Don’t confuse Neil Javins for a walking billboard. Yes, he may have gotten the Odyssey swirl logo tattooed on his left forearm, but the opportunity to get a customized putter was just too good to pass up.
“I’m down with any tattoo or anything, but I didn’t want to seem like I’m selling out like I’m trying to advertise for a brand or anything,” Javins, a 27-year-old recreational golfer from Louisville, Ky., said on the phone the other day. “But I’ve already gotten a few different swirls and things like that tattooed already. So that (Odyssey) swirl just kind of fit.”
The tattoo was a result of a post Chris Koske, Odyssey’s production manager, left on this thread on GolfWRX’s Putter Forum. Koske wrote that if anyone got an Odyssey tattoo, he or she would receive a free customized putter. Javins said he was getting a tattoo on his leg when he read Koske’s message.
After a few emails between the two, Javins got the tattoo. A couple more emails were exchanged about Javins’ putter preference — a 34-inch ProType #2 with a plumber’s neck head, the looks of a Versa No. 1 wide and his favorite colors of black, red and white for the University of Louisville. Then Koske and his team set out to make the putter for Javins.
In late February, the putter came and Javins said he was blown away by the design.
“It was spot-on for absolutely what I would love,” he said. “The No. 1 widestyle type of head, because it’s not available in ProType from anything I’ve seen, with the new white hot insert was just incredible. And then all the swirls with paint fill and everything in the bottom is pretty cool.”
Javins is no stranger to getting inked, and he estimated that he had six or seven tattoos before getting the Odyssey swirl done.
Though the Odyssey logo does fit in with his other tattoos and he was able to get a free customized putter — the ProType #2 sells for $270 — some people have told him he is crazy for getting it. One of his biggest critics was his father, who Javins said doesn’t like tattoos on his son.
But that’s where the location of the tattoo on his forearm helps. Javins said he could conceal it with a watch if he needed it covered. Javins said the tattoo may also help him with his putting, even if he isn’t using his new putter.
“When I look down to putt, I can see it there,” Javins said. “Maybe it’ll be a little good luck charm, you know give it a little rub before I make a putt.”
Other club manufacturers should not expect to see their logos on Javins. But if Odyssey or Callaway offered something else for another tattoo, Javins may be back at the tattoo parlor.
“I’d think about it,” he said. “It would depend on exactly what it would be. If it’s a different brand, probably not. I’d probably go with Odyssey because it’s what I’ve used and it’s what I’ve enjoyed the last several years.”
Since receiving the putter, Javins has been limited by the cold and rain to trying his putter only on his indoor putting green. With the new putter, it gives him just another reason to look forward to spring.
“I can’t wait to get out and test it out,” he said. “See how it feels, how it rolls in a real-life round.”
Javins said he first got into golf four years ago, and for the past two years he has gotten to the point where he checks golf message boards daily. The tattoo is just another testament to his new dedication to the sport.
“It’s incredible to have such a rare and personal putter now,” Javins said. “To know that something this special was made for me, I’m blown away, and super grateful to have it. It’s a permanent reminder of my passion.”