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Kinsler Putters: Will the Raptor roar like Kinsler’s engine parts?

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This story was selected as one of the 15 best GolfWRX stories of 2015!

Here’s a story about putters that starts with a story about racing.

Kinsler Fuel Injection is a company that makes the engine parts that make up the fastest cars in the world. It’s based in Troy, Mich., and uses some of the world’s most advanced engineering and milling machines to make the engine parts that have won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, 24 hours of Le Mans and many other racing championships.

James Kinsler, 30, runs Kinsler Fuel Injection with his father, but his passion for golf now has him running a different company – Kinsler Putters. He’s a four-handicap, and has been playing golf since he was a kid. Like most serious golfers, he’s passionate about golf equipment, but what makes Kinsler different is that he has experience and access that most golfers never will.

Raptor-by-Kinsler

The Raptor Race Car Throttle, from Kinsler Fuel Injection

The making of Kinsler’s parts involves the same discussions you might hear inside the walls of a golf equipment company — moment of inertia (MOI), transfer of energy, center of gravity (CG). It wouldn’t take much for Kinsler to leverage his expertise and machinery to make a putter, and it proved too great an urge for him to resist.

Kinsler is a trained mechanical engineer, so it wasn’t a stretch for him to sketch a putter design, create it in CAD and program a milling machine to make it. He liked what he made, and so did the people who tried it. After several revisions to his original prototype, he decided to start Kinsler Putters with his homemade design, the Raptor, and expects that more models will follow.

IMG_5694

Kinsler’s workspace is full of reminders of his company’s racing success.

Golfers are notoriously picky about how their putters look, and with mallet putters like the Raptor the reactions are generally more polarized. The good news is that even the most discerning golfers should be able to find something they like about it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.39.09 PM

3.5 degrees of loft is milled into the face of the Raptor putters. They are available for both right- and left-handed golfers.

The Raptor’s shape revolves around its three parallel alignment lines, which are milled from the face of the putter all the way to its back end to help golfers square the putter face to the target.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.38.58 PM

Its finish is one of those cases where something functional turned out to be stylish, as well. In many of Kinsler’s racing components, the company uses a coating called MIL-A-8625 Type 3 Class 2. The layman’s term is “black hard coat anodized.” It does not come off, because the coating actually penetrates into the surface of the part, unlike typical anodizing. That makes the finish resistant to chemicals, which is critical in racing components because of the corrosive fuels that are used.

Putters exist in a much safer environment, generally free of the chemicals that can erode a putter. But Kinsler liked the way the finish looked on the Raptor, especially when paired with the orange alignment stripes.

Despite the Raptor’s bold looks, Kinsler’s hard sell is not his putter’s aesthetics. The Raptor is milled on a 5-axis milling machine (see the video below), which uses a rotating table that limits the amount of times an object needs to be repositioned during the milling process.

[quote_box_center]”It’s virtually impossible to relocate an object exactly where it was when you reposition it, Kinsler said. “That handling creates inaccuracies.”[/quote_box_center]

The Raptor is milled in two steps, but nearly all of the milling is done in the first step. Only the putter face and the shaft bore are milled during the second step. Since the Raptor is a reversible design, the two-step process allows Kinsler to create a left-handed putter if needed.

Kinsler said he’s bought a lot of putters, and was always surprised at how few of them sit flat at address. So he engineered the Raptor’s sole to rest flat on the ground, and also square to the target. He also tweaked the way the putter shaft and head are secured with his Radial Lock Technology, which uses 10 bumps that “grip” the shaft, while still providing enough room for the epoxy to bond correctly.

[quote_box_center]”It takes longer, and it’s certainly more expensive than blowing a drill in it [to make the bore], but I think you get a nicer product in the end,” he said.[/quote_box_center]

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.39.17 PM

It came as no surprise to me that a man who makes his living making custom racing parts understood the value of custom-fit putters. To help golfers get the right head weight for the them, the Raptor comes with two stainless steel “Sync Weights,” which are threaded into the sides of the putter to raise its MOI. The body of the putter weighs 285 grams, but the adjustable weights allow golfers to pick a stock head weight between 325 and 385 grams.

If you’re interested in purchasing multiple weights and tinkering with the weight of the putter, Kinsler sells the extra weights ($16.87 each) and a custom aluminum wrench ($47) that he designed to adjust them.

IMG_5723

The Raptor is available on KinslerPutters.com and carries a base price of $237. Golfers looking to personalize their putter can do so with a custom sole engraving ($43).

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48 Comments

48 Comments

  1. E H

    Apr 1, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I assume this is made from carbon fiber?

  2. Jeff

    Mar 28, 2015 at 9:28 am

    This putter is LEGIT!

    I had the opportunity to test it on a Quintec System. It destroyed the numbers I was getting off my $2500 Scotty. Set up is perfect, looks are beautiful and the feel it unbeatable. But what sets it apart is the performance. Numbers do not lie, and they we unreal!

    I did not bat an eye, I ordered one on the spot. I cannot lie, I am a Scotty guy, through and through, but this is going in the bag the second it arrives. Now if only the season will start NOW!

  3. Marc White

    Mar 22, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Style, feel, design, customer service and customization. From the precision engineering to the color scheme, the Kinsler Raptor Putter has everything going for it right now. As a 30 year PGA teaching professional, I personally like the balance, the weight adjustability and the soft feel it provides. My students agree, and they also appreciate the story behind the design of this outstanding putter.

  4. Uncle Jimmy

    Mar 21, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I have had the opportunity to see these putters, for I live in Michigan. They are very sharp, I really enjoy the finish on them and the face feel is not so soft that you can’t feel the ball, but It doesn’t feel like you are hitting a rock, either. That is the way I like my putters. I have one on order, but I currently use the Taylormade Rossa Monza. Not a bad price point considering other custom putters on the market. We shall see how I fare this season with one, I am excited!

  5. Dash Riprock

    Mar 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    What a bunch of suck-ups gushing over this anvil on a stick – nothing about it is revolutionary or groundbreaking to justify the price point, not to mention the “custom designed wrench” for an additional $47 bucks! Seriously? P.T. Barnum was right! Go sell these at NASCAR races where you belong!

    • Kinsler Putters

      Mar 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Dash,
      Golf is a new market for us. I agree the wrench is costly. I apologize for that. Perhaps down the road we make a simpler wrench with less components. We wanted every aspect of our golf products to represent our racing quality. A simple hex key wrench would have worked, but the aesthetics would have fell short (my opinion at least).

      I believe the putter is a fair price. They are milled in the U.S.A. and built one at a time per customer order.

  6. Jeff

    Mar 17, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Putting has always been the weakest part of my game and I have gone through dozens of putters searching for something that would give me the consistent confidence and feel I was looking for. I’ve played a handful of rounds with my new Kinsler Putter already and I love the thing. Could only be in my mind, but it seems to go where I am it and that is what counts for me.

    • Logan

      Mar 18, 2015 at 1:55 am

      How is the feel of this putter? I love the looks and the technology behind it, but I have a hard time buying something that I have never actually seen in person and have no idea what it will feel like when it strikes the golf ball.

  7. Kinsler Putters

    Mar 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Many have asked if we offer a counterweight model. Yes, up to 38″ long. Currently we stock the SuperStroke 2.0XL grip (white black). The putter comes with SuperStroke 50 gram backweight kit. The counterweight option is an additional $21 dollars over standard. If you are interested send us an E-mail. I will add it to website shortly.

  8. Preston

    Mar 15, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Seems like anybody with a CNC machine is a putter maker these days.

  9. Martin

    Mar 15, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I really like the look of this putter, unlikely though I will see on in Canada to hit a few with.

  10. CB

    Mar 15, 2015 at 8:39 am

    sitting the club flat looks like it will not be an issue

  11. eron

    Mar 14, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I love the look and softer curves on the top of the putter.
    For some one like me, who likes a straight-back and straight through putting stroke. Also square design fits my eye better for my putting stroke, more than non symmetrical putters like the golo which felt awkward due to St. Cameron’s disbelief in anything but arced paths

  12. KK

    Mar 14, 2015 at 8:33 am

    This putter with more curves would be amazing.

  13. Ryan K

    Mar 13, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Really dig the looks of this one!

  14. THONG

    Mar 13, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    how about a petrified dog turn with a slim jim for a shaft

    • Kinsler Putters

      Mar 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Perhaps it is better I do not comment, but I did get a good laugh out of the comment. LOL Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No offense taken. I feel the same way about many things.

      Have a good one.
      James

  15. Bernard

    Mar 13, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Like the putter, the use of hard coat finish is a good choice. Very durable.

  16. Ken

    Mar 13, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    I hope a center shafted model is in the plans!

  17. Puddin

    Mar 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Coming from an engineering design background and racing background. I’m surprised it took a gear head this long to tackle the golf world. It makes too much sense. The precision and engineering it takes to manufacture race parts is black art most of the time. Mr. Kinsler looks to have transferred this into his putter design. This looks like a great product. I love the looks and the orange stripes. I cant wait to take this one around the track for a few hot laps. Bravo, I say!

    • Jimmy

      Mar 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      Gene Nead has been making putters for years.

  18. 4pillars

    Mar 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Wow cool putter

    I like the orange stripes

  19. gib

    Mar 13, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I really like the concept of this putter. one thing I could not find, and I may have missed it, but what is the amount of offset the putter has. it does not look like a full shaft in the pics.

  20. Tittylist

    Mar 13, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I wonder if Potty Cameron is already making a clone of this putter in his studio.

  21. DB

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Love the idea of this company.
    Love the precision milling.
    Love the adjustable weight.
    Love the focus on having it sit square.
    Love the price point.

    Do not love the aesthetics of this first design.

  22. Tim

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Obvious question – is it available for lefties?

    • talljohn777

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Yes, and it says so in the article….

    • lsf_21

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Wouldn’t be an obvious question if you read the article.

  23. Jon B

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Wouldn’t the change of weight change the toe hang of the putter?

    • talljohn777

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      Only if you mix different weights together. If the two weights, heel and toe are the same, then no.

    • Kinsler Putters

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Talljohn is correct. Toe hang only changes if weights are staggered (30 on one side and say 45 on the other). Some customers have staggered them on purpose to change putter dynamics.

  24. Kinsler Putters

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Appreciate the Kind words about our newest product.

    Mikey_P The putter requires an extra operation to mill the face. It made sense to us to make all the putters the same through the previous operation. This allows maximum flexibility for right/left hand putters on final operation.

    Jon Thank you for the comment. We worked VERY hard to keep our price reasonable.

    • Brad

      Mar 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Bravo. I cant say enough about how excited i am to see you guys step outside of” the box”… And being born & raised in Indianapolis, i absolutely LOVE the racing connection. It is apparent in your design, that racing has influenced your eye. I think i speak for most racing enthusiasts that also LOVE golf… This is P1. Keep it up guys!!

    • Darrell

      Mar 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      I have the Taylormade Daddy Longlegs putter which I like very much but this looks like an awesome putter in another class altogether. What excellent engineering, keep up the fantastic work.

    • Scott

      Mar 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      Kinsler Putters,
      Where can I try this putter out?

      • Kinsler Putters

        Mar 14, 2015 at 11:27 pm

        Scott,
        Where are you located.
        This is a brand new product for us. Currently we are working on setting up a small distribution network.

        • Scott

          Mar 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

          I live in Shelby Township. I work in Auburn Hills.

          • Kinsler Putters

            Mar 16, 2015 at 7:07 am

            Scott please send an e-mail through my website. I am currently working with some local golf shops to set up distribution.

    • Mikey_P

      Mar 16, 2015 at 4:20 am

      Thanks for the reply!! The milling looks very tidy. I like the dowel pins in the tool, someone would be going well to round that off!!

  25. PaloAltoPlaya

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Oh boy! Karsten and Hogan spinning in their graves right about now. At least the putter ain’t gimmicky!

  26. Kess

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Wow, what a price point for a nice piece. I would change the paint fill and I’m not a mallet guy but it may be worth a shot at that price point.

  27. RH

    Mar 13, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I actually like the look. Unique but not in a hideous way.

  28. Mikey_P

    Mar 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    As a machinist, curious to know why the shaft bore isn’t machined during the 1st operation, can only guess that it is to ensure the relationship between face and shaft is as good as it can be.
    5-axis is slightly limited by rotational accuracy within the rotating table, and can only assume the error in loft/lie is exaggerated at the grip end 34″ or so away?

  29. Jeff B

    Mar 13, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I would remove the paintfill on top IMMEDIATELY but aside from that i kind of dig it.

  30. Jon

    Mar 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I guess they don’t realize they should be charging north of $350 for a piece of art like this. Sign me up!

    • You are trying too hard

      Apr 1, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      This is obviously Kinsler’s mom… Try to be a little more subtle next time, okay sweetie?

      • Kinsler Putters

        Apr 23, 2015 at 9:48 am

        LOL. Dam mom please do not try so hard. I know you always say “whatever it takes” but please make it less obvious next time ;(

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Equipment

Zozo Championship Tour Truck Report: Phil’s new driver and 2-wood, Tiger testing a new 3-wood

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Slower week than most at Sherwood but still a couple of nuggets—and who doesn’t love a Tiger/Phil equipment update?

Callaway

Phil Mickelson: After his (two drivers in the bag) win on the PGA Tour Champions, Lefty went full gearhead and continued to test not only the new Apex MB ’21 irons (6-PW) but also put a 47.5-inch Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero in the bag. The (low-lofted) 9-degree head, set now at 8 degrees (swing weight at D7) will be equipped with either a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Green 60 6.5 or a KBS TD 60G C5 TX.

In addition, Phil is bringing back the 2-wood having put a 43.5-inch, 12.5-degree “old school” X Hot 3 Deep. The idea with both is distance gain (non-shocker) for example on Tour there are a number of bunkers, forced carries at the 300+ clip and to be able to fly by those on command is a huge advantage. Dispersion will suffer a bit in this scenario, but that’s what the 2-wood is for. The new driver set up got Phil about 8 mph of additional ball speed and on avg a 310 carry. The 2 wood is to fill the larger gap created by the driver—this new fairway metal gives Phil about 280-285 carry.

Ping 

Tony Finau: Ping G425 LST (9 @7.5 Big-) with Diamana D+ 70TX tipped 1.5

Andrew Landry: Ping G425 LST (9 @8.75, flat) with Fujikura Ventus Blue 6X (46 Inches)

Joaquin Niemann: New Ping G425 7-wood (20.5 @20) in the bag with Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X (20.5, 40.5 inches).

Titleist

Slow week, no major updates to report beyond Aaron Dill making 9,000 wedges for the players in early Augusta prep…

TaylorMade

Tiger Woods is testing a SIM Ti 3-wood with a Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana D+ 70 TX shaft. The 15-degree 3-wood is set at 14.25 and is on the upright setting. (42.5, D4, Golf Pride BCT 58R). Won’t know if it goes in play until tomorrow tee off…

 

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Whats in the Bag

Tiger Woods WITB 2020 Zozo Championship (new 3-wood?)

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  • We spotted Woods with a TaylorMade SIM 3-wood in his bag, along with the TaylorMade M5 he’s had in play for more than two years. We’re told it will be a game-time decision as to which one he puts in play.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 60 TX

tiger woods witb

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15  @14.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 @18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7TW (3-PW)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 TW/MT Grind (56-12, 60-11)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS Newport 2
Grip: Lamkin Deep-Etched cord

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord 58R

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

 

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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (10/21/20): Cameron cover, Ping Hoofer tour bag, SIM Rocket 3-wood

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Tourseeking – Rare Cameron Maiden America cover

There are rare, and then there are really rare covers and this falls squarely in the really rare category. It’s priced according but would make a great addition to any collection.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Rare Cameron cover

Member slalomdude – Ping Hoofer Tour bag

Were used to seeing rare and hard to find, but it’s not often Ping releases something that captures attention like this. The bag is new with tags and is being offered at a great deal!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Hoofer Tour 

Member awtryau89 – TaylorMade SIM Rocket 3-wood

This is truly one of the fastest little “rocket ship” fairway woods on the market, and this is your chance to get your hands on one for a great deal with a Graphite Design BB.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Rocket 3 wood 

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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