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WRX Spotlight: Ricky Johnson Putters Wide Body Series No. 3

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Ricky Johnson is a man who loves the game of golf and has incredible skills working with metal. Johnson is a machinist and welder by trade and built his first putter in his machine shop for himself. He got requests from friends and soon a small hobby has now turned into a business. Johnson is proud to make all of his putters from the finest 303 stainless steel stock and machined right in the USA, Texas, to be exact. He takes pride in combining great materials, extreme precision, and attention to detail to make sure that every putter that leaves the shop is the best it can be for its new owner.

We got our hands on the Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 putter for our review. The Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 looks similar to a traditional Anser shape, but with a longer flange and double-stepped bumpers. When ordering your own Ricky Johnson putter you have a bunch of options, from finish to style of neck, as well as the standard loft, lie, and length you would expect. I went with the double bend neck so the putter would be face balanced, similar style to what I have been using for years.

Out of the box, you can tell that this is a quality putter with a great satin finish and minimal milling lines. Even without those milling marks, you can tell the putter is milled from the sharp, crisp lines and perfectly beveled edges. The face contains their “RJ” logo, a built-in Texas symbol, and their own GameFace technology milling. GameFace uses a combination of loft and geometry to help get the ball rolling immediately without the skidding and hopping of traditional putters. Keeping the alignment simple is what I like and Johnson nailed it with a single, thick site line on the elongated flange.

If you desire something different for alignment, or nothing at all, Johnson can customize a putter with pretty much anything you’re eye desires. The shape of the Wide Body No. 3 is very square with sharper corners and bumpers but for you who like a little softer shape, the Wide Body No. 2 is available as well. This putter came with the Pure Big Dog oversized putter grip and for me, it is a little too round and soft. Not a big issue at all since Johnson offers many other grip options when you order.

On the course, the Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 really performs well. I didn’t think much of the GameFace technology, but it performed as described and got the ball rolling smoothly right away. Even on these rougher fall greens, the GameFace created a smooth, consistent roll that was easy to dial in. Sometimes these technologies that help roll can make distance control a little more of a guessing game, but not with the Wide Body. Putts were very consistent and you never had one come off the face hot and roll past the hole more than expected. Alignment for me was point and shoot simple with the longer site line and the thicker top line. The combination of those two made it easy to line up the ball on my intended line, giving me more confidence that I could make the putt I was looking at.

The Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 is a really well-balanced putter, even for being on the slightly heavier side. Johnson’s putters are between 350 and 360 grams depending on options but it never felt too heavy, like you were having to control the putter during the stroke. Simply pull the putter back and let the well-balanced head do the work on its way through the ball. The feel on this putter is Goldilocks porridge perfect, not to firm and not too soft. Impact will give your ears a slight audible click while your hands feel the solid impact and the ball leave the face. This 303 stainless putter gives great responsiveness on all your putts, hit on center or not. Heel contact is actually pretty soft, just slightly more harsh than center, but the rollout and accuracy is close to spot on. Toe contact will give you a little more harsh vibration, letting you know you missed, and coming up just a bit short of your intended target.

Overall, the Ricky Johnson Putters Wide Body Series No. 3 is a great putter from a brand you probably haven’t heard of yet. I think they are really high-quality flatsticks, with lots of custom options, that you can tailor to fit your needs and wants. Make sure to check them out at rickyjohnsonputters.com.

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I have been an employee at GolfWRX since 2016. In that time I have been helping create content on GolfWRX Radio, GolfWRX YouTube, as well as writing for the front page. Self-proclaimed gear junkie who loves all sorts of golf equipment as well as building golf clubs!

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  1. Joe

    Nov 16, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    It’s astonishing to me how many makers still just copy the same old routine (Ping Anser).

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Equipment

Patrick Reed’s irons and playing golf club detective

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As golf writers with a specialty in golf club technology and an understanding of how the industry and supply chains work, it’s usually not overly difficult for us to draw some conclusions as to where particular clubs might come from. The reason being that as far as top-end quality components go, there are only so many places that have the capability to produce them—especially when it comes to creating thin cast/forged titanium woods or forged irons.

When a new club shows up, this puts us in the position of reading between the lines, closely comparing pictures, club designs, and even fonts, in an attempt to connect the dots.

One of the first examples of this in 2019 was Francesco Molinari’s custom Callaway irons—obviously different from the standard Apex MB model. Francesco even divulged some information about their Japanese roots in an interview with Golf.com’s Jonathan Wall “These [Apex MB] forged blades are made, I think, in Japan, so they’re slightly different from the standard muscle back.” I took a deep dive on these in a piece that can be found here. 

OEM Oversight

Don’t think for a second it’s only equipment junkies on the outside doing research to learn more about their favorite clubs or trying to track down prototype information—OEMs and equipment manufacturers do it too; they even have teams dedicated to the task.

One of the best examples of this is a group of engineers located in Titleist HQ in Fairhaven Massachusetts. Their primary role is to monitor their supply chain, but the other key part of their role is to keep up to date on what other overseas manufacturers are doing with their balls, including the “white label” balls being sold under various brands—a hot topic that has been discussed many times over. The reason this is key for Titleist/Acushnet is they are both designers and patent holders when it comes to golf ball IP (intellectual property), and Acushnet also owns its manufacturing, something only the largest companies can afford to do.

The “Patrick Reed Signature” Irons

Photo By: Royce Thompson (PGA Tour)

This brings us to Patrick Reed’s new “signature” irons, spotted earlier this week at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Patrick has been quiet on the subject beyond a few details including that he’s been working on them for over a year with a small Japanese company, and we would be hearing more at the beginning of January. First reported by PGA Tour’s Andrew Tursky, thanks to some digging on the USGA Conforming List, the irons are Manufactured by Emery JPN Co.

Here’s where the detective work kicks in: I went beyond the USGA’s list and starting searching for Emery JPN Co. online and came back mostly empty-handed until I had an idea. The USGA isn’t the only governing body to have conforming lists so I went to the R&A, and BINGO!

A quick search for Emery resulted in them being the parent company for a number of quality component OEMs including GrindWorks.jp , SAQRA , and Patrick Reed.

Just like with golf balls, phones or computers, smaller companies don’t own their manufacturing and instead rely on creating a design to then be built by a much large facility. With phones, that means Foxconn, with golf balls that means a few large companies in Taiwan and China, and for forged irons, that generally leads to Endo—one of the largest forging companies in the world—they even have they own in house brand, Epon. Considering that GrindWorks irons are known to be forged at Endo, I would be happy to draw a straight line to the Patrick Reed irons also being forged there too.

Until we have further details this is still speculation, but to see what other are saying in the GolfWRX forums check out the discussion here: GolfWRX Forums: Patrick Reed with new Irons

 

 

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter. The Texan had the putter made for the 2018 Ryder Cup and didn’t put it into action, but Reed has the flat-stick in the bag this week at the Hero World Challenge, and it’s serving him well as he sits atop the leaderboard at the halfway mark.

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

  • JBull1011: “Awesome looking putter!”
  • Cmiller6868: “My dream putter. This putter gets better looking every time I click on it.”
  • SubaruWRX: “I know it’s picky, but I wish he’d done white paint fill in the middle dot.”

Entire Thread: “Patrick Reed’s custom Scotty Cameron Captain America putter”

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Honma launches new premium Beres line with clubs featuring 24K gold and platinum accents

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Honma Beres Line

Honma has launched its new premium Beres line which includes drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons available in the brand’s 2,3,4 or 5 star grade options – with the 5 star option containing 24K gold and platinum accents.

The four full premium Beres product lines are defined by a star grade ranging from 2-5 stars. According to the company, the grades are differentiated by increasing levels of cosmetic detail, shaft performance and use of precious metals in the clubhead, culminating in a 5 star offering featuring both 24K gold and platinum accents.

Honma beres Line

Beres 5 str iron

Speaking on the all-new Beres line, Hiroshi Suwa, Senior Director, Product Development Division, stated

“Only Honma’s most experienced takumi are permitted to work on BERES. These golf clubs represent the soul of our company and are the ultimate artistic expression of our most talented clubmakers.”

The metalwoods of the Beres line feature maximum active speed slot technology that fully activates at lower swing speeds to increase distance. The sole slot of these metalwoods features deep side slot extensions designed to increase distance on off-center hits. A thin, internal, radial-ribbed face in the Beres drivers seeks to offer maximum distance potential off the tee.

Hona Beres Line

Beres 4 star irons

The maximum active speed slot technology extends to the new Beres irons where three sole slots, two internal and one external, aim to work to increase speed off the face for ultimate distance even at slower swing speeds. A 3D L-Cup face construction pushes weight back in the irons to visible weight pads designed to enhance forgiveness and speed on off-center hits.

Honma beres Line

Beres 3 star iron

The new Beres line also contains ARMRQ shafts which have been redesigned to increase distance – having been constructed with multi-axis metal hybrid armor technology visible under the grip for a high smash-factor design

For the 3-5 star grade options, Honma increased the use of special “twist fleuret” M40X composite material inspired by the shape memory characteristics of fencing swords – designed to provide players with extra distance.

Honma Beres Line

Beres 3 star driver

On the new premium line, Chris McGinley, Vice President of Global Product, said

“The new BERES brings modern, elegant beauty and high-performance technology to a wide range of golfers across all global markets who appreciate fine detail and impeccable craftsmanship in golf clubs.”

The all-new Honma Beres line is available for both men and women and can be purchased now in stores and online with prices ranging from $850 for the 2-star driver to $4,500 for the 5-star offering.

 

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