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Scotty Cameron tells the story behind the TeI3 “dots,” and his USGA battle

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Shortly after the audio stopped rolling on our recent TG2 Podcast with Scotty Cameron, Cameron broke out the pen and pad to explain a few additional stories that were nothing short of fantastic.

He explained the ever-recognizable dots on the back of his Teryllium putters — and how he initially filled them with bathroom caulk — his bout with the USGA over his new wrap-around face inserts, and how swinging an axe in a Home Depot led to the Pistolero grip design.

Below are each of the stories in more depth.

The Caulk Dots

Scotty Cameron’s Teryllium putters were made famous when Tiger Woods won using a Newport 2 TeI3 putter to win the 1997 Masters. The putter is instantly recognizable because of the 32 white dots on the back — Cameron was 32-years old when he designed the putter, thus, the number of dots.

But what you didn’t know, I presume, is that Cameron filled in those dots with caulk that he found at Target while shopping with his daughter.

There were 5 screws in the back cavity of the TeI3 putters; one in each corner, and one right in the center that he used during the milling process. The problem was, the screw in the center was making the putter feel too hard at impact, Cameron said. So he needed something to soften up the feel, and fill in that dot to replace the hole left from the screw. While he was shopping with his daughter at Target, Cameron says he picked up five different types of caulk. After trying each of them out on the putter head — some too soft, some too hard — he found the one that was effective: GE Tub and Tile Silicone caulk.

The company now uses a 3M dampening material made specially for Cameron, but who would have thought the same stuff you would use on your bathroom floor helped make one of the most iconic putters of Tiger Woods’ career?

The USGA battle

One of the biggest hurdles for golf club makers are the USGA limitations… and some of the rules make more sense than others. Scotty Cameron, after designing and manufacturing his new wrap-around insert that was first introduced in his 2016 Scotty Select line, had a particular issue with the parallel groove rule. As Cameron explains, after he manufactured a warehouse full of putters, the USGA took issue with the fact that the insert extended below the putter face, and left grooves on the sole that sat parallel to the target line. Cameron says the rule is in place to keep from companies putting grooves in the sole of woods and irons to help the golf club remain square through impact; but what effect do parallel grooves really have on a putter, Cameron questioned.

So, with ready-for-retail product sitting in a warehouse and fighting a rule that didn’t make sense to him, Cameron said the lawyers got involved. He didn’t explain what happened from there, but the putters with the inserts that wrap around the face hit retail in 2016.

The Axe

Picture this: You’re walking through Home Depot looking for, well, whatever it is you’re looking for in Home Depot. You turn down one of the aisles, and there’s Scotty Cameron swinging an axe like a golf club.

Yea, this really happened. Cameron says he developed the Pistolero putter grip — with the big knob on the end of it — based on the grip of an axe he found while shopping at Home Depot.

The next time Cameron decides to run some errands, to Home Depot, or maybe to Bed, Bath and Beyond (IDK if there’s gonna be enough time), look out for a new putter design.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Scotty Cameron

    Jan 30, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Tiger used a NEWPORT TEI3 (sole stamp), not a NP2, to win the Masters in 97. And this was written by the Editor and Chief of Golfwrx? SMH

  2. Joey5Picks

    Jan 29, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Good Old School reference. “We’re going streaking!”

  3. james

    Jan 29, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    That pistol grip is exactly the same as the one wilson used on the TPA, it was a great grip then and is now but there’s no need for that lame story!

    • Robert Parsons

      Jan 31, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good fairytale!

  4. Benny

    Jan 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Or when he made Tigers NP2. The weight was slightly over and Scotty drilled a couple holes both on the heel and the cavity. He knew they would rust as he drilled past the finish and into the carbon. So he filled the holes amd paintfil with Red printers ink. This all started the Tour Dot…

  5. DaveyD

    Jan 29, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I get a kick out of those “off the cuff” stories.

  6. Ben

    Jan 29, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Just another Karsten putter knock-off with minor features that have little to no effect on putting stroke or ball impact. It’s all about name, graphics and bought reputation. Gearheads love their fancy toys and Cameron dishes it out to the full.

  7. Andrew

    Jan 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks. This is WRX material, not some silly videos in a golf dome.

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Equipment

Mizuno announces new JPX 919 Tour Forged irons are coming August 29 (via cryptic Twitter post)

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While cryptic, it does appear Mizuno is announcing via Twitter that its new JPX 919 Tour irons are coming on 8/29/18. One would have to assume that means they will be launched on 8/29, not actually hitting retail on 8/29, but that remains to be seen.

We recently spotted a number of new irons on the USGA conforming list, including the JPX919 Tour irons pictured above, JPX919 Forged and JPX919 Hot Metal irons from Mizuno. So it’s likely that the JPX 919 Tour Forged irons won’t be alone in the JPX 919 family when they hit retail.

The JPX 919 Tour iron specifically pictured in the Tweet above seems to be the replacement for Mizuno’s JPX 900 Tour irons that Brooks Koepka used to win this year’s U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Learn more about the original JPX 900 Tour design from Mizuno’s Chris Voshal on our Gear Dive podcast.

Diving a bit deeper into the picture from Mizuno’s Tweet, it appears the JPX919 Tour irons will utilize Mizuno’s familiar Grain Flow forging, and will be made from 1025E; that’s based on the hosel stamping that says “GF Forged HD 1025E.”

Stay tuned for more info from Mizuno.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the JPX919 Tour irons here.

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USA Stars & Stripes, European Flag Chrome Soft Truvis golf balls arrive

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Getting you in the Ryder Cup spirit a little more than a month from the competition in Paris, Callaway announced Chrome Soft European Truvis golf balls and new Chrome Soft X Truvis Stars & Stripes balls today.

The Carlsbad company is also bringing its popular Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls back to market.

The new European Truvis balls features a European-themed white, blue, and yellow design. Both Chrome Soft Truvis Stars & Stripes balls include a patriotic red, white, and blue pattern.

All models of these made-in-the-USA golf balls will be available at retail August 24th and will sell for $44.99.

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An Interview with T Squared putters, started by a high school golfer

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I’ve coached high school golf for over 15 years, and I thought that I had run out of “firsts.” Then, Anthony Tuber, one of our varsity six, told me that he builds putters. “Sure,” I thought. You purchase the components and assemble putters. Nice hobby to have. “No, coach, I build them from scratch. We have milling machines.” If that doesn’t catch your attention, not much will.

As a coach, you encourage your golfers from a base of experience, but I don’t have any club-making experience! The last time I played around with metal was in middle-school metal shop. In this particular case, the student is the coach, and the golfer is the teacher. I’m now the proud owner of a T Squared putter, and continue to be the proud coach of Anthony Tuber. He might be the next Bob Vokey, or Scotty Cameron, but for now, he is a varsity golfer and high school student. Oh, and he happens to make putters. Rather than write a review that might be perceived as biased, I decided to do a straightforward interview with T Squared Putters. If you want to learn more, visit the company website, or follow them on Twitter and on Instagram.

Question 1: What type of research and field testing did you do, prior to building your first putter?

Prior to making our first putter we bought a bunch of putters to see what we liked and disliked about them. Then we took those putters and tested them to figure out which roll we liked the best. The roll is determined by the weight of the putter the length and the groove pattern. After we completed the testing we drew up a design and shortly after that we had our first prototypes. We then tested those prototypes and they rolled exactly how we wanted. Time went by while we used these first putters but then we really wanted to see the competition. We went to the PGA Merchandise Show and that’s where we found out that we had a superior putter.

Question 2: Is there a style of putter that you like, that perhaps served as inspiration for some of your designs?

We bought and tested dozens of putters but two putters caught our eye and those putters are the Scotty Cameron Squareback and the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Notchback.

Question 3: Can you tell us a bit about the materials/components that you chose for T Squared Putters?

We use American-made 303 stainless steel in all of our putters, but we also we use 6061 aircraft aluminum for the insert on the 713i.

Question 4: How do you balance your responsibilities and commitments, with your T Squared production?

During the school year academics are my number one priority. Over the summer I have been balancing my Tsquared putters work while working on the progression of my golf game. Fortunately I have a team that is very supportive of my vision for T Squared putters.

Question 5: Any chance we will see a mallet-style putter from T Squared?

Yes, we are currently testing other mallet putters to determine the most desirable features for our mallet putter. We are anticipating a prototype soon.

Question 6: Are you a better putter now that you know so much more from the design and production side of putters?

Yes, I have an entirely different perspective when I stand over every putt.

Question 7: How do you get the word out about the quality of your putters?

We have been very active on social media. The golfers that are currently using a Tsquared putter have been spreading the word. We have also been attending local golf tournaments to establish our brand.

Question 8: Do you hope to make a career of this venture, or do you envision it as a step along the path of a 21st-century businessman?

Yes, as golf is my passion I hope to take Tsquared putters to the next level. Golf will always be a part of my life whether it is professionally or recreationally.

Question 9: Finally, what question haven’t we asked, that you wish we would? Ask it and answer it, please.

I haven’t been asked how this process has affected me as a person. As a 17 year old I have a new appreciation for patience, persistence and hard work.

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