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My $41 Scotty Cameron putter

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When it comes to putters, Scotty Camerons are about as good as it gets.

Phil and Tiger used to use one, and even after signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike, Rory McIlroyhas spent most of 2013 rolling his putts with a Cameron.

Cameron putters can be custom made, up to the smallest of details. Without a fitting, these babies can retail for as much as $350 or more.

So imagine my surprise and interest when I looked around on the web and found a new Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter for the amazing price of $41. There it was, problem solved. It could be mine for next to nothing. My mind started racing — what if I bought 10 of these? Surely, I could sell them for more than that on eBay or Craigslist. Suddenly, I was considering a new career as a putter trader.

There was no “click to buy,” or anything like you usually see on Amazon. Just an email address to Natalie Yan. I contacted her and received a reply about a week later. Natalie asked how I was doing and informed me that the putter was still available. And how many pieces did I want? I replied that I only wanted one, but if I was satisfied I would buy more. She emailed me an invoice, and informed me that I could pay with PayPal. With shipping, the total cost came closer to $86. Still a steal.

However, I couldn’t help but be a little suspicious. The site where I found the putter, diytrade.com, is similar to eBay. It is based in China, and allows individuals to sell new or used merchandise. My seller was claiming that I was buying the product wholesale, which is how I was getting it so cheap.

It’s true that a lot of golf clubs are made in China, so maybe it made sense. But I took a closer look at the invoice that Natalie sent me. It came from “Factory 16 building, Shitanbu industry area, Tangxia Town, Dongguan City, China.”

I decided to email the people at Scotty Cameron directly and see what the deal was. Their response was the following:

Please be advised that the website that you provided is not affiliated with Acushnet Company. Please note that there has been an increase in the number of websites that offer counterfeit product for sale, especially at prices that seem “too good to be true.” We recommend that you make your Acushnet purchase through an authorized account.

I decided to forward the email to Natalie and see what she said. She never replied.

I looked into it a bit more, and on the Acushnet site, there was a guide to avoiding counterfeit clubs. Among the warnings was:

“If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.”

Club makers have recognized that this is a serious problem and have acted. A few years ago, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, Ping, TaylorMade and Titleist put together an organization called Keep Golf Real. The slick website has extensive information about how to spot fakes, as well as the latest news on the fight against counterfeit. KeepGolfReal estimates that 2 million counterfeit clubs are produced every year.

The organization has had some success. In January 2012, it announced that it shut down 62 websites where counterfeit clubs were sold. A restraining order froze their Paypal accounts, and Joe Nauman, executive vice president for corporate and legal at Acushnet, called it an important message sent to counterfeiters.

However, despite their progress, how much of this fight are they actually winning? Counterfeits can still be bought with relative ease on eBay. And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?

Officials at Keep Golf Real accepted that it will be a challenge, and acknowledged that the best way to win this fight was through education. The organization’s theory is that if people stop buying counterfeit clubs, counterfeiters will stop making them. Perhaps this is somewhat naive, especially in a tough economy everyone is looking to cut costs, but it is a laudable mission.

Their success or failure will become clearer in the longer term. Meanwhile, they keep fighting, but the factories in China stay busy.

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  9. Joe

    Aug 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    I’m sorry, was this article written by a grandparent/parent of someone who works here?
    These are generally the kind of people who wouldn’t know that something that is being sold from China at a stupidly low price is fake.

  10. Jimmy Wu

    Jun 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  11. jc

    May 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    so scuuty camelon is not a real person?
    thank goodness I have authentic bin Horgan and Calaweigh clubs from china.

    • Klondiko

      Aug 6, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Would go perfectly with the Ray Ben sunglasses I bought in mexico for $5.

      • Ryan

        Aug 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        You got ripped off! Your Ray Bens are probably fake. I, on the other hand, got some SWEET Oaklee sunglasses for 4 dollars on Ebay.

  12. TLE

    May 14, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I bought a $50 knock off putter from China, and to be honest it’s better than the $400 SC putter I bought from Golftown

    • Justin

      Aug 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      It’s all about how it fits, and if it’s pleasing to you. The du jour designer name, the price, the metal used, how it was milled… the only time all that matters is if it matters to you. If you tied a red brick to a shovel handle and averaged <35 putts a round, wouldn't that be your "it" putter?

    • elpatoreal

      Sep 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

      If you like the cheaper putter better, why didn’t you just buy a similar looking putter from Tiger Shark or Tour Edge or some other company? Why support counterfeiters? I’m not trying to provoke you, I’m just genuinely curious.

  13. Renee

    Apr 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

    You will not hear me crying for the transnational corporations exploiting cheap labor pools and shipping jobs overseas. This is part of the consequences or ‘cost factor’ their bean counters forgot to factor in. In addition, Intellectual property is free game overseas. Hindsight is always 20/20 right.

  14. jim

    Mar 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    the chineese labour regulations for a smelter lets titleist and most club makers function over there rather than here western so why should we not buy the back street ex-factory worker not make a living?how many ethics minded businesses have put employees out of the system ie work related persuits.

  15. Eligio

    Mar 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I too sent away for one of these $41 specials, knowing full well it was too good to be true. It looks real from 10′ away but as you get closer, it is a really bad knock off but for a total of around $80 I couldn’t resist.
    For all of those complaining about the cost of an authentic SC, no one is holding a gun to your head. Just say no!

    • john

      Mar 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Why would you buy it, if you know its fake?

  16. swingspeed

    Jan 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    “If the goods are shipping from, or located in, China or Hong Kong, they are probably counterfeit.” Maybie i’m wrong here but aren’t that model of scotty’s made in china and shiped from china?

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      No “real” Scotty Cameron putters are made in China. Everything is made in the US. Made in Southern California.

  17. JaMarcus

    Aug 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    How could the author not realize he was really purchasing a $41 Scotty Camwong putter?

    • Christian

      May 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Ha! got me laughin hard on the Scotty Camwong…

  18. Kevo

    Aug 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Why would you even waste your time thinking a $41 dollar Scotty is legit? This article was a waste of time to read.

  19. Mike

    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Writer left one thing out…………
    How did the putter perform?

    BTW…….Karsten Solheim was the putter design genius. Scotty has been riding on his coattail for years.

    I don’t blame him though. Whatever it takes to make a buck or two.

    • Keith

      Aug 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      I have never used the Scotty Cameron counterfeit putter. I have about 200 putters in my modest collection.
      Right now I am using a Ping Kushin Scottsdale that I bought for less than $100 and it seems to be working just now.
      You know that it is often the puttee and not the putter!

  20. Keith

    Jul 31, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I bought a Scotty Cameron putter complete with head cover from China for $53 Canadian all in and of course knew it was a fake.it looks just like the real thing but I wanted to see the counterfeit for myself. It was delivered to my home in Toronto 10 days after placing the order.
    The head is light in weight and I have never used it.
    Speaking of counterfeit who does Scotty copy with a lot of his famous over priced putters. Ever compare the heads with a Ping Anser?

    • John

      Aug 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN ORIGINAL DESIGN IN THE GOLF EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY!!!…not only did Scotty cameron LICENSE the design when it was patented (which it hasn’t been for over 25 years now) but so did every other company that has ever made a putter…tell me Keith, what would you do to improve the design and functionality of the original Ping Anser…maybe mill it, check for Scotty…how about add weight to increase moi?…check for Scotty…there aren’t original designs anywhere any more, only small tweaks to existing ones.

  21. Bob

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    The sad thing is, $41 is the price that an authentic cameron should be. The most over-rated putters on the market.

    • John

      Jul 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Couldn’t agree more…my uncle works for a company that supplys raw metal to kitchen-aid, I’m sure you’ve all heard of them…guess where the RECYCLED 303 stainless gets sent???…any guesses, that’s right Scotty Cameron (Acushnet) gets the metal that kitchen-aid doesn’t want to use for their knives. I can’t help but laugh at anyone out there that truly believe the materials cost more than $41…I won’t give numbers out of respect for business ethics, but the most expensive parts of ANY cameron putter (including some circle t’s for all you big spenders out there) is the shaft and grip combined…then whatever labor they have to pay the guy in the factory who has to stare at the Cnc mill…thanks and have a good day, boom

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        i agree with you john, however i think it’s poor form to “boom” yourself. thanks and have a good day.

      • Mike

        Jul 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        BOOM! that’s for john.

        • John

          Jul 31, 2013 at 5:01 pm

          Actually mike, it is intended to be used yourself, in its origination, the person made a groundbreaking comment followed by “boom!”…don’t tell people what is or isn’t “good form”, who do you think you are the Internet comedy etiquette investigation bureau?

          • Will

            Mar 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

            Wow. He just said he thought…I mean it’s how he feels.

            Just an opinion. He didn’t say you used it wrong.

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:00 pm

        Why in the world would you think that anybody else thinks that the materials are worth $41???
        What finished product do you buy that the retail price = the cost of the materials? I don’t care if a putter is made from recycled rabbit turds and bottle caps from raspberry SnApple as long at it performs.

        Just try and make a putt with your Kitchenaid since it obviously is made from superior materials.

        • Brandon

          Apr 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Probably the best comment I have ever read on GolfWrx. Freaking Hilarious

      • J

        Aug 7, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        And those other pesky costs of doing business like….maybe say…a building, insurance, administration, advertising, r&d, etc.

        • John

          Apr 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

          lol! r&d for putter designs that don’t change. Every single golf company has the same typical putter designs and they all just add their unique touch to it. White, circles, logos, etc.

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s a ton of r&d going on in the SC camp.

          That original comment is awesome.

      • Justin

        Aug 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        I laugh at that stuff, too. The cost of the metal is but a small fraction of the overall cost. The hype (demand) and Tour usage are bigger contributors to the cost. If everyone decided one day to stop buying SC’s, I’d bet you could get them for no more than $50.

    • Rixirox

      Mar 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Well, maybe in your humble opinion. I think my SC GoLo is the best thing since my old beat-up, Acushnet Bullseye Blade. And better than my White Ice and Daddy Longlegs.

      So I don’t care whos says what. By the time I got done buying all the junk that didn’t work, I was in a bit more than the price of a Scotty.

      So buy your Scotty up front and save money and time by not buying everybody else’s BS.

    • Joseph

      Mar 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      The putters are milled from a 10 pound billet of stainless steel. No other putter on the market is made this way. And they’re made in the US. Sorry, but these putters are anything but over-rated.

      • adrian

        Apr 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        totally agree, Ive been through 2-balls and #7’s, Ive tried ping zings and none compare to the SC’s I’ve had and have just bought a new one!

        People who say they arent worth the money are the kind of people who wear velcro trainers cutting cost or use a ten quid putter from sports direct and blah blah about the same materials!

        Try an SC love it, put it down because your missus will have a fit if she finds out what the stick cost!

        • adrian

          Apr 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

          although that said, I always try to source a bargain, buying from shops is always way over what you can pick up a brand new putter for nearly new or *mint*!

  22. Joel

    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    wow…it seems if someone was trying to track down counterfeit clubs to stop companier that diytrade has it all… mostly all from the same small handful of companies but I cant help but feel like $140 ap2’s and $150 r1’s arent legit lol.

  23. Bart

    Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I have a Scotty Cameron and I putt so bad with it I’m just about ready to pay someone $41-00 to take it away. I’ll stick with my old Anser 2.

  24. c masty

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Whoever is trying to stop the counterfeiting is doing a knock out job stopping the counterfeit too. You can still go to diytrade.com and buy Scotty putters for 40 bucks.

  25. Rogier

    Jul 30, 2013 at 4:57 am

    I purchased a few “limited” Scotty Cameron headcovers this year for $20 a peace from a Chines website.
    They look and feel exacly the same as the originals

    • Nick

      Jul 30, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Aside from the fact you are helping a scam artist profiteer off the Cameron name, I would be much more inclined to buy a headcover I thought was fake then a club or ball where there is going to be an impact on performance that translates into hurting your game. Theres is obviuosly still the ethical element to contend with but at least the club/ball performance won’t suffer.

  26. Josh C

    Jul 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    “And doesn’t shutting down 62 sites mean that more and more of these sites are popping up, and that eradicating all of them is likely impossible?”

    Shutting down ALL of them? Yes, thats impossible. But if Keep Golf Real has shut down 62 sites in two years, you have to think that will deter some folks from making new counterfeit sites if they know they will just get shut down sooner rather than later. Sounds like a solid job by Keep Golf Real.

  27. mark

    Jul 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Great article not only club making but golf balls have been counterfeited also.

  28. Matt

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    It really took you an email to Scotty to figure out a $41 putter isn’t real? Not only is Scotty much more expensive wholesale…the materials alone cost more than $41 to make it.

    • John

      Jul 29, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Lol I was thinking the same thing…life lesson when something sounds “too good to be true” it usually is…emailing cameron about that = ROTFL

    • Mateo

      Jul 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I’ll agree that wholesale is much more but the cost of the materials is much less.

  29. Cj

    Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    My uncle bought me this brand new r11 once and you could not believe how happy i was, but when i first took it to the range to try it out I realized that the sound of it was like of an empty can that sounded nothing like the ones i hear normally so i checked it online and fount out it was counterfeit you could not believe the disappointment in my face but i was happy because when i was hitting it i lost a good 50 yards

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On Spec

On Spec Special Edition: Houston Open winner Lanto Griffin talks equipment

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In this special edition of On Spec, Ryan has the chance to interview recent PGA Tour winner Lanto Griffin. Lanto talks about what it’s like to stand over an event winning putt, finding the right wedges, and how testing gear sometimes happens right out of another player’s bag.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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Opinion & Analysis

The “70% Rule” is still the winning formula on the PGA Tour

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In June of 2010, a year before the Tour launched Strokes Gained Putting analysis, I published an article on my blog (www.NiblicksOfTruth.blogspot.com): “PGA Tour Winner’s – 70% Rule.”

I had been studying the winners of each tour event for years and realized that they all had specific success in three simple stats–and that the three stats must add up to 70 percent

  1. Greens in Regulation – 70%
  2. Scrambling – 70%
  3. 1-Putts from 5 to 10 feet – 70%

Not every one of the three had to equal 70 percent, but the simple addition of the three needed to equal or exceed 70 percent.  For example, if GIR’s were 68 percent, then scrambling or putting needed to be 72 percent or higher to offset the GIR deficiency—simple and it worked!

I added an important caveat. The player could have no more than three ERRORS in a four-round event. These errors being

  1. Long game: A drive hit out of play requiring an advancement to return to normal play, or a drive or approach penalty.
  2. Short game: A short game shot that a.) missed the putting surface, and b.) took 4 or more total strokes to hole out.
  3. Putting: A 3-putt or worse from 40 feet or closer.

In his recent win in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kevin Na broke the rule… by a bit.  He was all good on the 70 percent part of the rule

  1. GIR’s: 75 percent
  2. Scrambling: 72 percent
  3. 1-Putts 5-10 ft.: 73 percent

But not so good on the three-error limit

  1. Long game: Two driving errors and one approach penalty (three errors).
  2. Short game: A chip/pitch shot that missed the green and took FIVE strokes to hole out (one error).

No wonder it took a playoff to secure his win! But there was another stat that made the difference…

The stat that piqued my interest in Kevin’s win was connected to my 70 percent Rule.  It was his strokes gained: putting stat: +3.54, or ranked first.  He gained 3.5 strokes on the field in each of his four rounds or 14 strokes. I have never seen that, and it caused me to look closer. For perspective, I ran the putting performance of all of the event winners in the 2019 Tour season. Their average putting strokes gained was +1.17.

Below, I charted the one-putt percentages by distance range separately for Kevin Na, the 2019 winners, and the tour 2019 average. I have long believed that the 6–10 foot range separates the good putters on Tour from the rest as it is the most frequently faced of the “short putt” ranges and the Tour averages 50 percent makes. At the same time, the 11-20 foot ranges separate the winners each week as these tend to represent birdie putts on Tour. Look at what Kevin did there.

All I can say again, I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. Well done Kevin!

For the rest of us, in the chart below I have plotted Kevin’s performance against the “average” golfer (15-19 handicap). To see exactly how your game stacks up, visit my website.

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Instruction

The Wedge Guy: The importance of a pre-shot routine

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I believe one of the big differences between better recreational golfers and those not so good—and also between the tour professionals and those that can’t quite “get there”—is the consistency of their pre-shot routines. It is really easy to dismiss something that happens before the ball is even struck as irrelevant, but I strongly urge you to reconsider if you think this way.

To have a set routine to follow religiously before every shot gives you the best chance to execute the shot the way you intend. To do otherwise just leaves too much to chance. Indulge me here and I’ll offer you some proof.

It’s been a while back now, but I still remember an interesting account on this subject that used the final round of the 1996 Masters—when Nick Faldo passed a collapsing Norman—as his statistical proof. This particular analyst reviewed the entire telecast of that final round and timed the routine of both players for every shot. What he discovered was that Norman got quicker and less consistent in his pre-shot routine throughout his round, while Faldo maintained his same, methodical approach to every shot, not varying by more than a second or so. I think that is pretty insightful stuff.

A lot of time has passed since then, but all competitive tour professionals pay very close attention to their pre-shot routines these days. I urge you to watch them as they go through the motions before each shot. And notice that most of them “start over” if they get distracted during that process.

While I do not think it is practical for recreational golfers to go into such laborious detail for every shot, let me offer some suggestions as to how a repeatable pre-shot routine should work.

The first thing is to get a good feel for the shot, and by that, I mean a very clear picture in your mind of how it will fly, land and roll; I also think it’s realistic to have a different routine for full shots, chips and pitches and putts. They are all very different challenges, of course, and as you get closer to the hole, your focus needs to be more on the feel of the shot than the mechanics of the swing, in my opinion.

To begin, I think the best starting point is from behind the ball, setting up in your “mind’s eye” the film-clip of the shot you are about to hit. See the flight and path it will take. As you do this, you might waggle the club back and forth to get a feel of the club in your hands and “feel” the swing that will produce that shot path for you. Your exact routine can start when you see that shot clearly, and begin your approach the ball to execute the shot. From that “trigger point”, you should do the exact same things, at the exact same pace, each and every time.

For me (if I’m “on”), I’ll step from that behind-the-shot position, and set the club behind the ball to get my alignment. Then I step into my stance and ball position, not looking at the target, but being precise not to change the alignment of the clubhead–I’m setting my body up to that established reference. Once set, I take a look at the target to ensure that I feel aligned properly, and take my grip on the club. Then I do a mental check of grip pressure, hover the club off the ground a bit to ensure it stays light, and then start my backswing, with my only swing thought being to feel the end of the backswing.

That’s when I’m “on,” of course. But as a recreational player, I know that the vast majority of my worst shots and rounds happen when I depart from that routine.

This is something that you can and should work on at the range. Don’t just practice your swing, but how you approach each shot. Heck, you can even do that at home in your backyard. So, guys and ladies, there’s my $0.02 on the pre-shot routine. What do you have to add?

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