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Scotty Cameron – PODCAST EXCLUSIVE

Scotty Cameron (photo Titleist)

There are good days and then there are great days.

And when you get to interview Scotty Cameron, it’s a great day!

We spent some time with Scotty who talked with us from his studio in Southern California. The putter designing icon opened the vault to us, his heart and mind that is, and talked with us about:

  • How his love of putter design and making all started, all the way back to his childhood.
  • The importance of being custom fit for your putter.
  • Some things that touring pros consider that most amateurs overlook when picking a putter.
  • His new Futura and Select putters, along with last year’s Cameron & Crown line.
  • What’s on his bucket list.

It’s all here for you on our Soundcloud link (below), on our website or subscribe free to the GolfBetter podcast on iTunes.

Hats off to Scotty for his time with us.  It was special.

Today was a great day!

https://soundcloud.com/worldwide-golf-shops/podcast-227-scotty-cameron

Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops, Episode 227. Hello everyone, Tom Brassell here. Thanks so much for joining us. If you’re a first time listener, long-timer with us, or maybe somewhere in the middle, either way, we are just glad that you joined us, especially glad you joined us today. Our guest joins us from out in Southern California. He really needs no introduction at all. He is a legend in club making. On the putter side of the house, from Titleist Golf, Mr. Scotty Cameron. Scotty, thanks so much for joining us. It is great to have you with us.

Scotty Cameron:  You got it.

Tom Brassell: Scotty, if you wouldn’t mind, share with our listeners and all of us a little bit about how you got started in the business and how this, really, this fantastic marriage with Titleist Golf came about.

Scotty Cameron 0024Scotty Cameron: Well, Tom, my father was an insurance investigator and loved the game of golf and was a tinkerer. He would refinish Persimmon Woods, primarily the old MacGregor Tommy Armours and all that, and he’d take me around to different swap meets and driving ranges, and he was always hunting for, you know, the Deep Face George Bayer and the Tommy Armours and the Byron Nelsons. His passion was just fascinating to me when I was a young kid, so he would educate me on why they did this, and why the toe was like this, and why it would stand like this, and so as I was a kid in the garage with my father, I loved putters and the Zebra Putter back in ’74 hit me over the head, you know. It’s just like I saw this beautiful piece with stripes with a chrome sole plate that you could adjust on the inside for weights and … Then, the grip and the head cover matched the head, and a lot of the head cover stuff that I do was really inspiration from that. Back in the day, it just kind of matched.

With my father in the garage … He passed away when I was 13, but he just, you know, “If you’re gonna do it, you’re gonna do it right. Here’s a workshop.” He bought me a very small tabletop mill, and I continued to make putters for myself after he had passed. Then, playing high school golf and then college golf, I would make them for my friends, and those friends ended up on different tours, mini tours around the world, until I was finally contacted by a company that said “Hey, we know you’re making these for these players. We want you to make them for us.” That’s a bit how it got started.

Tom Brassell:  Wow, and when you were combing those thrift shops and flea markets and all for old clubs, did you ever think that one day you’d have a line that is kind of romanced in the industry? I mean, that’s a fantastic story.

Scotty Cameron: Yeah, yeah. You know, it’s, you know. The lead of my father, of his passion, was passed to me, and, you know, every Monday I look forward to coming in and creating something, you know, sleeker, cooler, sexier, better feeling, better performing, and everything from heads to shafts to grips to head covers. There’s a lot to do, so I’m thrilled to be doing it, because I still enjoy it.

Tom Brassell:  Scotty, with club fitting being more of the norm now with consumers, they’re buying into club fitting, talk about the importance of putter fitting. It seems like in the past, we’d grab a few out of the corral, put with it, and walk to the register with it. Share with us your thoughts on getting custom fit for putting.

Scotty Cameron: Well, it’s just like drivers and irons and … Do you have to do it? You do not, but are you better off to do it and have better information to make better choices to get equipment that works better for you? Absolutely. It’s not a must, but I highly recommend, whether it’s, you know, a driver fitting, but putters, back about 20 years ago, I took that serious. The main reason why, on tour, showing my putters to Gene Sauers and David Graham and David Frost of that day. I needed the facts to prove to them that I wasn’t just another guy out there schlepping putters, that I design things around performance, and then getting into shafts, about shaft flex on a putter, was amazing to guys, but I could show through high speed video that shaft flex and putters, head weights and putters, length of shaft relative to head weight affects shaft flex.

I think I was really the first one to take putting serious, but, you know, back in the day, they didn’t have the high speed video or the computers, so I was kind of in that early stage 20 years ago of, with the newer technology, I had things I needed to know so when I’m in front of the best player in the world, I wasn’t speaking from my thoughts and theories. I was speaking from facts. To be fit, we set up a gallery in Encinitas, California, and the reason I found that the pros came to my studio here and were so amazed on the results of they could see themselves and understand the performance of the ball versus the putter versus the player and how they all work together. I set this up, where the consumer can come to Scotty Cameron Gallery and simply to see those same facts of understanding, and I call it the art of putting, how the ball’s affected by the putter and the putter’s affected by the player and how they all come together. Fitting is a wonderful thing. It can only help you, so I recommend it highly.

Tom Brassell: You mentioned the greatest players in the world. What do some of those players, the tour players look for in putting, either putters or putting, that amateurs might just, not just take for granted, just something that they’re looking at.

Scotty Cameron (photo Titleist)

Scotty Cameron: Sure, sure. Little things. For example, grips. You know, the grip things have changed, and bigger grips, and we’re seeing a trend of that it’s gone too big and guys kind of wandering back to a midsize. A lot on tour, we find that when a guy uses more of the face balance, bigger type of mallet, the face balance wants to create a stroke that’s more square to square, and a larger grip works better, which is a more mechanical, larger muscles. But when you put a large grip on kind of a heel shafted blade, when it gets too big, that heel shafted blade is more for a guy that likes more flow to the putter head, more arc, more feel of a guy like a Crenshaw versus a robotic square to square. Choosing a grip to fit your putter, our trends from the tour guys we’ve seen, arcing strokes are smaller grips for more feel, and a square to square robotic stroke, larger grips seemed, and I agree with this very much, seemed to be going on that type of a putter.

Tom Brassell: Hey, Scotty. Let’s talk about what’s new out there for you. Obviously, you got the new Futura line. That is absolutely beautiful, like it always is. Share with us a little bit about that. What went into that?

Scotty Cameron:  Well, we had the GOLO line, and the three lines, there was always one line that would kind of get bypassed, so we decided to break that up, and the putters that fit most into the Select line, we redesigned them for that. Then, the Futura line, we passed over what would work in that, so now the two lines, we kind of have heel and toe weighted blades in the Select line, but the Futura line then was completely redesigned, and the thoughts behind it, again, for more of the golfer with the square to square type of stroke, bigger sight lines, but multi-material in the Futura line. We have an aluminum face sole but then the stainless steel shell surrounding it for the perimeter waiting, so using materials for sound and feel, but using weighting of stainless for that higher MOI to put the weight where we need it most.

But in between the two, Tom, we have put a vibration dampening membrane that we can actually enhance the feel for different golfers or optimize the feel of the putter, so it’s really high tech. It’s a high MOI, simply meaning off-center hits. There’s less resistance of twist. If you’re a guy that’s more robotic, if square to square, like a bigger grip, this is right up your alley, and we’ve done different materials, like the 6061 aircraft aluminum, and I’ve anodized that, but I bead blast it before anodizing, knock down the glare. I’m digging the way the putter looks, sets, sound, and feel, which all translates into performance, meaning you gain confidence through sound and feel, the way it sits, the way it aims, the sight lines, and even down to the grip can make you feel more comfortable, giving more confidence and actually putting better.

Tom Brassell: Yeah, so somebody who has a Futura Phantom from, say, 2002 or what not, if they picked up one of these, they would see a huge difference not only in the look of the putter but the sound and performance, too, right?

Scotty Cameron: Yeah, Tom. We try every year. We don’t come out with a new line every year just because we want it to look prettier. We try to learn, and that great product back then, but it wasn’t … You know, I look, and I think I can make it cooler and sleeker and sexier, but the perimeter weighting back there, the very original Futura and Futura Phantom, great products, but there is little things. After I finished, I thought “Man, I should have done this” or “I could do this better.” Then, when we bring a line, we bring it because it is better, sounds better, performs better, and so on.

Tom Brassell:  Yeah. The reason I asked that question was I know someone who has that putter in their bag, and you’re talking to him right now, so I wanted to, I wanted to ask it.

Scotty Cameron: No kidding.

Tom Brassell: Yeah, yeah. Hey, look. Before I let you go, I have to ask you about a line that’s, oh, I’m guessing six months old or what not, the Cameron & Crown line, that is fascinating to me. Share with us a little bit about that.

Scotty Cameron: Sure, sure. Well, there’s so many people. We’ve seen the trends of putters getting shorter, and one reason, putting styles have changed. When you think of the great Arnold Palmer and the way he would bend over and the elbows were out, you know, you think of more of a Tiger Woods era of long Vs. We have made, we make putters, and at changeable weights, but the 33 inch putter, we do a lot of custom at 33 inch, and I don’t think that the public knew that it was even an option. I decided for Cameron & Crown, it wasn’t designed for junior’s or men’s or ladies’. It was designed around a person who needs a smaller putter, so it wasn’t manipulated to be that. It was designed to be a 33 inch, and all I’ve done is taken the two most sought after models in the Futura line and the two most suited, or sought after putters in the Select line, put those together, and made a line called Cameron & Crown, made to be 33 inch. The grip is a bit smaller for smaller hands. It’s everything that the Select and Futura is, but it was made and designed to be at 33 inch.

Tom Brassell: Over time, the response to that line has been absolutely incredible, at least on our end. Same from you?

Scotty Cameron: Beyond what we could ever imagine, and again, we have made these models in our custom shop, but we have found that people, you know, don’t want to send their putter in. My whole idea was “Let’s not … Now, we can make it perfect, but it’s more manipulation to a 35 inch putter. Let’s not manipulate. Let’s just start from the get-go and design this around 33 inch and take in consideration the shaft flex, the head weight, and the size of the grip to better suit this golfer.

Tom Brassell: Final question I want to ask you, Scotty. I kind of put this out to my compadres, and they wanted to know this. I’ve only asked this one other time, and it was to Jim Nantz, because, you know, Jim Nantz, he’s done everything, right? Super Bowls, Masters, Final Four, and all that.

Scotty Cameron:   Sure.

Tom Brassell:  My question to Jim was “Jim, if Jim Nantz has a bucket list, what’s on it?” That’s what they wanted, people wanted me to ask you. What does Scotty Cameron want to do inside or outside of golf on your bucket list that you may not have done yet?

Scotty Cameron: Wow. Wow. Bucket list. I have been asked many a times to go play Pine Valley, and I am going to do it this year. I have friends at the Masters, and we do the things with them, and I love the relationship that we, Titleist, have with the Masters, but Pine Valley is one of those things that my buddies have always said “If you have the change, you gotta do it,” so this year, I’m going to play Pine Valley.

Tom Brassell: Well, congratulations to you. That’s great that you get to fulfill that item, and boy, what a place to finally finish it at, but hey. Hey, Scotty, thanks for joining us. Do you have some final words for our listeners and our team members here at Worldwide Golf that’ll be listening to this from Scotty Cameron and our friends at Titleist.

Scotty Cameron:  Absolutely. I want to thank you guys. You know, I’ve been doing this, putters, designing putters, for 30 years, and you guys there have taken my products and shown it the right way and given it the love and respect that I design the product with, but from your guys end of selling the product, you’ve simply taken it, and you’ve done it right, and I appreciate it.

Tom Brassell:  Well, thank you so much. You do it right. You’ve done it right for so long, and it’s an honor talking with you, Scotty. Best to you, and hopefully we can do it again sometime soon in the future.

Scotty Cameron:  Tom, thank you very much.

Tom Brassell: There you have it. Scotty Cameron, spending about 15 minutes with us talking about putting, his putters, and his bucket list. Everybody has one, and Scotty does, as well. Well, many thanks to our good friends at Titleist Golf, from Steve Pelisek on down, for setting up that interview with Scotty Cameron, and to you our listeners. We’ll do it again next time, when we have another episode of GolfBetter at worldwidegolfshops.com. So long, everyone.