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Thinking of buying a new putter? Why you might want to try refinishing instead

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As you know, a new Scotty Cameron Studio Select or Phantom X is gonna run you $430-plus. Want something more? The new Jet Set series going to run $650 retail (if you can find one) and likely almost double that on secondary markets. Not prepared to spend that kind of money? Not in love with the Studio or Phantom X lines? Here are some ideas on finding a gamer that will not only impress your playing partners but be easier on the wallet.

Head to Facebook for something to refinish

On Facebook there are a plethora of forums which sell used golf equipment. People post a variety of equipment including a lot of putters. For this piece, I found Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless 2.5 (2002) for the amazing price of $150. The putter had some heavy wear and may or may not also previously been used as a hammer.

I then enlisted my friend Josh at LabWorx in Waco, Texas, to “refinish the putter.” For $135, the team at LabWorx allows you to pick from 12 proprietary finishes which I have found to be executional durable, give your input, and transform the putter into something like this:

Josh, the founder at LabWorx notes, “At the heart of our business is the Armor Technology. The Gen X has been developed over the last two years and is trusted by over 10 OEMs (one of the big four) as well as 800 putters and 2,000 shafts on tour.” In my own experience, I have a putter from three years ago that Josh refinished and I often get people asking me if it’s new.

I am not sure the pictures do this putter justice; the crew at LabWorx transformed it into what looks like new.

Breakdown

  • Putter: $150
  • Refinish: $135
  • Black KBS putter shaft: $40
  • Golf Pride grip: $10

Total cost: $335

Trade in/trade up

Recently I noticed that several online retailers were offering a 50 percent bonus on trade-ins. This included golf balls. As a world-class ball hawk, I went into the garage, found a couple hundred balls, a smorgasbord of wedges with heavy hosel wear and a Ping G30. In total I got about $200 that I used to buy a Scotty Cameron Detour for $250 ($50 out of pocket).

I again sent the club to Josh and had him add a custom weld neck. In this process a new hosel is added. These style of putter have grown in popularity and offer a distinct look which is sure to grab the attention of your playing partners. Then added a KBS putter shaft, selling the shaft and grip.

Breakdown:

  • $50 putter
  • $165 weld neck
  • $40 KBS putter shaft
  • $125 insert
  • $10 grip
  • -$30 from selling the grip/shaft

Total cost: $340

Bettinardi

While a lot of people are obsessed with Scotty, I have a deep passion for Bettinardi. Bob Bettinardi invented the one piece milled technology that changed the game of golf in 1991. This process has been adopted by all of the major putter manufacturers as well as most boutique putter companies that popped up in the last five years.

On the secondary market, it is not impossible to find a 2018 BB Series putter with a milled face for $150 or less with 2022 models not more than $200. These putters feel fantastic because they are made from one block of 303 stainless steel and have milled faces. They also come in a variety of head shapes.

When looking at putters, keep in mind Bettinardi offers three stock face millings that range from the very soft feel of patented Roll Control face milling, the Aggressive Flymill, which is a medium feeling face, to their original Honeycomb face, which comes off the face faster.

Breakdown:

  • Putter: $120
  • Sold the shaft with label: $40
  • Head cover: $40
  • Added an all-back KBS putter shaft: $40
  • Regripped: $10

For a reasonable price, I got a very solid gamer than has become a favorite among my rotation.

I have used KBS putter shafts because I think that, bang for the buck, they are hard to beat. You can find them for about $29.99 and I think they are a tremendous value with outstanding technology. The black ones look amazing too!

In the secondary market, my guess is that these putters are worth about $400 to $650 respectively, making them great investments. They are also sure to get me tons of compliments from my playing partners. Now the tough choice is which to game? And when I hit 15 greens and shoot 79, at least I will look lit.

What have you done? What are you gaming on the greens these days?

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Brendan Ryan, an entrepreneur and scientist, is a passionate golfer who loves his local muni. Armed with a keen interest in the game, a large network of friends in the industry, Brendan works to find and produce unique content for GolfWRX.

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John Pak WITB 2023 (January)

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Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (9 @9.75), TaylorMade Stealth Plus (9 degrees)
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3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees @ 14.25)
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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (9 degrees @8.25)
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