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Why Do Scotty Camerons Do (So) Poorly in MGS Most Wanted?


Middler
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In the world of mostly OTR (non niche/boutique) putters, is there a more coveted brand than SC for amateurs - despite premium prices? I know lots of players with SCs and they just love them. I have never owned one, but when I've tried one out they have wonderful feel and they look great.

And SCs are in the hands of many of the best touring pros, having won countless tournaments/majors with them. Yes I know the pros are paid to play them, but I can't believe any of them would use any putter they truly believed would hurt their chances of winning.

Two of the SC Newports, one of their most popular models (e.g. Tiger) are near the bottom. A phantom, e.g. Justin Thomas, Cantlay, is dead last for mallets. The better performing SC blades and mallets are less common shapes?

I assume this has been mentioned before, but I don't remember seeing it. Just the influence of marketing?

 

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My thoughts on SCs are that they are worth it... If and only if you are getting one custom fit from Scotty. I think that it why tour pros don't have issues with them, they are using bespoke putters that are custom fitted. They really are probably as good as a putter could be for them.

But just buying one of the rack? Yeah, most wanted has pretty effectively proved that they don't offer anything over anyone else. 

 

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SC is still living off of a name he created in the 90s and early 2000s. I got my first and only in 2008 and rolled it for 10 years. It was great, I'll never have another. SC isn't producing anything better than anyone in 2022 and he's still charging more. As far as touring pros go (especially your top 50 in the world), the putters they're using and the putters we have available to us aren't the same. That goes for every piece of equipment. Even when custom fit, your putter isn't getting the attention to detail that their putters are getting. 

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1 hour ago, Thin2win said:

My thoughts on SCs are that they are worth it... If and only if you are getting one custom fit from Scotty. I think that it why tour pros don't have issues with them, they are using bespoke putters that are custom fitted. They really are probably as good as a putter could be for them.

But just buying one of the rack? Yeah, most wanted has pretty effectively proved that they don't offer anything over anyone else. 

 

Could very well be. I couldn't find an explanation of MGS Most Wanted putter testing methodology, though I am sure it's here somewhere? Hopefully testers are only using putters that fit them within reason, and not all testers using all putters?

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I think part of it is that there are so many more models of Scotty than other brands. Yes, his putters win a ton on tour, but if you look at the staff players, they all have their own model (I expect someone on MGS to prove me wrong) and many have "PROTO" somewhere in the title.

Compare that to TM where all their tour wins are Spiders.

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3 hours ago, Thin2win said:

My thoughts on SCs are that they are worth it... If and only if you are getting one custom fit from Scotty. I think that it why tour pros don't have issues with them, they are using bespoke putters that are custom fitted. They really are probably as good as a putter could be for them.

But just buying one of the rack? Yeah, most wanted has pretty effectively proved that they don't offer anything over anyone else. 

 

Most pros using them aren’t actually fit by scotty and definitely don’t have custom fit ones. There are some like JT, Scott, Faxon and Rickie off the top of my head. Scotty has a tour rep and he has a bunch of putters and works with any of the pros early in the week. Scotty goes to some tour stops. 
 

As to the OP I’ve wondered this too. Purely speculation but I think there’s some bias against them which we all know bias good or bad will influence peoples play and decision. 
 

With that said I think some of it has to do with the inserts he used and even many scotty lovers didn’t care for them. Many prefer the older models but that has changed in the last couple years as he’s gotten away from the inserts.

 

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I think scotty does some stuff that is exceptional. The process controls they follow in construction, fit and finish probably make them the leader in spec matching putters. If they are selling a putter that is listed at 68* lie with 2* loft, I'd bet a lot that any version of that putter you grab off the shelf is exactly those specs. 

If I could go get fit for a scotty at the Titleist facility, I'm sure it would be the best possible putter for me. That said, I'd also never buy one at a store. Why spend the money on an Armani suit that isn't your size? 

Off the rack is what MGS tests for most wanted and what most people buy. Overall it looks like how a Scotty comes from the factory, is more geared to a small subset of the player pool. 

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1 hour ago, Thin2win said:

If I could go get fit for a scotty at the Titleist facility, I'm sure it would be the best possible putter for me.

Unless something changed they don’t do putter fittings at the TPI facilities in Carlsbad or Manchester lane. It’s wedges, irons, hybrids, drivers/woods.

You would have to go to the Scotty Cameron gallery. I don’t recall if the option for being fit to an OTR putter is an option or if the person is fit for the tour only models that are going to run $2500 minimum.

They have the otr in stock but what I have seen is they are all stamped made to order offering with different color paintfill and grips.

1 hour ago, Thin2win said:

Off the rack is what MGS tests for most wanted and what most people buy. Overall it looks like how a Scotty comes from the factory, is more geared to a small subset of the player pool. 

Not sure what you are saying here? Are you saying the circle t putters are designed for a small subset of the public  or that the otr versions are?

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Not sure what you are saying here? Are you saying the circle t putters are designed for a small subset of the public  or that the otr versions are?

Just based on the most wanted results, Im guessing the OTR putters are setup for a smaller subset. Not that that makes them bad, but they often do perform below average during testing. So my assumption, is that they are setup for a group that is under represented in most wanted testing.

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On 1/9/2022 at 12:12 PM, Middler said:

Could very well be. I couldn't find an explanation of MGS Most Wanted putter testing methodology, though I am sure it's here somewhere? Hopefully testers are only using putters that fit them within reason, and not all testers using all putters?

Manufacturers are requested to send in 34" stock putters that can be purchased OTR.    Some manufacturers may send multiple configurations of a model and based on our stroke style we may putt with only one of the models (for this years test,  there is one manufacturer that has sent in multiple lie angles).   Protocol is that we get groups of about 6 putters and hit 8 putts at 5, 10, and 20 feet (the order is not the same for all putters).   We don't have to putt any putt within 12" of the hole,  but anything else has to be putted;  we then document how many 1 putts and 3 putts we have.     MGS then calculates strokes gained for each putter and provides results.   WE also provide subjective feedback on each putter but that isn't used in determining most wanted.  

It is interesting rolling all those putts;  I can tell you that last years testing told me I shouldn't really game a mallet putter.  I didn't three putt any,  but my performance was far worse than with a blade putter.  

Why don't SC putters do better?  Who knows, but IMO they really aren't all that.  They are nice and high quality putters and I went through my own SC phase but if you think about it why should a SC Newport should be better than any other Anser style putter?   What I do notice rolling all these putters is that they do perform differently.  With some I have much better distance control and with some I have much better directional control.   Maybe it is the grip that is included with the putter since we test them as OTR,  we don't get to put grips we like on the putters.  

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17 hours ago, Riverboat said:

Like any brand's models, scotty Cameron putters may be perfect for you... or not. The key is to find the putter that is perfect for you, regardless of brand. I've had a scotty in my bag for about two years now, and I can't imagine switching, but the putter that I used must often for 20 years before that was a Wilson harmonized... ugly but the most effective putter I had before the Scotty. The last time I had the grip changed, the pro said "you do realize you're paying more for the grip than the putter is worth?" I asked why that matters if I make putts with it. He just shrugged. 

People get so caught up in name brand, prestige putters, clubs, balls, etc., when all that really matters is how does it work for you. 

You said it all IMHO in the first few lines--- Finding a putter that works for you regardless of the brand and even the style or vintage for that matter. I myself carried a Ping Zing 2 for over 20 years. In my travels I have seen a variety of different putters from great players and hustlers. LOL one hustler I knew putted with an old Northwestern blade one of those like you would find at K- Mart or in a beginner set. That thing was worn out grip half rotted and held on with adhesive tape. But he could darn sure putt with it. I remember the famous hustler Doyle Brunson remarked " He has won enough money with that thing that he could have bought the Northwestern Golf Company CASH from the Ronasco brothers".  I do putt with the rusty beat up lead taped Scotty now. Not because it is a Scotty but because I can make putts with it. It is not mainstream by any means I have it tuned for me with a 70s vintage Bulls Eye fluted shaft and a SS grip.  Hey if it was a Wally World Wilson and I could putt with it then it would be in the bag. I for one do not stand on prestige or popularity.

I guess it is what trips someones trigger. If they want the latest and greatest so be it. I would have never said in the case of when you got your putter regripped about the grip being worth more than the putter. Naah I would have thought well this guy knows and loves his putter. I think really the reason besides being great equipment the reason Odyssey is so popular now is because of Tour presence and advertising. Just because I do not have the eye for thise putters does not make them bad. LOL I have a bud of mine who found a 2 ball at a thrift store for $2. That thing is as beat up as my Scotty and one of the balls are missing or inserts on the top. I told him maybe I could find another maybe clone and fix that. He was like no no no!!! He likes it like it is and can putt with it. We call it his One ball.  Yeah IMHO it is whatever someone likes and I have no problem with it

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12 hours ago, Thin2win said:

Just based on the most wanted results, Im guessing the OTR putters are setup for a smaller subset. Not that that makes them bad, but they often do perform below average during testing. So my assumption, is that they are setup for a group that is under represented in most wanted testing.

You have to remember that in general that the average Joe weekend warrior is not as tuned to clubs as folks like us are. They see the hype and go off of new and shiny and besides Joe Pro plays it on tour. Really that goes for any clubs these days. Yea they have no idea about face balancing etc and tuning one as I call it. Such is the golf market these days appeal to the masses. Which really is textbook marketing 101

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15 hours ago, cnosil said:

Manufacturers are requested to send in 34" stock putters that can be purchased OTR.    Some manufacturers may send multiple configurations of a model and based on our stroke style we may putt with only one of the models (for this years test,  there is one manufacturer that has sent in multiple lie angles).   Protocol is that we get groups of about 6 putters and hit 6 putts at 5, 10, and 20 feet (the order is not the same for all putters).   We don't have to putt any putt within 12" of the hole,  but anything else has to be putted;  we then document how many 1 putts and 3 putts we have.     MGS then calculates strokes gained for each putter and provides results.   WE also provide subjective feedback on each putter but that isn't used in determining most wanted.  

It is interesting rolling all those putts;  I can tell you that last years testing told me I shouldn't really game a mallet putter.  I didn't three putt any,  but my performance was far worse than with a blade putter.  

Why don't SC putters do better?  Who knows, but IMO they really aren't all that.  They are nice and high quality putters and I went through my own SC phase but if you think about it why should a SC Newport should be better than any other Anser style putter?   What I do notice rolling all these putters is that they do perform differently.  With some I have much better distance control and with some I have much better directional control.   Maybe it is the grip that is included with the putter since we test them as OTR,  we don't get to put grips we like on the putters.  

Thanks for the methodology description. I’ve read several fitting experts who claim the player should disregard the first 5 shots (give or take) with each configuration change (shaft, head, other) because the body takes a while to adapt to the new configuration. That’s for all clubs, including putters. Makes sense to me, the only way to know if you’ve been properly fitted is to take the club on a course and give yourself a little time (several rounds) to get comfortable with the new weapon. IOW, I’m not sure I’d trust my results I went directly from one putter to another hitting 6 putts (of 6x3 distances) with each of 6 putters.

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43 minutes ago, Middler said:

Thanks for the methodology description. I’ve read several fitting experts who claim the player should disregard the first 5 shots (give or take) with each configuration change (shaft, head, other) because the body takes a while to adapt to the new configuration. That’s for all clubs, including putters. Makes sense to me, the only way to know if you’ve been properly fitted is to take the club on a course and give yourself a little time (several rounds) to get comfortable with the new weapon. IOW, I’m not sure I’d trust my results I went directly from one putter to another hitting 6 putts (of 6x3 distances) with each of 6 putters.

Interesting. Most fitters I’ve worked with say that after three swings one has adjusted to the club/shaft and that all strikes after 3 should be disregarded. The differences show in the first three hits, so switch after three. Hmm.

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39 minutes ago, Middler said:

Thanks for the methodology description. I’ve read several fitting experts who claim the player should disregard the first 5 shots (give or take) with each configuration change (shaft, head, other) because the body takes a while to adapt to the new configuration. That’s for all clubs, including putters. Makes sense to me, the only way to know if you’ve been properly fitted is to take the club on a course and give yourself a little time (several rounds) to get comfortable with the new weapon. IOW, I’m not sure I’d trust my results I went directly from one putter to another hitting 6 putts (of 6x3 distances) with each of 6 putters.

Most of what I have heard is that the true results come from the earlier results as we get used to/adapt to the clubs after hitting it several times.  I’ve been told that player will also play better initially with a face balanced putter as it masks some errors when switching especially if the prior putter didn’t fit well.  Also, although they switch distance order later putters may perform a little better since we get used to the distance and the stroke needed.  It is probably easier in the putter testing to make the same stroke each time than in the testing if other clubs as the miss appears smaller.  
 I also don’t believe that you need to putt outside on a real green to evaluate.  Outdoor greens aren’t perfect and how the ball rolls is influenced by the green and not you stroke.  Indoors you can control the conditions better and evaluate start line and distance control with a “perfect” roll.  The time requirement; IMO, is about understanding dispersion patterns as all clubs, even putters, have a dispersion pattern.  

of course we all have to do what we think is best and appropriate to select a club. As we know people buy clubs for all kinds of reasons.  

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1 hour ago, PMookie said:

Interesting. Most fitters I’ve worked with say that after three swings one has adjusted to the club/shaft and that all strikes after 3 should be disregarded. The differences show in the first three hits, so switch after three. Hmm.

Same. My last fitting with titleist I hit 3-5 shots before he made a tweak to either loft, shaft or head, there were a couple setups that after 2 swings it was evident that it wasn’t the right setup. Once we dialed in the head it was 5 shots per change. 
 

The fitter wants you swinging your swing and not the accommodations you make to try and get a setup to work

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On 1/9/2022 at 9:24 AM, Middler said:

I know lots of players with SCs and they just love them. I have never owned one, but when I've tried one out they have wonderful feel and they look great.

This is easily the biggest reason people purchase Scotty's OTR if you ask me. Scotty's are constructed using materials and methods which produce a premium looking and feeling product - it's like buying a nice watch from that perspective. You can also expect great performance if you take the time do a fitting or at least give a few models a proper test. I've said it before, but I demoed the SC model I wanted for a month on the course before I pulled the trigger and it did perform well for me. 

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4 hours ago, cnosil said:

 I also don’t believe that you need to putt outside on a real green to evaluate.  Outdoor greens aren’t perfect and how the ball rolls is influenced by the green and not you stroke.  Indoors you can control the conditions better and evaluate start line and distance control with a “perfect” roll.  The time requirement; IMO, is about understanding dispersion patterns as all clubs, even putters, have a dispersion pattern.  

 

... I feel the opposite. Controlled indoor putting is just that. Putting on the course when it matters is a completely different animal. I make the same argument for getting fit for a driver when you stand in the same spot and dial in your shots when they don't even count as opposed to one time only on the tee and the results count. Pressure changes everything. I don't want what tests best, I want what performs best under the pressure of actually playing. I bought the original Spyder putter after rolling it fantastic on the hard, fast and flat surfaces of the PGA SS. It was abysmal for me on the course. It still performed well on straight flat putts but anything of distance with break was a disaster. I sold it after one round. I have found Scotty's to have excellent balance and feel. I have played several but none stayed in my bag for long. My last putting purchase for putting on Bermuda after a lifetime of putting a blade putter on bent greens, I was determined to get the best mallet putter for my stroke regardless of cost. I expected to buy a Scotty or Bettinardi or other "premium" putter. I took several days of testing to make sure my results were consistent and ended up with a $129 Cleveland mallet. It was a real surprise for me but I have been very happy with the performance. 

... I LOVE MGS testing but putters especially I take with a grain of salt. Putting is so personal and I would argue more mental than physical for anyone with even close to a repeatable stroke. I use a traditional putter grip, Sinkfit Skinny and testing with a fatter grip will not give me a true idea of how it would perform on the course. Anything other than a 33.5" length the I have putted with for 36 years would also be less than ideal. So I could use all the testing putters and give a general opinion but not sure that would hold up on the course once I had it cut and weighted to my perfect length and grip. 

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Driver:     :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 10.5* ... AD-IZ 6SR
Fairway:  :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max 15/18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Hybrids:    :taylormade-small: RBZ Tour Hybrid 21.5* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
Utility:      :taylormade-small: UDi 18* ... Even Flow Black 85R hy
Irons:        :cobra-small: 4-9 MIM Tour ... Steelfiber i95R
Wedges:   :taylormade-small: MG3 46*/50*/58* LB ... Steelfiber i95R
Putter:      :bobby-grace-1: 6330 LTD Edition ...  33.5"
Ball:           Maxfli     Maxfli Tour '23

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