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MannKrafted MA66 Putter –by Apprenti23

MA66 Brass Head with Double Bend Shaft- 35” 3* loft and 367 gram head

http://mannkrafted.com/

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INTRO

I have been a pretty vocal supporter of LaMont Mann in his endeavors over many years. So, I will gladly admit that I am a little biased when it comes to MannKrafted Putters. Long before LaMont was producing putters for Hot Stix in Scottsdale, Arizona; and now Jim Butler of Table Rock, he was refinishing putters for golf geeks on numerous forums. His pricing was great, quality of work was top notch, but his turnaround time was subpar. If you know LaMont as I have come to know him, you will instantly realize that he has a hard time telling people “No.” Obviously in the business world that can lead to some serious back logs and pissed off customers. I'm sure many were turned off by his slow turnarounds back in the day, but for those who knew the quality of his work, everything was worth the wait! LaMont's ability to always acquiesce to someone's requests has led to some serious outside of the box and sometimes off-putting designs. However, he's never afraid to take risks and I think that the art that has become creating putters could really use some more LaMont Mann. I for one don't really care if they make putts, but I'm a HUGE sucker for the classics. When I saw pictures of LaMont's first true take on a Ping Anser head, I just had to have it.

MA66 Cavity.JPG

Order Up!

Sometime in April, when I first saw pics of the MA66 model, I reached out to LaMont and told him that I had to have one! Going through some career and life changes, I told him to take his time on this because golf season was nowhere near the future. He mentioned that he had some brass available. I can honestly say I've owned hundreds of putters in my life although none of them have been made of brass. Extremely excited for this opportunity I said order up, baby!

Hot Stix Shop pano.JPG

Fast forward another month or so and I was making a business trip to Scottsdale. Hmmm, I had a busy week, but I knew that I just had to make it out to see LaMont. After an $8 Uber ride, I arrived at Hot Stix. They were closed, but the facility is beautiful. I snapped a pic of the work shop and boy do they have a great setup!

MannKrafted Tools and Billets.JPG

Since I came after hours, LaMont brought back where all the magic happens! I snapped up some pictures of some random things:

MannKrafted Stamp Setup.JPG

Really big fan of the putter that is on this desktop

LaMont's Desktop.JPG

Here are some random things to be worked on as well

MannKrafted To Be Worked on.JPG

So LaMont says, “How much time do you have? Want to watch me make your putter?” HELL YES!

Let's get dirty!

This was a pretty loud process and there was metal flying, but I was able to snag some pretty cools pics and videos of the process. I don't really know much about the Bridgeport machine or milling putters, but this was neat. Here are some pics:

LaMont's Bridgeport.JPG

MA66 in the Bridgeport.JPG

After setting everything up, he took some measurements and gave it a test run. Lots of measuring and testing and measuring. I think this is the old measure twice cut once theory.

LaMont Testing.JPG

MA66 Measuring.JPG

Unfortunately I had the stupid slow motion setting on my IPhone when taking videos. Sorry. Here is a video I took of some of the milling process.

https://youtu.be/4iftKhwnMMA

Here's a picture of the face after a pass with the mill.

MA66 Milling Face.JPG

I have a friend who has a MannKrafted putter that has some awesome barb wire style milling pattern. Not only does it look different, but boy does it ever feel soft. I asked LaMont if it'd be okay if we did that to this one. Here's a video of that scrape job:

https://youtu.be/Aa9aBSMJRX0

The second pass:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqPIa_MLeKY

Once the putter was done with the Bridgeport machine, there is still quite a bit of work to be done. LaMont walked over to the belt sanders and started going to town. Here's a picture of him rolling the topline:

MA66 Rolling the Topline.JPG

MA66 Rolling.JPG

The whole time he was doing this I'm nervous that he's going to lose a finger, but I don't really know anything about sanding other than when Daniel Son has to “sand the deck, alllll the deck” in Karate Kid part 1. After some time, he gives it the old eye test:

MA66 Eye Test.JPG

Eh... maybe a little more...

MA66 Hand Work.JPG

He did put on some gloves for some work on the sole:

https://youtu.be/QaY6C6WaICQ

Here's a comparison pic after the quick trip to the belt sander:

MA66 comparison.JPG

Until we meet again

I had already been there for a couple hours and now it was getting late- 8:30/9pm and I'm pretty sure LaMont had been there since 6 or so. We closed up the shop and what I thought was goodbye, but he surprised me like he always does. Instead of me taking the $8 Uber ride back to my hotel, LaMont INSISTED on driving me home, claiming “it was on the way” which I'm pretty sure was a lie. Anyway, just goes to show you what kind of character that man has!

MA66 Box.JPG

You've Got Mail

Fast forward a couple months and LaMont and I talked a little bit here and there, but as stated- I've had a lot going on, so I never pursued or pushed him to finish the putter. Honestly it could have been in my hand a week after my trip to AZ. Nevertheless, last week a little brown box appears… Oh baby! I'll just let the photos do the talking:

MA66 Angle Cavity (2).JPG

MA66 Angle Cavity.JPGMA66 Angle Face (2).JPGMA66 Angle Face.JPGMA66 Face View.JPGMA66 Toe View.JPGMA66 Top Offset.JPG

Jaw dropping… I know. I've never been more excited about a putter in my entire life. Well, wait, my uncle gave me a Ping Zing 2 back when I was a teenager, I was pretty excited then. This is comparable to that feeling!

Here are some pics of the stock headcover:

MannKrafted Stock Cover Top Shot.JPGMannKrafted Stock Cover RT Side.JPGMannKrafted Stock Cover LT Side.JPGMannKrafted Stock Cover Velcro.JPG

Also in the box, I had him send me two of his limited Major covers from this year:

2015 major covers top.JPG2015 Major Covers SV.JPG2015 Major Covers SV2.JPG

The covers are extremely well made. They feel as though they are much more durable than the AM&E offerings that he has sent me in the past. I'm not crazy about Velcro, but ever since I switched to a smaller golf bag I have been having trouble with my AM&E snap fit covers staying on the putter.

Review

I am going to give this thing some serious bag time before I give it a formal review. I have had one practice session and one round of golf with it only. It's not much different than my current gamer; however, it's a different putter so I want to give it time. I will start a different thread when that time comes.

Conclusion

If you're in the market for a custom putter, you have many options out there. Many of these options are new players, but there are some great boutique guys that have been around the block a time or two. I've owned putters from many awesome individuals such as Byron Morgan, Bob Bettinardi, Kari Lajosi, Gene Nead, Dave Billings, etc. The custom work of LaMont Mann is second to none. I would put his craftsmanship right up there with anybody else in the game.

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Enjoyed the story and beautiful putter!!

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Driver: Titleist 915 D2 9.5 with Diamana Whiteboard S flex

3 wood: Titleist 915F 15*, Whiteboard S Flex

Titleist 915H 18* and 24* with Whiteboard SFlex

Irons: Mizuno JPX EZ Forged 4-PW with S300's

Wedges: Mizuno MP T4 50*, 56* with DG Spinner

Putter:MannKrafted Long Slope or Odyssey #7 Versa Metal milled or Betti Tour Stock;

Ball: Bridgestone B330 or Titleist NXT

Bag: Titleist 'Murica colored carry bag or

MyGolfSpy Tour Bag

 

RH, Western KY

 

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  • 2 months later...

Played with this brass beauty but couldn't stand the glare, so banished it to the backup bag of putters. Was digging in there last night for an old Napa and said hmmmm

 

Hard boiled three eggs

Took the shells off, threw them in a gallon ziploc bag, sealed and taped it shut, and mashed them in the bag.

Let it sit for about 18 hours and voila.

 

No more glare! I do wish it were a little more even, so I may clean it a bit and then try it again!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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