Connect with us

Equipment

The WILD story behind Tom Hoge’s 1-of-1 putter he used to win at Pebble Beach

Published

on

Tom Hoge – at 32 years old – rolled in a 20-footer on the 71st hole of the 2022 AT&T Pebble Pro-Am to all but seal his first PGA Tour victory ever. At the moment, the putt gave him a two-stroke lead over Jordan Spieth and allowed Hoge to cruise home to victory with a par on the 72nd hole.

When that 20-foot putt dropped, you could feel the relief from Hoge. Something he worked for his whole life was finally coming true. It’s one of those moments in sports that gives you chills just thinking about it.

The backstory to how Hoge ended up with the putter he used to make the putt, though, is arguably even more intriguing.

Here’s how the story goes.

Ahead of the 2022 American Express in Palm Desert, Hoge was searching for a putter that would help him with his alignment. He was tending to aim left, and he needed something to help square him up.

His caddie, Henry Diana Jr., approached Odyssey Tour rep Joe Toulon on the side to request a custom 2-ball for Hoge to try.

“Henry thought a 2-ball with a long line on it might be something easier for him to line up,” Toulon told GolfWRX. “He didn’t tell Tom about that conversation… I said, ‘You know what, I’ll have one made up and ready to go in case that time comes.’”

This was no stock order, though. Hoge is very particular with his putter preferences. According to Toulon, Hoge has always used a plumber’s neck hosel with slight toe hang. The problem is, the Odyssey White Hot OG 2-ball doesn’t come stock with that hosel offering.

Therefore, the custom 2-ball putter that Toulon ordered for Hoge had to be specially made with a plumber’s neck.

The custom job took about a week, and the putter was delivered to Pebble Beach on a practice day prior to the event. Due to the heavier hosel construction, Toulon had to remove the back weight from the sole as you can see below.

With all of the proper weight adjustments made, Toulon then caught up with Diana Jr. at Pebble Beach to show him the putter, to which Diana Jr. responded, “Yeah, I think he’s going to like it…let me show it to him.”

So, ahead of the 2022 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Hoge was presented with a 1-of-1 custom Odyssey White Hot OG 2-ball putter with a custom plumber’s neck built to his liking.

According to Toulon, Hoge liked the putter immediately, but he was still deciding between a few different putter options as of Wednesday night before the event started. Ultimately, though, he decided to give the new custom 2-ball a try for the tournament.

“He switched last week, but he probably didn’t make a final decision until probably Wednesday I don’t think,” Toulon explained. “He had a couple putters in the bag until then. It was kind of a game-time decision.

“We took weight out of it, just because with that neck that we put on it adds some weight compared to the usual spud that’s on it. So we had to take shave some weight and ended up going with that. It was still heavier than what he using, but he said, “I kinda like it, so let’s leave it.” So we left it… it’s a 1-of-1 with that hosel for sure.”

So, just to summarize: Hoge was looking for a putter, his caddie had Toulon build up a custom 2-ball with Hoge’s preferred hosel on it, and then Hoge went on win with it the same week he saw the putter for the first time.

Pretty incredible, right?

Just wait. The story gets even better.

Didn’t it seem odd that Diana Jr. would recommend a 2-ball putter specifically, especially when it needed such a custom build?

Well, not really, as it turns out.

Diana Jr. was a professional golfer back in the day, and his father, Diana Sr., was a tool-and-die maker who also built golf clubs on the side.

In his playing days, Diana Jr. had the same problem with his putting that Hoge was having; Diana Jr. tended to aim his putter too far to the left.

A look at Dave Pelz’ 3-ball putter from the 80’s (Photo Credit: thegolfauction.com)

He was using a 1986 Dave Pelz Three-Ball putter at the time, which was years before the Odyssey 2-ball was invented or available on the market.

Since Diana Jr. was struggling with his aim using the Pelz 3-ball putter, his father, who was a tinkerer and club maker, suggested that he build up Hoge a 2-ball putter for him to try.

“My dad used to be a tool and die maker but he made putters,” Diana Jr. told GolfWRX. “When I was playing professionally I was having a hard time with alignment, so in the mid-90s he made a 2-ball putter. I was using the Pelz putter, but I was aiming too far left. I didn’t like the Pelz putter. He’s like, ‘Well, hell, I’ll make you a putter. I think three is too many, I’ll make you a putter with two…that was 5 years before the Odyssey 2-ball came out.”

As Diana Jr. explains, the custom 2-ball his father made worked wonders for his aiming and squared him up.

Seeing Hoge struggle with the same problem, Diana Jr. figured a 2-ball could help Hoge the same way it helped him nearly 30 years prior.

“My dad was a tinkerer and he was always forward thinking in a lot of ways and he had great ideas,” Diana Jr. said. “Pelz was obviously the pioneer of it, and then [my father] tweaked it, then Odyssey obviously came out with it. But it really worked.”

Obviously, it worked on Sunday for Hoge, too.

“It’s just unbelievable how full circle it went,” Diana Jr. said. “I told my dad [when they came out with the 2-ball years after he developed it]: ‘You missed the boat again. You tweaked the 3-ball down to a 2-ball, then they made a zillion of them.’ But we certainly got paid back last week with what happened. I chuckled to see [Hoge] putt the way he did. It was a magical week. It really was.”

The funniest part? Hoge has no idea about this whole backstory. When I asked Diana Jr. if he told Hoge the full story about how the putter came about it, he answered, “Eh, not really.”

The 20-footer that Hoge made on the 17th green on Sunday at Pebble Beach was an absolutely huge putt for Hoge and his career, but that putt — and all Hoge’s putts last week — had special significance for his caddie, and it all goes back to his father’s handiwork some 30 years prior.

Your Reaction?
  • 292
  • LEGIT16
  • WOW38
  • LOL2
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK5

He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. gunmetal

    Mar 15, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Wicked cool story! If Hoge-No bogey keeps winning, I’m pretty sure there will be a plumbers neck variant offered in the near future!

  2. Pingback: PGA Tour, GolfWRX announce agreement – GolfWRX

  3. Pingback: Photos from the 2022 WM Phoenix Open – GolfWRX

  4. bevan

    Feb 9, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Really great article, thank you

  5. Bladehunter

    Feb 9, 2022 at 6:51 am

    How that man a raise. When you have a guy on the bag who’s that active behind the scenes. He’s worth a lot.

  6. L

    Feb 9, 2022 at 1:52 am

    Hilarious how all these companies are pushing for MOI with weights at the back of everything and yet here we are LOL

    • L is bad a flog...

      Feb 9, 2022 at 9:50 am

      Is your stroke as pure as that of the guys on Tour… I thought not… Enjoy the MOI moron…

      • GaGolfer

        Feb 9, 2022 at 10:49 am

        A little harsh, aren’t you, son? No more caf for you for a while.

      • True L

        Feb 9, 2022 at 12:07 pm

        L is correct, they didn’t have any problems putting with little blades back in the day.

        • L Train

          Feb 9, 2022 at 12:29 pm

          “…is correct” … “back in the day”….. hey little bud, I think you meant to say “was correct”

  7. Ben

    Feb 8, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    If I could go ahead and get one made up in lefty that would be great.

  8. birdiedancer

    Feb 8, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    That’s how Karma is supposed to work. Hoge is a grinders’, grinder..
    I hope he keeps running the tables with his magic stick.

    • Benny

      Feb 9, 2022 at 6:24 pm

      Well said. Great read as always Golfwrx. We know golf doesn’t bring forth amazing stories everyday. Yet time and time again viewers on here get all mad about the articles.
      Thanks again Golfwrx.

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

Scotty Cameron unveils new Special Select Jet Set putters

Published

on

Scotty Cameron has today introduced the new range of Special Select Jet Set putters.

The limited release features a four-model collection designed for the player looking for a particular design aesthetic in a high-performance configuration with attention to shape, color palette and finish.

Precision milled in the United States from a block of 303 stainless steel, each new Limited Release Special Select Jet Set putter incorporates Scotty’s performance balanced weighting technology featuring customizable sole weights, as well as purpose-built aluminum sole plates designed to optimize weight distribution in the wider profile of the Plus models.

Speaking on the new range, Scotty Cameron said:

“A lot of golfers want to game the same putters the pros play. Our new Special Select Jet Set putters offer a taste of that experience with a few extras that put them in a category of their own. The Tour Black finish is something a lot of people really like, so when I can, I make putters using it combined with dark, smoky accents. The overall tone-on-tone look is inspired by custom car builders, and that’s where the Jet Set name comes from. We’ve offered this concept in years past. This is the next version of Jet Set. Specifically, the ‘Plus’ models that are in between the width of a Newport 2 and a Squareback 2. I developed this “tweener” size working with a few Tour players who wanted something in between the width of a traditional blade and our Squareback flange width. The Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus and Newport 2 Plus offer those desired sizes and happen to be the first we’ve created for everyone. Limited releases like these new Special Select Jet Set models are for those who want a high-performance putter, but also that little extra.”

In addition, the Special Select Jet Set Newport, Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus, Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 and Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus feature custom graphics, a Tour Black finish with a dark, tonal color scheme, a specialized Pistolini Plus grip, shaft band and headcover.

Displaying the evolution of Scotty’s research in bringing the benefits of higher MOI to blade putter shapes, the line’s “Plus” models introduce slightly wider profiles than standard face-to-flange blade dimensions in design to offer maximum performance from a blade putter.

Special Select Jet Set Newport

“A souped-up version of Scotty’s classic heel-and-toe weighted blade, the Special Select Jet Set Newport includes a plumbing neck, the model’s distinctive rounded features and a unique sight line milled on the topline. Precision milled from 303 stainless steel, this limited release putter has a solid face, misted Tour Black finish, adjustable performance balanced raw tungsten sole weighting and includes the line’s new textured Pistolini Plus grip and Jet Set headcover.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus

“Crafted slightly wider when measured from face to flange, the Special Select Jet Set Newport Plus offers a new size in high-performance blade putter design. Relying on proven multi-material design methodology, Scotty accommodated the fuller profile by distributing weight to the perimeter and incorporating a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. A new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover complete the package.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2

“Designed with the proven shape, plumbing neck and tri-sole of a modern Newport 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 is milled from 303 stainless steel with customizable tungsten sole weights, a Tour Black finish and the line’s Jet Set graphics package, including a specialty shaft band, headcover and textured Pistolini Plus grip. Incorporating a subtle design characteristic—and inspired by the putters he makes for touring professionals—Scotty included a milled sight line on the topline rather than a standard flange line. A limited number of left-handed Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 models were also created.”

Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus

“Splitting the difference in flange width between a Special Select Newport 2 and Squareback 2, the Special Select Jet Set Newport 2 Plus offers a Tour-inspired shape that introduces the next profile in high-performance blade design. Milled from 303 stainless steel with a solid face, the Newport 2 Plus has a 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plate, anodized black and engraved with the line’s Jet Set graphics. A milled flange sight line provides clean alignment, while customizable stainless steel sole weights provide balance. The putter includes the line’s new, textured Pistolini Plus grip, Jet Set shaft band and specialized headcover.”

The limited release Special Select Jet Set putters will be available worldwide on Aug. 19, 2022, at Titleist authorized golf shops, and are priced at $650 each.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

2022 TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges launched

Published

on

What you need to know: TaylorMade is launching the latest iteration of its “Swiss Army knife” Hi-Toe 3 wedges. In contrast to TaylorMade’s MG3 wedges, Hi-Toe 3 wedges feature a higher toe peak, higher center of gravity for lower launch and more spin, a four-way cambered sole, and full-face scoring lines all aimed at maximizing versatility and performance around the green.

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: What’s new

  • Full length scoring lines on all lofts above 54 degrees for additional spin on open-faced shots.
  • Raised micro-ribs between the full grooves (introduced in MG3 wedge) add texture to the face for increased spin and performance on partial shots.
  • Aged copper finish to complement the raw face

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3: Additional technology

In order to assist in executing “all the shots” TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 marketing references, TM engineers again incorporate a four-way cambered sole into the 8620 carbon steel Hi-Toe 3. Generous bounce and a wide sole meet a low leading edge for enhanced playability from a variety of lies.

And of course, the weighted toe pad “high toe” portion of the Hi-Toe 3 raises the center of gravity and moves it closer to the center of the face in an effort to produce lower launching, higher spinning shots.

ZTP Raw Grooves are implemented in the Hi-Toe 3 for optimal spin across a variety of conditions.

Full face ZTP RAW grooves

What TaylorMade says

“Our athletes all offered great input individually, but collectively everyone wanted something versatile. They wanted a single wedge that could perform around the greens from deep rough, thick fescue, bunkers with different sands, in wet conditions and from tight lies. That’s a lot to fit into a single design, but with Hi-Toe 3 we’ve done it.” — Bill Price, Product Creation, Wedges and Putters

TaylorMade Milled Grind 3: What it looks like

52 degree

56 degree

60 degree

Pricing and availability 

Hi-Toe 3 is available for order now at www.taylormadegolf.com and at retail locations with an MSRP of $179 USD. Hi-Toe 3 comes stock with the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft (115g) and Lamkin Crossline 360 Round 52 gram grips (Gray/Blue/Black End Cap).

Hi-Toe 3 is available in standard bounce (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, and 60 degrees), low bounce (58, 60 degrees), and high bounce (58, 60 degrees).

KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 shafts are standard along with Lamkin Crossline 360 grips.

MyHi-Toe 3

Added elements of personalization are available through MyHi-Toe 3. They may choose from four different finishes, including the classic brushed copper, chrome, black and raw, before selecting text, logos, and paint fills to create a purely unique design.

A complete list of customizable options includes:

  • Finish
  • Grip
  • Shaft
  • Length
  • Personalized text
  • Loft & bounce
  • Custom paints fills: Logos, icons, carbon steel, hosel rings, text

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (8/9/22): Mint Ping i500s

Published

on

At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of 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 we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of mint Ping i500s.

From the seller (@lawrencedc1): “Asking $725 Plus Ship.  Played 5 rounds.  Didn’t make the Bag!”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Mint Ping i500s

This is the most impressive current listing 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

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending