Connect with us

Equipment

Want to trick out your putter? Here’s what you need to know

Published

on

In 2019, one of the coolest parts of the golf world is the plethora of different ways you can accentuate your personality with cool golf swag. One of the most dynamic ways to do this is through a custom finished putter. I have spent the last six months (and about $1,000!) to make sure you get the best outcome for your money.

Intrigued? Good, here’s what you need to know…

Putter refinishing 101

  • Stamping is done by hand and therefore never perfectly symmetrical
  • Keep in mind there are certain things that cannot be fixed
  • Have high expectations: with the right putter, these companies can transform your putter back to 9.99/10.
  • Although each and every website has clear pictures, in my opinion the pictures are not perfect, particularly the black oxide/whisky/fuel finishes. It’s a little lighter than I expected and wears significantly more than black
  • Sightlines can be a great addition to a putter, but remember, they cannot be removed!

The process

Over 25 years in golf has left me with a healthy collection of Scotty Cameron putters. When I was given an ultimatum to reduce my collection, I decided to take a unique approach: I would have several the old putters refinished. Armed with seven putters in approximately the same condition and the internet, I found seven different companies who offer a refinishing service. Each company cost between $125 and $129. I completed each of their questionnaires and sent them off, anxiously awaiting the results.

The results

One of the most important takeaways from this experiment is that NOT all refinishers are equal. In fact, the results were very binary: three of the companies did outstanding work, while four of the companies return a product which (in my opinion) was completely unacceptable.

Instead of “outing” the terrible work, I have decided to highlight the three companies which produced outstanding work: LabWorx (Waco, TX), Putter Lounge (Denver, Co) and NorCal Putters (Auburn, CA). Each of these companies returned work that was “nearly” new; removed dings, clean paint lines and held very closely to their estimate times.

Here is a Newport done by LabWorx (Waco) in their special “Armor” (more about this below). The finish is clean. All nicks and dents have been removed. It is basically new and looks amazing:

LabWorx “Armor”

An example of LabWorx Armor on a Ping Zing 2

LabWorx in Waco, TX deserves special note based on their R&D development of what they call “Armor”: a specially developed coating which does not impact feel but is extremely durable. The putter that I have, done in this coating has no glare and after almost eight months of play, shows no effects.

Not Just for Scotties

View this post on Instagram

Trending at the shop – the DJ T sight line

A post shared by Putter Lounge (@putterlounge) on

While I had only Scotty Camerons refinished, it is important that you understand that many different putters can be finished. According to Terri at Putter Lounge, “we have a lot of request for a number of different styles of putters, beyond Scotty Camerons, including a lot of Taylor Made Spiders.”

View this post on Instagram

K

A post shared by Putter Lounge (@putterlounge) on

A total transformation that is completely custom for the very reasonable price of $129!

Getting your putter done

If you are looking to get your putter refinished, the first step is to have a clear idea of EXACTLY what you want. Next, I would recommend reaching out to a couple of companies (again, I highly recommend these three based on their work) and ask about wait times. Keep in mind that they can range from a couple of weeks to several months, with wait times increasing in the summer. After selecting the company, you want to go to their website and fill out the questionnaire about your putter; telling them exactly what you want. Send the putter, along with the form, and get ready to impress your friends!

Want to learn more?

LabWorx

NorCal Putters

Putter Lounge

Your Reaction?
  • 95
  • LEGIT17
  • WOW9
  • LOL3
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP0
  • OB2
  • SHANK12

Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Robert

    Sep 8, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Why would you not send a “Scotty” back to Scotty Cameron first? Is there a big price difference for the same request?

    • Fifteenclubs

      Sep 8, 2019 at 11:08 pm

      Cost for a Custom Shop refinish is about triple what the other companies charge and can take up to three months. I’ve sent putters back to Scotty as well as a couple of these guys and I’ll say if you send them a putter in decent shape it’ll come back looking like new. Same for Scotty but at a much higher price and longer lead time.

  2. Paul

    Sep 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    In my experience, most players that want to “trick out their putter” can barely break 90…

  3. Ed

    Sep 7, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    Yet GolfWrx doesn’t realize many refinishers use one source – and call it their own. Just saying.

    • DB

      Sep 8, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I have never heard this. You should provide more details.

  4. 2putttom

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    wonderful

  5. Vic Dirkes

    Sep 7, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Putter Lounge bungled my Cameron. The head was not properly epoxied on and they did not follow my directions I carefully filled out. Was supposed to be murdered out and they left the insert the original color. The head was an easy fix but you spend $150 getting it done and it’s wrong. I will never use them again.

  6. I know donkeys

    Sep 7, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Matt Kuchar is a big donkey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

Published

on

@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

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

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

Published

on

In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

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

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Equipment

GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

Published

on

It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

Your Reaction?
  • 18
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending