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  1. Call me Taneleer Tivan Before we take a look at the sweet putter that I have for you today, I thought that it would be interesting to explore the question of how does a golfer go from having one putter in his bag to having a hundred putters in his garage? Crazy as that sounds, it is exactly what happened to me, and to more than a few other putter collectors out there. Somehow, we transitioned from needing a putter to play golf with to needing to have lots of putters. How does this transition happen? I'll try answer that from my experiences, perhaps serving as a pathway, or a warning, for other would-be putter collectors. I've Always Collected Stuff I was not really joking when I said that you should call me The Collector (Did you get that reference above?). When I think back on it, I've collected various things my entire life. Baseball cards, comic books, Star Wars action figures, beer coasters, and the list goes on from there. I think that for me, collecting is 20% value speculation, and 80% the hunt. I get a bit of a rush when I find something cool/rare. I remember being super excited to open up a pack of Fleer NBA cards that had a Shaquille O'Neal limited edition Rejector card inside. Was certain that it would be worth a bunch of money eventually, not the 99¢ list price currently all over eBay. The thrill of acquisition definitely outpaced value on that one… So I suppose that I had a predisposition to collecting before I ever started amassing putters. Without getting into my entire golf biography, I started playing “serious” golf late in life (age 39). By “serious” I mean that I took lessons, bought nice equipment, and overall cared more about how I played than I had during my previous drink beer and hit balls golfing escapades. My first real putter was an Odyssey Rossie 2 that I received from my father-in-law as a Christmas gift. That putter probably started the cavalcade of flatsticks. Once I became aware of the vast putter options out there, the constant putter well rotation became inevitable. The Rossie quickly became a Cleveland VP Milled #2, which then became a Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #1, and so on and so on. Lots and lots of putters have moved through my bag through the years. Understatement of the year right there. Moving Off The Rack At some point, I became aware of the custom putter market. I can't remember the exact situation regarding how this happened, maybe it was when I found PutterTalk.com, but it was a mind blowing revelation. It was crazy to think that there were small shops out there making putters that were truly unique, most containing way more personality than those found in the golf shop, and at a price that was not much above off the rack retail pricing. I had to have one. I think that people order custom putters for two reasons. They either have very specific putter specifications that match their putting stroke, or they want a putter that is cool and unique. Sure, you can have both of those, but I can admit that my motivation for acquiring a small shop putter was the latter. I had no real clue about my stroke needs, but I definitely wanted something cool to putt with. Thus began my long-running love affair with the LOL longneck. Byron Morgan 006 LN This Byron Morgan 006 putter that I have to share with you today was my first custom putter. Thing is, I didn't order it directly from Byron, so it wasn't custom to my specs, but as soon as I saw it, I needed to have it. Nothing that I had seen in a shop was even remotely similar. When I think about the attraction, I think that it was the overall character of the putter that drew me in, and what keeps me a fan of small shop putters to this day. The most important thing about a custom putter for me is that you can see that a person made it, putting some of their life into the metal. Maybe that's a bit woo woo for a putter, but whenever I look at one of my Byron Morgan putters, I can envision Byron with a hammer adding the stamps, grinding away at the wheel, or torching the neck to be able to twist it. His hands were all over the making of this putter, and I appreciate that. Not all of the stamps are quite the same depth, and the position of the stamps is definitely organic, compared to a machine-driven engraver where everything is all squared up. You may not find the same variable aesthetics as pleasing, but I definitely value the feeling of connection to the person behind the putter. I gamed this putter for almost a whole year, which some of you may recognize as being a labor worthy of Hercules. I own my putter philandering. Though it's a little heavy for my stroke, I still sneak the LOL LN out to the course here and there. It's just fun to roll balls with, and when I look at all of those smiley faces, how could I get angry about anything that happens on the green. Since acquiring the 006 LOL LN, I've ordered a few custom putters from Byron, and every time that I open up the box and see the putters for the first time I am amazed at what Byron has produced. Sure, I sent him the specs, and maybe some ideas about aesthetics, but Mr. Morgan is the one who breathes life into the metal. As I write all of this, I can feel the urge to order another putter grow stronger and stronger. I know that I now need different putter spec than my previous Byron putters. I've even got a theme in mind. Perhaps it's time to send an email to Huntington Beach... Any other putter collectors want to chime in on how you got started collecting? Here are some bonus shots of the 006 LOL LN
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