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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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