With the new 2018 Scotty Cameron Select line of putters about to hit golf shops around the world, we wanted to check in with our friends over at ScottyCameron.com to get the details on all of the latest innovations in the Select family. Check out the Q&A below for the inside scoop, straight from the Master Putter Craftsman himself.
Q: Tell us about the new Scotty Cameron 2018 Select putter line.
Scotty Cameron: For the 2018 Select putters I focused on refining the elements involved with the sight, sound and sole components of each model. To keep it super simple, think: Sight, Sound, Sole. Keying on these seemingly small details can make a big difference in how a putter performs, and we’ve made every opportunity to improve each attribute to release our most advanced, best performing putters ever.
For over two decades I’ve been refining and re-designing Newport-style blade putters—for the best players in the world, as well as the rest of us. Thankfully, what works for them can help us putt and play better, too. And, I tapped into that vast network of touring professionals for their feedback to create the models we present with this new 2018 Select line.
I’ve examined and explored every shape, every contour and every radius for improvement. I’ve moved metal around. And I’ve increased the amount of vibration dampening material. So, what may not be immediately noticeable as a refinement can be recognized with a trained eye, and some explanation.
Q: Can you explain how you refined the line’s sight attributes?
Scotty Cameron: Each contour and sight cue was refined per model to enhance alignment opportunities and instill confidence. My first reaction to any putter is related to how it looks. Its curb appeal, if you will. What does it look like from address? How does it make you feel when you set it down? And, what is the player looking for? And, what is he or she looking at? I tried to answer all of these questions as I sought to improve each model’s sight characteristics.
First off, as putters have grown in size and weight over the past few decades, they still need to be proportional for what I like to call a “proper” setup. There’s an aesthetic and quality of design that is always foremost in my mind. As you look at, say, a Newport 2, there are three tiers to the shape: the topline, the mid-section (sometimes people call them the “shoulders”) and the weight bumpers. As I’ve slightly widened and thickened that entire body over the years, I’ve had to account for minute details like each corner radius—where we shape and shave hard edges with the mill—to how the topline flows down into the back flange. All to achieve the proper weight, while dialing in the look from the player’s perspective.
With shape refinements to each Select model, I focused on thinning topline appearances by giving each a slightly rounder radius on our more mechanical, angular Newport 2 and Newport 2.5. We made the Newport 2 neck more square and “blockier” to help players who rely on this setup feel more confident when lining up putts. Plumbing neck dimensions, edges and angles have all been squared up for a cleaner look from address, whereas I softened them for the Newport design, making it more pleasingly roly-poly.
Q: How did you incorporate sound improvement?
Scotty Cameron: I’ve always equated sound with feel. Years of Putter Studio research validate that players—whether they consciously know it or not—associate the feel of a putter with the sound it makes when impacting the golf ball. With the face inlay technology we’ve developed, we were able to improve sound and feel by adding up to 30% more vibration dampening material connecting face inlays with putter bodies. The connecting screws are slightly larger to account for the increased material and the surface compression necessary to produce the softer sound, while preserving the feedback demanded by the best players in the world to aid in distance control and diagnosing mishits.
Q: What do you mean by four-way sole balancing?
Scotty Cameron: My concept of four-way sole balancing is another evolution of putter design that we’re introducing with the 2018 Select line. From address, a putter should sit as close to square as possible. It shouldn't appear closed, nor should it look open. And, something we've never quite taken fully into account (until now) is the effect of the neck, shaft and grip weight on the way a putter rests at address. That extra weight—call it roughly 100 grams—definitely affects the way the putter sits. If the toe hoods and the putter appears closed, it allows doubt to creep in to the player’s mind. Same if it swings open. So, what I’ve come up with is four-way sole balancing—a new design and milling method we’ve incorporated into each new Select.
So, how do we do it? First, we start with the draft angle milled into the putter's sole from the face to the cavity. This helps the putter sit squarely and helps to keep the putter from digging into the green during your stroke. We still have draft angle, but the balance point of each 2018 Select putter’s sole has been shifted to account for the weight of the shaft and grip by moving metal in minute increments from face-to-cavity, and from heel-to-toe to help the putter align perfectly. This results in a putter that sits square at address to promote easier alignment on virtually any lie. So, we've got the radius of the sole's shape from heel to toe, and the re-engineered draft angle from face to back cavity. One-two, three-four. Four-way sole balancing is one of those incremental refinements we’ve made that would be very difficult to detect at first glance. But, once you sole your putter on the green, you’ll see what we mean.
Q: Tell us about the new Laguna.
Scotty Cameron: I listened to what players liked about the previous Laguna-style putters and re-engineered the concept with our 2018 Select line technology. This new Laguna brings back a popular head shape and includes a first-ever mid-milled stainless steel face inlay, four-way balanced sole milling and improved vibration dampening technology. The head is a bit longer than previous Lagunas; it’s comparable to the Newport 2. It’s a bit wider on the toe and thinner in the heel. So many improvements to previous generations. But, that’s what happens as we evolve and progress.
Some of the best putters in the world—guys like Brad Faxon—have relied on this design to promote a nice, arced stroke path. As I started talking more about putters with toe flow, I developed this mini-slant neck, which has more toe hang to promote toe flow. I combined a 2.5 neck with a shorter slant neck for this unique, new Laguna neck. It’s very crisp, about a shaft of offset, maybe a hair less. With its new face profile and benefits of new technology, it’s super clean and sits just right. I put the engraved graphics on the front of the neck to hide them from the player’s view. It’s one of those models where our refinement story of this 2018 Select line really rings true. I’m looking forward to seeing what Faxon has to say about it!
Q: Tell us about the Fastback and Squareback models?
Scotty Cameron: What may be familiar from the most recent Select line as our Mallet 1 and Mallet 2 offerings, I decided to go back to the original names of Fastback and Squareback. Always inspired by cars, I like these names a lot. For the new Fastback and Squareback, we’ve moved from the pop-through sole plate with the crisscross alignment aid, which worked fine for many, to a simpler, Tour-favored milled sight line in the flange. It was a way to get back to basics, as I refined the Select line, while incorporating the four-way sole balancing ideas, as well.
Redesigning the pop-through sole plate allowed me to put even more vibration dampening material behind the face. And without the crisscross alignment piece, I had more area to work with when distributing weight using our aluminum face-sole component and stainless steel sole weights.
Additionally, the tiered flange design evolved from the Newport. I call the Fastback a Newport-style mallet (with the Squareback being the Newport 2-style equivalent), and with the shaft over design, I’ve been able to put more weight back and into the flange for higher MOI and a nice, stable feel. Also noteworthy that we gave the 6061 aircraft grade aluminum face-sole components gray-colored anodization, which helps the face visually blend into the ground.
Q: Any final thoughts about the new 2018 Select putter models?
Scotty Cameron: I always strive to raise the bar with regard to our design, materials, milling and manufacturing techniques. And I’m at the point with the Select line models that now I’m hyper-focused on the finest details. We have developed a successful, high-performance putter head philosophy with our multi-component, multi-material manufacturing techniques. Mixing and matching different metals to produce the feel and feedback is something we’ve pioneered and perfected. Now, it’s all about improving.
I liken the improvements to the 2018 Select line to how legendary performance cars go through incremental design enhancements that preserve the heritage of the original design, but continue to improve upon themselves using today’s technological advances. So, in my mission to improve the sight, sound and sole of the Select line, we’re bringing you the latest in materials, design, and manufacturing techniques for our finest milled putter family to date. You know each model is a Scotty Cameron putter from the first glance, and from the first putt.
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