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Category: Ask the Experts


November 23, 2009

Ask the Experts: Scotty Cameron

Posted at 4:33 PM by David Dusek

The second installment in our series "Ask the Experts" gave you a chance to ask questions via Twitter to Titleist putter guru Scotty Cameron. Here are his answers.

Scotty Cameron Putter I have a mallet putter and two different blade-style putters. Is there any chance you might develop an interchangeable putter-head system?
There are companies out there that are working with interchangeable driver parts, and I'm keeping an eye on them. But at what point would we become a component company versus a golf club company?

Right now, you can send your putter to us and we can add weights if you want to make your putter heavier or lighter. But you have to send it to our shop to do the work. Why?  Think of it this way: If I bought a car and the dealer gave me a tune-up kit and put it in the trunk, and the manual for me to tune up my own car, that doesn't mean I could do it right. I would probably be better off leaving it to the professionals to do it.

There's always a niche group of customers who are techno-tinkerers out there. However, I feel like I would rather be in control of the destiny of the product.

Now, to make a mallet out of a heel-toe weighted blade, it's been done before. But in keeping with the car analogy, if I took a four-door sedan and could bolt on a back so it converted into a station wagon ... you know what, I'd rather just buy a new station wagon.

I just feel that we are a putter company, not a component putter company.

Many professional players will switch to a softer ball next season. How will that effect their putting?
Good question. We have done a lot of tests regarding sound versus feel, and we have found that sound actually has more to do with feel and the feel in your hands. So every time we make and design putters, we're thinking about sound versus feel.

There is a sound you expect from your putter, and it's not right and it's not wrong, but it is what you want. Some may sound hollow and tinny, while others may be soft and cushiony, but a lot of it has to do with the golf ball you use.

The Studio Select line has interchangeable weight screws in the bottom of the putters. Why not allow golfers to swap the weights on themselves?
The whole idea behind the weights is for us to get it just right. For many years, putter companies had one head and simply made it in three different lengths—33", 34" and 35". But that changes the weight in a similar way that cutting down or lengthening your driver would.

We don't want someone to have a kit that would change the weight and make the putter not ideal. We have the recipe here that tells us what adjustments to make for every inch that you change, and the swing-weight points that you either gain or lose. But as I said earlier, I just really want to get it right.

Now, I believe that putters can be a little heavier, or possibly a little lighter, but not so much that it changes the rhythm and timing of your transition stroke from the backswing to the forward swing. If a putter is too light, you can take the putter back too far to gain the momentum, or you have to hit at it more to compensate for the weight loss.

(Video: Scotty Cameron Studio Select Putters)

Continue reading "Ask the Experts: Scotty Cameron" »

November 17, 2009

Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland's Answers to Your Questions

Posted at 10:52 AM by David Dusek

I got lots of good questions sent to me on Twitter, as well as from readers of the Shop Blog, for Callaway's Roger Cleveland. I spoke with the wedge guru on Friday, and here are his answers to some of the most interesting submissions.

How you would compare and contrast the designs and technologies used in Callaway's wedges with those from other major brands. What makes the Callaway wedges different?
A lot of people copied the wedge designs we developed at Cleveland Golf years ago, like the 588 wedges, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Callaway-XForged-JAWS_600When I had the opportunity to get back into club making, and start making wedges for Callaway, I wanted to use the purest form of making irons, and that means forging. I also wanted to use the softest material to give golfers the most feel, and that's 1020 carbon steel. Then, I wanted to have the best forging house in the world, which is in Japan, make the wedges. After putting all those things together, we've been having a great time making irons and wedges here at Callaway.

But what makes our wedges really different from other manufacturers' is the aggressive groove we have developed in conjunction with Phil Mickelson.

Phil always tests a new wedge by hitting 40-yard shots, and he hit that shot pretty hard. The first shot he hit using a a super-aggressive groove we created for him made a white trail of cover material up the face of the club. He looked down and said, "Yep, that's my Mack Daddy groove." We loved that, and so we named our groove the Mack Daddy.

With the new JAWS wedges (above), I wanted to reduce the silhouette of the wedge when you're looking down at address, and I wanted a smaller head. I think that gives golfers a feeling that they can get the leading edge under the ball more easily. We also implemented a very aggressive C-grind in the sole which makes it very versatile.

For the amateur, how would you go about trying and picking a particular sole grind for wedges?
It all depends upon how much you practice and how many different shots you want to be able to hit with your wedge, especially a high-lofted wedge.

If you're the type of player who likes to open the face and hit higher, softer-landing shots, then look for a grind that supplies heel relief but doesn't add too much bounce in the process. Opening the face automatically adds bounce, but some grinds create more than others.

If you don't practice that often, going with the grind that supplies more bounce will help you get out of the sand more easily.

Every wedge needs to have some positive amount bounce so it can slide, rather than dig, through the turf. Remember, you never want to hit a wedge shot using your leading edge, you always want to use the sole as the contact point to the ground.

Continue reading "Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland's Answers to Your Questions" »

November 10, 2009

Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland Answers Your Questions

Posted at 7:36 PM by David Dusek

Ask The Expert: Roger ClevelandRoger Cleveland, Callaway Golf's resident wedge expert, is the man behind the company's Mac Daddy grooves and X Series wedges. He also makes the short-game tools of choice for staff players like Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.

In the first interview in our new Ask the Expert series, you get to be the reporter. Submit your questions for Roger Cleveland in the comments area below and check back with The Shop over the next few days to read his answers.

If you'd like to see a video of Cleveland explaining what makes the new Callaway X Series JAWS wedges unique, click here.

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