Preview: Titleist Scotty Cameron California Putters
They are finally here. This week some of the products from the 2012 Titleist Golf lineup arrive at retail including the new Scotty Cameron California putters.
There has come to be quite a pent-up demand for all Scotty Cameron products and this time is no different. Fans of the putter maker and his work are eager to get the new Cameron’s into their hands.
In early August I was able to get an advance look at the new California Series and they fit my eye right from the first glance. When it came to the previous versions of the Titleist Scotty Cameron California Series putters I was not sold on them but the models that will become the California Series for 2012 have me won over. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing technically imperfect about the Cameron Monterey putter I own from the original line-up – it has a great lines, balance, etc, but the sound off the face, and thus the feel, was a little too firm for my preferred taste.
That perspective of the first California Series seemed to carry over with consumers as well. “This is going to be a nice refresh,” says Chris McGinley, Vice President of Golf Club Marketing for Titleist. “I think you can tell with the look, the headcover, and the graphics that we have modernized what was a more conservative line.”
With a strong penetration among tour players McGinley says the new California line takes better advantage of what Cameron is doing in his work with the top professionals. The new California putters are meant to rekindle the tour-to-consumer connection, giving the retail golfer access to the look, feel and technology being used by the best players on the planet. “We kind of lost that a bit so these strengthen that,” says McGinley. “Golfers can be confident they have products in their hands that use the same features we have in putters for the pros.”
That said, the big test for the new models was actually getting them in my hands to roll a few balls. The result? I have to admit that the Deep Milling on the face of the heads made from 303 Stainless Steel gives them an addictive quality, especially off a tour-level golf ball like a Titleist Pro V1.
The 2012 Scotty Cameron California family consists of five models: Del Mar, Fastback (moved over from the Scotty Cameron Select line), Monterey, Monterey 1.5, and Sonoma, with the Del Mar and Monterey being offered in left hand. The varying head shapes make this almost a “mid-mallet” family with models that fall perfectly between the traditional Titleist Newport Models and full-mallet Kombi offerings. Length options include 33″, 34″, and 35″.
These putters will immediately draw admiration for their looks alone. With a Sea Mist finish and Red Dot graphics in the cavity on the back that scream “hot tail pipes”, it is hard to argue the handsome nature of each model. The “tail-pipe” look extends to the select weighting buttons on the sole that allows for custom heft to match the preference and fit of each golfer. (Note: Cameron putters can be ordered in custom (H) heavy configurations and custom options for loft, lie, and grip.)
In creating the new models Titleist says Cameron went right back to the drawing board with these classic designs. The result is more than thirty shape and blend improvements, some very subtle, to advance the look from both an aesthetic and performance perspective. At address each model is very square, making for easy alignment.
I was able to get extensive time in with three of the models – the Del Mar, the Fastback, and the Sonoma and have to say that the “dense” solid feel extended equally across each one. The Fastback will be highly popular with the mallet crowd while the Del Mar reacts perfectly to a sweeping, large-arc stroke.
As much as the head feel dominated my thoughts on the practice green and over a round of golf, it was the other end of the club that kept me thinking, particularly, the grip.
A new “Pistolero” grip is being used in the California putters. The thicker grip tapers to a large diameter at the butt but fits fairly flat against the lead hand for a better connection with the stepless shaft and putter head below. It might not be for everyone but I’ll guess that few golfers will replace it with anything else when it wears out.
“I think we have taken some classic styles of putters and brought them successfully into the modern age,” says McGinley. “There is a lot of sophistication built into these. If you look at little closer you really start to appreciate the beautiful construction. They’re really gorgeous.”
Titleist Scotty Cameron Calfornia Series putters are available at your favourite Titleist account this week (arriving approx. November 18, 2011). In January the company will also re-introduce the new Scotty Cameron Select putters to fill out their retail offerings for 2012.
www.titleist.ca for more information.