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GolfSpy Dave

Scotty Cameron's Limited Edition H18 Squareback: Innocent Inspiration or Holiday Heist?

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Holiday Spirited Away?

Normally, this is the post where I'd post a bunch of pictures of the new 2018 Scotty Cameron Holiday putter. I really want to post them too, as it's probably one of my favorite holiday putters, if not favorite Cameron putters ever. I really like what Team Cameron has come up with this time, and I could totally see myself buying and gaming the H18 Squareback. OK, here is one shot to check out.

2018holiday_specs.jpg

See, it's got a really cool look. I definitely want one for my collection, but I don't think that I'll pick one up this Friday when they release. The reason that I hesitate to buy one really has nothing to do with liking the putter, or the fact that it will probably be $800. No, my hesitation comes from something that I saw on the glorious information source that is Twitter last week.

Check out this tweet from Tony Toulon, son of the putter prefect Sean Toulon.

 

Seriously, take a look at that. Now the putter business is all about gentile pilfering of design elements here and there. I've definitely lost count over the years as to the number of times that I've heard someone tell me that "it's just a copy of a PING Anser". That kind of intellectual property "borrowing" is a bit different than to seems to be happening here. This doesn't look inspired by, but rather it looks taken from. It's overt, not covert.

Now the Cameron camp will probably say that the design was inspired by old race car designs, and that would be totally valid, as the orange and blue scheme does show up on classic racers. Here is one I found after a quick Google search.

BlueandOrange Car.jpg

It's a classic design on a classic car, and a great idea for a putter theme in my opinion. The problem for me is that Toulon already did it. Maybe they didn't go the whole way and make a putter to match it, but the headcover design was done by Toulon  first. It just blows my mind, and seems inconceivable that Scotty Cameron would be this blatant in a copying a competitor's design.

Now to be fair, maybe the H18 Squareback was designed without any knowledge of the Toulon cover. That's totally possible. Not every company is aware of everything that other putter companies produce. Maybe someone even saw the design two years ago, forgot about it, and then erroneously  thought that this cool racer theme was his or her original design. It could all be just coincidence or accident. I'm typically a benefit of the doubt guy.

That was until I saw this reply to the original tweet.

 

My response to seeing that was something along the lines of "are you f*cking kidding me?"

Even seeing it now, I find it a bit stunning. If something happens once, I'm OK thinking it could be accidental. But if you can show that it has happened before, then the accidental hypothesis becomes less probable.

Keep in mind that everything that I am saying here is pure speculation. I've not talked to any of the players involved. I don't have any bias against Scotty Cameron. I like a whole bunch of his putters and own a handful. I even sent him a putter as a gift a few years back. (No lie. I 'll share that story another day.) I'm just writing from my gut, and my gut really doesn't like how this looks.

But hey, maybe my concerns are unfounded. Maybe the 1000 people who buy one of these are getting a pure Cameron Creation, untainted by intellectual piracy. Even better, maybe they will never know that there was a Toulon design that predated the Cameron release. I bet that these will sell out in no time at all. Again, it's a cool looking putter for sure.

Like I said above, I really like the look of this putter a ton, and I would like to have one, but I'd probably feel a bit dirty if I did. When all is said and done, I'd probably feel better taking my putter pesos over to the Toulon Garage where I could design something based on my own design.

 

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Dave, first: really well-written post.

I've been keeping up with this kerfuffle as well, and my position was to echo this hunch by you: "Maybe someone even saw the design two years ago, forgot about it, and then erroneously thought that this cool racer theme was his or her original design." This is not a far-fetched idea. I know it happens to me regularly when I'm preaching; I suddenly remember something relevant that I once read, or heard from a teacher, or maybe I made it up myself. Memory can be fuzzy like that.

But I hadn't seen that follow-up post (with the joker) and that is a bad look. I'm apathetic about Scotty; his stuff isn't in the price range I shop, I appreciate much of the quality he produces, and I don't begrudge anyone who plays (or even collects) his products.

It's hard to be creative, and it's hard not to (sometimes) produce something that someone hasn't already done similarly. It isn't hard to avoid copy-and-paste jobs.

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Sure looks ripped.

Very similar indeed. But who's to say at this point? Perhaps a design guy in the backroom made it and pitched it to his trusting boss who then Okay'd it. Perhaps the trusting boss was duped and the backroom guy got a high-five from the boss for his cool work. The end result could be trusting boss has to eat crow publicly and backroom guy gets the boot. We'll see.

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Much ado about nothing. Neither is really original and imo odyssey/toulon is the last company that should be pointing out any sort of copying. They are using names of cities for their putters...guess who was doing that before Toulon Design came about.  The Columbus is a direct copy of the Scotty notchback.

Odyssey decided to make red putters after TM’s spider success in tour followed by the high demand of them at retail.

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I agree with what you are saying. This type of activity has been a putter standard practice for decades. This just seemed a bit more than the standard Anser/Anser 2 - Newport/Newport 2 model.

It would be like Odyssey releasing an actual red Spider and not just following TM's red color trend.

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4 minutes ago, GolfSpy Dave said:

I agree with what you are saying. This type of activity has been a putter standard practice for decades. This just seemed a bit more than the standard Anser/Anser 2 - Newport/Newport 2 model.

It would be like Odyssey releasing an actual red Spider and not just following TM's red color trend.

There is truth behind the anser copying by everyone. Then there’s the stamping copying by newcomers. Golfs a game of copying.  The gulf livery pattern is one that really can’t be tweaked to much since it’s pretty much orange down the middle blue on the sides.

granted there’s several examples of “copying” by  Scotty covers but it’s all art.  Imo tony was looking for some attention and trying to take a shot at the king of the mountain 

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Sean Toulon called out TM earlier in the year for their claim about #1 putter on tour one week and used imo a weak argument that really the same could have been said about their brand.

I wish they would use the brands official account instead of their own personal account when “attacking” another brand. 

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I actually like that they use their personal accounts. I like knowing that the person making the statement is on the hook for the statement. Seems more real to me.

If it's just Odyssey, I have no idea who runs that account.

Toulon and TM twitters are potentially fun to watch. Lots of history there.

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4 minutes ago, GolfSpy Dave said:

I actually like that they use their personal accounts. I like knowing that the person making the statement is on the hook for the statement. Seems more real to me.

If it's just Odyssey, I have no idea who runs that account.

Toulon and TM twitters are potentially fun to watch. Lots of history there.

Yeah lots of ex TM guys roaming the Callaway/Odyssey/Toulon halls

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