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Northern milling: SGC Putters is Canada’s own putter boutique

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It seems like everywhere you look nowadays there is a new putter boutique popping up across the USA. With all of these new options who needs to go down to their local big box store and grab the latest mass-produced OEM offering.

We all want something personal and something no one else has.

For many years customers in the USA have been able to access custom boutique putters such as Mann Krafted, Piretti, Tyson Lamb, Artisan, Scratch, Xenon, APC, and the list goes on from there. These brands are all phenomenal in their own rights but come at a high cost to us North of the border once you add exchange and duties.

I am sure that many a Canadian has wondered what if we could get something milled in our own country that we could take pride in like our neighbours to the South. We did have this option at one time through Daito Putters till they went out of business.

There is a new option, and I am fairly certain that if you are not from Truro, Nova Scotia, or the surrounding area you have most likely never heard of SGC Putters.

Staurt Cox, the founder and inspiration behind SGC Putters, never intended to get into putter manufacturing business. In speaking with Stuart, he actually got his start in the putter business was through refinishing. During his University days, he would buy refinish and resell all types of putters. It was this process that peaked his interest for milled putters. Like any true club lover, his time was slowly taken over by researching the stories and processes of many different milled putter makers. Stuart remembers that “Piretti was just getting started when I was in university and I actually contacted them (and other makers about info). I bought a few Early Piretti putters just out of curiosity.”

After doing his research and dedicating himself to school studies as well as the putter industry Stuart decided to download some cheap CAD software and teach himself how to use this technology. He made a few designs at first and just let them sit for a few years.

Stuart decided to take the plunge after university was done. In late 2012, he had a few heads milled. Following this, he went all in in 2013. Stuart remembers, “I started SGC Putters….one head style…limited options…. eventually as I sold some I added another head, etc. I taught myself everything as I went from design, stamping, shaping, finishing, making my own headcovers, website, etc.”

The growth of his business was slow but he did still have the refinishing aspect to fall back on as well. As the years went by he decided to invest more in his hobby and started having both grips and headcovers made professionally to go along with his growing number of head styles.

I asked Stuart about his design inspirations and he told me “I like clean, classic designs. I’m not out to reinvent the wheel but eventually, I likely will grow to offer more complex head styles.” I also inquired about why milled putters when there are so many other types of clubs. “What intrigued me about milled putters were the fine lines and sharp edges so my earlier putters had sharp lines and edges… eventually I’ve come to appreciate softer finishes on edges, but will leave them if a customer wants them less softened.“

Stuart does still consider this a business a “hobby” but at the same time realizes how important customer input and interaction is to his success. He can at times feel limited in comparison to other putter makers as he doesn’t have the time, money and resources available to them. He went on to tell me that “I only invest what I have available into heads, covers, grips, shafts, etc. I have small batches of head milled so if I have a logo on the head, I have to work with that on a customers design… the same with my face mills, I just offer the pattern on the face and don’t get into offering different patterns. This allows me to keep my costs down and my prices lower than some other makers.”

Stuart won’t let being a small maker get in his way when it comes to a special request from a customer. He is very forthcoming with his customers and says “I will push myself on some special requests from time to time – it’s all a learning process. I have always been good with my hands and making things so sometimes taking a risk or chance on a design becomes less scary once you have the experience and understanding to know that you can fix the problem if you screw up. Customers are always great and very understanding when I explain what I can and can’t do currently.”

When asked about the future Stuart says he “hopes to continue to slowly grow the brand. I have realized that if I want to grow things I couldn’t do it making every putter individually. So I’ve started to come out with a line of putters more focused on retail, but still customizable.”

Although not his day job, it seems as though Stuart is creating a niche for himself within our large industry. In addition to his putter crafting, he is an Operations Manager as a PGA of Canada Club professional in Nova Scotia. More importantly, he is a husband with an exceedingly patient wife and a father of two small children.

It is always an exciting thing to a gear junkie to be able to find something that is playable, exceptional quality, and that none of your buddies have. Stuart provides this through SGC Putters. I know that my all-blacked out model is ready to hit the course this spring!

See Stuart’s site and creations on the SGC Putter website

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Andrew Warrington

    May 2, 2019 at 8:26 am

    Stuart is awesome to work with, and the putters are fantastic. My SGC has been my gamer since 2016.

  2. CJB

    May 2, 2019 at 3:04 am

    Good Luck Stuart, I hope it works out for you.

  3. H

    May 2, 2019 at 12:56 am

    They look ‘orrible

  4. Ben

    May 1, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Great Ping copies

  5. Tommy Roberts

    May 1, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    What happened to John Byron Putters? As everything except for modern mallets, copy/deviations, just very well made. Have a bunch of their prototypes, but never hear much.

  6. Adam Dickinson

    May 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Massive shout out to Stuart for his involvement in this article. A great person to deal with and a super high quality product. Will go that extra mile. #makebirdiesnotpar

  7. Jeff Burns

    May 1, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Great write-up. I recently purchased a putter from SGC and I can’t say enough good things about Stuart and the process we went through. It was completely painless and in the end he crafted EXACTLY what I had envisioned. It’s truly a playable work of art… I couldn’t ask for anything more!

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Equipment

Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time

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fujikura golf shaft

If there is one thing we love as golf gear junkies, it’s driver (and fairway wood) shafts!

From the early years to today’s modern designs, materials, and profiles, there are some shafts that have maintained steady popularity—like a Ping Eye 2 lob wedge. There are a lot of graphite shafts that have stood the test of time, and they bring back memories of great driver combos gone by.

This is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most iconic driver shafts of all time.

Fujikura 757 Speeder

Fujikura golf shaft

Launched more than two decades ago, you could arguably say it’s the shaft that started the shaft craze. Built from advanced materials in a profile that was designed to work for stabilizing larger driver heads of the time—you know when 300cc was HUGE. The Speeder 757 was an instant hit among PGA Tour players, most notably Fred Couples, who used the shaft for over a decade and was said to have at one point remove all the remaining stock from one of the equipment vans for his personal use.

Aldila NV

Aldila NV Green golf shaft

One of the very first “low-spin monsters,” the Aldila NV took the PGA Tour and retail by storm when it was introduced. The unique green paint made it easily recognizable, and thanks to the many weights it was offered in, it was just as popular in fairway woods as it was in drivers. Honorable mention goes to its cousin the NVS (orange version) that was softer in profile and easier to launch. At a time when most off the rack drivers had three shaft options (low, medium, and high flight-promoting shafts), the NV was the staple as the low-launch option in many OEM offerings.

Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board

Diamana Blue Board - Tiger shaft

Originally very hard to find, the Diamana Blue Board was a shaft that fit a large variety of golfers. Its name was derived from the blue oval that surrounded the “Diamana” on the all silver/ion painted shaft. Just like others on the list, the Blue Board came in a variety of weight options and was made particularly popular by Tiger Woods. Best known by most shaft junkies as being extremely smooth, it is one of the first sought after shafts in the aftermarket.

True Temper EI-70

True temper graphite EI70

It’s hard to picture a classic 900 series Titleist Driver without an EI-70 shaft in it. The EI-70 was lower torque—when that was a big talking point in shaft design—and it had a fairly stout profile, which in turn made it very stable. Unlike others on the list, it was much more subdued as far as its paint and graphics, but the green shaft was a mainstay for many years on tour and in the bags or recreational golfers.

Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6/7

Tour AD Di7 Tiger orange shaft

It’s hard to figure out if it was the design and performance of the shaft or the performance of a certain golfer (a certain Mr. Woods) that to this day makes the Tour AD DI-7 so popular. Painted BRIGHT orange with a bend profile that offered a lot of stability and playability for a variety of player types, it can still be spotted on tour every week. You could call the DI-7 the grandchild of the YS6/7, which should also get an honorable mention for its well documented smooth feel.

UST ProForce

UST golf shaft gold graphite

The aptly nicknamed “Lakers Shaft” because of its original gold and purple paint job, this was another shaft that was just as popular at the retail level as it was on the PGA Tour. As driver head sizes were going up (400cc ), players were looking for stability and this offered it. The most notable player to use it was Jim Furyk, who won the 2003 U.S. Open with one in the bag.

Grafalloy Blue

Blue graphite shaft stenson

Henrik Stenson and the Grafalloy Blue in his 3-wood. Name a more iconic duo…(I’ll wait). An updated and stiffer version of the Prolite, the Blue stood out for a couple reasons—its color, and its extremely low torque. Most golfers wouldn’t consider the Blue a very smooth feeling shaft, because it took a lot of speed and a quick tempo to maximize its performance, but it did birth another shaft for average player: the Prolaunch Blue, which is still available to this day.

Matrix Ozik TP7HD

1000 golf shaft Matrix

$1,100 bucks! That was the original asking price for the Martix Ozik TP7HD. Matrix thought of this design as a concept car of shafts and threw everything they had at it including exotic materials like Zylon, and the fact that it was wrapped on a 16-sided hexadecagon mandrel. Some golfers said it had a fluid-like feel (we golfers can sure be weirdly descriptive) but it still had a LOT of stability thanks to the materials. Although never as popular as many on the list, if you did spot one of these in the wild you knew its owner was VERY serious about golf gear.

True Temper Bi-Matrix

bimatrix Bubba golf shaft

Bi (two) matrix (a surrounding medium or structure). The first and only truly notable shaft to be made from putting two very different and distinct pieces together. The bottom portion of the shaft utilizes a steel tip section that serves to add stability and additional weight. This shaft is quirky, which is something that could also be said about Bubba Watson, who has used this shaft for over a decade now in MANY different Ping drivers (although Tiger did give it a go for a short period).

Accra SE-80

ryan palmer accra 5 wood shaft

This shaft might seem like the underdog of the bunch, but if you talk to any longtime club builder and get into “vintage” aftermarket shafts, undoubtedly the Accra SE-80 is going to come up at some point. Originally launched in 2006, the SE-80 combined a very low torque rating with an active tip section to help increase launch—yet feel extremely stable. Even though this shaft design is officially a teenager now, you can still find it in the bag of PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer, who uses it in a TaylorMade R15 5-wood.

 

Editor’s Note: Let us know any shafts you think should be included in the comment section, WRXers!

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases TaylorMade’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The covers have impressed our members, who are hoping that the new additions will now come to retail.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire thread and have your say on the covers at the link below.

  • Green In Reg: “Name your price TM!”
  • chrisokeefe12: “Those are super cool. Would be sweet if they did one for every major college.”
  • Titletown: “Those are great.”

Entire Thread: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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How @justinthomas34 marks his @titleist Pro V1x ????

A post shared by Ben Alberstadt (@benalberstadt) on

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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