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James Ingles joins Scratch Golf

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London-based custom putter maker James Ingles has reached an agreement to make putters exclusively for Scratch Golf.

Scratch will take orders for the totally customizable putters at its headquarters in Chatanooga, Tenn., starting Feb. 1. They will be handmade in London by Ingles’ company, James Ingles Putters, and will have a base price of $999. Scratch and Ingles are currently budgeting between 200 and 250 putters for 2013. Orders will be slotted on a first-come, first-serve basis, with only about 20 putters being made per month.

Ari Techner, CEO of Scratch Golf, said the decision to partner with Ingles was based on the quality of his work and the uniqueness of his design. He said he could not be more excited about working with Ingles, who shares a similar age, background and passion for custom golf equipment.

“I started Scratch because I couldn’t find an OEM that could give me the grinds I wanted in a wedge,” Techner said. “The same is true for custom putters. It’s hard for me to find a retail product that I really like.”

Techner was introduced to Ingles through the GolfWRX putter forum, where Ingles had posted pictures of his gun-inspired handmade putters. He contacted Ingles about creating two matching custom putters — one for use, one for display. Techner and Ingles traded more than 200 emails during the design process, settling on a pair of putters constructed with precious metals — Damascus steel inserts, gold inlays and handmade gold screws. Unbeknownst to Techner at the time, he was Ingles’ first custom putter customer.

See the photos of the putters Ingles made for Techner below. For more photos, click here. 

Techner's putter

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Ingles’ father is the sole owner of Charles Hellis & Sons, a London gunmakers that produces premium handmade shotguns with an entry-level price of more than £30,000. Ingles was involved with his father’s business in his youth, but was also an accomplished golfer. He was good enough to flirt with the idea of moving to the United States to play collegiate golf, but he ultimately decided to attend St. Andrews University in Scotland instead, where he studied business. But he continued to play golf and remained an equipment junkie.

“In the UK, it’s harder to try equipment out,” Ingles said. “It’s not like the U.S. The UK is about two years behind the U.S. in golf equipment. You can go to Edwin Watts and hit clubs into nets, but the only thing you can really try are the putters.”

In college, Ingles’ fascination with putters continued to grow. He started playing high-end putters such as models by Scotty Cameron and TP Mills. As a gift one year, he received a limited edition “Inspired by David Duval” Scotty Cameron putter, and began tracking down handmade TP Mills putters for his collection. After graduation from St. Andrews in 2005, Ingles began as a property manager in London, but he continued to be drawn to putters. One day Ingles had an idea — he challenged Hellis’ head gun maker to make him a putter in the Hellis style. He posted the results on the GolfWRX putter forum, which is how Techner originally viewed Ingles’ work.

Ingles received more positive feedback from the GolfWRX community, which he said led him to establish his putter company in 2009. The first obstacle was finding out whether he could locate forgings for his putter heads in the UK, which led him to Victoria Forgings, a 100-year-old family-owned forging house located in the Midlands which still serves the gun industry, but now specializes in producing forgings for the aerospace and engineering industries.

Ingles said his putter company is about the quality, precision and craftsmanship typical in the London gun making industry. His decision to join Scratch was based on the fact that the two companies share a common goal — creating custom golf clubs that are exactly what their customers want.

“In terms of irons and wedges, [Scratch] does what we do,” Ingles said. “For the future of my putters, it makes sense to partner with Scratch. America has been my best market, and Scratch has an unbelievable reputation in America.”

This is not the first time Scratch has entered the custom putter market. In June 2009, Scratch partnered with Gene Nead to make custom putters for the company, but the deal fell through shortly after. Scratch’s master craftsman Jeff McCoy has also designed putters for special Scratch customers, but Techner decided it was in the best interests of the company to have McCoy focus on the company’s irons and wedges.

Techner said Ingles’ extensive background with managing firearm production will help Scratch manage customer delivery dates and the flow of orders, which has been a problem for Scratch in the past.

“I’m really excited about this new partnership,” Techner said. “I feel like the stuff [Ingles] is on another level. James is making the most beautiful high-end putters available, and I think our customers will appreciate his craftsmanship.”

Click here to view more photos of James Ingles Putters, as well as a custom set of Scratch musclebacks that Ingles engraved for Techner.

Click here to view more photos of James Ingles Putters, as well as a custom set of Scratch musclebacks that Ingles engraved for Techner. 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Tim Gaestel

    Apr 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    James and Ari are two amazing people and I had the pleasure of working with both of them. Very good for the game of golf!

  2. K'Man

    Feb 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    This may be a poor analogy , but it seems fitting.
    I can spend a few $ and buy a Nice Van Gogh poster, and enjoy it every day…
    Or I can spend the same $ and go to a gallery And see the Original ‘work of art’ and be stunned by how pale the reproduction is.
    Just because I cannot afford the Original piece of Art doesn’t mean someone else can’t .
    Why deny others the opportunity to own a (functional) piece of Handmade art just because You believe the artist charges too much$

    Go buy a Cleveland, or Odessy putter just as you would a mass produced poster depicting a True piece of art and be Happy.
    But your kidding yourself if you think its the same as possessing the original work of a master.

    • brett tee

      Mar 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      As a reply to all: What exactly establishes a putter or putter maker as great? For me it is 80% performance and 20% style/looks, but that is because I do it everyday as my career. Although I must admit that with putters they must definitely appeal to the eye in order for me to perform well with them. This being said there is really no way to compare artwork to something that is to be used for a sport. These are definitely beautiful putters and we all know that anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but are they pieces of art made pretty to look at or are they tools used by artists who play the game of golf? To me it goes completely against what Scratch Golf is all about. Does James Ingles have close to 20 major championships won with his putters as Don White does with his forgings? When he gets to one major I will give him $200 bucks for one.

  3. Desmond

    Jan 25, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I think it’s a poor business decision if one wants to sell putters to more than a few people. It sounds as if Ari fell in love with the unique look of the putter and said, “What the hell, maybe a couple of hundred people per year might also be interested.”

    This is not a business decision. If it was, he’d go to someone like Edel, who is custom and has a unique fitting system that works to help performance.

    This is about Scratch attempting its own version of Table Rock.

    • Bob

      Jan 26, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Agreed. This is a really bad business decision. Really bad. It costs them both too much in shipping that only makes the UK and US gov happy, and perhaps the customs brokers; Not, Ari, James, and not the customer are any better for this. So dumb, it freaks me out that I have scratch wedges and irons in my bag. Wake up guys. Its not too late to retract this ridiculous decision.

  4. MyBluC4

    Jan 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I have always admired the putters James Ingles has designed and built. He is a true artisan. While I think this alliance is a good move from Scratch Golf’s point of view, I’m also not sure putting a Scratch logo on an Ingles putter is such a good idea…kind of marginalizes the Ingles brand and heritage. While I’m sure a very high quality putter will put out there, I did like the idea of Ingles being a lone wolf, whose unique designs were very exclusive, especially so with the bullet casings and scroll work. I wish them all the luck in the world. At $999/stick they will need it. Just hope Ingles experience turns out better than Bruce Sizemore’s situation with SuperStroke.

  5. luke keefner

    Jan 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Clubs for the 1 percent. I am sure they would skip nicely on the surface of a pond after the third consecutive 3 jack.

  6. Rolf

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    These are so bespoke that I doubt my proletarian hands could even hold them. It’s a shame that only the elite have access to this radical game-improving technology.

  7. Nick

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Wow, some harsh comments in here.

    I can say this, those are some of the most beautiful putters I have ever seen. The logo that resembes the base of a spent shotgun shell with a firing pin struck primer is awesome and a great, but subtle, nod to the clubs connection with the firearms industry. Scratch is certainly a good fit for expanding this club manufacturers base of customers.

    I look forward to seeing the future of this endeavor and hope to see if any models are made at a price point in the 600 dollar range where I might pick one up.

  8. Jason

    Jan 23, 2013 at 12:18 am

    It’s just sad… These people talk about being all about the customers and what the customers want… When the truth of the matter is @ 1,000 per putter… All they are doing is creating a collectible niche… They don’t care about their customers or they would make putters that a majority of golfers could enjoy as a golf club not a display piece… Another example of marketing. Well marketed gentlemen. A least dont talk about how customer focused you are, cause its blatant BS.

    • Tom

      Jan 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      I enjoy seeing articles on smaller (in this case essentially an individual) custom manufacturers. The products made by James Ingles are going to appeal to certain people… with disposable income. I’m sure if you wanted to purchase a putter through him you would get top notch customer service with specs/design to fit your wants.

      Not everyone can afford a Mercedes let alone a Bentley, but some folks can and do buy these things- same concept with high end golf products.

  9. Jason

    Jan 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    1. I wept openly when I saw one of these putters in person.
    2. Then I 3 putted and was like, “lol”

  10. Andrew Mill

    Jan 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    1. Those are beauties. That said what we are saying is very subjective judgment so please let everyone judge for themselves.
    2. You may eventually score better if you get better feel because of finer materials used e.g.
    3. I bet you are new to putters man. If you need to justify those 1000$, get an awesome Cleveland putter for a 50$(I am gaming one right now and I looove it) and don’t read about stuff like this. You will be better off going outside and hitting a few shots instead of reading this for you actually absolutely useless article.

    Good luck with Scratch guys

  11. Steffan Perry

    Jan 22, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    1. Those are ugly..
    2. You will not score any better with them..
    3. Because of 1 and 2, i dont see how anyone can justify a $1,000 for something that wont benefit your game

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pga tour

Ian Poulter WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei Orange CK 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik TP7HDe 7X

Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green ATX85H TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shaft: Project X LZ 130 7.0

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-04L)
Shaft: Project X LZ 7.0 (52), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56, 60)

Putter: EvnRoll Tour ER
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Putter: Rife Antigua Island Series
Grip: Odyssey Pistol

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related:

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Poulter’s clubs. 

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Equipment

10 interesting photos from Wednesday at the Honda Classic

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From our featured image of Rory McIlroy putting in a different kind of work on the range in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning, to shots of Tiger Woods’ similarly early pre-pro-am range work, to some intriguing shots Patrick Reed’s prototype Bettinardi putter, GolfWRX has plenty of fantastic photo content from PGA National.

Here are some of the best shots from Wednesday.

Tiger Woods at work prior to his crack-of-dawn pro-am tee time. Gentleman in the foreground: You do know that as the sun has not yet risen, you do not need a hat to aggressively combat its rays, right?

“My feet do not look like that at impact.”

All eyes on the Big Cat…except those focused on the live video on their cell phone screens…

Let’s take a closer look at Patrick Reed’s yardage book cover. Yep. As expected.

Do you think these two ever talk?

It looks like Captain Furyk already has some pre-Ryder Cup swag in the form of a putter cover.

If you’ve ever wondered why Rickie Fowler selected these interesting locations for his tattoos, this may be the answer: Visible when he holds his finish.

We’ve got a Pistol Pete sighting!

Patrick Reed’s droolworthy Bettinardi Dass prototype.

Fun fact: Wedges double as magnetic putter cover holders, as Jon Curran illustrates here. Healthy application of lead tape, as well, from the tour’s resident graffiti artist.

Wednesday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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