, new york, times, serif]Titleist's legendary putter designer reveals his passion for perfection.[/FONT]​

My father had a workshop in the garage and we used to go to flea markets and golf shops looking for old permission woods to refinish. Back in about 1974 I found a Zebra putter, and it really stuck with me, with the cool headcover and shiney soleplate. we had a small table top mill and he taught me how to shape things, how to bore holes, and we would go to the tyre shop to get old lead weights from the old rims, which we melted down. We would then go out and play golf with the clubs we had just made. He was always more intreasted in woods, but for me the putter was always king.

The first putter I ever created was a bit like the 8802, Arnold Palmer designed-by model. Even today it is one of the most difficult putters to do right. my Dad had a bad heart and died when I was 13. The last thing he ever said to me was to stick with the game of golf. He said he thought I had a future in it.

When I was 22 I borrowed some money from my father-in-law to go and play on the mini-tours and see if I had the game to be a professional. I didn't, but I still had all these questions: Should I have a forward press, should my eye be over the ball, should i use a face balanced putter, is my putter to short....on and on and on. I beleive that a lot of golfers feel the same, and I have spent the last 15 years trying to answer them.

As I'd given so many putters away to friends who ended up on the mini-tours, some of my putters ended up being seen by varius companies like Ben Hogan or Ray Cook and they then commisioned me to make putters for them. But I soon found out that they wanted mass market, while I wanted to be more focused on the Tour Pros. I worked for Ray Cook for four years before leaving to start my own company.

at the time, the cast product was both popular and cheap. Milling a putter from a solid block of metal is very expensive. When I started, theaverage price of a putter was $54, and there's me bringing out a milled putter that retailed at $300. People said i'd be out of business in six months. But I was a beliver in doing it right, and then when Bernhard Langer won The Masters in 1993 with a Scotty Cameron it really helped things take off.

I had helped design for Cleveland, Founders club, Hogan, Mizuno... but I found that large companies stifled creative thinking and I wanted to be a dedicated putting company. Wally Uhlein, of Titleist told me he wanted to run this putter company like my own and let them sort out all the other things. There putter sales in 1991 were worth about $425,00 to the company. After 10 years we hit $50 million a year sales and we never advertised once.

Most companies reduce the length of putters but don't reduce the swing weight, using the same head for three different lengths 33, 34, 35in. We make the head heavier the shorter the length gets. Length sets the eyes, and eyes set the path. You can't ignore shaft flex. The great putters always talk about the shaft, and from the great Bullseye to the 8802 or the Ping Anser, the cycles of the shaft were very common. If the shaft is to soft there is kick, and that adds backspin to the ball on long putts.

Sound is feel. We did some tests with rifle-shooting headphones where you can't hear a thing. We took two identical putters and put a slot on one just underneath the club face so it rang out loundly when you hit. The other was just normal, solid putter. We asked golfers to hit both and identify the softest. When you take the headphones off and let them do it again, and they hear the noise of the doctored one they can't belive it. we think that sound gives more feel than feel itself.

High speed videowas very expensive 15 years ago, but now we are reaping the rewards and are really starting to understand the relationship between ball, club and player. Does the player or the putter affect the ball? Pros would come in and we would test and analyse, and it was amazing the confidence it would create, because you could prove what worked and what didn't. It began from me understanding the facts, so that I could then design putters for the best players.

Kaersten Solheilm [founder of Ping] was an amazing engineer. He used two or three degrees mostly, and what he did was genius. I am a student of putter history and I am always intreasted in trying to find out where he got his ideas. Does my Newport look like an Anser? Absolutely. But he cast his from magnesium bronze, liquefying and pouring into a mould. We have since found that when you don't mill something, the grain structure changes as it cools down. Air pockets get trapped and you get inconsistencies that affect the sound and feel. Milling a putter involves more time and money, but it is worth doing.

Face balanceing is a buzz word. It is just done by design. The shaft access goes through the head at a specific lie angle - the flatter the lie, the more face balance, the more square-to-square the path becomes, and we don't want that. We want the toe down when you hold the putter on your finger, because that is wahat creates the arc. We want a slight swing, not a swing gate, and it wasn't until high-speed video that we figured out what was happening. Now we can show people how they swing and explain why we are going to give them a certain putter with a certain loft or head weight or certain lie.

Every professional event Tiger has won has been with a Cameron putter. I believe he has won with between five and seven of my putters, but the one he is now using has been in his bag for seven years. He has back ups, but he is a great believer in if it ain't broke don't try to fix it. Does Tiger know about gear? It would blow your mind. What he notices and feels is amazing;it could be something simple like a sight dot, where a drill might of wobbled slightly. The human eye should not really be able to detect that, but he does. Never underestimate him, because he's always right.

What I like about Tiger is that I'm never on a wild goose chase. He always knows just what he wants. In the Studio, every time a procomes in we video him and save it. So when he comes in next and asks how he was putting in 2000, we are able to show him. Tiger has used it so often that we just let him run the machine himself. He is such a student of the game that, if you listen to him for a short time, you learn something, Mark O'Mera is dowbstairs right now being fitted I believe he has been a massive influence on Tiger's putting. Mark taught him to become a great putter.

There is no right and wrong in terms of putters' it is all personal preference. I just want to understand why. i work with guys like Faxon, Love and tiger, but also older guys like Lanny watkins, Tom kite or Ben Crenshaw. I got caught in a rainstrom at The Masters a while back and ended up out the back of a gift shop in the gift wrapping area with arnold Palmer, and I picked his brains about the 8802 that was his design, and asked him about the whys and hows of the putter. So I am aways learning.

loft is acrucial determinant of putting quality. if you have a ball back in your stance, you will more likly have a forward press and your left wrist will be cupped. So four degrees is the optimum loft on the club. The ball weighs 45g and sits in an indentation in the ground, and you barly want to clear that, just enough to get it on the surface. If you only have 2 degrees of loft it bumps a bit and gets crammed into the ground. If you had four degrees but played it forwards in the stance, you will be adding two degrees and then end up with backspin. Somewhere in between is right. On a 20ft putt you get about 6 inches where it goes with out spinning or rolling.

I play once a week, more in Summer. It is important to get out because putters look different in the Studio to how they do on the course. I have favourites, but I am always trying new clubs. my game is pretty good, but it had to be because I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of tour players! I like to go out with my Buddies and gamble for a couple of dollars and get that nervous feeling. that way you can understand what the Tour guys are going through a little better and can talk a better langue with them.

Golf balls have become much harder, having gone from Balata to two-piece. So as a putter guy I am trying to come up with ways of making things softer, whether through aluminium or urethane or copper or brass. The USGA dictates how far we can go, and that limits how big, soft or long we can go. I could create a standard pendulum that would never miss, but that wouldn't be golf, and I like how the govering bodies are working to protect the game. It would be easy to get out of control and we are happy to work within their rules.

.......
 
OP
ManchesterGolfer

ManchesterGolfer

AKA.... Obi-Wan Ho-Nobi
Jan 4, 2006
3,467
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
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The best putting tip ever?: buy a Scotty Cameron! No Really. Alignment is everything and whereever you aim you will subconsciously adjust your swing. It is the same with putting: if you are alligned badly your body will react to correct things and that causes the yips. You know where the hole is so you are going to adjust. Alignment is crucial and some people align better with different putters - you just need to understand what you do. We have lasers coming out of the wall and we put a mirror on the face and get players to set up to the hole. It is amazing how far people are off compared to where they think they are. Usally, it's left of the hole.

We could sell a lot more putter, but when you start making more quality suffers, So I really strive to make great things., not good things. There is no doubt they are more expensive, but I make them, they are not done in China or Korea or Mexico or Taiwan. We make them here and I am a huge beliver in ensuring that quality stays, because that is what the name we have built up is all about. I've always wanted to stay small and focused. I don't want to make the mass, I just want to make the class.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
Good lord man! Take a fraction of that ho'ing money and buy a scanner!
 

Glenn70

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2005
213
0
Thanks for the post, that was very interesting. I've always wondered who Scotty Cameron is and where he gets the cajones to charge so much for his putters. I still can't justify $300 for a putter, but at least I know now that there is a lot of design and work that goes into them.
 

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