The Task at Hand
At some point last year, Matt told me he had a Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport putter that had seen better days. Being a true pal and a glutton for punishment, I told Matt that I’d try and clean it up a bit for him and at least make it something unique for him. While I enjoy working on golf clubs and doing customizations, I’m just “some guy” and I don’t have a house or garage full of big tools that make these kinds of jobs easy. This means a lot of work by hand, and each club ends up having quite a bit of TLC put into it. It’s also important to note, that there’s more than one way to skin a cat. You can do a lot of different things to achieve similar results.
The pictures below are just a few shots of what the putter looked like going into the project. Some solid dings, gross paint, and lots of general wear and tear.
The first thing I did was file out as many of the dings as possible by hand. Then I ran some of the really problematic spots on the belt sander. This is always scary because you can quickly do some damage, and you can’t put the metal back on the putter. Once I finished up the “ugly work,” I hit the putter with a low grit sandpaper to smooth out lines and get a somewhat consistent finish. During the seasons with nicer weather, I prefer to do this via a sand or bead blast outside.
I did some more hand sanding at different grits to smooth out the finish a little more. After that, my next steps were to polish the stainless to a high mirror finish. I started this with my bench grinder, a polish wheel, and compound but then something in the electrical circuit broke so I had to finish the polish process with a Dremel. It was brutal. The pictures don’t show the sheen all that well, but I wanted to get this surface to be shiny so the torch finish would come through better. The remaining scratches were deep, and since most of this work was by hand, I wasn’t able to get everything as clean as I would have liked. That said, I’m just trying to put a little character back into an otherwise beat putter.
Playing with Fire
At this point, all that was left to do was wash the putter head with some dish soap, use a little de-greaser, dip it in some acetone and get it nice and dry before torching it. I originally was going to do a light gold/bronze finish but decided to go nuts and get the blues and purples that people like to see so much. Below are some pictures of the original intended color as well as some raw completed looks right after finishing the torch work. Torching a golf club isn’t all that difficult, but it’s still nervewracking because you can’t go back on it. If you get a color or look you don’t like, you have to start the process over.
The hard part of the job is done. After doing all of the dirty work, all that’s left to do is drop some paint in the putter and put the shaft back on (and grip if you’re really working this project from scratch).
When you have the combination of bronze, blue, and purple, picking the right paint colors is surprisingly difficult. I probably went through about five different color combinations before I finally settled on the final combination. I used this metal-flake green on my friend’s Studio Select Newport 2 a couple of years ago and it came out awesome. As soon as I dropped it in the bombs, I knew it was the right choice. The steel itself has a nice oily tie-dye look on its own so finding a color that isn’t overbearing but has character is key. Pictures will show the putter’s color a little bit, but the beauty of this putter is holding it in the sun in your hands. You’ll experience the color change effect like that cool paint on Master P’s low-rider in the ’90s.