What inspired your new Cameron & Crown putter line?
It first came about as an observation during my travels in looking at what the market needs. I spend a lot of time in Japan and the standard length for putters there is 34-inches versus our 35-inch standard in the United States. This difference in standards got me thinking about what golfers need, in general. And, there’s a need for a 33-inch putter line made for players who prefer, or need, a shorter putter. Not something manipulated. A purpose-built line of putters made at 33-inches. In our Custom Shop, a lot of people send in putters and have us cut them down. And, we do it right. We take a 34-inch or a 35-inch putter and make it a 33-inch putter by balancing it correctly with the right sole weights. Cameron & Crown putters have been designed from the get-go—engineered—to be 33-inch putters. The thought is, instead of having to manipulate the design so the head is heavier, the grip is smaller, and the length is shorter, let's just design it to be 33-inches from the start. This is a growing market, whether for guys, ladies or juniors, who prefer a shorter putter. I just thought it was time to do it and do it right.
How did you determine the models for the line?
I chose some of my favorite models from our current lines. We have blades, mid-mallets and larger mallets with variations along the spectrum. So, from the three lines I actually selected four models, plus a lefty. We have the Newport 2, in right- and left-handed, and the Newport M2 Mallet from the Select line. Then we have the GOLO 5, a mid-mallet, and the Futura X5R mallet. It's a well-rounded line, for guys, gals or juniors. Whether you're a blade player and you like toe flow in your stroke or you're more of a mallet person and you have square-to-square stroke, there's a putter set up at 33-inches in this line for everybody and for every stroke.
How are Cameron & Crown putters different than other 33-inch putters?
We've really balanced these putters to be made correctly at 33-inches. From head weight to shaft type and length to grip size. Most of the time, when someone buys a 33-inch putter, it starts as a 35-inch putter and it is manipulated. Meaning, it's simply cut down. Usually, the head weight isn't adjusted at all. So, we designed this Cameron & Crown product line not to manipulate it from a 35-inch design. It's designed to be 33-inches with the proper head weight, shaft length and size, including a smaller, properly sized white Matador grip.
What types of players will benefit most from these putters?
Players who need shorter putters. It could be a shorter person, or someone who sets up with their arms and hands lower in the long "V" style. It fits all of these segments, and it's designed to be proper at 33-inches. Here at the Putter Studio, we see players come through, and they could be 5'9" or 5'10", but the way they set up, they like arms down low, and they want a shorter length putter.
Can you tell us about the graphics?
I designed this line's graphics and overall cosmetics to be simple, classic and clean. But, we really wanted it to stand out and show that it’s different. Gray, gold, black and white with misted stainless steel finishes and the muted hues of our anodized aircraft aluminum inlay and sole components. My art department and I went universal to appeal to each of those player groups. Elegant and classic, so not too flowery, playful or dark. As always, we tried to design with sophistication that is cool and very playable, too.
How important is putter length in determining setup?
Putter length sets a lot. Balance. Path. The length of a putter sets the eyes. For example, if a putter is too long, we stand back, and our eyes are set inside, the toe of the putter comes up and the stroke comes inside. This results in a path for a right-handed player that starts too far inside and putts get pushed to the right. If a putter is too short, the eyes go over the ball, you can start looking to the left and the path can go outside and putts get pulled to the left. I’ve always said the eyes set the path. Length sets the eyes. So, the length of the putter is critical when we talk about the stroke. There’s a recipe for determining the proper length, weight and grip for a putter, as well as the overall balance, which includes the proper shaft flex, too.
How can a player determine that he or she may need a 33-inch putter?
There's no right and no wrong way to determine what length you may prefer. I like to offer information. Even at our Galleries, yes we offer a professional fitting. But, it's a session for sharing information rather than a lesson. If a fitting isn’t possible for a player, I have a pretty simple way to help golfers figure it out on their own. Take an old CD and place it on the ground with the mirrored side facing up. Place the golf ball in the center and take your normal putting stance and grip with your current putter. When you look down at your reflection, try to get your eyes on the inside of the golf ball by choking down or up on your grip. Make note of where your hands are in relation to your eye position, measure that and dial in your preferred putter length. You can also analyze your misses. Are you consistently pushing putts? Meaning you miss to the right of the hole. If so, your putter may be too long. Or, are you pulling putts? If so, your putter may be too short. That will get the wheels turning for you to think about the length of your current putter. But, try the CD drill. It just may help you!
How does weight come into play with different putter lengths?
Length and weight work together to create balance. If you don't accommodate for this, you're going to have either a stiff or soft putter. We're looking for that perfect balance to get the putter to its proper weight and feel. Shorter putters demand a little more weight in the head, while the longer the shaft, the lighter the head will need to get. So, we adjust the head weight relative to the length to keep the rhythm and balance in the stroke. With Cameron & Crown putters, we've already designed them at the proper weight for the 33-inch length.
When I started making putters with Titleist over 20 years ago, even though some requests came in for 34-inch and even 33-inch putters, we made putters at a then-standard length of 35-inches. When I was out on Tour, I’d have a roll of lead tape in my pocket. And, if a player wanted his putter heavier, I’d grab my roll, cut off a length and attach it to the sole. Now, I’ve always tried to make gorgeous putters. Something that melts into the ground and looks good no matter how you view it. So, you really don’t want to use lead tape. I developed our adjustable weight system so that, not only could I solve the problem of adding weight, but also I could walk around with adjustable weights and a wrench, rather than lead tape and a razor blade. Also, adjustable sole weights allow us to experiment, because the weights can be removed, interchanged, etc.
I've milled pockets and cherry bombs to play with weight, even used epoxy to install tungsten weights for Tour putters. The market demanded the variety in lengths, so we introduced the adjustable weights. And, I've included this option on Cameron & Crown putters, because you never know how someone may want to experiment with weight.
Can you tell us about the grip choice for this line?
We've developed a style of grip we call our Matador. Normally they are red and come standard on our in-line putters. We have three different sizes (small, medium, large) and offer them in other colors in our Studio Store and Custom Shop. The trends show that grips are getting bigger in diameter, but we've also noticed that the grips are getting so big that people with smaller hands are now getting uncomfortable. So, to go with our Cameron & Crown line, we went with a small Matador grip in white. After working with the world's best players and their exacting specifications, we've designed the best grip to complement the design, weight, length and performance of this new Cameron & Crown line and we're excited to share it with you.