I recently reviewed the Scotty Cameron 2016 Select Newport putter, and I wasn’t all that impressed, but man…what a blank canvas these putters are. After seeing some of the Tour versions of this putter, and seeing how many different pieces there were, I had a million different ideas if I ever got to customize one. Well it turned out that our own Thomas J. O’Connell decided to cash out of the Tour Scotty game, but he still wanted a unique one-off putter to set himself apart from the rest of golfers on the course. Somehow, I let this guy sweet talk me into customizing his First of 500 2016 Select Newport. Like most internet golf nerds (a title Tom wears proudly), Tom is in love with the tie-dye torch look of blues, purples, gold, and bronze so that’s what he asked me to do.
As I said in my review of this Newport, the feel was pretty dead. Not soft, dead. Tom agreed, so he was all for adding a little more click to the putter. When I removed the face “inlay” by removing the four screws seen in the cavity, applying a little heat, and using a metal pick to push it out, I exposed the 3M double stick tape they apply between the two layers. This material is pretty worthless and would not be returning to the putter.
Next, I removed the rubber O rings from the weights, threw all the hardware in some acetone and let it sit to remove the paint and eat away at the tape and residue. Some of the paint was a little more stubborn than typical, but it all came out eventually with a little help from the trusty metal pick.
This putter was mint, but since Tom wanted a lot of blues and purples I had to put a nice high polish on the putter. One could argue that you could do that from the stock bead blast finish, but I wanted to prep the metal as much as possible before buffing. I started with 100 grit sandpaper, moved on 220, then did a 220 grit wet sand, a 400 grit wet sand, 800 grit wet sand, and then a 1000 wet grit sand. Below is the final product.
With the putter now being sanded down, buffing to a high polish wouldn’t be that difficult. I used a buffing wheel and dremel with green polishing compound to get a mirror finish. This mirror finish is key to making your colors pop after torching. If you don’t polish, they just don’t look as good and get cloudy. Below are pictures with the mirror finish. For my money, you could also stop at this stage.
Tom wanted the blues and purples, but I encouraged him to leave the face and weights bonze-ish. After doing the usual dish soap and degreaser prep work, I put a considerable amount of time into torching this putter. I did the weights and face by just setting them on a vice and blasting them with a torch. They took about ten minutes total. One theory is that if you don’t let the metal cool on its own and dunk it in water instead, the metal reacts different and you get a “clickier” end result. Considering Tom was looking for that, and I also didn’t want to risk anymore color change as the parts sat cooling off, I dropped the face in a bucket of water to cool.
Next was the putter head. Man, when that thing got true bronze with a few hues of purple in that high-polish finish, it was FILTHY! I opted to leave the neck golden/bronze and was sad to not be able to leave the whole putter that color. I guess it’s just my personal taste. After heating this thing to beyond belief, red hot in some cases, I dunked the head in water and was finished.
After seeing the putter done and in different lights, it was obvious to me that it would have been a disservice to fill in the bombs on the cavity, so I left those empty. Tom is partial to lime green so I just did all the paint in white and lime green, threw the putter back together, and Tom was in business. So far the feedback is that the face has a bit more click and more life to it, so we succeeded there. By all reports, Tom is happy with the putter.
The Finished Product
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