Several years ago, during a visit to The Oven, Nike Golf‘s Research & Development facility in Ft. Worth, Texas, something really caught my interest. Now there a million fascinating things that go on behind the scenes in golf equipment development but this item took the “cool” factor to the next level.
The item was a 3D printer being used to create prototype clubheads.
It was not long after that I discovered 3D printing was becoming a common technique at many other major golf equipment manufacturers.
At this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Florida, PING had a fully developed putter on display that was made using 3D printing.
While it’s hard to prove a claim of “first” since a number of people have been working on putter designs with this process, it’s nonetheless interesting to see how this manufacturing technique is being applied in golf.
The cost of the equipment needed, as well as production costs, likely keeps this from currently being commercially viable in a large scale, but it certainly could be a glimpse into the future.
For more on these developments – check out this video from PING.